UPCs are highly essential for Amazon trading as they help keep a track of inventory and product sales. However, they are not mandatory for all products being sold.
Does Amazon Allow Listing of Products Without the UPCs?
Depending upon the brand you want to sell and the category you want to sell your products in, Amazon allows listing of your products (without the UPCs) at its marketplace in certain circumstances.
The only way of listing your products on Amazon without the UPCs is through ‘GTIN exemption’. Products without the GTIN exemption are required to have a GS1 registered barcode.
Additionally, an Amazon barcode called FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit) is required to be affixed to your product packaging if you do not have the UPC for it. FNSKU helps Amazon in tracking inventory.
Should I Opt for GTIN Exemption?
If you have huge dreams for your brand and you plan to list it on other marketplaces as well in the future, then you should buy a GS1 barcode.
However, if you are just starting and do not want to bear the expenses of GS1 barcodes, then GTIN exemption is a good short-term solution to your problem.
What Are The Requirements For An Amazon GTIN Exemption?
Only in certain situations does Amazon grant GTIN exemption. You are eligible for GTIN exemption if:
You are selling products manufactured or published by you and you do not have UPCs for them. For example, handmade products.
You are selling products for which you are not given the barcodes by the manufacturer or publisher.
You are selling general products having no brand name.
You are selling product parts that cannot have a UPC such as mobile accessories or car parts.
You are selling a set containing more than one product. For example, a set consisting of mascara, concealer, and eyeliner.
Moreover, Amazon has published a list of brands that need to have a GTIN to be listed on the online platform. Products belonging to any of the listed brands can not be sold on Amazon without the barcode.
How to Apply for GTIN Exemption?
There are a few steps to be taken to apply for GTIN exemption.
Type in ‘Apply for GTIN exemption’ in the search option of the Amazon Seller Central.
Choose one or more categories and brands for your products.
If you do not have a brand name, simply type ‘generic’ in the box.
Now you might need to upload pictures of your products and their packaging to prove that there is no brand name or UPC for them.
Type in the product names.
Finally submit your application. Amazon will respond with a confirmation of GTIN exemption approval or denial within few hours.
It is recommended to start adding your products about 24 hours after having received the confirmation email for GTIN exemption to ensure that the GTIN exemption of your brand is updated in their databases.
Furthermore, after getting the GTIN exemption for your brand, you will not have to apply again when listing new products under the same category of the same brand. However, if you use some other category or brand name, or use different characters, uppercases, or lower cases, then your exemption might not be recognized by Amazon.
Despite being granted the GTIN exemption, you would still need to affix FNSKU (an Amazon-specified barcode) to each product.
Amazon offers paid FNSKU labeling to your products. However, you can also print and label your products yourself.
Although UPCs are important, they are not mandatory for all products to be sold. One can list their products on Amazon even without having UPCs for them.
Amazon has a GTIN exemption policy for brands having no barcodes on their products. However, it approves the exemption in limited circumstances.
If you are not a registered company or are selling generic products or bundles of products, you might be eligible for GTIN exemption. Try your luck!