Millions of people nowadays are using online stores to sell and purchase products of their need. Amazon, eBay, Walmart, etc are some of the big fish in the pond. These sites offer their users not only make the purchase of the products they want, but they also help sellers to sell their products and earn a good profit.
The sellers who want to sell products on Amazon they need Amazon UPC codes of each product because this can be used in the Amazon product as the ID of their new listing. Without UPC code for Amazon in the product ID section sellers can’t list their products.
The only requirement of Amazon is that you require to purchase a GS1 UPC code for Amazon to finalize the product listing and start selling your product on Amazon. But, keep in mind that you can not create your own Amazon UPC codes.
Do I Need UPC Code to Sell on Amazon?
The answer to this question is YES. The Amazon UPC codes are mandatory for selling on Amazon. Amazon asks for filling out the field of product ID when you list a new Amazon product to sell. In the section of Product ID, you need to opt for “UPC” from the drop-down menu. If you do not select Amazon UPC codes then you can not list your product to sell.
You can also find Amazon UPC codes with the name of “UPC Barcode”. If your product already contains one as you are re-selling something, then you can feed that code in the product ID area.
Each and every product listing on Amazon has its unique EAN or UPC assigned to it. Amazon will convert the UPC into its own internal SKU system known as ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). Every time a seller needs a UPC code for every unique product you sell. It is the last mandatory field when you are listing your product on Amazon.
Keep reading the article and learn what is UPC codes, the basics of purchasing a UPC code for Amazon and how to get them.
What is UPC number?
Universal Product Code (UPC) is a type of code that is printed on the packaging of retail products to help in identifying a specific item. It has two parts i.e. unique 12-digit number and the machine-readable barcode that is a series of unique black bars.
The original format for Amazon product barcodes was UPC code. When supply demand in Asia, Australia, and Europe was increased then there was a need to differentiate each seller by their location. Then, GS1 began allocating specific prefixes for various GS1 member organizations.
The main purpose of UPC codes is to make it easy to cognize product features, like item, brand name, color, and size, when a product is scanned at checkout. Also, UPC codes are helpful in tracking inventory within a warehouse or store.
To get a UPC for use on a product, first, an organization has to apply to become part of the system. The Global Standards Organization (GS1 US), commonly known as the Uniform Code Council that manages the assigned UPCs within the US.
There are two primary types of Amazon UPC codes that are UPC-A and UPC-E
Essentially, UPC-A is identical to UPC-E, although UPC-E doesn’t include 0s. It means you will not actually view the 0’s within the barcode, only within the corresponding GTIN.
Currently, UPC barcodes are the main Amazon barcode which is used within Canada and the US. However, other countries can read and scan Amazon UPC codes, almost all countries that are out of Canada and the US use EANs.
Importance of UPC codes
1. Easy for resellers: While running a business maybe you feel you don’t need UPC but not having UPC may cause labor issues for your resellers. Your resellers likely use a product code to create and receive orders, manage in-stock levels, and track inventory.
2. Showrooming: It is the act of viewing a product in a store and make use of a mobile device to price shop and look for additional information like testimonials or customer reviews. This practice is common amongst the more tech-savvy shoppers and apps used for showrooming rely on a UPC code to produce their results.
3. Plan on selling to retailers: Simply, if you’re selling to small or medium-sized retailers you can be able to get away from adding UPC to your products. Though, if your business plan has one day to major retail chains, you are likely going to need to get a UPC for your items. It is also worth that UPC needs can also include major online retailers like Sears, Amazon, and NewEgg.
How to get Official GS1 UPC codes for Amazon?
GS1 divided the process of purchasing UPC codes for Amazon into following easy steps:
1: Apply for a GS1 Company Prefix:
The starting six to nine digits in the barcode represent the company prefix. This prefix of the company is the unique identifier of the manufacturer of the product. As a supplier, the prefix of your company will remain the same on the barcodes of all your various products. Each and every product that you want to sell or offer will be assigned a unique product code that will follow the prefix of your company.
There are various ways to buy a company prefix, although it is vital that the company prefix that you can buy can be traced back to your business. Often business owners make the mistake of forging or unknowingly buy their Amazon UPC codes from the company other than GS1. This not only leads to legal issues but also affects the legitimacy of your brand’s supply chain as well.
For the safe side, it is recommended to buy UPC codes for Amazon from only GS1 directly. GS1 consists of easy to use an outline of how to get the company prefix on their website.
The fee of the initial setup ranges from the low end of near about $250 but can be as much as $10,000, it totally depends on how the various products you intend on selling. Then, after the initial setup fee, GS1 charge an annual renewal fee to maintain the prefix of your company. This cost ranges from $50 annually on the low end and around $3000 on the high end.
Though, it might be tempting to go by the 3rd party barcode vendor, or can find cheaper UPC codes from websites like eBay. The price of purchasing Amazon UPC codes from GS1 is much less than the cost of buying illegitimate UPC codes.
2: Assign a Unique Product Number:
Now, after having company prefix, it’s time to assign a unique product number to each one of your products. GS1 offers each seller a complete set number of digits to make use of product numbers which depend on the number of future Amazon products that the seller indicates in his or her application.
There is a facility in which the seller can decide his/her own numbering system to apply when going to name their unique product numbers. Remember one thing, each SKU of every product needs its own unique product number. It means all variety of each product requires to be presented with its own product ID.
For instance, if you are selling various types of hats as a product selection. You may have three different colors of hats like white, red, and blue. Now, each hat variation has its own unique product number.
White Hat: 0001
Red Hat: 0002
Blue Hat: 0003
The Amazon UPC code is of 11 digits, the 12th and last digit are known as the “check digit”. This is calculated by GS1, which is based on the previous 11 digits of your barcode.
How to Get a UPC Barcode
If you haven’t designed or packaged your labels for your product then you may obtain a digital barcode file directly from GS1 to include in the labeling and packaging of your product. Mostly all manufacturers can be comfortable with this idea of working with UPC codes and know how to incorporate them from a digital file.
If you already labeled and packaged your products then you can easily order adhesive barcode labels that stick onto your product’s packaging or on the product itself.
It is vital that the barcodes you are using are clearly visible and are also accurate to the information on the GS1 database.
4: Make Order of Your Barcodes:
Now the hard part is out of the way, the final step is to make an order of your barcodes. There are lots of websites out there that are specialized in printing barcode labels, GS1 has its solution partner program through which you can find certified barcoding companies which is familiar with GS1 standards.
5: Place Barcodes:
As a seller, it is extremely crucial to put your barcodes on your product so they are both scannable and visible. Amazon has specific ways for sellers to follow when we talk about UPC code placement. Keep in mind, they are most likely using robots to make your inbound FBA shipments. When you make the process easier for them to accept your shipment then you can see how faster your products get sold online.
Where to purchase UPC codes for Amazon
Usually, people(sellers) purchase cheap Amazon UPC codes from shady sellers who are available on eBay. Most of them are recycled UPC codes, due to which Amazon thinks that your products are of low quality and fraudulent and it can close your account too.
You can avoid such a situation and always purchase UPC codes for Amazon from valid and legitimate GS1 resellers.
Final thought about UPC codes for Amazon FBA Sellers
You need UPC codes to initially list your product on Amazon. It does not require to physically be on each product that you sell and you only need one UPC code for one variation of your Amazon product.
I hope you got the complete information on Amazon, UPC codes for products, its usage and its importance when you list the product on Amazon. So, follow all the necessary things and keep on selling!
How can you apply to get UPC exemption from Amazon? Before requesting for GTIN or UPC exemtion please check to see if the product exists. In other words no other listing is on Amazon. Learn more about out Amazons T&Cs with regard to UPC exemption and GTIN exemption.