How to Understand and Use Amazon ASIN Product Numbers
Amazon’s third-party sellers make up more than 50% of their eCommerce platform. It is also common knowledge that Amazon holds the majority of the world’s eCommerce sales. With the massive number of products sold, Amazon needs an effective sorting method. That’s why they created Amazon ASINs.
In this article, we’ll provide the ultimate guide for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Amazon ASINs.
- When Do I Need To Create A New ASIN?
- Amazon’s ASIN Creation Policy – Remaining Compliant
- Amazon’s Policy on Duplicate ASINs
- What is an Amazon ASIN Reverse Lookup Tool?
- What Is An Amazon ASIN Generator?
- Fixing Common Amazon ASIN Upload Errors
- Amazon Books – ISBN vs. ASIN – What Should I Use?
- The Benefits of Amazon ASINs
- Amazon ASIN FAQs
When Do I Need To Create A New ASIN?
The only time you will need to create a new ASIN is when there is no existing product identifier in the system. When using the Amazon “Add A Product Tool,” you’ll be able to search for the product using the product’s title or description.
If you do not find a matching product, you can choose to create an ASIN. Unless your product is entirely new to Amazon, you do not need to create a new ASIN.
When Should I Use An Existing ASIN?
Existing identifiers are for products that are already on Amazon. After using the “Add A Product Tool” to get some results, you can select the associated product that matches what you are selling.
If the product is not exact, you won’t use the same ASIN for parent products. Parent products refer to the “base version” of any product you select.
For example, if you sell a white t-shirt but want to select a series of colors and sizes for variations, you will create (or apply) multiple child products. Child ASINs have particular rules we will discuss in the creation policy section.
Do You Have To Create Separate ASINs for Different Product Variations?
Yes, each product has different ASINs, even if they have a child/parent relationship. Each ASIN is a product variation but falls under a single “parent ASIN,” which collects the entire group.
Even your first submitted item immediately creates two ASINs to indicate the general category of new t-shirt and new color.
Other acceptable variations include different colors and monitor sizes, different design variations on cell phone accessories, and different attachments with vacuum cleaners.
Check out our webinar Q&A if you want to take a closer look at good habits with product variations.
How To Find An Amazon ASIN
There are four ways to find an Amazon Standard Identification Number:
- In the URL
- On the product details page
- With receipt data on any Amazon purchase you make
- Located as part of product details on Amazon Seller Central
Finding this data will enable you to capture information about the product listing. This information expands out to use with Rever ASIN Lookup tools that we will talk about later.
Do All Products Require ASINs?
Amazon uses these codes to identify all products on its website. The only exception to this rule is ISBNs, which identify books.
Can Products Share ASINs?
Parent products have a general ASIN that identifies an entire group of products under a code. However, no two products with the same qualities can share these identification codes.
If the two products are slightly different, you can apply for a variation. Those might share parent identifiers but still have two different Amazon Standard Identification Numbers.
Can Sellers Share ASINs?
If you are a private label seller or someone who manufactures unique products, you do not have to share the ASIN with other sellers. When you own your products, nobody else can get in without your approval.
Can You Delete ASINs?
Even when you close your product listing, the ASIN remains. So you cannot delete ASINs, even when you delete the product listing.
You can choose to revive the listing at any time, but if it is a product with new features, you need to create a new listing. Amazon doesn’t allow the revival of old listings, and it will not give you a boost in sales.
Do You Need An Amazon ASIN If You Already Have Other Product Codes?
Those who have alternative product codes (UPC, GTIN, etc.) must get an ASIN. However, not all products need to get a GTIN or UPC.
The Rules on Product Code Exceptions (GTIN & UPC)
A GTIN, or Global Trade Item Number, is a way to identify your product globally. You can apply for GTIN exceptions in these situations:
- You are a reseller, and the brand owner does not have a GTIN (i.e., Selling private label products or handmade products)
- You are the manufacturer or brand owner and do not have barcodes (i.e., private label or handmade)
- You sell parts of other products (automotive), and they do not have individual GTINs
- You sell a bundled pack of multiple products
Most major brands require a Universal Product Code (UPC); your exceptions fall under the same category above. Just because you don’t have a product code doesn’t mean you are not required to track your purchases.
What is the Difference Between Amazon ASINs and SKUs?
As a wholesaler, the Amazon Standard Identification Number counts for the overall stock, with SKUs are for individual stockholders. You will track your inventory count using SKUs, not ASINs.
Amazon’s ASIN Creation Policy – Remaining Compliant
Creating Amazon ASINs as a Brand
As a brand owner or a private label seller, you have exclusive rights to host all of your products on Amazon. The only significant rule for brand owners is that any new ASIN must not duplicate another ASIN.
For example, you might want to “release” a new product when you receive a series of negative reviews. This action is a bannable offense unless you have a significant update.
Ideally, this update is done in response to customer issues, as it is natural to release a new product in response to customer feedback.
How To Add A New Product (ASIN) As A Brand Owner
Under the inventory section on the upper-left, you will see an “Add A New Product” link. Click on that link and follow the on-screen prompts to select the correct product category.
If you are a new seller and your product category is not available, you might have restrictions from these sales. Commonly, restricted products include the following:
- Hair or skincare
- Animal-related products
Once you pass by this section, the next will be a series of text boxes you can use to insert details about this product. These include alternative product codes like UPCs and GTINs (see below for more information).
From here, you will want to add all of the details you can. Do not skimp on the variations. From this listing, you will be able to build child and parent ASINs quickly.
You will also want to have all of your images. For the ultimate guide on making sure all of your photos are ready, check out this article.
Once you fill all the information out and finalize your product details, you are done. Amazon will automatically generate a brand new ASIN for you. You will be able to see this on your product details page, your URL, and a barcode (assuming you plan on ordering your product).
You will also see automatically generated ASINs for each variation. Knowing this enables you to break your data down to see which colors or sizes receive the most attention.
When selling clothing, you can target these variations specifically using our product Amazon ASIN Tracker. This tool uses data pulled from your Amazon product listings and can help you track different ASINs to see what works best.
To do any of this, becoming a member of the Amazon Brand Registry can help.
Becoming A Member of the Amazon Brand Registry
Becoming a member of the registry enables you, as the brand owner, to take advantage of Amazon’s features. It also makes it easier for you to create listings related to your brand to establish new Amazon Standard Identification Numbers.
To qualify for the Amazon Brand Registry, you need to meet these requirements:
- You need to have an active (or pending) trademark application filed through local trademark offices. You can also have a trademark application through Amazon IP Accelerator.
- The trademark must be a text-based mark or image-based mark with words, letters, or numbers.
- Trademarks must be within approved countries.
- Your trademarks must appear on your products or packaging
Ideally, you have a brand either through the IP Accelerator (which gives Amazon easy access) or through an approved third-party entity. Those entities include the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Otherwise, approved countries are listed below:
- United States
- Saudi Arabia
- United Kingdom
- The European Union
- The United Arab Emirates
You can also take a look at this article to learn more about the Amazon Brand Registry.
Can You Create An ASIN Without Being The Brand Owner (or As An Individual Seller)?
Non-brand owners cannot create new ASINs for brands currently enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry. However, Amazon might help you out if you still wish to request the ASIN be added.
If there is already an existing ASIN under the brand owner, Amazon will allow you to add your inventory to the product listing. This admittance will cause you to compete for the buy box on that listing.
If you insist on trying to list the product despite being the brand owner, you will need to provide Selling Partner Support (Amazon’s customer support team) with this information:
- Variations (color, size, etc.)
- Brand information
- Product category
- A product identifier code (GTIN, UPC, EAN, JAN, ISBN, etc.)
- Image of the front and back of the product (including bar code, brand name, packaging, and open package images)
- The batch ID of the inventory process (for bulk uploads of inventory information)
Much of this information is something you can find on the receipts or product invoices. You might also find it on your chosen company’s website. It is also possibly available after looking at your account order history or speaking with a customer service representative from the company.
We will address specific error codes to look out for if you cannot get a new ASIN.
How To List Products With A GTIN Exception
f your product doesn’t require a GTIN (see above), you must apply for an exception. You can start by checking the guidelines on Amazon Seller Central to get started. Make sure to have you will need to have the following items handy before you begin.
- The name of your product
- Multiple images (minimum of two) showing all sides of your product and packages
- The brand name of the product matches what you will select in later sections.
- Pictures of products and packaging placed on a table or in your hand
- Branding must be permanently affixed (molded into the plastic, etched, etc.)
- There should be no GS1 approved barcode (see below)
Once you have all of the above items checked, follow this process to go through the exemption:
- Using the link above, select a relevant product category from the exemption list.
- Choose the brand of the product.
- You can add multiple brands by clicking the “Add More Brands” button on the same screen and the “Add More Categories” to add multiple categories.
- The next screen will check your eligibility status to see if you are eligible for an exemption with the above categories and brands selected.
- Click the “Continue” button.
- Upload required images on the “Provide Proof” screen.
- Click “Submit Request”
The response time typically takes around two days (48 hours). You should still wait 30 minutes after the approval before adding your product to allow the system to catch up.
If you perform batch product uploads using product templates, leave the product ID and ID type areas blank. You can apply for multiple GTINs with each new brand.
To add products via bulk upload, you need to be a Professional Amazon Seller. You can download inventory templates direct from Amazon.
What Is The ASIN Creation Limit?
With the creation of new ASINs, there are potential limitations you can run into as a new seller. Amazon might choose to limit you to five or twenty, depending on different factors.
Amazon does this to ensure you can test out the platform before giving you total access. Regardless of how much experience you have as a seller, Amazon doesn’t know you.
Members of the Amazon Brand Registry are more likely to have fewer restrictions but still run the risk. To overcome the ASIN creation limit, prove yourself as a competent seller over a long-term period.
Amazon’s Bundling Policy – Selling Sets vs. Selling Bundles (ASIN Tips)
A set is an entirely new product listing that includes multiple products. While you might sell them individually, you believe there is some reason to sell them together as a packaged deal.
Mainly, this comes from the potential profit you can gain over forcing the bundle (opposed to having an optional bundle with two complimentary listings).
With any new listing comes the need for a new ASIN and barcode. This process means you will need to ensure that any former barcodes are covered not to mislabel the set of products.
Keeping the old barcodes enables you (and the customer) to track individual products, so you should not remove them. However, any exposure to this barcode (especially as an FBA seller) will cause significant confusion.
Amazon’s Policy on Duplicate ASINs
Creating multiple ASINs for similar products is one way to have your account removed from Amazon. To overcome this, it’s best to be diligent when checking for existing ASINs.
As a wholesaler, search for variants of your product title. You can also search for your product using the existing product codes found on the side of your chosen product.
Common reasons duplicates exist include the following:
- Incorrect use of existing product codes such as transposing numbers (UPCs, EANs, GTINs, etc.)
- Use of different product codes across multiple marketplaces despite having no differences between each product (Shopify, Walmart, Big Cartel, etc.)
- Usage of multiple key attributes as an Amazon Brand Registry Member (numerous attribute values to the same product result in multiple ASINs for the same effect)
- Applying for a GTIN exception when you do not need one
It would be best if you double-checked company policy to avoid these problems. The most common cases involve transposed numbers, so be extra careful when putting them in as a new listing.
How To Merge Duplicate ASINs
Any ASIN Amazon identifies as a copy will be added to the “Potential Duplicates” page. Amazon will also suppress any listing, so prospective buyers won’t be able to see your product.
To merge products, use the Merge Duplicate Product Pages Self-Service Tool. The form (seen above) enables you to explain the reason for your merging. Leave this to something like “same item,” you don’t want to overcomplicate the matter.
Be sure you have these available:
- All ASINs involved
- A reason for the merging
- Your email
- (optional) your phone number
- Any other useful information
Once you finish this form, Amazon will take care of the process for you within a few days. It’s best to provide as much evidence as possible, as having a suspended listing can impact your sales heavily.
Often, suspended listings lead to significant drops in sales ranks.
Handling Split Variations On Amazon
But when you create a new listing for a variation of an Amazon product, how do you handle it? Thankfully, there is a way that doesn’t involve contacting tech support. However, it is not the same as the Merge Duplicate Product Pages process.
To do so, you’ll need to be sure you have the SKUs and ASINs of each product you want to merge into one of your parent ASINs. You’ll want to go to the variations tab of your product listing from within Seller central from this data.
Clicking on “add variations” will provide you with a screen where you need to provide this data:
- Type of variation (color, size, etc.)
- Product ID type (ASIN, UPC, etc.)
- Product condition
- Product quantity
These steps will take the images from the current listing and all other factors and move them to be a child under the parent listing. This process prevents you from deleting the old listing, just pushing it under another listing.
If you have different variations (one focuses on size and color while the other focuses on included attachments), you will need to contact Selling Partner Support for additional help.
What is an Amazon ASIN Reverse Lookup Tool?
ASINs are Amazon’s method of simple communication of product details. With this in mind, ASIN Grabbers (Also Called Reverse ASIN Lookup Tools) can take those details and provide you with excellent information.
An ASIN allows customers to confirm details like pricing, manufacturing location, and shipping details for customer-facing people. For Amazon sellers, it enables you to gain insights into a competitor’s product listing.
Our high-powered Amazon Keyword Research tool includes a Reverse ASIN Lookup feature. This feature allows you to see your competitor’s keywords and how they rank for those keywords.
How To Use DataHawk’s Reverse ASIN Lookup Tools
The image above shows us an example of how our keyword research tool can help you out. Our company allows you to see the number of keywords this product is ranking for and keyword suggestions that they could be ranking for.
To follow this process, you first need to snag the ASIN from your competitor’s page. From our images above, you can do this by looking at the product detail’s page or through the URL.
Once you have your target ASINs, you can paste them into your “Create Project” popup.
The popup will enable you to list all ASINs and variations. Our system is built to save you time, allowing you to post all variations with a single copied ASIN.
Next, you will want to click on your created project and choose the keyword tab.
This section will enable you to see all currently tracked keywords. The products tab will allow you to see specific keywords for each product and suggested keywords as well.
This keyword data comes from three sections under Keyword Ranks, Keywords Lookup, and Keyword Generator. This data entirely comes from the ASIN you took from your competitor’s page.
For a full review of the keyword tool, check out this guide to Amazon Keyword Rank Tracking. Otherwise, contact our team of specialists to see how your product listing can rank for thousands of keywords.
What Is An Amazon ASIN Generator?
There is no such thing as getting a “preferred ASIN.” Having one set of numbers over another won’t improve your ranking at all. So while ASINs are great at identifying product details, you don’t need a free Amazon ASIN Generator.
For additional tools that complement ASINs, stick to the Reverse ASIN Lookup Tool created by our team. The tool is great for a combination of product research and potential keywords.
Fixing Common Amazon ASIN Upload Errors
Uploading ASINs can lead to some potential error codes. Here is a list of those codes and what you can do to work around them.
Error Code 5461 – You Cannot Create New ASINs For This Brand
This error message comes from denial to create new offers on a product. Likely, you’ve received this because Amazon has identified another product with exact features.
If you believe that this product is not listed, Amazon requests you to contact Selling Partner Support and inform them of Error 5461.
You will need to provide them with the following information about the product:
- Product title (including all variations)
- Brand name
- Product category
- Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)
- Original GS-1 Approved Code (UPC, GTIN, EAN, or JAN)
- Batch ID (if you are uploading using inventory files)
- Detailed images of the front/back of the product
The idea is to upload a specific product, so the images must show how it differs from a similar ASIN. Having detailed records of all product changes will also help your case.
The remaining error codes are related to a violation of Amazon’s Brand Name Policy.
Error Code 5661 – You May Be Misusing The Brand Field
Error 5661 is a violation of Amazon’s Brand Name Policy. It is specifically a belief in your misuse of a brand name.
For example, if you sell cookies and your business is “Tim’s Cookies,” including the word “delicious” in the middle is not correct.
This error code comes from a typo or misunderstanding. To correct the issue, contact Seller Support with the following information:
- The correct brand name
- Images showing the branding on the packaging and product
- The batch ID of your inventory file templates (if doing batch inventory uploads)
If there is a logo error in the manufacturing process, you’ll want to speak to your manufacturer.
Error Code 5664 – You May Be Listing A Generic Product And Not Using “Generic” As The Brand Name
Generic products are those without any branding. While it might be for use with a brand, it is not a part of its offering.
Error 5664 typically comes from people labeling their products with third-party brands. For example, if you sell chargers that support iPhones, you cannot use iPhone as the brand.
If there were no branding on it, it would be considered Generic. You would have the prior error (5661) if you applied the wrong brand.
To fix this, you will need the same three things mentioned above: The brand name (or lack of one) when creating the listing, images of your product and packaging, and inventory file templates (optional).
Error Code 5665 – You Need Brand Approval From Amazon
If you start buying merchandise, creating listings, and shipping products too early, Amazon has no problem telling you to slow down. While you can be sure everything is ready for your application, you don’t want to be too early.
As the world’s largest customer-centric company, Amazon has several reasons to deny brand applications. If your manufacturer sends you an unapproved brand, you might end up with worthless stock.
Again, have your brand name, images, and batch ID ready for Amazon to reactivate your listing. You can find more error codes on Amazon’s Seller Central Help.
The Amazon Match Only Error
The Amazon “Match Only” error refers to when you attempt to add your product to a listing, and it fails. This situation is typically due to the product not being exact to the product listing you have chosen.
To avoid getting this error, double-check all the features of your product to be sure everything matches. You can also be incredibly discerning by using the model number or UPC.
Manufacturing data is typically found inside of the product. Using those can allow you to find any matching content on Amazon’s engine.
Amazon Books – ISBN vs. ASIN – What Should I Use?
The image above is from “The Keeper of Happy Endings,” a popular book on Amazon by Barbara Davis. As you can see, the book has an ASIN but is also required to have an ISBN.
When it comes to tracking books, what should you use? Typically, you will want to prefer using Amazon’s platform for tracking, keyword research, and everything else.
The same applies when selling book sets. When sets contain multiple books, each book has a unique ISBN. You will want to cover these when selling a group to avoid barcode confusion.
What’s the Difference Between ISBNs and Other Tracking Codes?
ISBNs are not known to be effective for tracking location. Typically, you can use ISBNs to track edition, price, author, and other book details.
With this in mind, you will likely want to acquire a GTIN or UPC if you plan on selling the books through alternative methods. This application can make your shipping practices more flexible.
If you don’t plan on shipping your book outside of Amazon, you can stick with ASINs.
What If I Sell Through Kindle Direct Publishing?
Kindle Direct Publishing is virtually similar to self-publishing a book. However, KDP will acquire both an ASIN and ISBN on your behalf.
With this, Amazon only supports your effort to sell on their platform. The company also will handle royalties and everything else, meaning you will only receive a fraction of your sales.
You can choose to publish using a third-party individual as well. Many publishing companies will handle the resale and shipment on your behalf.
Are There Some ISBN Exceptions For Books?
Amazon does offer an exception to some books regarding ISBNs; however, those exceptions are typically limited. All books that you want to have any number of sales on require an ISBN.
Smaller, self-published books are the only exception. So if you only plan on selling a small number of units on Amazon and handing the rest out locally, you might not need any tracking method.
However, you’ll find it challenging to track sales and share details without some identifier. Amazon might request you get an ISBN before listing any books online.
How Do You Get an ISBN? (Outside of KDP)
The ISBN official website by Bowker is the quickest way you can acquire an ISBN online. The process of obtaining an ISBN involves an online purchase.
Your product also needs to be eligible for ISBN registration. Here are the example items that you can register:
- Audiobooks (including digital or CDs)
- Brochures and pamphlets
- Coloring books
- Graphic novels (not comic books)
- Instructional or educational DVDs
- Historical documents
- Loose-leaf volumes
- Puzzle books
Once your application for ISBN is finished, Amazon will be able to fill in most of your product details using it. You will still be assigned an ASIN for tracking purposes.
The Benefits of Amazon ASINs
Here are some additional benefits on why Amazon continues to support ASINs:
#1: Amazon Can Better Track Its Shipping and Inventory
Having an internal tracking method enables Amazon to keep better track of what goes on. Relying on anything that other organizations provide will not priorities your needs for proper inventory management and shipping.
An internal code enables Amazon to address those concerns without contacting an outside entity. Any inventory management or shipping issue is entirely up to Amazon’s powerful logistics abilities.
#2: It Enables Additional Data Resources (i.e., Keyword Research)
Keyword grabbers and reverse ASIN lookup tools enable third-party sellers to be more competitive. This data allows all sorts of sellers to find the right target and make more sales.
Keyword research is now an essential part of the Amazon system. Without ASINs, creating these tools would have been much more difficult.
#3: It Gives You Better Brand Protection
Brand protection enables you to deny entry to other third-party sellers who claim to have a similar product. It gives you great control over who enters your listing as a long-term strategy.
Members of the Amazon Brand Registry have a unique advantage despite proving their brand in the early days. Amazon brands that create an excellent product and have a good advertisement strategy have more significant potential profit.
Amazon ASIN FAQs
What are UPCs?
UPCs (Universal Product Codes) are used worldwide for tracking retail items. UPC-A, the current standard, uses 12 numeric digits unique to each product.
UPCs include a scannable strip of bars (barcode) above the 12 digits. There are no letters in UPC-A codes.
UPCs come in these variants:
- UPC-B: This variant is specific to the National Drug Code (NDC) and not in everyday use
- UPC-C: It has 12 digits with a check digit (not in regular use)
- UPC-D: It is 12 digits, with the 12th being a check digit (also not in everyday use)
- UPC-E: A six-digit code equivalent UPC-A number that is in more common use where UPC-A codes will not fit
- UPC-2: A two-digit supplement to UPC-A identifying the product as a magazine
- UPC-5: A five-digit supplement to UPC-A that shows a book’s retail price
What are GTINs?
GTINs, or Global Trade Item Number, is part of bar codes to identify a global product. You also see it in use in radio frequency identification.
In North America, UPC is a form of GTIN. UPC-A is GTIN-12 in other parts of the world. If working internationally, other groups include the following:
- GTIN-8: An eight-digit variant known for use outside of North America. It is also known as EAN or UCC-8
- GTIN-13: A 13-digit code outside of North America known as EAN or UCC-13
- GTIN-14: A 14-digit number to identify trade items at various packing types (i.e., shipping container). It is otherwise known as EAN, UCC-14, or ITF-14
What are ISBNs?
The International Standard Book Number is a way to identify books after the 1970s. ISBNs come in two forms:
- ISBN (Pre- December 2006): Before December 2006, ISBNs were ten digits.
- ISBN-13 (1, January 2007 or later): After January 1st, 2007, ISBNs expanded to 13 numbers.
ISBNs identify all forms of publications. They differ from UPC-5s in working more to identify a publication instead of focusing on its retail price.
All ISBNs start with 978 or 979. These identification numbers also contain a check digit (the last digit) that needs to be between one and three.
What are EANs?
EANs are the European equivalent to UPCs.
In 2002, EAN and UCC (The Uniform Product Code Council) merged and changed their name to GS1.
What are JANs?
JANs, or Japanese Article Numbers, are products specific to a Japanese marketplace. Unless you ship items to this country, you aren’t likely dealing with this. JANs have 13 digits and typically come with an associated barcode.
What Is The GS1?
The GS1 is an organization known for the GS1 barcode and creating the current barcode system. This list includes all systems mentioned so far: UCC, EAN, UPC, and GTIN.
You can look up almost any product on the GDSN (The Global Data Synchronisation Network)
Do All The Products Of One Brand Have The Same ASIN?
You can tell the brand of the product by putting in the ASIN. But it will not pull up all of the other brand products.
Even among products that fit the exception, you need a way to track your packages. Amazon provides this, but not all third-party systems do.
For sellers, knowing where to find ASINs enable you to use keyword research tools. Our team at DataHawk can help you understand how to use those tools.
You can also sign up for a 14-day free trial, including a comprehensive software demo from one of our team members.