This guest post was written by Georgene S. Harkness, C.P.A., who has worked in the tax industry for more than 20 years.
If you’re an Amazon seller like me, you may have a thousand (or more) different SKUs and the very idea of opening and updating each one is daunting. So, as promised in Part 1 of this short series for Amazon Sellers, here’s my post about a way to update your Product Tax Codes in Amazon without manually opening each one in Manage | Inventory
The following process is a much easier and quicker way to update your Product Tax Codes all in a batch. However, let me caution you to do a test run of no more than 10-15 SKUs before you add all your Product Tax Codes, to make sure you are getting the changes you want and that the process works correctly.
Note: This procedure is for PCs. I can’t make any promises that it will work correctly with a Mac.
First, in your Seller Central account, go to Inventory | Add Products via Upload.
Choose the Download Template button under “download inventory file templates.”
This takes you to yet another screen that I’ll admit took me a long time to understand. The template you want is the Inventory Loader, so just click the link I’ve highlighted below to “Go directly to templates tables!”
Save the Inventory Loader template to your hard drive and make note of its name and where you saved it.
Now go back to your Seller Central account and download your inventory from Inventory Reports. Choose the Active Listings report and save it. This will be a .txt file.
Open a fresh spreadsheet, and choose Data |Import from text. When importing, choose, “Delimited” file type, “Tab” delimiters. On the final screen setting, “Data Format,” find the seller-sku column and choose the “Text” radio button. Don’t change the rest of the columns. Click “Finish” and designate Column A1 for location.
Find the Inventory Loader file you saved and open it. Choose “Enable Editing” if the option appears. Now move to your downloaded Inventory File, and highlight the column for “seller-sku,” leaving out the actual title of the column. Copy the SKUs all the way down, and paste them into your Inventory Loader file in the “sku” column. Don’t change the name of this column and don’t capitalize it. You might also want to copy and paste the “item-name” column from your Inventory File into the “product-id” column. This can help you determine what Product Tax Codes you should choose based on your product name, if your SKU names aren’t meaningful to you. After you have completed the entry of product-tax-code fields, and before you upload the file to Amazon, you must go back and delete the “item-name” from the “product-id” column. We added that information only for your reference, and Amazon will return an error if you leave the information in it. Do not delete the column; only delete the information in that column. You are now finished with your Inventory File, so you can close it.
Now that all your SKUs are in your Inventory Loader, move over to Column O and add your Product Tax Codes. This is a great time to have the listing of the possible codes available to you as shown in the link in the previous article.
Because Amazon doesn’t have a working drop-down box in Column O, you will need to enter each Product Tax Code individually. Obviously, if most of your items are the same type of product, you can copy and paste down the column, but you have to paste individually to each field in that column.
You can leave the rest of the columns empty.
Once you have entered all your Product Tax Codes (and remember to do a test run first), it’s time to save your file as a .txt file, tab delimited. Give it a name you will remember. Go back to your Seller Central account and open the Inventory Tab, and Add Products via Upload, just like you did before, but this time, choose Inventory Loader file from the drop-down menu.
Browse to locate your Inventory Loader file (remember to choose the .txt version), and select Upload Now. Once the upload is successful, you are done!
It may take a little while for your Product Tax Codes to become active. I would suggest you check every few hours. Although it doesn’t normally take that long, it can, according to the instructions, take up to 72 hours for the changes to appear.
If you have any questions or feedback, let me know in the comment section below.
For more from Georgene at the TaxJar blog, see Amazon Tax Codes: How to Code Your SKUs for Sales Tax in Amazon.