Mind Your P’s and Q’s (Pictures & Quality)!


No one actually knows what the precise origin of this phrase is, so I decided to mis-attribute it further.

We’re seeing regular listing suspensions and account suspensions due to image guideline violations. As a reminder, here is what Amazon expects for primary images: JUST the item, with at least 1 white pixel around all sides of the image, no text, the object taking up 85% of the space of the image, and at least 1000 pixels on one side.

Each category has some of their own requirements – be familiar with these! In Clothing, for example, you can only use live models or flat clothing, no mannequins allowed, whereas in other categories, no models of any kind are allowed on any pictures at all.

Recently, we were working on the suspension of an account due to image violations – the complaint was the equivalent of the seller selling the headband in the above image, and being warned then suspended because the image also included a track suit, that of course wasn’t being sold with the product. Amazon appears to be cracking down on lifestyle images from what we can tell.

So what are your options?

  1. Very plain, simple pictures of the product itself. These are compliant, but don’t convert that well
  2. Roll the dice, list as you like, and hope that Amazon’s millions of other listings will mask yours
  3. Sign up for Vendor Express and spring for A+ content 

Our method for A+ is to research keywords and sentiment for the product, then arrange the results in orders that make sense to humans (google eye tracking image to get a sense of for what this entails) to optimize conversion. In enhanced marketing content (EMC), you can use words, lifestyle images, and diagrams, all of which you aren’t technically permitted to do in the images section of the detail page. The best part: new vendors signing up for Vendor Express get 5 free A+ pages!

About the Author
Rachel Johnson Greer is a global business strategist who specializes in helping entrepreneurs increase their internet product sales, curate their brand image online and avoid catastrophic legal threats. After getting her MBA in international business at Seattle University, she spent nearly a decade at Amazon working in product development. Since then, Rachel has founded companies that reached both multi-six figure and multi-seven figure growth in under three years.

As a business coach, she supports clients in everything from international product expansion to 4x-ing their sales through online retailers. Rachel is frequently sought out by the media and has appeared on the Today Show, CNBC, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. When she’s not working with clients, she’s scaring friends at parties with stories about the most problematic online products she’s found in their homes. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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