Do I really need to provide a UPC / EAN for each product?

Do I really need to provide a UPC / EAN for each product?

Amazon requires you to provide a UPC / EAN only when listing new products, which do not exist on the Amazon website yet. In this case, you need to enter a valid UPC or EAN for each product and variation in the Product ID field you’ll find on the edit product page. Then you can apply a listing profile with a category specific feed template to fill in all the information required for your category of products.

For variable products, you need to enter a Product ID both for the "parent" product - the same way as you do with non-variable products - and for each variation as well. To add product IDs for a huge number of products in bulk, you should consider importing them from a CSV file.

Adding UPCs from CSV / Excel

To populate the Product ID field via  CSV import, you just need to make your CSV importer create a post meta field with the name of _amazon_product_id. The UPC you store in this field will work exactly the same as if you had entered it manually when editing the product.

Using ASINs instead of UPCs

If you want to list a product which does already exist on Amazon though, you only need to tell WP-Lister the ASIN for this existing product – see  Listing existing products on Amazon for more details. Since you don’t have to provide any category specific details, you do not need a listing profile at all – or you can use the generic Listing Loader feed template, which will work for all kinds of products and is much simpler to set up.

What are UPCs, EANs, GTINs, etc.?

All of these are globally unique IDs which identify a particular product and package size. While EANs are used in Europe, UPCs are used in the US and other countries - and ISBNs are used for books. Amazon does support the following Product IDs:

  • ISBN (International Standard Book Number): 10 digits or 13 digits
  • UPC (Universal Product Code): 12 digits
  • EAN (European Article Number): 13 digits
  • JAN (Japanese Article Number): 13 digits
  • GTIN-14 (Global Trade Item Number): 14 digits

For more information see  Locating Product Identifiers on Amazon and Global Trade Item Number on Wikipedia.

I have my brand registered with Amazon and are allowed to leave the UPC / EAN empty when listing new products – but I still get errors when submitting a feed.

If you have are a registered brand with Amazon and therefore are excluded from the usual UPC requirement to list new products, there are still a couple of things you should know:

Since the “Product ID” field in your feed template is officially “Required”, you can not leave this field empty – or you won’t be able to save the profile. We suggest you leave the default [amazon_product_id] shortcode here – that will pull the value from the “Product ID” field on the edit product page, which you can leave empty.

Even without the requirement to provide a valid UPC or EAN when listing new products, you still need to provide a  unique “key identifier” – usually labeled “Model Number” or “Style Number” in your profile – or you might run into problems submitting you feed, especially with variations. If you don’t have any other unique attribute in WooCommerce, we suggest you simply use your SKU as model number.

The Brand Registry account settings option

Once you have your brand registered with Amazon, please visit Amazon » Accounts » Settings, click on Edit to edit your account - and you'll find the Brand Registry option. Enable that option to let WP-Lister know that you don't need UPCs or EANs. This will  suppress some warning messages that you might see otherwise - which only apply to sellers which are required to provide UPCs or EANs.

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