Using your Barcodes on Amazon

Amazon’s barcode acceptance policies and its enforcement are subject to change.  We therefore cannot guarantee that the barcodes we supply will always be accepted by Amazon.  To be certain of Amazon’s latest requirements we recommended contacting Amazon directly.

Amazon’s current stated policy prefers that sellers are members of GS1.  However Amazon’s enforcement of this varies with many sellers on Amazon continuing to use re-seller barcodes like ours to successfully list their products.  The barcodes we supply originate with the Uniform Code Council (the original GS1-US system) and validate on Amazon’s integrated forms.  This means they can be used to create new product listings.

Amazon Seller Support have also informed our customers they can use barcodes from “any external or third party supplier and use them to list your products, however the barcode must be valid”. They submit the following sites for validation to ensure the barcodes work. The barcode numbers we supply pass this validation enabling product listing creation.

For UPC (12 digits): https://www.gs1.org/services/check-digit-calculator
For EAN (13 digits): https://formvalidation.io/guide/validators/ean/

Known Limitations –

GS1’s GEPIR Database

For the vast majority of retailers worldwide, and most Amazon listings created, being seen on GEPIR is not necessary.  However, checking GEPIR is potentially one of several methods Amazon can use to verify brand identity.  Primarily this concerns Amazon Brand Registry (not Private Seller listings) and serves to resolve unauthorised brand usage, counterfeit claims and duplicate product listings.

Amazon states on their website that they may check against GS1’s database for brand verification. While our numbers originate with GS1 (formerly UCC), a GEPIR search will show the first holder of the barcodes.  GS1 does not update records of UCC era codes beyond the first holder.  There are no barcode re-sellers who can add your company details to GEPIR.  To have your brand appear on GEPIR you will need to join GS1 and pay annual license fees to maintain your barcodes.

If you are using reseller codes and Amazon manually checks the GEPIR database there is a risk Amazon may consider the barcode invalid.   You may however be able to take one or more of the following additional steps to verify brand ownership.  The listed workarounds below have been suggested by Amazon staff and have previously resulted in live listings on Amazon but are not guaranteed.

1. Letter from the manufacturer/your brand stating that the GTIN you are using to list this product is valid.

2. Photographs of your product displaying the GTIN/barcode on the packaging.

3. Letter of affiliation from India Barcodes (Reitec Pty Ltd).  While there is no guarantee, this document has been accepted for Amazon Brand Registry cases using 3rd party supplied codes in lieu of GS1 membership in the past.

Amazon Brand Registry

For Brand Registry listed items Amazon strongly prefers direct GS1 membership over third party/re-seller barcodes.  Amazon Brand Registry is a separate platform from Private Seller listings that is aimed at larger companies and requires a registered trademark to qualify. See https://brandservices.amazon.in/brandregistry/eligibility for eligibility requirements.  If you intend to apply for Amazon’s Brand Registry platform, we advise obtaining your numbers directly through GS1.

Some Established brands on Amazon Brand Registry have listed their products using our barcodes previously. Older barcodes already listed remain active. However newer listings may require direct GS1 membership or one of the three the workarounds suggested in the previous GEPIR Database section of this page.

Books and Audiobooks

If you are selling Books or Audiobooks you will need an ISBN (International Standard Book Number).  EAN-13 and UPC-A Barcodes are not intended for Books & Audiobooks and are considered invalid for this purpose on Amazon.  To obtain an ISBN to list a Book on Amazon visit http://isbn.gov.in/

Selling Major Branded Products

If you are selling a well known brand e.g. Nike shoes you must use Nike’s barcode. Not your own.  Amazon wants to ensure that branded items are not sold using another company’s GTIN.

Sellers on Amazon range from small sole traders to some of the world’s biggest brands.  Amazon’s real world approach to brand verification and GTIN use varies as millions of reseller codes have entered the Amazon catalog.  Amazon appears to be taking a balanced approach to help smaller businesses and Private Sellers who cannot afford GS1. It is not possible to force every small seller into direct GS1 membership.  In many instances Amazon seller support staff recommend re-seller barcodes to smaller businesses and have accepted our supporting documentation.

Ultimately meeting retailer supplier guidelines is the vendor’s responsibility.  No barcode reseller or membership organisation can guarantee universal retailer acceptance and Amazon is no exception.  We strongly advise you to make yourself aware of all supplier guidelines, policies and vendor agreements before deciding on purchasing GTINs.