Your products may be amazing – but a barcode mistake could be costly!
Amazon barcodes are a vital part of the selling process on the world’s largest platform for commerce. Despite being essential, they can also be confusing for new and experienced sellers alike.
In this blog post, we’ll demystify Amazon barcodes and explain everything you need to know as a seller. We’ll cover the different types of barcodes, how to get them safely and the costs associated with making a mistake!
There are a few types of GTIN barcodes that Amazon uses for products:
- Universal Product Code (UPC)
- European Article Number (EAN)
UPC is the most common type of barcode in the United States, while EAN is more common in Europe. Amazon requires that all products have a barcode, and they will not accept products without one. UPCs and EANs are the most prevalent members of the GTIN family throughout the world, so you’ll probably have heard of them by this point!
If you are selling a product on Amazon, you will need to obtain a UPC or EAN code for your product. You can do this by purchasing a barcode from a reputable online vendor, or by working with a company that specializes in generating barcodes. Once you have your barcode, you will need to upload it to Amazon along with your product listing.
Why do you Need Specific Amazon Barcodes?
As an Amazon seller, you need to know about barcodes. Barcodes are a key part of the Amazon selling process, and they can help you save time and money.
Barcodes are used to identify products so that they can be tracked throughout the supply chain. When you list a product for sale on Amazon, you will need to include a barcode. Amazon will use this barcode to track the product and ensure that it is delivered to the buyer.
However, the use of reputable, valid barcodes improves the supply chain drastically.
Essentially, the quicker your product gets from you to your consumer, the better. You’ll have better delivery times, better reviews and more customers who are likely to recommend you. In order to expedite the delivery process, automation comes into play.
This is especially important if you sell via the Amazon FBA program, where you store your inventory in Amazon warehouses prior to purchases.
Amazon relies heavily on AI. With over 18 orders every second being placed through Amazon, they can’t afford not to rely on instantaneous scanning, monitoring and organisation. This means that Amazon barcodes must meet their strict expectations.
What are the Different Types of Barcodes?
UPC is a standard barcode with 12 digits within it. It’s commonly used throughout North America.
EAN is a 13 digit barcode that was originally created for International use throughout Europe, hence the name European Article Number. It has since been adopted worldwide in an effort to homogenise barcodes and ease trade.
These are just two of the vast number of barcodes within the GTIN family. For a full breakdown of the barcodes and what they mean, click the link to learn more about product labels and barcodes.
On the other hand you also have ASIN. ASIN is the Amazon barcode.
Register a Product Barcode on Amazon
Essentially you have two options when registering an item for sale on Amazon.
- Register the product with both the GTIN and the ASIN
- Register the product with the GTIN and Amazon will produce an ASIN for it
The problem here lies in the second option.
With the first version, you have no problem. You enter in the two different barcodes, Amazon understands exactly what is going on and everyone is happy.
But if you go down the second route, you’ll be in for a nasty surprise. If you register just with the GTIN and produce an ASIN when that particular product already has an ASIN assigned…
Well, let’s just say that Jeff Bezos takes that personally.
How to get Valid Amazon Barcodes
You’ll need to purchase them from a company that specialises in barcode production.
There’s only one guaranteed place to find those – GS1.
GS1 is the only fully-accredited organisation for the issuance of barcodes. If you use risky barcode resellers for the cheap value that they offer – you’ll run the risk of paying more in the long run.
This is because they can often sell inactive GS1 barcodes that no longer work. Or even worse than that, they can issue barcodes which are already being used for other products. When it comes to being an Amazon FBA Seller, you’ll have no way of tracking what, where or how much of your products are currently in storage. Once the mistake is identified, Amazon will happily freeze your Seller account to ensure any further mistakes are avoided.
By purchasing GS1 barcodes directly from GS1, you will remain Amazon compliant and your Amazon barcodes will work like a charm. All that’s left to do is make sure you stick them in the right places!
Keeping up to date on your Amazon barcode knowledge is just one small part of staying Amazon compliant. Whether you’re a Vendor looking to avoid chargebacks or a Seller that simply can’t keep up with FBA problems, then Amazon compliance is a must learn.
The more compliant you are, the better your relationship with Amazon. You’ll discover that your products receive more favourable rankings and more importantly, that you pay fewer fines!
You’re just scratching the surface when it comes to product profitability, so speak to one of our specialists today to learn more about how you can remain Amazon compliant. Remember to check out our vast array of eCommerce advice for all businesses great and small, and start scaling up your business!