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Question

Question

3 years ago

Great post Leah. Am I correct in assuming that one UPC must have only one listing on Amazon? If yes, is there any suggestion for listing products with fitment data such as printer ink, laptop batteries etc.?

The issue here is that the better customer experience is to put the fitment data into the title and list one UPC multiple times with different titles e.g “HP Pavillion dv7-1000 battery”, “HP Pavillion dv7-2000 battery” etc.

With the new UPC policy could we create multiple listings with different titles but the same UPC?

When there

Leah

Leah

3 years ago

Unfortunately, some manufacturers do use the same UPC for multiple products, despite the fact that UPC is supposed to stand for UNIQUE Product Code.
You will need to put in a request to the catalog team to split the listing, and they will ask you to provide the product information. The process is outlined here https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_sib?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201961060

Sam Whiten

Sam Whiten

2 years ago

Sorry, quick pop in, UPC actually stands for “Universal Product Code”, not “Unique Product Code”. See Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Product_Code

Scott

Scott

3 years ago

We have thousands of UPC’s purchased from a third party. We use them to create our own bundles of mixed branded products. When we check the UPC’s for ownership information, the GS1 system responds that there is no record found for owner information (GS1 Japan). Since the results do not find any conflicting ownership information, I’m wondering if those bundles will be safe? We are also updating all of those bundles with our company name for the manufacturer and brand fields, and have removed brand names from the titles and created more generic titles.

Leah

Leah

3 years ago

Without seeing the actual codes, I can only make an educated guess.

If the company prefix does not come up in GEPIR ( GS1’s Company Database), then my guess is that they are not legitimate GTINs or they have expired. Either way, this would make them invalid.

I would suggest contacting GS1 for further information.

Robert Simms

Robert Simms

2 years ago

Hi Leah,

You are correct.
That is the key to using legitimate and valid UPC’s or EAN’s.
A valid barcode number will have a record in GS1’s database.
As I have stated in a previous post here, I am a barcode reseller, having been in business now for 11 years.
My customers have not had any problems listing on Amazon using barcodes purchased from me, because I provide them with GS1 compliant,
valid UPC barcode numbers.
As I stated before what my customers have found is that Amazon is checking for the validity of the barcode number, not a “name match” in GS1’s database.

Mark

Mark

1 year ago

Would they need to register a UPC they bought from you with GS1? Thanks

Erik

Erik

1 year ago

Mark,

GS1 will not register the UPCs you buy from Robert. Companies, like Roberts, operate in an area which GS1 does not approve. I disagree with Robert’s comments since Amazon is now using GS1 US’s Data Hub to match the Company Prefix to the brand. Resellers use words like compliant and valid but they really are not the best source for information.

Aaron

Aaron

2 years ago

Where did you purchase your UPC codes?

Erik

Erik

2 years ago

Regardless of what some of the reseller have said, you really need to get your own Company Prefix directly from GS1 US. If tomorrow Amazon makes another change , you would be silly to risk getting delisted.

Jack

Jack

3 years ago

The big problem in the catagory of toys and toy manufactures is that the manufacturers use the same UPC code on many related items. An example would be in diecast cars where a manufactures list the same code for every color or for the same car that is stock and one that is custom. They also sometimes offer the same item with different UPC codes depending on the packaging or special promotion they have offered. The variations can differ greatly and using the manufactures UPC code on Amazon makes it difficult for a buyer to find what they are seaching for. I can understand Amazons thinking because their catalog is a mess. In the toy and toy collector catagory eBay is much easier to shop.

Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips

3 years ago

I have seen nothing of this policy in the US. I cannot imagine it will fly very well with manufacturers or sellers in the US. Many manufacturers use recycled numbers – their own or others they have bought. The UPCs are unique to them but no longer match the GTIN database. It also would not be beneficial for consumers as it eliminates lots of bundled buying choices and eliminates a huge part of Amazon’s catalog. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Leah

Leah

3 years ago

Hi Jack,
The relevant policy page for the US is Amazon’s Product UPCs and GTINs page (Seller Central login required): https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/help.html?ie=UTF8&itemID=200317470&ref_=sm_200317470_bred_200494020&

Gary

Gary

3 years ago

Can you explain this in more detail?

“The least safe option is to bundle items of different brands, listing the bundle under your own private label, and your own GS1 issued UPC. This is the current loophole which some sellers are taking advantage of to create their own unique listings. I can see this practice coming under scrutiny as more and more sellers attempt to exploit it.”

Why do you think that using different brands in a bundle is an issue or an exploit? For example, a S’More’s bundle. Marshmallows, Chocolate, and Graham Crackers. All 3 from different manufacturers. Amazon doesn’t even adhere to MAP…in fact they seem directly opposed to it as it’s not in the best interest for a buyer.

Your article has some good information, however, this is not a policy that has been posted on Seller Central recently. Normally when there’s a new policy or feature (like the new repricer), it will show up on the Seller Central home page. I don’t believe this is a new policy, just one that’s being enforced. Amazon has 45 million books alone. “Fixing” their catalog will likely take years.

Leah

Leah

3 years ago

I agree that a bundle like the one your described provides value to the consumer.
The reason I think it will become an issue is because we are already seeing sellers exploit the bundle policy to create duplicate listings and to get around the UPC requirements for Designated Brands Requiring UPCs. For example, a branded item that has been put in a “special” box and then is listed under the sellers PL.

Gary

Gary

3 years ago

Ah, I see what you mean I think. So a PL seller has a registered brand, but begins using their UPC codes for bundles, thus making them their own branded product even though it’s really just a pack of smores.

One thing that seems monopolistic to me is that unused UPC’s can’t be sold to a third party and then registered with GS1. I suppose it would be an administrative nightmare. Still, they’re the only ones that can sell new UPC’s, thus artificially inflating the price beyond their real value.

Norm

Norm

3 years ago

Hi Leah I started out with private label products last year on Amazon. I bought UPC codes from cheap-upc-barcode.com as that was what was recommended to me at the time. I registered my brand name with Amazon and have UPC as the key attribute. I have built up a lot of reviews on some of the products and it would be a shame to lose them all and start again, especially when newer competitors in the same categories are catching up with me review wise. But I know it would be worse to have my account shut down. You mentioned that key attribute could be changed. I never understood what the other options were… I don’t have part numbers printed on the packages or no manufacturer number, catalogue numbers etc. Could it be any name or number? Do you know if I have to have an official company registered in the USA to be able to get barcodes from GS1? I’m in Europe but only selling on amazon.com at the moment. I’m happy to only sell on amazon and not in stores but for future products would only use GS1… but for now, to keep things moving, I want to… Read more »

Leah

Leah

3 years ago

Thanks Norm,

As you are already enrolled in Brand Registry, you could you the GCID which is a 16 character ID Amazon assigned to your listings. You can find it in your inventory report. You would need to contact the catalog and ask them to change your key attribute. The GCID can be used across countries.

If you have no intention of selling in stores, then I wouldn’t bother using a UPC if you are able to use the exemption. But, if you choose to purchase from GS1, they have offices in most European countries, so you are able to register in the country where your business is located.

Abz

Abz

3 years ago

Hi Leah,

Is it not possible to purchase new UPC codes from GS1 and then just change the barcodes round on your existing listings rather than deleting the whole listing.

Or will a change in barcode mean you loose all your data for that listing?

Thanks

Leah

Leah

3 years ago

Hi Abz,
Unfortunately, it is not possible to change the UPC on an existing listing on Amazon. To change the UPC you need to create a new listing with the correct information and delete the incorrect listing.
Alternatively, if it is your Private Label you can apply for Brand Registry and use something other than UPC as your key attribute. That would remove the incorrect UPC’s from your existing listings.

Rebecca

Rebecca

3 years ago

Hi Leah,

GS1 have UPC and EAN. If I sell only on Amazon usa, which one should I buy?

Thanks!

Leah

Leah

3 years ago

Hi Rebecca,
GS1 sell the prefix, which can be used to create both UPCs and EANs.

However, UPCs are used in the USA.

Leah

Leah

3 years ago

UPDATE: Speedy Barcode has added the following verbiage to their site, addressing Amazon’s policy change:

“Amazon has recently updated their company policy and put a barcode ownership verification process in place. At this time, Amazon is using GS1’s GEPIR database as the sole means of verification. We have contacted Amazon to let them know that the database they are using is not current and does not reflect correct ownership information for all of the barcode numbers GS1 has listed, but as per an email from them, they have no plans to change their process. At this time, you have no choice but to obtain barcodes from GS1 if you want to list your products on Amazon.”

William Madision

William Madision

3 years ago

We dealt with Speedy Barcode in the past and they have no clue what they are talking about. Go straight to GS1 US.

Robert Simms

Robert Simms

2 years ago

Absolutely not correct!
As I have stated here before
Amazon is not, I repeat not doing name checks in GS1’s database
What they are checking for is the validity of the code itself
If it is a valid code, the barcode number will have a record in the database, if it is fake, there will be no record
Validity, not name match!

Erik Quivers

Erik Quivers

2 years ago

Robert,

Do you work for Amazon? There isn’t an official barcode database. GS1 maintains a searchable database of Company Prefixes which can be used to validate If a prefix is uniquely assigned to a brand. I do not work for Amazon nor GS1 but our other retail trading partners follow this process.

Billy Tarter

Billy Tarter

3 years ago

Hi Leah,

When I’m setting up my company prefix on the GS1 website, do I put my importing LLC as the company name? Or do I put my brand name (very different from my LLC)? I read through their FAQ but couldn’t find the answer. Would prefer LLC, but trying to select the option that won’t get me flagged/suspended by Amazon later.

Thanks for a great article by the way.

Leah

Leah

3 years ago

Thank you, Billy.

You must register with GS1 using your legal company name. And your should register a DBA for your brand name.

If it came to your listings being blocked because your DBA didn’t match your company name in GS1, you could very easily provide your DBA paperwork and GS1 certificate, proving your codes are legit.

Ronald Shandorf

Ronald Shandorf

2 years ago

Our entity has a GS1 certificate that we use to assign UPCs to a variety f Brands that we sell… per note above, can I ‘Register MULTIPLE DBAs’ to cover this Amazon requirement? Thks, Ron

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