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What you need to know about Amazon UPC codes and where you can get them

Did someone just sneeze in their alphabet soup or did the UPC of your GTIN from GS1 match your ASIN? There’s a lot of numbers and letters floating around in barcodes and product identification, so things can be confusing. Amazon only adds to the confusion.

We wanted to compile an additional guide to discuss how GTINs, UPCs, and barcodes connect to Amazon, in addition to our recent guide about GTINs, UPCs, and barcodes – written by Michelle Covey, a member of the GS1 US team. Below we explain where you can find amazon UPC codes, as well as what you need to know.

How do UPCs, GTINS, and ASINs differ?

Let me clarify a few things. Here is a quick glossary for those of you unfamiliar with product identification numbers.

Global Trade Item Number, or GTIN

Identifies products in the official international database. To help with verification and faster reference, all product databases worldwide are synchronised with these numbers.

The Global Standard 1 is GS1.

GTIN is a database maintained by this organisation.

The UPC is an unambiguous product identifier

In the US and Canada, a type of GTIN is associated with a barcode.

Article Number, or EAN

Another type of GTIN. It’s mostly used in Europe and other parts of the world, but it’s similar to the UPC.

The ASIN is an Amazon identifier

Unlike GS1 and GTINs, this number is only used by Amazon. ASINs are primarily used internally by Amazon and are not recognized outside the company like GTINs are. ASINs are displayed on Amazon product pages in the product description and at the end of their URL.

Let’s examine how each impacts your business so we can better understand their differences


Amazon uses UPCs in what ways?

GTINs are required for most Amazon products. UPCs and EANs are both registered by GS1. As well as verifying products’ authenticity and combating fraudulent listings, these numbers help Amazon organise international products.

A product’s ASIN is automatically assigned once it’s registered on Amazon. The ASIN is not acquired by the seller.

The UPC or EAN should already be on your products if you are reselling them or purchasing them directly from the manufacturer. When you sell homemade or private label products, what do you do? It depends.

  • Purchase your own UPC (explained below)
  • Obtain a GTIN exemption from Amazon

Individual products without GTINs or barcodes, for either manufacturing errors or homemade products, are exempt from GTIN requirements. You can apply for up to ten different brand names and categories on a single GTIN exemption form for Amazon’s GTIN exemption.

You might find it more convenient to purchase your own GTINs or even a GTIN company prefix if you mass-produce or manufacture your own products for many different brands and categories.

UPC codes for Amazon can be found here.

Every retailer needs GTINs, just like UPCs. Companies with a single factory might prefer buying individual UPCs, while companies with multiple factories might consider buying their own company prefix to consolidate hundreds of barcodes. GS1 offers both of these options.

UPC barcodes are available for $30 with no renewal fee. Buying in bulk can save you money if you require several UPCs.

You also have access to the GS1 US Data Hub, which has tools for creating your own barcodes and managing your own product data if you use a GS1 prefix. Due to the annual renewal fee, this is only advisable for well-established brands that need a lot of barcodes.

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