Barcodes for Selling on Amazon
Amazon explicitly states that suppliers should ONLY obtain UPC barcodes with brand-associated GS1 Company Prefixes. Companies who circumvent the process and obtain cheap 3rd party barcodes jeopardize their company’s chances for success.
Amazon GTIN Barcode Requirements:
- Many categories have specific UPC/EAN and GTIN guidelines that sellers are required to follow when creating product pages. These include requirements for products sold as bundles and requirements for products sold as packs.
- UPC requirements may vary across categories or for different types of products in the same category.
- Sellers must use the correct product identifier for the item they are listing. The use of false product identification information, including UPC codes, is prohibited.
- ISBN barcodes are required when uploading listings for books.
In order to set-up a new product listing on Amazon, you will need either a valid UPC or ISBN number;
UPC Barcode (Used for most items)
The Amazon UPC Barcode Policy impacts 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. The policy reads as:
As of July 2019, the following page “Valid UPCs” has been added to Amazon Seller Central.
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 Company Prefix to reflect the actual brand owner and not some 3rd party reseller company.
Please watch the video below about an Amazon supplier who made the mistake of buying 3rd party UPCs.
Amazon Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Are suppliers required to have UPC or ISBN barcodes for items 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 a 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:
- UPC Numbers were already being used by a different supplier
- UPC numbers were not issued to supplier being set-up.
In both cases, Amazon required the supplier to license a UPC Company Prefix from the GS1. Click Here for GS1 UPC Barcodes.
Are all Amazon suppliers required to place a UPC barcode on each item shipped to Amazon Fulfillment Centers?
NO! Amazon requires an Amazon Product Label on all non-Stickerless Commingled Inventory. For suppliers who are not able to place an Amazon Product Label on each item, need to mark items with a UPC label and then pay Amazon $.20/per label to print and apply an Amazon Product Label.