Selling on Amazon can be overwhelming yet undeniably exciting given the fact that you can reach millions of customers willing and ready to buy the products that you have to offer. But you know what? The first step to ensure your success is to be familiar with the ins and outs of the platform. And that includes knowing and understanding some unfamiliar terms or jargons.
In this article, we will help you familiarize two of the most basic yet equally important terms that you will be encountering a lot during your Amazon selling journey – SKU and ASIN which are both product identifiers.
Excited? So do we! So let’s get started!
What is an ASIN?
ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Numbers which is a 7-digit alphanumeric code used as a product identifier i.e. B00RWFQYG0. All Amazon products have their corresponding ASIN and each of them are unique. Which means no two products have the same ASIN. If you have listed 5 products on Amazon, each one of them will have their own ASIN.
What are the uses of ASIN?
- Helps customer to find a particular product. Using the ASIN as a search term will direct the customer to the actual detail page of the product rather than manually searching for it.
- For Amazon, ASIN is being used to track product inventories, especially for FBA products. It allows them to track a specific product’s actual location within the warehouse or the places it has been stored.
- Used in reference to the catalog page of the product.
How to get the ASIN of the product your planning to sell?
ASIN is being automatically assigned by Amazon during the process of adding a new product. This is, however, only applicable for products that are not yet on Amazon’s catalog like private label products. If you’re trying to add a product that is already listed on Amazon, then you may need to look for it. There are some third-party apps that you can use to make your job much easier. A quick Google search can let you choose which among those would suit your needs best. But if you only need to find a few ASINs then just visit the product detail page of the product and check the address bar. The ASIN can be found after the name of the product and the letters “dp”. See example below:
When adding a new product though, you need to secure another product identifier which is being required by Amazon – that is GTIN.
GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Numbers and is a standard or universal product identifier thus being required by Amazon for products that will be listed for sale on the platform. It is composed of 12 numeric digits in the United States while 13 digits for areas outside the North American region. For very small products, GTIN can be composed of 8 digits and are located on the product packaging or on the actual product.
Manufacturers are advised to check out GS1 standards for guidelines in obtaining a GTIN code for their products. On the other hand, if you’re not the supplier or manufacturer of the product and you are unable to locate the GTIN, you may then have to contact the manufacturer to get it. Made-to-order or handmade products are exempted from securing a GTIN.
Amazon requires all product to have a unique trade item code. If you’re selling products that are packaged in quantities but to be considered as a single product, each product in the bundle should still have their corresponding GTIN as well as a GTIN for the whole package.
It would be best to visit the GS1 website for more details on how to get your GTIN codes.
Types of GTIN
There are several types of GTIN codes and all of them are accepted by Amazon. Below are some helpful information about these GTIN types.
- EAN or European Article Number – This is a standard for all barcodes and is composed of 12-13 digits that identify what the product is, its attributes, as well as its manufacturer. EAN is usually found just below the item barcode.
- ISBN or International Standard Book Number – This GTIN code is a universal product code specifically for books listed for sale. ISBN is composed of 10 or 13 digits where books assigned with the code after January 1, 2007, possess 13 digits. While EAN can be found below the product barcode, ISBN is usually located above the barcode and/or at the back of the book. For ISBN guidelines, please check the US ISBN Agency website.
- UPC or Universal Product Code – A 12-digit product code that identifies retail products in the United States and other North American countries. UPC and EAN technically serve the same purpose and having either of them are sufficient. The only difference is that UPC is widely used in the North American Region while EAN is used by the rest of the countries outside North America. In cases where a 13-digit code or EAN is needed and what you have is a UPC code, adding zero before the UPC code would work the same.
What is SKU?
SKU stands for Stock Keeping Units and are codes that can reach up to 40 characters. SKUs are initially used for tracking inventory stored in Amazon’s warehouse as well as the transfers it had to go through.
Assigning SKUs to your products though not required by Amazon, can be beneficial as would be a lot easier for you to personalize how you manage your inventory. Unlike ASIN which is automatically generated by Amazon, SKU can be assigned by the manufacturer/retailer/supplier. If left blank during the product addition process on Amazon, the system will be the one to assign your product its corresponding SKU so you may decide to let Amazon generate the code for you.