Reliability of Amazon ‘Import’ data

How much confidence do people have in Amazon data for determining release countries? I thought if a specific country’s Amazon store lists a release as being an ‘Import’, it shouldn’t be added as a release country (unless there’s good evidence that Amazon’s wrong).
Check out Edit #44471998

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Personally, as much as for everything else: almost none. Amazon data is usually bad, and stuff like dates is basically worse than wild guessing. Amazon is great to get data straight from a back cover image when available, and I think it’s fine in general for digital, but for anything else it’s awful.


Amazon data can be useful, but must always be double checked against other sources (if possible):

  • release tracklist often has typos, durations and track count are usually correct, when available.
  • featuring artists, main artist, title, etc… are often incomplete or even incorrect
  • release date, for a new release is usually correct, for older ones they usually update the date when CD/vinyls are re-pressed.
  • import status is usually correct, but sometimes a release can be tagged as import while it is obviously not in a certain country, or it is marked as import on all amazon sites.
  • barcodes are usually correct (but they don’t appear by default)
  • images are usually wrong, especially when it comes to proportions, user uploaded images are even worse, hard to rely on them but to get some additionnal infos from back cover art, that needed to be crossed with other sources
  • no information about packaging (digipak/etc…)
  • digital releases are usually a conversion from the CD release if it exists, but in some cases there are bonus tracks, be careful with number and order of tracks that may not match other “official” digital releases
  • matching ASIN to an existing release is very hard when there are a lot of releases of the same album, but is usually a 1-1 match for new stuff

So, i almost never import from Amazon, if i can find a better source, but i usually check if data matches, and add ASINs.

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In addition to what Zas has said, I’d like to note that this:

is not true.

Consider the scenario that a US product shares a barcode with an EU product (this condition may not even be necessary for): Amazon US would then list a back cover scan from a product (an EU release) that Amazon US doesn’t actually sell.

And it’s very easy to tell a major record company’s US release from an EU release.

  • US music releases have the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning seal on them. EU releases don’t.

  • EU releases list a label code. US releases don’t.

This means it’s almost always an error to merge a US CD with an EU CD.


This is most likely correct. Various Amazon stores can and do sell CDs from countries like South Korea and Taiwan (neither of which have Amazon).

Most often I don’t really care what Amazon sells, for my editing, just care to have a horrible mess of a release fixed enough so that it is something that actually matches the real world. A back cover shows the release exists, whether Amazon actually sells it afterwards or not is fairly minor. But this is getting kinda OT here already :slight_smile:

Yes, of course, but there are some cases where a CD from a french label made in France with a barcode starting with 3 is marked as import by amazon france and all other countries…