As the number of products available on the Amazon marketplace increases, it's not a miracle that Amazon also seeks to improve quality.

With the changes in Amazon’s Product ID regulations, new product listings are required to provide unique product identifiers, known as a GTIN (Global Trade Item Number).

Let me take a wild shot, you are caught up in GTIN as well?

Don’t worry you are not alone. We’ll help you through the process of getting an exemption on your products.

What is GTIN?

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GTIN, or Global Trade Item Number, is a product identification system that is internationally recognized. To ensure that they all adhere to a common structure, it brought together several systems, helping barcode readers in-store as well as product databases online. The system has been developed by the non-profit organization GS1.

GTINs may be as long as 8, 12, 13 or 14 digits. It is a numerical representation of the barcode of the product. Depending on where the product comes from in the world and the type of product, there are different types of GTINs.

  • ISBN - International Standard Book Number
  • UPC - Universal Product Code
  • EAN - European Article Number
  • JAN - Japanese Article Number

All GTINs have a similar structure, irrespective of the number of digits. The structure is a prefix for the company, an item reference, and a digit check. An additional packaging level indicator is available in GTIN-14 to indicate whether the product is an item or a case.

When should I use GTINs vs UPCs?

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As the name implies, UPC coding is universal because, for a certain product, each retailer and marketplace would use the same code. This is the code in barcodes that helps stores keep track of sales.

A GTIN is a number that identifies the product itself, and the U.P.C. is the barcode that allows a barcode reader to scan the GTIN, such as those at a physical store's checkout counter or online retailer's distribution center. GTINs are typically used on their own in online retail, database, and electronic transactions, such as Amazon.

How do Product Identifiers Work?

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Product identifiers are basically sequences of alphanumeric characters that are used to uniquely distinguish one product from another.

Business giants like Amazon, Google and others are now giving their sellers products ID’s, to identify their products as part of their holistic product database.

There are several kinds of product identifiers, such as brand name, GTIN, EAN and so on.

Do I Need A Product ID?

While there are a number of advantages to using unique product identifiers, perhaps the key thing to keep in mind is that as a seller you are required to provide this information when selling on Amazon.

Why does Amazon Need GTIN Numbers?

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Imagine what it would be like if an online retail marketplace such as Amazon starts selling products without product IDs.

Let us paint a picture for you: Sellers will start selling copyright and patented products without product numbers to uniquely identify them.

It’s incredibly likely that people will exploit the system, as now there will be no way to distinguish between products and their sellers or origins.

Furthermore, the use of product identification helps you to increase the visibility of listing, rank higher on search engines and cross-promote your listings alongside relevant products.

Am I Eligible For Amazon GTIN Exemption?

The first thing you need to know is where to start, and how to proceed with familiarising yourself with GTIN numbers.

You might be wondering if you are eligible for an Amazon GTIN Exemption. Afraid that you’ll be hounded by a near infinite list of conditions and stringent criteria? You don’t have to worry about a thing!

The eligibility criteria for an Amazon GTIN Exemption is actually very simple. Here’s a thorough description.

  1. You are selling parts of an unfinished product (such as automobile parts) which don’t have GTIN.

  2. You are selling a product that is actually a bunch of products bundled together (in this case, GTIN does not apply).

  3. You do not have barcodes on your products (as a manufacturer, creator, owner or publisher).

  4. The owner, creator, manufacturer or publisher of the goods you are selling does not have barcodes on their products (one example of this may be hand-made/hand-crafted products).

Hopefully, by now you have a clear idea of the specific situations where you are eligible to be exempted from GTIN. We’re glad to help you in this regard, because we realize that the concept of GTIN may initially intimidate sellers.

What Do I Need to Apply for Amazon GTIN Exemption?

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Here, we’ll look at the things you need before you can apply for an Amazon GTIN Exemption.

When you contact Amazon Seller Support, these are the things you’ll be required to provide:

  1. Brand name.
  2. Image URL
  3. Manufacturer name
  4. SKU
  5. Category name
  6. Proof
  7. Product Description:
  8. Product name.
  9. Screenshot of the exact error that you are receiving.
  10. EAN/UPC/JAN

When you decide to apply for a GTIN Exemption, make sure that you have these things listed with you, to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly.

How to Apply For Amazon GTIN Exemption?

  1. When you get to the Amazon page, go to the GTIN Exemption Application Page.

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  1. Once you are on the page, click the select button.

  2. Next, from the product category list, choose the category that your product belongs to.

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  1. Type your brand name in the space provided. If you don’t have a brand name, enter “Generic”, keeping in mind that it is case-sensitive.

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  1. You can apply for 10 exemptions at once, under the same or different categories.

  2. If you are done with the steps mentioned above, press “Check for Eligibility”. If your brand is eligible for an exemption, a check mark will appear in the Status column.

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  1. If your product is ineligible, you can not proceed. However, if you are eligible, press “Continue to submit proof”.

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  1. You can upload a support letter from the owner/publisher/manufacturer.

  2. In the event that you don’t have a letter, just type in your product name and upload your photos. Once you’re done, click on “Submit Request”.

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These are all the steps that you need to fulfill in order to submit a request for an exemption for your products. Sounds simple? Great! Then get started, and jump right into the world of Amazon GTIN numbers!

Wrapping It Up

By now, we’re sure you have a clear idea of what Amazon GTIN numbers are.

We’ve also looked at how product identifiers work, why Amazon needs these GTIN numbers and how they are used.

Furthermore, we looked at what a GTIN Exemption is, all the specifics of what you need before applying for an exemption, the eligibility criteria for applying for an extension, the circumstances where you could really need an extension and so on.

Lastly, we looked at a step-by-step procedure to apply for a GTIN Exemption.

We’re confident that you now have a good picture of what you’re dealing with, and we’re very happy we helped!

If you have any questions/concerns, please tell us, and our team will be more than happy to follow up with you!


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