For novice sellers, Amazon product barcodes may be quite a challenge.
You’re trying to list your new product and you’re asked for your UPC barcode, which may be the first time you’ve heard of it.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what Amazon barcodes are or how they affect Amazon merchants. In this article, we’ll go through the fundamentals of Amazon barcodes. You’ll see why barcodes are necessary for every product you sell, whether in person or online.
What are Amazon barcodes?
Amazon’s policies were updated in 2008 to include UPC, EAN, or ISBN bar codes. Scanning bar codes save delivery times and make it easier to confirm that the proper shipment is delivered to the right consumer.
EAN, UPC, and ISBN product identifiers are now required for practically all products sold on Amazon. A barcode is required for each item sent to an Amazon fulfilment centre.
There are three types of barcodes that may be used to identify products:
Amazon barcodes (such as FNSKU)
All items that do not have a manufacturer barcode must have Amazon barcodes attached to them. The following are some of the items available:
- Products that haven’t been used in a long time
- Products without a UPC, EAN, JAN, or ISBN barcode that can be scanned
- Dangerous commodities and restricted products
- Products that have passed their expiration date.
- Products that can be consumed or applied to the skin
- Products for the media
- Children’s or babies’ products
You may either print and apply Amazon barcodes to your items yourself or pay Amazon a per-item charge to print and apply them for you. Use an Amazon barcode to track inventory and FBA Label Service for additional details.
Manufacturer barcodes (acceptable barcodes include GCID (Global Catalogue Identifier), UPC, EAN, JAN, or ISBN)
Unless you modify your barcode option, Amazon will utilise the manufacturer barcode to monitor eligible inventory throughout the fulfilment process. When many sellers have inventory with the same manufacturer barcode, Amazon may fulfil orders using the inventory nearest to the buyer for speedier delivery.
If your product does not fulfil the virtual-tracking eligibility standards, you may be able to request an exception to utilise the manufacturer barcode by registering your ASIN with Amazon Brand Registry. For ineligible products, non-brand-registered merchants would be obliged to use Amazon barcodes.
Brand owner only (To aid prevent counterfeiting, some items may require an extra Transparency authentication code)
Transparency codes are item-level authentication labels that aid in the protection of brand owners and customers against counterfeiting. Transparency codes come with a Transparency “T” emblem and must not be covered or obscured by any other marking.
Except for products in the Toys & Games and Baby Products categories, hazardous goods, and expiration-dated products, all products enrolled in the Transparency programme are available for virtual tracking. Amazon has the right to amend the categories that are eligible for Transparency.
Why are barcodes so important for Amazon?
Imagine having to manually look through 5000 blue shoes to find that one pair you’re looking for? Barcodes save you from this insanity.
Workers and robots at Amazon sorting facilities would have a hard time identifying things and getting them out swiftly if they didn’t have a barcode. Barcodes function as a product identification tool that improves the pace with which millions of goods are handled each day.
Understanding Amazon Barcodes
To begin, each product your business sells need a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).
A set of numbers may be found on a barcode if you look carefully. These numbers, also known as GTINs, are used to identify the items you sell.
GTIN numbers are used by retailers, manufacturers, and intermediaries to monitor inventory swiftly. Each number corresponds to a certain product.
There are three different types of GTIN numbers
The first type of GTIN number is a Universal Product Code, or UPC for short. It’s a code that applies to items sold in the United States or Canada.
We are frequently asked what an “Amazon GTIN” is, and some people confuse GTIN and UPC. GTIN is specific to each product and allows you to identify it by inputting the digits if the barcode fails.
The UPC is the most widely used barcode format in the world, and it can be found in almost all supermarkets and retail businesses. Retailers request that suppliers include UPC numbers on their items so that they can keep track of everything, and Amazon does the same for its suppliers (including you, if you’re an FBA seller).
Second, you have an EAN number which stands for European Article Number. Except for the United States and Canada, most nations utilise EAN numbers, commonly known as GTIN-13.
Third, Japan has its own version of the EAN number, the JAN, which has 13 digits.
For people who sell books, there is also an ISBN. International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is an abbreviation for International Standard Book Number. The number of digits on an ISBN can range from 10 to thirteen. This is the number you’ll need to sell your books on Amazon if you write them yourself.
When do you need to use a manufacturer’s barcode?
Not all sellers have items that require a barcode from the manufacturer. If you offer private label items under your own brand, each product will require a manufacturer GTIN barcode.
If you don’t make your own items and instead resale others’, the product will almost certainly already have a GTIN barcode. While you input the GTIN when creating items on Amazon, Seller Central checks to see whether the item already exists on the platform.
There are various options for obtaining a GTIN exemption for your items. If you are granted the exemption, Amazon will not require your items to include UPCs, EANs, or other types of GTINs. However, this does not rule out the possibility of using barcodes.
When do you use an Amazon barcode FNSKU?
The Fulfilment Network SKU, or FNSKU, is a code that Amazon uses to identify everything in their warehouse, and it corresponds to your ASIN.
You can ship things with simply a UPC/EAN if you want, but Amazon won’t be able to detect the difference if your competitors do the same thing with the same sort of product, as they’ll all be kept together. This may be a big problem, especially if your competitors’ products aren’t as good as yours.
To Amazon’s warehouse personnel, FNSKUs identify the goods and the seller, completely eliminating this issue.
While a FNSKU isn’t required if you offer a unique branded product that no one else is permitted to sell on Amazon, it is required for everyone else.
Some barcode labelling guidelines you must follow
To allow storage in a fulfilment centre, each unit you submit to Amazon for fulfilment must have a scannable barcode. Please follow these steps to guarantee that your units are labelled correctly and promptly:
- Cover the barcode from the original manufacturer (UPC, EAN, ISBN).
- Except for the FNSKU label barcode, all barcodes should be covered.
- Failure to cover the other barcode(s) might lead to inventory loss.
- Please do not obscure the Serial and IMEI numbers on electronic items because they will be scanned on the invoice for warranty purposes. If the serial and IMEI numbers are hidden, the devices will be marked as ‘Distributor Damaged.’ After that, the seller will have to issue a removal order for the damaged products.
- Please double-check that the label title corresponds to the unit. This guarantees that your item is received, stocked, and sold in a timely manner.
- Only use white labels with detachable adhesive.
Barcode management isn’t easy, whether you’re a novice or an expert. Managing thousands of goods in a catalogue requires a devoted workforce.
But if you can find your way around it, barcode management, in the long run, can save you a lot of time, energy and money – letting you focus on the more important tasks at hand while selling on Amazon.