Error 8541 on Category (Item type)

Over the last few months, we have seen our Manage Inventory Edit pages have attributes deleted / combined on the Keyword tab and then have an error 8541 on the Category (Item type) attribute. The error:

8541: The value ‘XYZ’ specified cannot be used as it conflicts with the value ‘ABC’ for ASIN ‘B00XXXXXXX’ in the Amazon catalog. If this is ASIN ‘B00XXXXXXX’, update the value to match the ASIN data. If this is a different product, update identifying information (UPC/EAN/Part Number/etc.).

The dust seems to have settled on the changes so we are ready to get these 3 ASIN(s) corrected while doing some updates to the listings. All of our ASIN(s) are basically the same so the plan is to maintain consistency with the listings.

Our plan is to use the excel category specific template file to first delete these 3 ASIN(s) and then to turn around and reload them.

Now the Questions

  1. Has anyone had experience with this error 8541?
  2. Will our plan of attack to solve with the excel file upload work?
  3. If not, your suggestion …

( And yes … we waited patiently to ask the question here … )


Normally this error occurred if a UPC has been re-used (in your account), but
what I have found is that over the years, Amazon has “Frozen” many many field values.

Examples are many if not most of the attributes of a product, Like Size, Color, Style, etc.

So it you are updating a product that had a prior value, you will get this message.

Since Amazon SS is so worthless, and any correction I try to make with SS is usually for naught, I no longer even attempt to change those values if I find an error.

For me if mostly reveals itself if I am adding a variation.
Let say that originally I had a variation of Blue, and then add a product color of Blue Navy, then to “update” the original to Blue Royal, just will not work.
Other issues are simply with misspelling or size corrections.

Anyway, to DISCOVER exactly what the issue is, you need to do a flat file upload, and the error message is buried in yellow box on your excel download.

Answer is NO.

Suggestions (partial)
If this is a variation and the variation is BASED on that value then you can not add that item to the variation.
For example, Lets say that you had two items with a value of Blue already “Grandfathered” in before that field was frozen, and you simply want to differentiate (Blue and Blue, to Blue Navy and Blue Royal), YOU can not do so.
The only way is to use another Field (within you variation matrix), and populate that field with the correct values (for all items in that variation), and of course remove the Color field (in my example) from the variation.

None of them are a variation.
None of the UPC codes have been recycled (GS1 and our own) and are the UPC codes the listings were created with.
None had an issue until some bot decided to make changes to the listings which was primary on the Keyword tab where Amazon is phasing out several attributes.

The above image is the instructions provided on the Manage Inventory Edit page.

We can tell you that the excel category specific template for our products is a mess with some values that are in no way associated with the category and/or products. That is another reason we were waiting as we “hoped” Amazon would figure it out and correct them (ok … we know … maybe in another world).

The Listing Quality Dashboard bot was active with our listings a time back with suggestions that were a complete mismatch. We kept rejecting them.

The errors are appearing on the Category (Item Type) and seem to be referring to some other attribute that is now tied to the Category (Item Type) like when you have a length and the tied attribute of length type.

When we execute our plan, we will return and give feedback. If we have to, we might try brand registry help and/or seller help.

Thank you for your input.


That screen Print is NEW. Finally a bit (not for you) clarity. That is good news.

Does the RED type appear after you click one of the top 3 buttons?
Below is a 8541 error I had. In years past I must have made a mistake in the field and put PLASTIC.
or as you mentioned, I might have been suckered into changing the field one day on the suppressed listing page (and misread, or was temp insane). Whatever, I would never put plastic. But I did?

Anyway, maybe the process summary page (after an upload), will give you a tad more info like mine.

I only gave the variation example, as an aside.


The above image is the instructions provided on the Manage Inventory Edit page.

That’s interesting, but looks like instructions for how to resolve a problem when trying to create a new listing. Your problem seems to be with existing listings, right?

I do like the new screen, as it’s basically guiding people towards the cleaving process, but that’s not (or at least never has been) relevant for an existing listing. Maybe they’re changing that now?

8541: The value ‘XYZ’ specified cannot be used as it conflicts with the value ‘ABC’ for ASIN

So the field triggering the error is the category/item type? The system says it’s a handbag, and you’re saying it’s a blender?

If you want to follow the guidance of that screen, I would interpret it as this:

  • You are telling us it’s a blender but we know it’s a handbag. Because we are Amazon and we are never wrong. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:
  • If we’ve bullied you into submission, then select ‘handbag’ as your value and carry on.
  • If you insist on being difficult, you’ll need to create a new listing with blender as the item type and then beg and plead with us to believe you.

If I were you, and the only issue were the item type, I’d let Amazon keep on believing it’s a handbag because that isn’t likely to impact your sales. They’ll put it in the wrong category, but so what? As long as the fees are the same, and the new category doesn’t require pesticide training or something, just go along with it. People shop by searching, not by browsing categories, so it shouldn’t matter that much.

Edited to add: I don’t do anything by file uploads so have nothing useful to offer on that.


I read the tiny type in that Manage Inventory Edit Page screen print and see the RED is from the “More Details”.

Also you mentioned Category (Item Type) , where do you see that? I do not see it on the screen print.

I seem to remember seeing that Category (Item Type) on one of my hundreds of upload, then went searching on my template and it DOES NOT EXIST. What does, is Product Type, Product ID Type, Item Type Keyword and other various TYPEs (like Material Type, etc).

Anyway, I just chaulked it up to bad programming description, or a "Catch-all’ for all errors that conflict.


This was the red error text we saw on the Manage Inventory Edit page …

The red appears right under the attribute box on the Manage Inventory Edit page. Nothing has to be click as the red error text is there as soon as the tab is opened.

There is a link at the end of the red text of the error 8541 that reads Learn More. When you click it, a pop up comes up with 3 different scenarios for you to click as you see at the top of the image above. When you click the Product details conflict one, this is the message given (image above). All of this is from the Manage Inventory Edit page.

Correct … listing is about 12 years old

The Category (Item Type) is showing correct as it should be (let’s call it OOPsie Do). The error is saying the value “XYZ” specified cannot be used as it conflicts with the value “ABC” for the ASIN. Neither “XYZ” or “ABC” have anything to do with "OOPsie Do.

This is basically it … or some other attribute has been attached to the Category (Item Type) as in our example of Length and Length Type.

But it isn’t that way for all of the other items like it (only designs on top change) and all of the others are okay. It’s just these 3 ASIN(s) that have this type of error. And mind you, the error is the same type error but the “XYZ” and the"ABC" parts are different on each of them.

Except it has lowered the sales on these 3 ASIN(s) and sometimes at random each on of the 3 ASIN(s) don’t pull in our brand match search of items where as this never use to happen. All items use to display when we brand match searched.

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Screen Shot 2023-04-18 at 5.46.53 PM

This is so REDICULOUS.

First, it suggests you replace a 12 year item with feedback, ratings, etc with a new virgin one.
This is read by me as a MASSIVE SALES DROP.

2nd, Amazon fixing (if they do), will take weeks and months or never.

As well, just pursuing an old item (that might just be fine for you now, but not up to your standards), means that your project will be delayed, and bottom dollars, if it is resolved, then you will have to re-visit all your work then, when you probably have other greater fires to work on (taxes, sales, etc).


Category (Item Type) is on the More Detail tab for the example we use. The error 8541 appears on this tab under the Category (Item Type) and the pop up image above generates from clicking Learn More at the end of the error 8541.

Category (Item Type) on the Manage Inventory Edit page More Detail tab is the same attribute you see on the excel category specific template files as Item Type Keyword (second line - header name) and the item_type (third line - header name - sometimes they make this a hidden row).

All of the attributes on the excel category specific template files exist on the Manage Inventory Edit page. However, the attribute names on the Manage Inventory Edit page are not always the same on the excel category specific template file. It becomes a mix and match of what is shown on the excel file header line 2 and header line 3. Example … Search Terms = generic_keywords

It is obvious to us that Amazon is using a bot to slowly change the attributes on the Manage Inventory Edit page to represent a new approach. The excel category specific templates files are also being “adjusted”. The problem we have seen is that the two are not matching as the change happens. It may be a case of bot vs bot fighting each other for top bidding.


Interesting. Thanks. I sure would like to know how you resolve.

The uploads and errors these days are challenging to say the least.

I have greyed over the years with fixing issues and making work arounds (when I can).

I MUST SAY, that the summary report (with the yellow box) was a GREAT ADDED feature (that should have always been there). Upload were difficult 5+ years ago, then became much easier.

NOW with all the “fixed” fields, it is a disaster to update old product.


I agree. I have heard 'category doesn’t matter because buyers don’t search for category - but when Amazon somehow changed some categories on me over the years, I saw a drop in sales. I think it might be part of their ‘filing system tree’ that could be involved in the background of the search process, something that helps point the bot to the right part of the catalog? Certainly the search process is more than just word matching, or it would give better results!


Bringing this back to life… I’m now seeing Amazon is doing this to several of my products (Item Type Keyword). Has anyone found a clear solution to fix it?

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We did an excel file partial update that only contained the required fields (which included our issue of Category [item_type]). After a couple of weeks, we looked and the error was gone.

With that said, Amazon has been re-arranging and modifying the Manage Item edit page. There have been several changes. The excel file sheets have been a mess.

All we can suggest is doing an excel file partial update with only the required fields and the attribute field that the error is on. If the excel file is accepted, then just wait for it to populate (and it could be a while like a couple of weeks). If the excel file is not accepted, read the reason why and try to correct or try resubmitting if the info is wrong (a bot change that needs fixing). Make sure you wait at least 72 hours between submissions (this was the suggestion made to us from another forum member). We waited a week between submissions.

Since these errors seem to be bot generated, we don’t think there is a set fix available but rather a bunch of “try this and see if it sticks” type fixes that others have had some success in dealing with their 8541 errors.

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I know now most know, but I want to make sure EVERYONE KNOWS who comes upon this …

In the field update/delete enter - PARTIALUPDATE (caps not required)

Otherwise, leaving a prior populated field blank, will be be interpreted as you wanting it blank.

A simple mistake by entering UPDATE instead, that will cause you great grief.


Time for a bump, methinks.


If you use UPDATE, then a blank field results in removal of any prior entry.

If you use PARTIALUPDATE, then only the fields completed are subject to change.

Just as a reminder for us

Reworded to make the distinction simple