If you’re looking to start selling on Amazon then you need to learn about UPC codes.
You need UPC codes as an Amazon seller because if you order a product from an overseas manufacturer then it most likely doesn’t come with it’s own UPC code.
Therefore, you need to buy a “GS1 UPC code” to finalize your product listing and start selling on Amazon.
Keep reading below to learn the basics of using UPC for Amazon.
Do You Need a UPC Code to Sell on Amazon?
You need a UPC code so you can fill out the product ID field when listing a new product to sell on Amazon. In the “Product ID” section you need to select “UPC” from the drop down menu. It’s not possible list a product for sale on Amazon without the UPC code.
Another name for UPC code is “Barcode”. So, if your product already has one because you’re re-selling something then you can enter that code in the product ID area.
UPCs and EANs are the common product ID’s.
In the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and other Western European countries commonly use UPC’s and EAN’s
How to buy a UPC code for Amazon
- Go to a reputable website that sells UPC Codes (Recommended: SnapUPC)
- Click on “Buy Barcodes”
- Enter the amount of barcodes you want to purchase
- Download the JPEG Images of your barcode and Excel spreadsheet
- Create an Amazon Product Listing
- Enter the UPC code you purchased in the “product ID field” to verify it’s unique
- Finalize your new Amazon product listing
Where to buy UPC codes for Amazon?
People commonly purchase cheap UPC codes from shady sellers on eBay. Most likely they’re recycled UPC codes.
Therefore, when you list your products on Amazon they’ll check the UPC code used to list your products against the GS1 database. When they do that they’ll notice your UPC code does not match the company name used to open your Amazon account.
They’ll think your products are fraudulent and shut down your account.
You can avoid this by buying UPC codes from legitimate GS1 resellers.
We recommend SnapUPC because they purchase their UPC codes from GS1 directly in bulk.
That way they can pass the savings to us because they joined the GS1 database before GS1 started charging renewal fees every year.
We only trust SnapUPC
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Your company prefix is uniquely yours and will show up on all UPC barcodes you purchase for each product you sell on Amazon.
Let’s define some common terms you will see on the product page where you enter the UPC code.
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Stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number. This 10-character alphanumeric unique catalog number is assigned by Amazon, but isn’t generated until you’ve actually listed your product already.
When you create a new product listing using a UPC code, Amazon will then assign your listing an ASIN number. This is how Amazon’s system keeps it straight when multiple Sellers are listing offers for the same product.
GCID (Not Important for Beginners)
When you create your own brand on Amazon they will give your brand a unique identifier for you to list your products. Amazon will assign that number to your products.
You can only use this ID when adding a new product that is part of your approved registered Brand list.
You can save money and completely eliminate having to buy UPC codes by registering your brand on Amazon. Consider it after making your initial sales.
GTINs are a part of codes you might use, such as UPCs or EANs. They’re 14 digit codes used to identify items, product, or services. Think of it as an umbrella that holds the entire family of GS1 barcodes, including the UPC codes we’re going to use.
To make things simple, new product listings will require UPC codes. Keep that as standard practice.
Here are the most common questions we get:
UPC Codes for Amazon Sellers FAQ
How many UPC codes do I need to list one item on Amazon?
You only need to buy one UPC code for one new product listing on Amazon. One UPC code for the “Tee Shirt” no matter how many “Tee Shirts” you’re selling.
I have never sold on Amazon and want to start a private label business. When I click “create new product listing” it asks for product I.D. Is this where I enter the UPC code?
Yes, in creating a new product listing the product ID is required. Select UPC from the drop-down and enter the whole number from left to right.
If I create a new product listing on Amazon do I need another new UPC code?
When the new product that you’re listing is a completely new product or a new variation (color,size) then you would need a new UPC code. If it’s the same product then you can update the product listing already made for that product.
My product is already listed on Amazon and I want to list the same product do I need to purchase a UPC code?
If the item is already on Amazon and it is the exact same item, you should piggyback on that detail page rather than start a new page. You wouldn’t need to purchase a UPC code if the item is already on the site.
Does the UPC code have to physically be on each product I list on Amazon? What if I’m listing 50 products?
You can use 1 single UPC code to list as many of the same item as you want. If you’re selling 100 hair brushes when creating the product listing you only need 1 UPC code for all 100 hair brushes. The UPC code does not have to be on your products.
When you create your product listing, Amazon gives you a unique identifier for each item and that would need to be placed on your product. The UPC code is only for product listing purposes.
People say I need GS1 barcodes to sell on Amazon. What does GS1 mean?
GS1 is an organization that developed the standard barcode for business communication. When you buy a GS1 barcode you are buying a unique identifier that can be traced back only to your business and product. Amazon only accepts barcodes that meet the GS1 Standards.
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What’s the bottom line?
You only need UPC codes to initially list your product on Amazon. They do not need to physically be on each product and you only need one UPC code for one variation of a product.
You’re not going to need UPC codes when you’re selling via retail arbitrage. The products come with their own bar codes and you can use that to list the product.
Remember that at the end of the day you’re trying to sell on Amazon, you’re not a UPC code or logistics expert. Going deeper into the UPC code discussion is not necessary and this is only a small portion of starting an Amazon business.
So, the idea behind this post is to give you a quick primer into understanding what you need to do because people get confused about the technical side of starting an Amazon business and never know where or how to start.
And now, we want to give you every single tool you need to get your business started.
Check out the 7,000 Word “Mega-Guide” here