All e-commerce platforms utilize numbered codes and barcodes to keep track of inventory and Amazon is no different. On the Amazon platform, you will see four types of codes primarily. They are the UPC (Universal Product Code), the FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit), the Seller SKU, and the ASIN. For today, we are just going to talk about the UPC and the FNKSU.
The Amazon UPC
The UPC is the unique 12-digit that every unit of inventory must have to identify it in the system. UPC’s originate from an organization called GS1 (Global Standard 1). The GS1 Company issues UPCs globally to companies. Every UPC has a company prefix assigned to it. You would have to register your company with the GS1 company, in order, to have your own UPC created and this can get expensive.
Due to the fact, it is so expensive most Amazon sellers, including myself, went to 3rd-party sites to get the UPCs for my products. The truth of the matter is that you will only need this UPC number once to create your listing on Amazon. That is it. The number you’ll need most or that you will most often is the FNSKU (which is free and generated by Amazon).
Amazon UPC Services (Resellers) are Kind of Scammy
You have to understand; if you go to these resellers, the UPCs you receive are registered to other companies. If you plan on going into retail with your product, you will have to register your company with GS1 and get your own UPCs. But, for Amazon currently going third-party is still okay.
There are reports Amazon will start cross-checking UPCs to make sure they are listings are with the registered company, but there has yet to be any report of anyone’s listing being pulled because their UPCs did not match their company name.
Now to the most important topic surrounding these UPC resellers. Many will have deals where they offer 100 or 1000 UPCs for a discount. Do not fall for this scam. You do not need 1000 UPCs or 100; it is very likely you won’t ever reach 20 UPCs. Remember, you will only be using each UPC code once per product listing.
Think about how much money and resources required just to put up one listing. You think you are going to need a 1000 UPCs code? NO WAY. You should purchase five at most, and even that may be pushing it.
My Only Recommendations
Speedybarcodes is a reseller. None of their codes have failed me, in fact, all my UPCs currently registered were with this site. This site does have bulk deals but remember you want to purchase no more than five codes your first go around.
SingleUpc.com (Highest Recommendation)
SingleUPC is where I will be buying my codes for now on. SingleUpc’s codes are more expensive than speedybarcodes, but for a good reason. SingleUpc has registered with GS1 itself, and gives out UPCs from their own company prefix.
Amazon.com generates the FNSKU, like the ASIN, once you list your product.
The FNSKU is the barcode that is generated as a scannable label in your Seller Central dashboard when you are creating a shipment to send to Amazon. The FNKSU sticker needs to be affixed to every unit of inventory you plan to store at an Amazon Fulfillment Center. The FNKSU barcode sticker is also used to cover other scannable barcodes your product may have.
Those are the broad strokes for UPCs; the most important nugget here is not to buy 1000 UPCs, you will not need them.
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