5 min read

How To Update Universal Product Codes or UPC on Amazon

Written by
Vanessa Hung
February 6, 2024

Struggling with updating your Universal Product Codes (UPC) on Amazon can hold your product catalog back. Well-managed UPC codes are vital for your products to be easily found by customers. Did you know that accurate UPC codes significantly improve your products' visibility in searches?

When your UPC codes are up-to-date, your products show up correctly when customers search for them. This boosts your products' chances of appearing higher in search results, making them more accessible. Additionally, accurate UPC codes prevent confusion for customers, help you follow Amazon's rules, and enable smooth management of different product variations. In a nutshell, maintaining accurate UPC codes is like keeping the key to better product visibility and customer satisfaction on Amazon's platform.

This article will guide you through an efficient process for updating these critical identifiers, leading directly to improved results.

Ready to optimize your Amazon catalog? Let’s dive in!

What Is UPC or Universal Product Codes?

UPC codes are special barcodes. They show up on things you buy in stores or online and they hold key info about that item. A UPC code can tell where a product comes from, who makes it, and its price.

When you sell items on Amazon, each one must have its own UPC code. You need to get these codes from the GS1 US website and pay a small fee every year to keep them. These codes help track your items and make sure they are listed right on Amazon.

Why Are UPC Codes Important for Catalog Performance on Amazon?

UPC codes are important for catalog performance on Amazon because they help improve your product's searchability and visibility. When you update the UPC codes of your products, it allows Amazon to accurately track and identify them.

This makes it easier for customers to find your products when they search on Amazon. By having accurate and up-to-date UPC codes, you can enhance your catalog performance and increase your chances of making more sales.

How Do UPC Codes Impact Searchability and Product Visibility on Amazon?

When you update the UPC codes of your products, it helps Amazon's search algorithm accurately identify your listings.

This means that when customers search for a specific product using keywords or phrases, your updated UPC codes increase the chances of your products appearing in relevant search results. With accurate and up-to-date UPC codes, Amazon can properly categorize and organize your listings within their extensive product database.

How To Buy and Use UPC Codes for Amazon

To improve your catalog performance on Amazon, it's important to update your UPC codes. Here's how you can buy and use UPC codes:

  1. Apply for and purchase UPC codes from the GS1 US website. This is the most reliable approach and ensures accurate tracking of your products.
  2. Pay the annual renewal fee charged by GS1 to keep your UPC codes active.
  3. Once you have the UPC codes, list your products on Amazon and start selling.
  4. Remember to convert Amazon ASINs to UPC codes and understand how Amazon SKUs work to effectively manage your catalog.
  5. If you encounter any issues with a UPC code, open a written case with Seller or Vendor support and follow up with a call for quick resolution.
  6. Consider seeking assistance from services like Amazon Brand Services for guidance on UPC code changes and purchasing reliable UPC codes suitable for Amazon.

Steps To Update UPC Codes on Existing Listings

To update UPC codes on your existing listings, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Amazon seller account.
  2. Go to the "Manage Inventory" page.
  3. Find the product with the UPC code you want to update.
  4. Click on the product's title or its SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) number.
  5. On the product details page, click on the "Edit" button next to "Product ID."
  6. Select the option to change or update the UPC code.
  7. Enter the new UPC code in the provided field.
  8. Save and submit your changes.

Best Practices for Updating UPC Codes on Amazon

Updating UPC codes on Amazon is a crucial task for any seller looking to maintain a successful presence on the platform. Here are some best practices to follow:

  1. Check the Accuracy of Your UPC Codes: Before making any updates, verify the accuracy of your UPC codes. Make sure they match the product you're selling. Incorrect UPC codes can lead to listing issues and potential account suspensions.
  2. Use GS1-Certified UPCs: Amazon strongly recommends using GS1-certified UPCs, as they are considered the most reliable and globally recognized. Avoid purchasing UPCs from third-party sources, as they may not be valid or unique.
  3. Plan Your Updates Carefully: Coordinate your UPC code updates with your inventory management and listing optimization efforts. Plan to update codes during periods of lower sales or when restocking inventory.
  4. Update Listings One by One: Don't rush the process. Update UPC codes one listing at a time to minimize errors. Amazon's bulk update tools can be useful but require caution to avoid mistakes.
  5. Monitor Your Inventory: Keep a close eye on your inventory levels and sales after updating UPCs. Ensure that your new listings are working correctly and that there are no unexpected issues.
  6. Communicate Changes to Customers: If you've made updates to UPC codes that may affect your existing customers, communicate these changes clearly in your product listings and consider reaching out to previous buyers to inform them of the changes.
  7. Maintain Documentation: Keep records of UPC code changes and the reasons behind them. This documentation can be valuable if you ever need to address issues with Amazon Seller Support.
  8. Stay Informed: Amazon's policies and requirements can change. Stay informed about any updates related to UPC codes and adapt your practices accordingly.

By following these best practices, you'll not only ensure compliance with Amazon's guidelines but also set your business up for success by optimizing your catalog for increased visibility and improved customer trust.

Conclusion: Updated UPC Codes Lead to More Efficient Listings

Updating UPC codes on Amazon is not just a matter of compliance; it's a strategic move to optimize your catalog and enhance your brand's visibility. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your products are accurately listed, easily discoverable, and compliant with Amazon's guidelines. This proactive approach not only reduces the risk of listing errors and suspensions but also paves the way for increased sales and customer trust.

So, take the time to review and update your UPC codes, and watch your Amazon business thrive in the competitive e-commerce landscape. Happy selling!

Frequently Asked Questions on Updating UPC on Amazon

1. Can I reuse a UPC code from a discontinued product for a new product on Amazon?

No, you should not reuse UPC codes from discontinued products. Each UPC code is meant to identify a unique product, and reusing them can cause product listing errors and confusion for customers.

2. How often do I need to update my UPC codes on Amazon?

You need to update your UPC codes whenever there is a change to the product that would necessitate a new identifier, such as a change in package size or product reformulation.

3. What happens if I use an incorrect UPC code for my product on Amazon?

Using an incorrect UPC code can lead to listing errors, customer confusion, and potential suspension of your product or seller account on Amazon due to non-compliance with their policies.

4. How do I resolve an issue with my product's UPC code not being recognized by Amazon's system?

If Amazon's system does not recognize your UPC code, confirm the code's accuracy and that it's GS1 certified. If correct, contact Amazon Seller Support for assistance.

5. Is it necessary to have a UPC code for every color or size variation of a product on Amazon?

Yes, Amazon requires a unique UPC code for each product variation, including different colors, sizes, or other distinguishing attributes to ensure accurate tracking and listing.

6. Can I use UPC codes purchased from a reseller for listing my products on Amazon?

Amazon recommends using GS1-certified UPC codes. Using codes from a reseller can risk duplicate or invalid codes, potentially leading to listing issues and account suspension.

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