Why Using the Build International Listings tool in Amazon is a Bad Idea?

When it comes to international expansion on Amazon, everyone wants a piece of the pie. As exciting as it sounds, many sellers are put off by the enormous task of creating listings across different Amazon marketplaces. This is where Build International Listings (BIL) can come into consideration; a tool that automatically lists your items across other Amazon marketplaces in a short amount of time. Yet if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. We’ve also seen sellers suffering ill effects from using BIL and in extreme cases, even having their account suspended. So here are a few things to look out for when using Amazon’s Build International Listings tool, and why it may be a bad idea.


What is “Build International Listings”

The Build International Listings tool has been around for years so we won’t describe it in detail here. In short, the tool helps you create and update offers from a single source marketplace to one or more target marketplaces while updating eligible offers and prices in the target marketplaces based on settings you specify and currency exchange rates. *


So how can using this work minimizing tool be a bad idea?


It’s not for every product

The Build International Listings tool only creates listings for those items that already exist in the target markets the seller wishes to expand into. It allows you to piggyback on existing product detail pages of items with the same ASINs on your target marketplaces. In other words, unique items whose ASINs don’t exist in the target marketplaces can not be listed through the tool and must be created manually.


You risk having your listings mistranslated

A quick online search show sellers complaining about their listings being mistranslated by the BIL tool. Translation errors are the first thing you’d want to avoid when expanding into new countries and marketplaces. They confuse your foreign buyers, can lead to unsatisfying sales, and jeopardise your brand and credibility as a seller.


As advanced as machine translation is nowadays, the localisation of your listings is still something that requires a “personal touch”. Only a native speaker from your target country with a thorough understanding of the culture and target market really knows how to adapt your product information for local buyers. Take a look at the four things to consider when translating your listings for an e-commerce expansion.


Take clothing size for example. Different measurements are often used in different countries; even between neighboring Amazon markets like Italy and France. So imagine you’re an apparel seller in the UK expanding to mainland Europe. You’ll now need three or more different dress sizes for those target markets. By using the BIL tool, you risk listing your items in the wrong size and the resulting negative feedback and returns.


You still need different pricing strategies for the respective marketplaces

Yes, the BIL tool synchronises your prices across the target Amazon marketplaces based on your source market prices, and yes, it does take into account the exchange rates. What it doesn’t suggest however is what prices result in the highest margin while still remaining competitive in different marketplaces. So do your due diligence and consider the potential of using a repricing tool to better calculate suitable prices for each country.


Translation quality and pricing could easily be overlooked, especially in the excitement of starting to sell in the multiple Amazon marketplaces that BIL promises. Yet it’s the fundamental elements such as the accuracy and quality of your listings that decide whether or not your international expansion will be successful. The Build International Listings tool can therefore have significant drawbacks and might even bring more harm than good in the long run when establishing your brand on foreign Amazon marketplaces.


* https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/202121570