As an Amazon seller, you should already be familiar with UPC codes and what they entail. Amazon requires sellers to have unique product codes (also called UPC codes) to list their products.
There is only one legitimate global producer of UPC codes: GS1. GS1 (Global Standard 1) is a non-profit organization that has set the global standard for supply chain barcoding.
GS1 US is the organization that provides UPC codes to US-based businesses, but there are more than 100 GS1 organizations around the world. GS1 issues unique prefixes to brand owners so that they can create their own unique barcodes with the prefix number given to them by GS1.Visit here; legalbarcode.com
What is a GTIN?
A GTIN is a Global Trade Item Number that identifies individual products – not to be confused with an actual product barcode. GTINs are a combination of GS1 US-issued company prefix numbers and a unique product number, plus a check digit that helps to ensure the GTIN is created correctly.
GTINs can be encoded into different types of barcodes:
- UPCs (Unique Product Codes)
- EANs (European Article Numbers)
It’s important to assign each product a unique GTIN, and you must ensure that every variation of an item is assigned a globally unique number.
Keep in mind, in most Amazon categories, sellers are required to use a separate UPC for multi-pack products, and they must also indicate the ” item package quantity ” when listing multi-packs. Product bundles (aka Amazon product bundling) are composed of different products (not multiples of the same product) and each bundle requires its own unique UPC (or EAN). For more info, check out Amazon’s Product Bundling Policy and How Products are Defined.
A GTIN, along with a UPC code, can be used anywhere in the world. GS1 is the only official global provider of GS1 GTINs and EAN and UPC barcodes.
What are UPC Codes?
The UPC code was the original format for product barcodes. There are two main types of UPC codes: UPC-E and UPC-A. UPC-A is essentially identical to UPC-E; however, UPC-E does not include 0s. That means you will not actually see the 0s within the barcode, only within the corresponding GTIN.
UPC barcodes are currently the primary barcodes used within the US and Canada. Although other countries can scan and read UPC codes, most countries outside of the US and Canada use EANs.
When supply and demand in Europe, Asia, and Australia increased, there was a need to distinguish each seller by location. GS1 then began allocating specific prefixes for different GS1 member organizations.
While certain prefixes identify the GS1 branch where the prefix was licensed, it does not necessarily specify where that product was made. For example, there is a misconception that all barcode prefixes on American-made products will start with a zero or one.
What are EAN Codes?
EAN or European Article Numbers (also called International Article Numbers or IANs) are GS1-issued barcodes that include company prefixes at the beginning of the numeric GTIN. Two primary forms of EANs are popular among Amazon sellers: EAN-13 and EAN-8, which encode a GTIN-13 and GTIN-8, respectively.
Like UPC codes, EANs don’t necessarily identify the country where the product was made.
Also similar to UPCs, the type of EAN you use depends on various factors, such as product category and product distribution channel.
Where to Buy UPC Codes for Amazon
Amazon requires every seller to register a GTIN with each product listing available on their marketplace. Amazon sellers can either buy legitimized UPC codes directly from GS1 or purchase through a reseller.
There are various UPC and EAN resellers out there who will try to sell replicated UPC codes to satisfy Amazon’s UPC code requirements. Many sellers purchase their UPC codes from third-party websites due to their cheaper prices — but using resold Amazon UPC codes can cause more harm than good in the long run.
If you don’t purchase your UPC code from GS1 and purchase a cheap replicated UPC code that doesn’t match the information found in the GS1 database, Amazon can remove your listing and potentially suspend your seller account.