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Amazon sellers need to use Amazon FBA barcodes on their products to easily identify them. Apart from being a requirement by Amazon, using an Amazon FBA barcode is also good for your inventory. It could help you have a smoother product fulfillment process, especially if you offer multiple types of products and thousands of regular customers.
One of the Amazon FBA barcodes requirements is placing the codes in the retail packaging of your product, or sometimes on the product itself, depending on the kind of products you are offering.
Different Types of Barcodes Needed for the Amazon FBA Seller
There are different types of FBA labels, but the two main kinds are universal product codes and organization codes. Nearly all products worldwide use universal product codes. These are not for a specific company. On the other hand, organization codes are specific to a certain company, such as Amazon.
Universal product codes have several subtypes. These include the UPC, ISBN, EAN, IAN, GTIN, and PZN. The different types of organization codes they use in Amazon are ASIN, GCID, and FNSKU. These product codes are the types you have to choose when you are setting up your Amazon listing.
The Universal Product Code, or UPC, has a 12-digit code unique for a specific product. A UPC is a unique sequence of black bars that can be detected by machines for easier processing. You use UPC most often in the United States and Canada. You can purchase UPC codes from GS1, an organization assigned to identify different retail products around the globe.
If you are selling your own product, whether manufactured or self-created, you can obtain a GS1 Company Prefix certificate. This makes the Amazon FBA GS1 barcode unique to your product. This means it automatically identifies that a product is your own. The price of each code varies depending on the number of UPC codes you need.
If you are reselling branded products, the code is already in Amazon’s listings. On the other hand, if you are a distributor of products from a wholesaler, you have to obtain the product code from the wholesaler.
The EAN, or European Article Number, is a particular type of Global Trade Item Number (or GTIN). It is either an 8-digit code or a 13-digit code. Most countries use this except the United States and Canada. The other term for EAN is IAN, which means International Article Number. Each section of the code identifies the country code, the company, and the article number for the specific product. Similar to UPC, an EAN code also need a GS1 prefix certificate.
GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number. This is a common term for most major kinds of a barcode. Nearly every country in the world recognizes GTIN. You can use the GTIN to identify the name of retailer or manufacturers of a product. This is an 100% mandatory Amazon FBA barcode, because if you are selling any product you require a GTIN for it.
The ASIN or Amazon Standard Identification Number is an example of an organization code. ASINs are made specifically for a company. ASINs are automatically assigned a listing on Amazon, and you can’t change the ASIN. The code is alpha-numeric. This means that it contains both letters and numbers, and it consists of 10 characters. For book offerings, the counterpart for ASIN is the ISBN or the International Standard Book Number. Customers can also use the ASIN to find a specific product in the Amazon e-commerce platform.
GCID stands for Global Catalogue Identifier. Unlike other universal product identifiers, Amazon auto-generates the GCID once you put the other product information in your listing. The GCID has a 16-character alphanumeric code. The difference of GCID from other barcodes is that it is directly related to a product and not the listing.
FNSKU stands for Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit. Amazon assigns when you ship your product to its fulfillment centers. Shipping your products to the Amazon fulfillment center means that Amazon will be in charge of the delivery of your products. Each product that goes through the company’s fulfillment center needs the FNSKU code. You can attach this code to your product on your own before shipping them to the fulfillment center, or you can also pay Amazon to do the job for you. The company usually charges $0.20 for each product.
These are FBA barcodes, which means Amazon fulfills the products. But merchants can still use FBM, which allows them to ship their own products. Using FBM, products are not processed in an Amazon Fulfillment Center, they go directly to the customer.
There are other types of barcodes that are less likely to be used in Amazon, but are still an option for Amazon sellers. These barcodes include:
PZN stands for Pharma-Zentral-Nummer, these codes are used to identify medicines in Germany.
JAN or Japanese Article Number is another term for EAN-13, but JAN is only used in Japan. The first two digits in the barcode are the country codes, and for Japan, it is either 45 or 49.
Why are Amazon FBA Barcodes Important?
As mentioned above, an Amazon FBA barcode can help you identify products and manage your inventory in a more organized way. Amazon handles a large volume of product listings, and to make the fulfillment process a lot more efficient, they have set Amazon FBA barcodes requirements for each item that their sellers offer. By assigning barcodes, Amazon will be able to identify which ones are your products, and which ones are from other merchants. These barcodes are most essential and beneficial to merchants who offer similar products.
Apart from making the fulfillment processes more efficient, Amazon FBA barcodes also help customers report if they have problems on the items they received. These codes could help customers identify the merchant, the manufacturer, and even the fulfillment center that handled the product they ordered. The barcode is like a history tab for your web browser. It contains almost every information about the product related to the supply chain.
Amazon FBA barcodes do not only help you make your inventory more organized, they also make the process a lot faster as these codes can be automatically scanned by machines. If you want to become a merchant on Amazon or any other e-commerce platform, it’s essential to be familiar with these codes and analyze which ones suit the type of products you have.
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