Amazon updates are constant. Frequently Amazon changes their listing requirements. Currently the ‘Brand’ field is VERY sensitive for Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com and possibly Amazon.com.au.
NOTE: Because Amazon keeps updating its listing requirements, we cannot guarantee that our barcodes will be accepted by Amazon.
BUT – there are thousands of products listed on Amazon using our numbers – see our barcodes in use on Amazon.
Amazon are increasingly pushing their suppliers to join the Amazon Brand Registry, which requires an active registered trademark and the ability for you to prove your rights to use that – see https://brandservices.amazon.com.au. Getting a trademark can take months.
It is also possible to apply to Amazon for GTIN (barcode) exemption – see https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gtinx/ Exemption is provided for brand and category and you do not have to apply for exemption for each product.
For the latest demonstration of listing on Amazon, please see https://youtu.be/e36o35CLUHY – it shows how crucial the ‘Brand’ field is when listing.
Amazon’s policy for barcode numbers continues to change, as well as variations in how strictly it is enforced. We work to keep this information up-to-date. If you wish to be certain about barcode acceptance it is best to check with them directly.
Amazon uses barcode numbers (13-digit EAN or 12-digit UPC) as unique product identifiers, and then they also assign their own unique identification number – called an ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number).
Until a few years ago, barcodes on Amazon were uncontrolled. Anyone could list any product on Amazon using any barcode number, as long as that barcode number wasn’t already being used for another product on Amazon. However, this caused some serious problems for legitimate sellers, and some found that their number had already been used illegally by someone else on Amazon.
Searching legacy barcode numbers
In 2016, an Amazon Executive joined GS1’s board. Amazon then began to implement tighter policies and started undertaking tidying-up of the Amazon database. Unfortunately, legacy barcode numbers are still used on Amazon that conflict with numbers that we own and sell. We have implemented increasingly deep searching of the Amazon databases to find fraudulent legacy numbers. We use the Amazon APIs, which have some success with current products, but unfortunately, these are limited in how deeply they search the Amazon databases. So our tech-gurus developed sophisticated search software. This software goes far beyond the traditional Amazon search options. We use this software to deep search Amazon for all numbers before we sell them. If it finds any historic fraudulent listings using our numbers, we delete the numbers and don’t sell them. This proprietary software is much more effective than Amazon’s APIs. It searches far deeper than any other barcode seller.
Amazon prefers barcode numbers to come directly from GS1 – they have a preference that their suppliers are current members of GS1. Unfortunately, this is not ideal for smaller manufacturers/businesses and sole traders due to the recurring annual fees for the rest of your product life.
As mentioned above, there are thousands of products currently listed on Amazon using our barcodes. You can view some examples at: https://barcodesthailand.com/our-barcodes-on-amazon/.
In recent years, Amazon has moved to try and stop branded products (big brands) being listed on Amazon using barcode numbers other than those of the original brand – possibly to stop pirating or illicit listings. To enforce this, Amazon became ‘tighter’ with barcode numbers – although the implementation of this policy seems to vary a lot. We spoke to a customer recently who has 3 products on Amazon using our barcodes. Amazon had just asked him for further proof of ownership for one of the barcode numbers but not the others. Apparently, he provided them with the proof needed (of ownership), and their problem was solved. We can also provide this documentation to our customers if required, demonstrating the links for their numbers back to the original GS1-licensee.
Amazon Updates and Future Requirements
We don’t know where Amazon is heading in regards to its barcodes policy. We hope that they will be reasonable and allow people to list products using legitimate and verifiable barcode numbers (the ones we sell). However, Amazon might become more and more restrictive, and eventually, no longer accepting our barcodes in the future.
We have many customers who still use our barcode numbers to list their products on Amazon. We presume that is because if Amazon decides to check the numbers (and it is unclear whether they check very many numbers), then our barcode numbers can be seen on the GS1 database (hence showing that they are of GS1 origin – although the listing will show the original unused licensee) and also because our customers can list their product/company details alongside their barcodes at www.barcodesdatabase.org, which also feeds to other databases. This helps our customers prove to Amazon that the barcode numbers are legitimate. We cannot update the GS1 GEPIR database – no barcode reseller can do this.
You might need to enter our barcodes in Amazon’s system as 12 digit versions (UPC) without a leading 0 (e.g. 0712345678901 becomes 712345678901) – both versions of the number belong to you.
Proof of Ownership
Sometimes Amazon asks for proof of the connection between the supplier (you) and the original barcode licensee (as listed on gepir.org) – we can provide our customers with a document demonstrating this chain of proof. Some of our customers have had this accepted by Amazon.
It is possible to apply to Amazon for GTIN exemption – this allows the listing of products without a GTIN (barcode) – the process and requirements for this exemption are unclear.
We have been advised by customers occasionally that Amazon require their website address (URL) on the barcodes invoice. So please let us know (when you purchase barcodes or later) if you would like your website address on the invoice/receipt.
Recently (since late 2019), Amazon has tightened up on the ‘brand’ field when listing. They are pushing suppliers to register on the Amazon brand Directory (see below). However, we have been able to list products using ‘N/A’ in the brand field (as recommended by Amazon). Other Amazon suppliers report being able to use ‘Generic’ or unbranded in this brand field.
Amazon’s Brand Registry
It is not possible to use Amazon’s Brand Registry with our barcodes, This is because Amazon checks the outdated GEPIR database (GS1 database) and the information stored there does not show the current owner of the barcode (you).
Amazon Error Codes
Listing on amazon can be difficult. There are a few specific error codes can commonly occur while trying to list on Amazon. These commonly have to do with the ‘Brand’ field during the listing process.
Fortunately, these usually have a simple solution. Common error codes and solutions can be seen here: https://internationalbarcodes.net/amazon-error-codes-and-solutions/.
If you have any questions about Amazon updates feel free to contact us.