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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

How To Apply for an Amazon UPC Exemption

Are you puzzled by how to sell your unique products on Amazon without a UPC? Every item listed on this massive marketplace typically needs a unique barcode.


This easy-to-follow guide will peel back the layers of Amazon's mysterious UPC exemption process, making it easy to understand and navigate.


Read on and discover the insider secrets now!


What Are UPCs and GTINs?

UPCs stand for Unique Product Codes. They are 12-digit numbers uniquely identifying products in the United States and Canada. These codes appear on almost everything you buy, from groceries to electronics.


GTINs, or Global Trade Item Numbers, include UPCs but can also refer to other formats used worldwide, like EANs and ISBNs for books.


These codes play a big role when you sell things on Amazon. Amazon uses them to keep track of millions of items and make sure each one is unique. Without these identifiers, customers might get the wrong product delivered, hurting your business.


After learning about UPCs and GTINs, let's focus on how they impact selling on Amazon.


Why Are UPCs and GTINs Important for Selling on Amazon?

Product identification, brand approval, and barcode exemption are crucial for selling on Amazon. A 12 or 14-digit UPC, EAN, or barcode is required to list items. The GTIN exemption process allows listing products on Amazon without a GTIN or UPC.


Using exact category and brand details for a GTIN exemption is essential for approval.


Understanding the necessity of a UPC and obtaining a GTIN exemption is vital to sell products on Amazon. It provides insight into applying for an Amazon GTIN exemption and checking its status.


These processes ensure compliance with Amazon's product identification requirements.


Requirements for a GTIN Exemption

To be eligible for a GTIN exemption on Amazon, you must have a brand name and be the manufacturer or brand owner of the product.


If you don't have a brand name, alternative options are available to list your products on Amazon without a UPC or GTIN.


Who Is Eligible for a GTIN Exemption?

Sellers without a registered brand or those selling private label products are eligible for a GTIN exemption on Amazon.


This means you can apply for an exemption if your products do not have a standard barcode, making listing and selling unique items on the platform easier.


Applying for this exemption allows you to use Amazon's own barcodes (FNSKU) instead of the traditional UPC or EAN codes, providing flexibility in listing your products without the need for universal identifiers like GTINs.


What If You Don't Have a Brand Name?

If you do not have a brand name, you may still be eligible for a GTIN exemption if you are the manufacturer or have written permission from the brand owner. In this case, you can use your company name as the brand to apply for the exemption.


Ensure that your company’s name is consistently used across all listings and matches what is registered with GS1. Remember, consistently using your company’s name is crucial when applying for a GTIN exemption.


An important fact to note is that having a registered trademark does not automatically qualify you for a GTIN exemption. However, it can support your application by demonstrating brand ownership on Amazon.


How To Apply for a GTIN Exemption

Before applying for a GTIN exemption on Amazon, you must ensure you meet the requirements and have taken all necessary steps.


Once you're ready, follow the process to request an Amazon GTIN exemption and create your new listing once approved.


Steps To Take Before Applying for a GTIN Exemption

Before applying for a GTIN exemption on Amazon, it's important to ensure that you have the necessary information and documents. Follow these steps to prepare for your application:


  1. Gather all relevant product details, including brand name, manufacturer information, and product category.

  2. Verify that your products are not already listed with a GTIN or UPC.

  3. Ensure that your product images meet Amazon's guidelines and requirements.

  4. Confirm that your product descriptions are accurate and comply with Amazon's listing policies.


How To Request an Amazon GTIN Exemption

To request an Amazon GTIN exemption, follow these steps:


  1. Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for a GTIN exemption on Amazon.

  2. Gather necessary information about your products and brand to support your application.

  3. Log in to your Seller Central account and go to the "Add Products via Upload" tool.

  4. Download the category - specific template and fill in the required details for each product without a GTIN.

  5. Submit the completed template, including a justification for why your products qualify for a GTIN exemption.

  6. Await Amazon's review and approval of your GTIN exemption request.


Creating Your New Listing Once Approved

Once your Amazon GTIN exemption is approved, you can proceed to create new listings for your products. Here's what you need to do:


  1. Log in to your Seller Central account and select "Add a Product" from the Inventory menu.

  2. Enter all the product details, including title, description, images, and price.

  3. Use the Amazon barcode (FNSKU) assigned to your exempted product.

  4. Ensure that all information matches the category and brand that got you approved for the GTIN exemption.

  5. Review and submit your listing for approval.


Using the Amazon Barcode (FNSKU)

Once your new listing is approved, use the Amazon barcode FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit). Amazon uses this unique identifier to track and manage your inventory within their fulfillment centers.


When creating a shipment, each product unit must be labeled with its corresponding FNSKU barcode for accurate identification and processing.


Ensuring all units are correctly labeled with FNSKU barcodes can streamline the fulfillment process and reduce the risk of errors or confusion.


When shipping directly to customers through Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM), you can print FNSKU labels from Seller Central and affix them to your products before shipping. It's essential to accurately apply these barcodes as they facilitate smooth order handling, minimizing any potential issues during delivery.


Alternatives for FNSKU Barcodes

To find your FNSKU barcode:


  1. Log in to your Amazon Seller Central account.

  2. Navigate to "Manage Inventory" and click on the product you need for the FNSKU barcode.

  3. Under the "Actions" dropdown menu, select "Print Item Labels."

  4. Choose the appropriate label type and quantity.

  5. Click "Print item labels" to generate and print the FNSKU barcode labels.

  6. Affix the printed FNSKU barcode labels to your products before sending them to Amazon's fulfillment centers.


What To Do If You're Not Eligible for a GTIN Exemption.

If you are not eligible for a GTIN exemption, options are still available for listing your products on Amazon. One alternative is obtaining UPCs directly from GS1, the official UPC and EAN barcodes source.


This will enable you to create unique product listings on Amazon without needing a GTIN exemption. Additionally, consider leveraging the FNSKU barcode, an Amazon-specific barcode that allows you to track and identify your products within the fulfillment center.


Furthermore, if obtaining UPCs or using FNSKU barcodes is not feasible for your business, another option is to explore selling in categories that do not require a GTIN or UPC.

Conclusion

That's it – you're all set to sell on Amazon without a UPC code! Remember, if you sell your special products, you can ask Amazon to skip the UPC.


If all this packing and sending stuff sounds like a lot of work, there's good news. Our 3PL services can take care of all that for you.


They'll keep your products safe, pack them up, and ship them out. Want to make selling even easier? Contact us to help you out!


FAQs on Listing Products on Amazon Without a GTIN or UPC


1. Is a UPC required on Amazon?

No, a UPC is not strictly required on Amazon if you obtain GTIN exemption for your products.


2. What are the benefits of GTIN exemption on Amazon?

The benefits of GTIN exemption include reduced costs as you don't need to purchase UPCs, the ability to list products without a GTIN, and simplified listing processes for certain types of products or handmade goods.


3. How long does GTIN exemption last?

GTIN exemption does not expire on Amazon. Once granted, it remains in effect for the approved product categories.


4. Should I use GTIN or UPC?

It depends on your product and business needs. Use a UPC for standard retail packaging and broader marketplace compatibility. Choose GTIN exemption on Amazon to list products without UPCs, saving on costs and for products that don't have or need a UPC.

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