Strange anomaly in listing rankings


Hi all.

I listed a new item for sale a couple months ago. It started selling reasonably well from the go, and moved into the top 100 rankings for its category, and sales continued. All good so far.

A couple of days without sales and naturally it moved out of the top 100 and continued to climb down the rankings with each day that went by without a sale. Not a problem, this is normal and expected. So all is still good, as one or more sales would push it back into the top 100 and considering it’s a new listing, sales are expected to be slow and sporadic at first. But overall, the indications so far for this listing are very good; it’s gathering some nice data with views and sales and spreading through Amazon’s system at a good rate.

But here’s the problem.

After a few days without sales, one buyer purchased two items from the listing. I would expect a double order to push the ranking comfortably back into the top 100 (I’ve found this to be true from past experience). But NO. NOTHING. No movement whatsoever. Instead the listing carried on climbing down the rankings.

I ignored this, putting it down to my own paranoia or something, though I knew what I’d experienced to be true. I just thought the ranking would increase on the next sale.

The next sale comes a couple of days ago and the same thing happens again. No movement in the sales ranking so far and still continuing to climb down.

I know it can take a long time for sales rankings to update, but keep in mind the double-order (over a week ago) mentioned earlier made no impact to the sales ranking and I let it go. So it seems like the latest sale will have no impact either.

It is worrying, as it seems a product that customers are interested in and want will eventually climb down the rankings so much that it is no longer viewed or purchased by buyers. Kind of goes against the whole ranking system and ethos.

I will be creating a case with CS for this later on, but I’m waiting until today is over to see if the ranking changes.

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this on any of their listings? Or it might be something to look out for.

It is worth noting that all the other listings are fine and behaving as normal in regard to rankings. But it’s also worth noting, those listings are older and the one being affected is newer.

Thanks in advance for replies.

Edited by: groovylemons on Oct 27, 2015 10:28 AM

Edited by: groovylemons on Oct 27, 2015 10:30 AM

Edited by: groovylemons on Oct 27, 2015 10:32 AM


This is what has happened to some of our listings, we have good selling items without any real competition just completely stop selling, no rhyme or reason for it, as you can imagine those same items then just tumble down the listings and once they are sliding it’s virtually impossible to do anything about it, i have seen this so many times to be a coincidence, very frustrating when items were selling 6-10 units a day then down to zero, nobody else in the buy box, competition about £5 more expensive.


Thank you Martin & Charley.

Yes, I have taken this into consideration. But even if my competitor’s items in the category are drastically outselling mine, there should still be a slight improvement in rankings with each sale, however small. That’s been my past experience at least.

But, honestly, I’m expecting more than a slight increase in rankings based on the initial data of the product selling well when it was first listed. But I’m not even getting a small increase with each new sale, let alone a big one.

And, as I’ve mentioned, my other listings in the same category are behaving as normal (i.e. increasing in rankings - sometimes into top 100 - with every new sale), so I don’t think it’s to do with competitors selling a lot more than me, as if it was, I’d notice the trend in all of my listings across the category. I only sell in one category anyway, so that makes it easier to know.

I’ll start a case with CS later on anyway.

But thank you both for replies.

Edited by: groovylemons on Oct 27, 2015 10:48 AM

Edited by: groovylemons on Oct 27, 2015 10:55 AM


Yes, this is happening too. There’s no doubting things here are changing. But whatever changes maybe going on in the background, the ranking system should be a reflection of buyers speaking with their purchases. That’s how it’s always been and I hope that is still the case.


If other items in the same category sell better then no matter what your item does, unless it outperforms other products in the same race the sales rank will slip as other items perform better. I would think.


Are the other items in ranking getting more sales?


Ranking should be such that if selling can still go down the rank if other items selling more.
Been keeping my eye on a particular item for christmas 2016, its rank is currently dropping though can see the sales are being made. The 2 other Christmas 2016 items I’m watching this week are climbing. Same category.


Amazon have recently changed their search algorithm. Most likely to try and stop the vast amounts of sellers who were manipulating them. But something is definitely not right about it. We have a new product in the top 200 of a competitive category and yet it’s not even showing in the first 20 pages after 1 week. but Some competitors are in position 20,999 for sales in the same category yet are on page 10.

Not to be a conspiracy theorist as around the time if this change that are sales took a hit and sometimes when is each for our listings half of the results on the page where I know our listing is don’t even show up. Hopefully they will sort things out soon.


I would have thought with Amazon promoting certain sellers and products, then they must manipulate the search results to push certain products/sellers, if this is what may be happening, then logic suggests some products/sellers must be ignored within the presentation of products visible to buyers?

I have no idea really how they operated search results, but common sense would suggest it’s not a level playing field for all sellers?


Add in sponsored ads…

Things can get a mite tricky.


I agree something is amiss, I listed a new product and it’s had one sale, however it’s on page 2 after only 1 sale, i have other listings in the same search, same keywords have had more sales in the last week yet those are below the new listing, which I can’t quite figure it out


also been watching sales in my category and its not adding up


The other 252 ahead of it - more sales?
You may not have any other sellers on it, you do have hundreds or thousands of competitors for sales ranking.

Edited by: Martin on Oct 27, 2015 7:55 PM


Same here.
Already prices are down by 10-30% and I have some sales.
The rank of one of the items were always in top 50 for about an year.
Today I saw it on 583 … than I changed the price and few sales after it was on 238 … now on 253.
Very fast drop when in fact Im the only seller selling it and also I do not have many competitors.

Most of my listings are now at the tail of the category and I have never been there. So you are not alone. Many of us are just like you or worst.



I see our stuff bouncing around all over the place and I think it’s one of the reason sales are so erratic now, I have items sell that haven’t sold in months they sell 2-3 in quick succesion then nothing again, back to obscurity,
I have good sellers oddly just stop selling overnight and after start tumbling down the search, they get the odd sale after that but maybe a couple a week after selling 6-10 a day for a good 2-3 years,

The other conspiracy theory is no matter what we do we can’t lift sales to the old numbers we used to get, I’m sure there’s a quota,
everyday we get around the same amount, a good start to the days sales ends up being a poor finish, a poor start ends up being better finish in the evening but because the poor start was so bad it only ends being average at best but virtually everyday it’s around the same amount sold give or take 10 sales.

Not had a day where sales have been flying in all day for months, it’s been very average-low even this late in Oct


I touched on the issue of rankings a couple of weeks back without a reply

+I have noticed the last few days that some items are only showing one category in the ‘Best Sellers Rank’+

+From what I can see, it just the master category, not all the sub categories below it?+

+I don’t think I have noticed this displayed like this before?+

+Odd that it’s not all!+

+Anyone else find their products being displayed with less ‘Best Sellers Rank’ info?+


Here is something that I think it is interesting.

As you can see the category and browse node are a bit different :smiley: so what is the point to select it? The ASIN is not shown in two categories , but is is not in the one that I have selected also :slight_smile:


and while we are talking from rank 250 to 280 :slight_smile:
I think amazon is not perspective place for me any more


So long as outselling the rest of the pack it would be strange. Have had number ones before now, think the longest was about 8 months. Last i looked it was number 5 on that one though could be up or down now. Very nice at Christmas but steady seller rest of year.


Internet was down a bit the other day. Had to spend time with the family.
They seem like nice people.

Seriously, it may sound like a conspiracy theory but you could be right.
Not entirely unknown for some staffer to do something to mess an annoying customer up.