UPC vs SKU (GTIN, Product ID)

UPC vs SKU (GTIN, Product ID)

If you're unsure about distinguishing UPCs from other product characteristics, let me simplify it for you:

When selling a product on platforms like Amazon or eBay, you'll require two key elements:

Product ID, which includes GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) or SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), and UPC (Universal Product Code)

(1) SKUs are for an internal use, for you to identify what product it is.
For example, you made a Batman T-shirt and it's your very first product.
You might want to give the T-shirt - GTIN: BAT-TS-ST1 / SKU: batst101
*Bat (batman) - Ts (T-shirt) - St1 (Style 1)
You're assigning these numbers to your products, you are NOT purchasing any codes for them.
*If you're trying to sell a popular item that's already exist (especially on the same popular listing on Amazon), you need the GTIN or UPC for those particular products in order to sell them. You must be a certified reseller of the item so you can obtain the information from the manufacturer.

(2) You have the SKU ready. Now you need a UPC barcode number for the product to make it 'officially unique' and also 'universal' if you have variants in a single product line.

UPC and SKU represent distinct entities with varying characteristics. While both are numerical codes allocated to products (SKUs usually consist of eight alphanumeric characters, but it's an internal code, so there's no specific or universal form), UPCs, comprising 12 digits, adhere to standardized formats for business purposes. These UPCs offer a universal product description readable by anyone upon scanning.

You can NOT make up your own UPC code with some random number combination, and it will not be identified nor accepted as an official or a certified code.

Here's a simple Q & A:

Q: UPC Codes are not recognized/accepted

A: When incorporating the purchased codes without the correct GTIN/SKU information or attempting to list them on an existing listing, an error message will indicate that the code doesn't correspond to any existing listings in the marketplace. This situation is advantageous because it signifies that the code is entirely new and has never been utilized before!

Create a product ID/GTIN, or a SKU for your new product first, then add the UPC at the end to make the listing 'officially your own'.

GTIN Exemption

Please watch the following video of explaining how to list a product with the GTIN at the first page. You'll use the UPC to protect your listing by putting the codes at the end, so it is useful for those who are trying to sell generic items, but also want to protect the listing.


Hope this help!

Code-4-Less sells these unique certified codes at the lowest prices.
Please keep in mind, we do not provide actual 'graphics' of the codes in order to lower the price even more, as you'll never need one for your Amazon/eBay/eCommerce stores.

More questions?
Feel free to contact us at: code4less.contact@gmail.com

Thank you, and good luck!

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Codes you sent me are 13 digits, supposed to be 12 digits…Ebay and Google NOT accepting them


Hi, I’ve ordered 10 codes. How long does it take for them to arrive?

Bas Horsting

Greetings of the day!
I have a question to ask.
Can I buy your UPC barcodes for UAE hypermarket or they are only for USA users

Thank you


I want to sell custom headlights for car LS430 car what UPC code should I use ?


Hi, I want to add / sell a product in Amazon UAE imported from china. My product is MagSafe clear case for iPhone 11 & 12 & 13 series models ( around 8 models) . Now my question is I want to buy 8 upc barcodes or just one upc barcodes or it depends upon number of products that I’m listing in Amazon. I hope it clear to you . Kindly guide me this regards.

Mansoor Ali Khan Syed Issak

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