Can We Relist / Relaunch a Product Without Losing Reviews?

Bradley Sutton, Helium 10’s Director of Customer Success and Training, is back with more answers to your most sought-after questions. In this episode Bradley is answering the question, “Can we relist/relaunch a product without losing reviews?”

Short answer: Yes, and we generally suggest relaunching on the same ASIN, rather than creating a new separate listing (whereby you would lose your old reviews).

As Bradley’s on-screen example in our AMA video shows, the seller in question created a new listing to try to recover from a sub-3-star rating. Search results brought up two separate listings, or ASINs, for the same product. This is a commonly-discussed tactic that theoretically would help the seller start fresh with a clean slate.

It’s supposedly a good strategy for “erasing” a bad rating. Maybe you got attacked by hijackers who left a bunch of fake negative reviews on your listing, or maybe you were unlucky and your manufacturer sent in a defective batch of product, earning a tide of legitimate negative reviews. Either way, recovering from negative review purgatory is a difficult task, but is it worth starting over from scratch?

Another reason people consider when justifying a do-over is the so-called “honeymoon” period. Though not confirmed explicitly by Amazon, sellers have generally observed a honeymoon period following a new product launch, where Amazon is more lenient towards your product, especially in terms of keyword ranking. In other words, they’re likely to more aggressively test out your product on relevant keywords and see if doing so garners conversions.

You may also hear of several black hat strategies to bounce back from negative reviews, such as manipulating parent and child variations. Black hat sellers will take the bad listing and set it as a child variation alongside another child listing with good reviews – then combine them via the parent variation into a single product, thereby “absorbing” the negative reviews and bringing up the overall average.

We highly suggest you do NOT do that, lest you be flagged by Amazon. And it’s just unethical.

What Bradley suggests is to simply relaunch your product as-is, especially if you have a substantial amount of reviews on it. Exceptions exist of course, and use your best judgment – for example, if you have 500 reviews with an overall rating of 2 stars, then yes you probably want to shed that and start over.

But if you have a product with dozens of reviews and an ‘eh’ 3-star average, you can still tidy that up and pull it out of the aforementioned purgatory.

Yes, that will cost some money upfront, especially in PPC – and you don’t get to benefit from the honeymoon period like you would with a brand new ASIN. But keeping your original listing intact means you get to preserve your rankings and pedigree – much like a credit card account, age looks good on an ASIN and merits favor from Amazon.

We also suggest using relaunch services. We can’t endorse any specific services as we are not affiliated with them, but do your research and find one that works with your unique situation.

And remember, if you’re going to relaunch on certain keywords, run those keywords through Helium 10’s Cerebro tool! This will help you to confirm the competitiveness and search volume of certain keywords and let you decide if they’re worthwhile targets to spend time and money on.

Director of Training & Chief Evangelist

Bradley is the Director of Training and Chief Evangelist for Helium 10 as well as the host of the most listened to podcast in the world for Amazon sellers, the Serious Sellers Podcast. He has been involved in e-commerce for over 20 years, and before joining Helium 10, launched over 400 products as a consultant for Amazon Sellers.

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