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Selling Products on Amazon UPC, EAN, SKU Codes
GTIN, GS1, and UPC
- Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) – is an identifier for trade items, developed by GS1. Such identifiers are used to look up product information in a database (often by entering the number through a barcode scanner pointed at an actual product) which may belong to a retailer, manufacturer, collector, researcher, or other entity. The GTIN standard has incorporated the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), International Standard Music Number (ISMN), International Article Number (which includes the European Article Number and Japanese Article Number) and some Universal Product Codes (UPCs), into a universal number space.
- GS1 is a not-for-profit organization that develops and maintains global standards for business communication. The best known of these standards is the barcode, a symbol printed on products that can be scanned electronically. GS1 barcodes are scanned more than six billion times every day.
- Universal Product Code (UPC) - is a barcode symbology that is widely used in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, in Europe and other countries for tracking trade items in stores. Consists of 12 numeric digits, that are uniquely assigned to each trade item. UPC-A is the most common UPC utilized.
EAN, SKU, ASIN, and FNSKU
- European/International Article Number (EAN) - is a standard describing a barcode symbology and numbering system used in global trade to identify a specific retail product type, in a specific packaging configuration, from a specific manufacturer. The most commonly used EAN standard is the thirteen-digit EAN-13, a superset of the original 12-digit UPC-A standard. A prefix with a first digit of "0" indicates a 12-digit UPC-A code follows.
- Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) - a SKU is a number assigned to a product by the company for stock-keeping purposes and internal operations. Since a SKU is unique to the company, the same product would have different SKUs if sold by different companies, but they would have the same UPC
- Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com and its partners for product identification within the Amazon organization
- Fulfillment Network SKU (FNSKU) - The FNSKU is the way that Amazon identifies a product as unique to the seller that has sent it to the Amazon fulfillment center.
WHY do I need to know this?
All item on Amazon must have a UPC.
- This is to mitigate the chances of fraud/counterfeiting
- Minimize duplicate listings
- Ensures that product reviews are based on the actual product and not a counterfeit product
- Allows for some comingling of products (save warehousing space)
If you are selling a product that does not have a UPC, you have two choices
1. Purchase a UPC for that product through GS1 https://www.gs1.org/
2. Request a GTIN exemption https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gtinx
Why would I want to purchase a UPC?
If you want to create your own brand then you will have to have unique UPCs for any products you wish to sell under that brand. (i.e. Private Labelling)
Amazon has a brand list, so if you do decide to go the private label route then make sure you get your brand in there so you can control who sells similar products under that UPC.
Why would I want to request a GTIN Exemption?
Criteria for requesting a GTIN Exemption (meets one of the below criteria)
Brand, manufacturer or publisher does not provide a GTIN for the products. For example, private label products or hand-made products.
Non-branded products that do not have GTINs. For example, wholesale products.
Parts do not have a GTIN. For example, some automotive parts do not have a GTIN.
Bundles do not have a GTIN. For example, customized bundles may not have a GTIN.
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