While doing some one on one coaching for a friend I came across a number of issues that weren’t big enough to include in one of my courses but would be nice to have explained.
It’s hard to strike a balance between including all the useful information and overwhelming people with random little facts that they don’t need to get started.
So, I’m going to start sharing these little things here, and hopefully they’ll be helpful to some of y’all.

So, what if it’s not quite an orphan?

See the color and size information listed below the title? It looks like the listing has the Variation Theme “Color and Size” but there are no other options.
This is a parent with only one child listing listed under it, it’s what most people call a mini family.
Most ‘mini families’ have at least a few variations listed under them which makes them easier to ID. This one was mistaken for an orphan because it only has one variation.

One easy way to identify them if you’re not sure is to check the product description. If there is a parent affiliated with the child listing/potential orphan you’re looking at, the parent ASIN will be listed in the product description. If the ASIN listed in the product description matches the ASIN you used in the URL, it’s an orphan.

Even though it’s not technically an orphan you’ll probably want to add this listing to a better parent if you have it in your inventory, it’s the only listing attached to this parent, so it’s still going to have a horrible sales rank, and few reviews making it hard for customers to find.

Dealing with listings like this is a 2 – 3 step process:

Step 1. You’ll want to locate a better parent (we call these target parents) to join this to once you’ve separated it from the small parent, and create a list of all the child ASINs listed under the small parent- you might need this later.
Step 2. Open a case, you’ll need to open a case with seller support and explain the situation. Here’s a case template we have pretty good success with:

Please delete parent (min-family Parent ASIN) and add the variations listed under it to parent asin (Target Parent). They are variations of the same product and belong listed under a single parent. You can reference the UPCs and model number (add Orphan listing model number)

your name

Always add model numbers if they’re available, and tell them to check the UPCs as proof that the child ASINs from the mini-family and Target Parent belong together. Seller Support is much more responsive when you add in this kind of information.

Step 3. Don’t be surprised if they delete the small parent and then give you instructions on how to join the now orphans to the target parent. Many times they’ll do the first part and then tell you they aren’t allowed to ‘create variations’ which means join child listings to parents. This is where the list you made is useful, you can now go to the variation wizard and add all the now orphans to the target parent.

Next up we’ll go over some pointers for finding good parents for your orphans.