The Reason WHY Amazon Requires Brand Verifiable UPC Barcodes

Amazon Requires Brand Verifiable UPC Barcodes

The pillar to Amazon’s success is always keeping the focus on the customer experience. Consequently, Amazon wants to make sure their visitors can trust the information provided online, and an initial step is making sure the products listed are attributed to a verifiable brand. Before 2016, Amazon did not formally convey their UPC barcode requirements to new and existing suppliers so many unsuspecting companies purchased discount UPC barcodes with a shared prefix. The video below does a wonderful job illustrating why Amazon now cares about the UPCs listed on their website.

Amazon Product ID requirements:

  • Many categories have specific UPC/EAN and GTIN guidelines that sellers are required to follow when creating product pages. These include requirements for products sold as bundles and requirements for products sold as packs.
  • UPC requirements may vary across categories or for different types of products in the same category. 
  • Sellers must use the correct product identifier for the item they are listing. The use of false product identification information, including UPC codes, is prohibited.
  • ISBN barcodes are required when uploading listings for books.

In order to set-up a new product listing on Amazon, you will need either a valid UPC or ISBN number;

UPC Barcode (Used for most items)

upc barcode illustration

The Amazon UPC Barcode Policy impacts not only new suppliers desiring to sell on Amazon but also existing sellers who risk having their account suspended. Suspended sellers not only lose time and money trying to get reinstated but also forfeit lost profit which comes with blocked listings and account suspension.  The policy reads as:

Amazon UPC barcode policy

“We verify the authenticity of product UPCs by checking the GS1 database. UPCs that do not match the information provided by GS1 will be considered invalid. We recommend obtaining your UPCs directly from GS1 (and not from other third parties selling UPC licenses) to ensure the appropriate information”

As of July 2019, the following page “Valid UPCs” has been added to Amazon Seller Central.

Amazon Valid UPCs

By obtaining GS1 UPC barcodes, Amazon sellers are provided a GS1 Company Prefix which uniquely identifies their company.  Amazon, like many other companies, requires the Company Prefix to reflect the actual brand owner and not some 3rd party reseller company.

Please watch this 3 minute video.

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