Top 10 Common Mistakes New Amazon Sellers Make with Barcodes

Navigating the Amazon marketplace can be a thrilling journey for new sellers eager to tap into the vast e-commerce world. However, amidst the excitement and potential for success, many fall into common pitfalls, particularly when it comes to managing barcodes. Barcodes are the unsung heroes of efficient selling and inventory management, but they can also lead to headaches if not handled properly. In this article, we'll explore the top 10 mistakes new Amazon sellers make with barcodes, offering insights and tips to help you avoid these common errors and smooth your path to becoming a successful online merchant. Whether it's misunderstanding UPCs, overlooking labeling requirements, or mishandling barcode registrations, we've got you covered. Let's dive in and get your Amazon journey on the right track!



So, there are several common mistakes new Amazon sellers make with barcodes:


  1. Inventing Your Own Barcode: This is illegal and unwise. Fabricating a UPC or EAN can lead to your products being removed and possibly a ban from selling platforms, not just Amazon. Barcodes are unique, internationally regulated identifiers assigned by GS1, a global standards organization.
  2. Borrowing Another's Barcode: Using another manufacturer's UPC or EAN is not advisable and can lead to complications on Amazon. While it might save time initially, it can result in loss of control over your product listing and potential chaos if the original listing changes.
  3. Incorrect Barcode Format Entry: Mistakes in entering the right barcode format are common among new sellers. Inputting a UPC as an EAN, for example, will result in an invalid error. Ensure you're entering the correct number of digits for the type of barcode you have.
  4. Misentering Barcode Numbers: Entering an incorrect barcode number might not immediately trigger an error but can lead to future issues. Double-check the digits you're entering against the barcode you've legally acquired.
  5. Acquiring Counterfeit Barcodes: It's tempting to save money with cheaper barcode options, but only legitimate sources should be used. Fake barcodes are not only illegal but can also lead to severe legal repercussions.
  6. Listing Major Brands with Your Barcode: Amazon's system will flag and potentially block listings that try to use personal barcodes for major brand items. Always ensure that your product and barcode match and avoid misrepresenting brand ownership.
  7. Incorrect Barcodes for Books & Audiobooks: Books and audiobooks typically require an ISBN. Using a UPC or EAN for these items will not work. Ensure you're using the correct, specialized barcode for literary products.
  8. Brand Registry Challenges: Amazon's Brand Registry has specific requirements for using barcodes, usually needing direct licensing from GS1. Understand the rules and consider exemptions if necessary.
  9. Not Using a Barcode at All: Even digital items need barcodes on Amazon, as they serve as global retail identifiers. Ensure every listing has a valid, unique barcode to facilitate tracking and sales.
  10. Deciding Between Buying or Renting GTINs: Understand the difference between owning barcodes for life and renting them annually from GS1. Depending on your business size and needs, one option may be more advantageous than the other.

As we've explored the top 10 common mistakes new Amazon sellers make with barcodes, it's evident that understanding and managing barcodes is crucial for your success on this competitive platform. From ensuring accuracy in listing to staying updated with Amazon's ever-changing policies, avoiding these pitfalls can significantly enhance your efficiency and credibility as a seller. Remember, every mistake is a learning opportunity, and with the right resources, you can navigate through these challenges seamlessly.

For those looking to simplify their barcode management and ensure compliance with Amazon's requirements, consider The Barcode Registry ( As a dedicated platform for registering and managing your barcodes, The Barcode Registry offers a streamlined solution to protect your products and brand on Amazon. With their services, you can confidently focus on growing your business, knowing that your barcode needs are in professional hands. Avoid common mistakes and give your products the identity and protection they deserve with The Barcode Registry. Join the multitude of successful sellers who have enhanced their Amazon journey by taking control of their barcodes today!

– Erik Quisling

Erik Quisling is the Founder and CEO of Started in 1999, has been featured in both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and has helped more than 100,000 businesses bring their products to market with barcodes.
Top 10 Common Mistakes New Amazon Sellers Make with Barcodes

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