Must know information about barcodes for Amazon sellers

When you’re selling on Amazon, for most of the items, you need to enter the barcode values to get your product listings accepted. Amazon accepts UPC, GTIN, EAN, MPN, ISBN and other types of barcode values. However, for those products which are already listed on Amazon, Amazon has a product identifier – ASIN which is related to those universal barcode values.

RECAP ABOUT AMAZON LISTING

  • When listing products which are already on Amazon, you add yourself as a new seller for that product with ASIN mapping.
  • If you are new products for Amazon, you need to provide the product identifier type and the identifier, OR
  • You need to register a brand on Amazon or Get GTIN exemption if applicable.

Are Barcode and UPC the same thing?

When we look into it, UPC is the Universal Product Code. The UPC values previously were of 8 digits (still can be read by older barcode reader in North American outlets) and now they are of 12 digits. UPC is the barcode values but if you purchase a product from European manufacturer, the number below barcode will be of 12 or 13 digits. This will be the EAN number.

So, every number below the barcode on the product package may not be UPC. Hence, when listing products on Amazon, you need to provide the information about barcode type also along with the barcode value, i.e., product identifier type and product identifier value.

Where do I find the barcodes codes (UPC, EAN, GTIN)?

If you are reselling products produced by a manufacturer, it is best to contact them. If you are buying from a third party and listing them on Amazon, you may want to check the packaging of the product at first.

At times, if your supplier is the manufacturer and they’re not able to provide you the barcodes because they’re only selling locally, you can take that as an opportunity rather than a disappointment. This is a perfect situation for you to go ahead and buy the barcode and create a brand for yourself. You can buy the barcodes from GS1 as it is the regulatory organization for these codes and create a brand for yourself.

However, there are other suppliers also who sell the UPC codes. If you’re wondering how can they sell barcodes when GS1 is the regulatory organization, this is how they work – they buy the codes in bulk from GS1 and then bundle them in different packages with different pricing. You can buy from these organizations also but you need to make sure that the codes you get are not already registered for other products.

Please take caution while you’re listing products with barcodes purchased from a reseller because if they turned out to be the previously registered ones, your Amazon seller account may be affected.

The main difference between the barcodes purchased from resellers and GS1

The GTIN codes purchased from GS1 will be constructed specifically for the buyer. The basic construction of a barcode value includes prefix numbers which identify the brand. When purchased from GS1, your barcodes will denote your product as well as your brand. However, when you purchase barcodes from other resellers, the barcodes can represent other brands. This way, when listing your product on Amazon, the brand value you provide will not match the brand value your product’s barcode represents. This may cause you to get an incorrect barcode message from Amazon.

Best practices for barcodes in a glance

  • Get them from your supplier as far as possible.
  • Register GTIN values with GS1 if you need them.
  • If you can’t, apply for GTIN Exemption on Amazon if applicable.

If you need help listing your products on Amazon, please let us know.

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