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Understanding Amazon’s ASIN Codes

What ASINs Are and Why You’ll Need Them to Sell Your Product on Amazon

Guide to Amazon ASIN Codes

With its seemingly endless catalog of products, it’s no surprise that Amazon has its own coding system to identify distinct items. Much like publishing’s ISBN system for labeling books, Amazon uses Amazon Standard Identification Numbers, or ASINs. Searchable and unique to a specific product, shoppers can use ASINs to simplify search and avoid sifting through thousands of postings for the same item. Plus, they streamline the shipping process and help buyers get their orders as quickly as possible. If you’re looking to sell your products via Amazon, you’ll need an ASIN. Read on to learn how to get one and why they’re different from other identification codes your products might have.

What Is an ASIN and How Can I Get One?

The Amazon ASIN contains 10 alphanumeric digits and is generated for each new product uploaded to Amazon’s database. There is one exception: Because International Standard Book Numbers are also 10 digits, books use their existing ISBNs instead of receiving a new ASIN to maintain consistency. If you aren’t producing books, you’ll need an ASIN before you can sell your products on Amazon.

Much like UPC codes, only one ASIN should exist for an individual product. That is, if you’re selling something that someone else sells too, both of your products will use the same ASIN. In contrast, if you’re selling something unique, you’ll need a new ASIN. Thankfully, Amazon makes this easy – once you add a product to their system, they’ll automatically create an ASIN for it. Then you can start selling!

ASINs versus GTINs

While the ASIN is a non-negotiable part of selling on Amazon, it’s may not be the only code you’ll need. Many products also need a GTIN, or Global Trade Item Number. This code category includes UPCs, ISBNs, European Article Numbers (EAN), and Japanese Article Numbers (JAN). Which one is required is dependent on product category. The few exceptions to this includes collectibles, such as stamps or coins.

You can also request a GTIN exemption, which is generally available for private-label or handmade products. If the product doesn’t use a barcode, it may be possible to avoid setting one up. However, if you’re looking to expand your distribution beyond Amazon, a UPC code will almost certainly be required.

If you don’t qualify for an exemption, you’ll need your GTIN when you create your product and ASIN. If your GTIN matches an existing product, Amazon can then pull the corresponding ASIN to avoid duplication.


Ready to start selling your products on Amazon? We can help. From creating custom labels that grab attention online to making your packaging and coding more efficient and cost-effective, we’re here to support your business. To learn more, contact us today at (904) 263-2804 or schedule a free 30-minute consultation.


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