5 min read

Understanding Flat Files: How to download and upload on Amazon

Written by
Vanessa Hung
May 2, 2024

Flat Files, also called templates, are simple text files, typically in CSV format, that allow sellers to manage their product listings in bulk. These files contain rows and columns, with each row representing a product and each column containing specific product information like title, description, price, and images.

These handy spreadsheets allow you to add, update, and delete products and manage different areas of your business in bulk, saving you tons of time and effort.

Why should you care about Flat Files?

• Save time: Bulk upload and download save countless hours compared to manually adding or editing products one by one.

• Reduce and correct errors: Uploading a well-formatted Flat File minimizes the risk of typos and inconsistencies in your product listings.

• Increase efficiency: Manage large product catalogs or make mass updates to your listings with ease.

Downloading a Flat File for New and Existing Products

Need a snapshot of your current inventory? Downloading a Flat File is the way to go! Here's how:

1. Navigate to https://sellercentral.amazon.com/home

2. Click "Navigation menu".

3. In Catalog > Click Add Products via Upload.

4. Click "Download Product Spreadsheet".

5. Select the Language (English is Default).

6. Introduce the product keyword or its title, for this example, we used "hair dryer".

7. Click "Search".

8. If the option that is shown after searching is the one you want, click "Select".

9. If searching by keywords or titles doesn't bring the option you want. After doing the search there will be a new button called "Browse via product category". Click on it to bring the classic browse node search.

10. Enter the category you wish to search and click "Select" once your option appears, or do it manually using the "Browse" option below the search.

11. Select the marketplaces you want to create offers on (US is the default).

12. Click "Generate Spreadsheet" and your Flat File will be automatically downloaded.

This downloaded Flat File acts as a template containing your existing product data. You can edit this file to make changes or add new products.

Uploading a Flat File

Now, let's explore how to upload a completed Flat File containing your product information:

13. Navigate to https://sellercentral.amazon.com/home

14. Click "Navigation menu".

15. In Catalog > Click Add Products via Upload.

16. Click on "Upload your spreadsheet".

17. Click "Browse files" and add the Flat File you wish to upload.

18. Once the file is uploaded, click "Submit products".

19. To check the status of your submissions, click "Spreadsheet upload status".

20. Here, you'll see the status of all your uploads, the number of listings submitted per file, if the submissions were successful, how many had errors, and the Batch ID of the upload.

21. You can click on the "Actions" dropdown of each submission and click on "Download Processing Summary" to check the error codes in the file (if there are any) and proceed to troubleshoot.

22. If you wish, you can also directly click "Download Processing Summary" on the submissions that were fully successful.

Once that's done, you've successfully uploaded your Flat File to update your Amazon product listings.

Aspects to consider

When using Flat Files, there are common error codes sellers might encounter after uploading Flat Files for listing creation on Amazon, such as:

• Product ID Mismatch: when the product ID has an invalid format or value (e.g., UPC with +13 digits).

• Missing or Invalid Required Attributes: when there is a required cell that has not been filled (e.g., Missing Product ID Type).

To avoid costly errors, remember that practice makes perfect. Start with small uploads to familiarize yourself with the process before tackling larger inventories.

Unlock the power of efficient inventory tracking and listing optimization with Flat Files! Get in touch with us now and discover how our expert team can maximize your time and protect your listings.


The frequency depends on your business needs. It can be helpful to download reports regularly to track inventory changes, identify inactive listings, or prepare for bulk updates.

Amazon will usually display any errors or warnings during the upload process.  Review these carefully and make corrections to your flat file before resubmitting.

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