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Everything you need to know about Amazon barcodes

When you start selling on Amazon, you soon find yourself dealing with different types of bar codes. But what can and should you actually do with it? Don’t those codes just make the process of selling difficult, or do they actually serve a useful function?

When you are introduced to a new platform or marketplace, in this case Amazon, it is a matter of time before you know exactly how everything works.

To work efficiently and take full advantage of Amazon’s capabilities, we always recommend starting neatly at the beginning. In fact, there are points of interest that you absolutely must not miss when using Amazon barcodes.

On this page, we’re going to tell you all about barcodes on Amazon.

What is a barcode?

A barcode is a visual representation of a numerical code, used to store and communicate information about a product or item. It consists of a series of vertical dashes and spaces that have different thicknesses and spacing between them.

Bar codes are used in many industries, including:

  • Retail
  • Logistics
  • Healthcare
  • Transport

It is an efficient way to collect and share data, also barcodes help companies keep track of inventory, increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Barcode reader

Bar codes can be read with a bar code reader, an electronic device that scans the bar code and decodes the information in the bar code.

This information usually includes a string of numbers that can sometimes be seen under the bar code. This is the “human-readable code” incorporated into the bar code.

Manufacturer barcodes

A manufacturer barcode allows a manufacturer to identify and track his/her products. Each product has a unique code and can therefore always be correctly identified.

To make sure Amazon identifies your products correctly, it’s good to know what code you need for what.

We know of 3 different types of manufacturer barcodes, namely:

  • EAN
  • UPC
  • ISBN


An EAN (European Article Numbering) code is a standardized bar code used to identify products. The code consists of 13 digits and is used to manage retail products.

EAN codes are used worldwide and are an important part of the supply chain for products, so essential if you sell internationally through Amazon. They make it possible to quickly and efficiently identify and track products from manufacturer to consumer.

Nowadays, the EAN-13 code is also called GTIN-13, where GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number. Want to read more? Then check out our extensive article on the EAN code.


The UPC, or UPC-A, is basically a subcategory of the EAN-13 code. This code is mainly used in the United States instead of the EAN-13 code.

It consists of a 12-digit number sequence that can be used to identify unique products. The UPC code has essentially the same function as the EAN code.


An ISBN code is really only of interest when you are going to sell books on Amazon. It is a 10- to 13-digit code that appears by default on the cover of a book.

ISBN stands for “International Standard Book Number” and is a standard code for identifying books.

FNSKU code from Amazon

The FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit) is a special code for products sold through Amazon. It is also used by Amazon to identify and track products.

The moment you start using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you can choose to label the products using a manufacturer code (EAN or UPC) or the FNSKU code.

An FNSKU code is mainly useful when you are going to sell the exact same product that is also sold through FBA by another seller on Amazon. In fact, Amazon works with an inventory system that aggregates the same products from a specific manufacturer.

To avoid mixing up your inventory and that of another seller, Amazon’s FNSKU code is often chosen.

Internal codes and customer codes at Amazon

In addition to manufacturer barcodes, there are also codes used internally to indicate variants or versions of certain products within the Amazon sales platform.

There are also codes that make it easy for customers to find certain products. Amazon also uses it.


A SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is used to distinguish variants or versions of unique products or services from one another.

The codes are intended for internal use for the purpose of clearly distinguishing between different variants of a similar product or service.

The SKU code can be chosen arbitrarily, but it usually refers to certain features of a product. Consider, for example, the color, size or other specific features.

As a seller, on Amazon you can determine the SKU yourself or make the choice to use the manufacturer’s existing SKU.

Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN)

ASIN stands for “Amazon Standard Identification Number” and is a 10-digit code assigned to each unique product.

If you are going to sell a product with an EAN code that has never been used before on Amazon, a unique ASIN code will automatically be added to this product.

The ASIN code is listed in the URL of the product page and in the product information and is thus clearly visible to customers. This code is often used as a reference tool in a live chat or support ticket.

So it is not so much a code used by sellers or manufacturers, but more a code that customers use to find certain products on Amazon’s website.


Have you had an entirely new product developed that you want to start selling through Amazon? Then, of course, it is a possibility to apply to GS1 for a new EAN code for your product.

In case you don’t have an EAN yet? Then you can have a (temporary) GCID (Global Catalog ID) assigned to the product through Amazon.

This indicates to Amazon that the product is linked to your brand. This is especially useful when you have Brand Registry on Amazon.

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Product management with e-tailize

Do you sell products through other sales channels besides Amazon? Then all those codes can cause enormous confusion. With e-tailize’s platform, you centralize all your sales channels in one place.

Automate product management, inventory management and order fulfillment from one convenient program. With more than 100 integrations, you are able to manage all your sales channels from one place.

Plus, grow your presence on different marketplaces quickly with our advertize and analyze modules. Create and manage ads from our platform and gain insights based on the analytics module. This way you’ll arrive at the best ad optimizations for increased visibility and you’ll also spend less ad budget!

Are you curious about what else our platform has to offer? Then feel free to schedule a no-obligation demo appointment. During this appointment, we can tell you all about the features and benefits of our platform. We’ll show you how our system works and how you can use it to optimize your e-commerce activities.

Our team of experts is ready to answer all your questions and help you set up and optimize your online store. Schedule your demo now!

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