Amazon ASINs, EANs, Amazon FNSKUs, GTINs, and UPCs: What’s the Difference?

Understanding the differences between UPCs, EANs, GTINs, Amazon ASINs, and Amazon FNSKUs is crucial for Amazon sellers and vendors. Here’s a quick into to these identifiers and their unique roles in the Amazon marketplace.

UPC (Universal Product Code):

UPCs are widely used barcodes that provide a standardized method of identifying products. They consist of a series of numbers and are commonly associated with physical products sold in retail stores. UPCs are essential for product listing on Amazon, particularly for items that already have a barcode.

EAN (European Article Number):

EANs are another type of barcode used globally to identify products. They are similar to UPCs but are primarily used in Europe and other regions outside of North America. EANs serve the same purpose as UPCs, providing a unique identifier for products.

GTIN (Global Trade Item Number):

GTIN is a broader term that encompasses both UPCs and EANs. It refers to a unique identifier assigned to a specific product, regardless of the barcode format used. GTINs help distinguish products from one another and are crucial for accurate product identification and tracking.

ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number):

ASINs are unique identifiers specific to the Amazon marketplace. Each product listed on Amazon is assigned its own ASIN, which helps in organizing and categorizing products within their platform. ASINs are used for internal tracking purposes within Amazon’s ecosystem.

FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit):

FNSKUs are unique identifiers used by Amazon’s fulfillment network to manage inventory. When sellers utilize Amazon’s fulfillment services (FBA), they may be required to label their products with FNSKUs. These identifiers are specific to each seller, so Amazon is able to use FNSKUs to trace inventory back to particular sellers.

To summarize, UPCs and EANs are globally recognized barcodes, while GTINs encompass both UPCs and EANs. ASINs are unique to the Amazon marketplace and are used for internal tracking, while FNSKUs are specific to Amazon’s fulfillment network and aid in inventory management.

The Problem with Amazon FNSKUs

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that Amazon has asked you to label your product with an FNSKU, and you’re wondering why.

Amazon may require you to label your products with FNSKUs in these instances:

  1. They are sold as used
  2. They do not already have a bar code
  3. Other sellers offer the same product (this can help prevent inventory of the same product being comingled between sellers)
  4. The product has an expiration date (although not all products with expiration dates will require an FNSKU)

It’s common to challenge the requirement for Amazon FNSKU labels. We’ve successfully gotten Amazon to remove the FNSKU labelling requirement for several of the brands we’ve worked with. FBA logistics are complex enough, and getting away from the FNSKU requirement can be a welcome relief.

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