Big sellers are being slapped with listing suppressions due to incorrect product barcodes. Up until recently, it was common practice for sellers to purchase cheap second-hand barcodes from third-party sites. Despite guidelines to the contrary, it was never enforced, and the allure of a low-cost one-off fee proved too strong for many sellers, particularly during the start-up phase.
Fast forward to 2022… Amazon now has barcodes on its radar! Only official GS1 barcodes are accepted, and Amazon is systematically suppressing older listings that haven’t followed the rules. The problem is the start-ups that used third-party barcodes are now major brands bringing in serious dollars. Needless to say, this is a ticking timebomb that no seller wants hanging over their head as peak shopping season approaches.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to update barcodes, let’s clarify what GS1 is and how you can check if your clients’ listings may be affected.
GS1 is a non-governmental, not-for-profit entity that manages the GTIN barcode system. GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number and helps identify a product and product variations. To check the validity of a barcode, simply enter the GTIN number here. If the results do not match your client's brand and product…Houston, we have a problem!
As with many Amazon challenges, there is no certainty on the best next steps. Some experts recommend waiting until the barcode issue is flagged and suppressed before taking action, whilst others recommend proactively fixing them to minimize damage. Either way, awareness is key, and this is valuable information your clients will appreciate receiving.
If you choose to take a proactive approach, you can purchase official GS1 barcodes here. Please note - new barcodes will also require updates to packaging unless FNSKUs are being used. While there are no guarantees, from speaking with community members, we’ve seen success by following the steps below:
Step 1 - Take a picture of the product showing the new barcode or have a link to the manufacturer's website displaying the barcode. It is important that any images be original copies (i.e. cell phone screenshots) and not photoshopped.
Step 2 - Sign in to Amazon Brand Registry
Step 3 - Support → Contact Brand Support → Listing Issue → Request A Product Detail Page Change
Step 4 - Enter product ASIN & select ‘Other Product Information’
Step 5 - Provide details of the barcode update required, along with an explanation and attach images and/or link to the manufacturer’s website.
Step 6 - Hit ‘Submit Case’
Additional Tip: In the Details section (Step 5), try providing both the old and new product IDs. While this isn’t critical to the success of your application, there have been instances where it has helped sellers get the changes through.
Typically, Amazon takes up to 3 to 4 weeks to review and process your barcode change request; however, there are always exceptions.
If your request is declined, we recommend replying to the case and directly calling Seller Central support to get the issue resolved. Make sure you are talking to a member of the Catalog team when discussing your problem on the phone.
Please keep in mind that there is no silver bullet, and none of these methods are surefire ways to get your UPC/EAN code updated. That said, they do provide a good chance at success.
We hope this short article provided some insight on how to update barcodes on Amazon. Stay tuned for more tips, and good luck!
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