eBay’s New Product Identifiers – A Change in the Right Direction

eBay sellers know that eBay introduced several changes recently to improve user shopping experience. Now they have announced to introduce Product Identifiers. Some sellers complain that eBay’ changes mostly favor buyers and make things more difficult for sellers. However, with this change, sellers need not to worry. The product Identifiers will help seller increase their sales and hence earn more money from their eBay business.

Product identifiers include brand name, manufacturer part number (MPN) and global trading item numbers (GTINs). The global trade item numbers (GTINs) include:
•    Universal Product Codes (UPCs)
•    International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs)
•    European Article Numbers (EANs)

Not all products comes with identifiers. However, most branded products should have identifiers.

What Does Product Identifiers Do?

As the name suggests these are codes, which identify a particular product. Once a product has an identifier, it is a lot easier for buyers to locate or identify the product.

Apart from making it easier for the buyers to find items, product identifiers also help them rank higher in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. Additionally, items with product identifiers may also get improved and higher ranking in eBay’s own search results.

When is it a requirement?

eBay announced that Product Identifiers would be compulsory from 29th June for all branded items in the following categories.
•    Business and Industrial
•    Books
•    Baby
•    Consumer Electronics
•    Cameras & Photo
•    Computers & Tablets
•    Clothing & Shoes
•    Cell Phones and Accessories
•    DVDs & Movies
•    eBay Motors
•    Health & Beauty
•    Home & Garden (Tools and Appliances)
•    Music
•    Musical Instruments & Gear
•    Pet Supplies
•    Sporting Goods
•    Toys and Hobbies
•    Video Games & Consoles

So, if you sell branded items in any of the above categories, you must include product identifiers. These also include refurbished items. Old, vintage or one off items are excluded.

The 29th June is for new listings. For existing listings you must include identifiers by September, 1.

If you are selling unbranded items, you do not have to add product identifiers.

How to Find Items’ Unique Product Identifiers?

Most people are confused and worried about the complications in finding the product identifiers. To be honest, this is pretty simple and there is no need to worry about. Most branded items should have these identifiers on the packaging.

I will show you how to identify the GTINs and other identifiers.

UPCUniversal Product Code

UPC stands for unique product code and can be found just below the barcode. You may find it either on the item itself or on the packaging. Most UPCs will come with the same digit in the beginning and the end and with 10 digits in between. So, there are total 12 digits in a UPC.

The following image shows where the EPC is located.

 

EAN
EAN
EAN stands for European Article Number and this is a 13-digit number. This is also located under the barcode. The difference between the UPC and EAN is the number of digits: the former 12 digits while the latter is a 13-digit number.

 

ISBN

It stands for International Standard Book Number. You can find ISBN on the top of the barcode. The first few pages or the back cover of the book also bears the ISBN.
ISBNs

How to Fill in the Identifiers in to Your Listing

It is pretty simple. Once you have identified the UPC, MPN, EAN, ISBN or GTINs on your item, the rest is easy.

When you are on the item listing page, go to the item specific section. Enter the UPC , Brand and MPN in their respective boxes. The following screenshot illustrates the point.

how to enter product identifiers on ebay

If you have existing listings, you can add the product identifiers using the drop down menu found in the eBay’s bulk editing tool.

eBay's bulk editor

You can also find your product in eBay’s product catalogue and then list them item with all the information pre-filled in the item specific. Make sure that you select only the exact match from the catalogue. If you do not select the exact match from eBay’s product catalogue, you will be violating eBay’s TOS which may result in suspension of your listing.

Another way to find the information pre filled is to search for the item in eBay’s listing and then select the link sell yourself. Once you click on the sell yourself link, all the item specifics will be prefilled for you.

Summary

Ok, here you go. The introduction of product identifiers is a positive change. It helps the buyer to find the item easily. It helps your item rank higher in eBay search results. It also boosts eBay’s ranking for the item in the major search engines. Higher ranking means more traffic, which means more sales and hence more profit.

If you have not already started implementing the changes, you should start. It is compulsory for new listings from June 29 and for all existing listing from September 1.

It is worth noting that these changes apply only to branded items which includes refurbished items. You do not have to include product identifiers for old, vintage and one off listings.

And if you are selling unbranded item, you do not need to worry about these changes. All unbranded items are exempt.

Do you have a comment or feedback, please participate in the discussion by leaving your comment below.

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I am KK an eBay and Amazon expert, teacher and internet marketer. I offer advice on e-commerce, content marketing and guest posting.

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