Variation Theme - Model - Some Questions and Issues

  1. After contacting seller support to no avail I decided to use a variation theme that is available. For the family grouping of a few products.

  2. Does anyone know whether the variation theme model appears like material as a drop down where each variation is hidden until selected from the specific material type from a drop down menu or does it appear like a normal variation where all variations appear on the listing and the customer can hover over each variation where the images would change automatically as the customer hovers over the specific variation?

  3. I am testing the variation theme model - but it keeps overriding sku color and mixing images between the children. Obviously this is not normal but this has happened twice. I’ve deleted the family once and created a new parent and all seemed fine until the update at midnight and now the next morning one of my skus has the images of the first child alone with color from the parent. Why is this happening? I don’t want to add my fast moving sku for the fear that this would happen to it and it would really fuq it up.

  4. Is it possible, that these issues are arising from selecting model variation as opposed to another variation theme?

Wracking my brain.

Let’s call in the aid of some of our resident experts on Variation Relationship Sets:

@oneida_books, @Tallytony, @hdms, @Sundance, @Roxy, @Chimanimani, @TJB, @MissMeliss - may I ask if any of you fine folks can shed some light on our friend Lemons’ questions?

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Thanks @Dogtamer - currently just deleted skus and will reattempt after 24 hours but this seems unnecessarily complicated.

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I believe you are asking if we have any control over how variations are displayed on the page, whether it be pictures or a drop-down list. Apologies if I am incorrect because I haven’t had enough coffee yet this morning to be totally here. As far as I am aware, we have no control over this. It works differently in different categories, and if you have a lot of variations, it will switch to a drop-down list because there isn’t enough room to show all of the images.

I personally have never had this happen to any of my variation groups. Is there any chance that you use any 3rd party apps that could be cause of the change at midnight?

Maybe??? I mainly list in apparel, so SizeColor variations are usually what I work with. I’ve never created a variation group with model as the theme before.


So much to unpack here

  1. Yes absolutely that is what I’m asking and you answered my question. Thanks.

  2. 3rd party apps?!!! Neinnn!!! The only 3rd party app I use is feedbackwhiz and that has nothing to do with this as far as I’m aware.

  3. The funny thing is in my category…flavor and team name have no place at all but they are available variation themes but color and count are no longer available when they are highly relevant…yay amazon


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When we did variations. I never added images until after the child detail page was created.
Then I would add the appropriate images to the child + Swatch image.

The parent was always just bare bones, no images.

Why would the “Parent” have a color?


Recently, it has seemed like Amazon has been messing around with variations. I have seen post in the NSFE of people saying that their variation theme was no longer available and none of the options left work or make sense. There have also been a lot of posts recently of Amazon combining different variation groups for seemingly no reason, and it being extremely difficult to fix because the bots will just do it again. Not sure what shenanigans Amazon is up to.


This is also how I do my variations.

  1. I don’t even have images in the parent. That’s the issue.

  2. The system kept mixing images between two Child asins as soon as they were made child variations.

  3. The UI - when creating parent in seller central forces color in vital info - but that should still not override child asin information - I was livid with catalog team and their initial explaination was because there was zero inventory (I called bullshyte) and they just escalated to internal team - by yesterday evening everything seemed fine only to have it repeated this morning.

It’s shyte like this that should literally take 2 mins that is now taking the better part of a week to sort

And yes I did try feed uploads but that had similar results which is why I decided to create a parent asin using UI on sc

The only new thing I could think of was to delete the child asins delete the parent and then delete the asins completely but now I need to know what order of operations I should execute?

  1. Create parent, then add back two asins into my inventory 0 inventory and then make then child variations.

  2. add back two asins into my inventory 0 inventory and then add the parent and make the two asins children

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Slight correction in correct course of action

Should I?

  1. Create Parent and 1 child variation to test at the same time (using flat file)

  2. Or add asins, update them and then create parent and associate the asins as children?

Can’t just create a parent with no associations as it causes and error

I create my variation groups via flat file, and when creating a new group, I will create the parent and child listings in the same flat file. I always have the parent as the first row and then the child listings under it.

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Hi Tried, do you have all the children ASINs already set up?

I would highly suggest this, then there are no mix ups with the children ASINS listings like photos, ect.

After the children are set up, download the flat file for your category and create your parent on the first row of the sheet (exactly as MissMeliss recommends). It looks like you were successful doing that already so it’s a good start. Then add the children in the rows below that.

The key here is to make sure you select “partial update” for your children in the Update/Delete column of your flat file. Doing this, only the information you enter into the flat file for variations will be updated, not the entire child sku. Don’t enter any more information than is necessary to create the variation for your children as all the other information (pics, descriptions, ect) will already be in the children sku files you previously created.

Typically you will need to input (but varies according to different variations)-
seller sku (so they know what existing sku you are trying to make a child)
parent sku
relationship type
variation theme

Sometimes some of these columns are hidden on your flat file. I have no idea why, but look at the column headers to see if there are hidden columns (it will skip from column AH to column AQ or similar). Unhide any columns in the flat file.

I’ve had really good luck doing variations this way with the key being partial update instead of update and only adding in what is required for that variation.

Good Luck,



Yep tried that already first and that’s when all the issues started.

The only thing I can think of is that when I created the child asins it was a while ago as independent listings so upon adding the asins back hoping things would be resolved.

But since its amazon - I’m expecting more shyte for simple things.

We’ll see

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  1. Had to delete all skus

  2. Add asins (future children) to inventory

  3. Create new parent and add asins as variations

It’s been a few hours and all seems well but will wait until tomorrow to see if the changes stick without fvcking up the listing(s)

The mistake I made upon readding the skus is that I didn’t enter the old fnskus and so system generated new fnskus :joy:

Have to delete everything again and wait 24 hours

So fun :joy: