Amazon GTIN Requirements
Amazon’s gigantic infrastructure is entirely dependent on compliant product identification. Aside from assigning items’ their own proprietary product identifiers, called an ASINs, most of the products sold on the Amazon marketplace need to have a unique and correctly licensed GTIN. Amazon sellers can have their accounts deactivated and/or their brands may be compromised if they do not carefully abide by Amazon’s GTIN requirements.
Amazon GTIN Basics
Amazon has specific item identification guidelines and sellers need to know the nuances of which Amazon product identifier applies to their goods. Amazon product categories will define the designated type of product identifier number which needs to be used when adding new product pages and listings.
The Amazon GTIN requirements are not only new suppliers desiring to sell on Amazon but also existing sellers who risk having their account suspended. Suspended sellers not only lose time and money trying to get reinstated but also forfeit lost profit which comes with blocked listings and account suspension.
By obtaining GS1 UPC barcodes, Amazon sellers are provided a GS1 Company Prefix which uniquely identifies their company. Amazon, like many other companies, requires the UPC Company Prefix to reflect the actual company/brand owner and not a 3rd party reseller company.
ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number)
Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) are unique blocks of 10 letters and/or numbers that identify items. An ASIN can be found on an item’s product information page at Amazon.com. For books, the ASIN is the same as the ISBN, but for all other products a new ASIN is created when the item is uploaded to Amazon’s catalog. You will find an item’s ASIN on the product detail page alongside further details relating to the item, which may include information such as size, number of pages (if it’s a book) or number of discs (if it’s a CD).
ASIN barcodes can be used to search for items in Amazon’s catalog. If you know the ASIN or ISBN of the item you are looking for, simply type it into the search box (which can be found near the top of most pages), hit the “Go” button and, if the item is listed in the catalog, it will appear in your search results.
For example, the ASIN barcode for Hasbro’s “Monopoly” game is B00005N5PF.
Amazon Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Are suppliers required to have UPC or ISBN barcodes for items/books being sold on Amazon?
YES! In order to set-up items in Amazon’s brand registry, users are required to enter a UPC number (general merchandise) and an ISBN (for books) as part of the item set-up procedure. NOTE: There are some exemptions to the UPC/ISBN requirement, refer to Amazon’s UPC/ISBN Exemption policy if you believe your company does not need a UPC/ISBN product identifier.
Does Amazon allow suppliers to use UPC barcode numbers obtained from a UPC Reseller?
As of May 2016, the answer is NO, UPC barcode numbers from UPC Resellers are NOT ALLOWED. Amazon revised the UPC section on Amazon Seller Central that explicitly states ‘Amazon requires sellers to obtain ‘valid’ UPC’s from the GS1 and further states that Amazon will confirm UPC barcodes are registered to their sellers and not 3rd parties.’ For many years before this announcement, some suppliers obtained UPC numbers from UPC resellers who advertised with discount prices online and on ebay. To view Amazon UPC Requirements go to; Amazon.UPC.Seller.Requirement
We have worked with several Amazon suppliers who reported that during the item set-up procedure, Amazon flagged their UPC numbers for either of the following reasons:
Amazon suppliers who need UPC barcodes to set up items on Amazon should contact us to discuss available options.