Are You Using Non-GS1 Barcodes? And Has Anyone Made The Change To GS1 Barcodes?

What are your plans if you are using non-GS1 barcodes on Amazon? Are you going to make the change and how will you do it?

And has anyone here actually been through the process of changing to GS1 barcodes? How did you do it? Did you start your listings from scratch? Did you see a significant drop in sales? Or did you run duplicates to build up some reviews to gradually switch over? I guess that carries some risk of Amazon flagging the duplicates.

I am sill using some non-GS1 barcodes and really want to get it sorted but Amazon make it so difficult. You would think if they really wanted GS1 only then they would just let you change the barcode on the ASIN.

Any thoughts?

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Welcome to SAS!

If anyone is using non GS1 UPCs their time being able to use them on Amazon is limited. I would recommend fixing this sooner rather than later.

You will not be able to change the UPC on a listing. A new UPC needs a new ASIN. How this impacts your sales has too many variables to give a straight answer.



Unless things have changed, the way I would go about this is obtain a GS1 UPC, create a new asin, then merge request the old ASIN into the new one. That (used to) preserve reviews and ranking. NOT SURE if this part has changed or not.


Started years ago when the hijacking began en-masse.

Yup. Being the ASIN is tied to the UPC its not worth the risk to lose a child asin just to keep a few stars on a listing. It was also a good time to update all images, descriptions and if you use A+ content you won’t want to mix brands or listings you don’t own the UPC for. We prefer more bulletproof solutions with our IP.

Had to for a while being our products were factory labeled / UPC bar coded. We did chunks of products and did repackage/label some items.

This is not an issue if you own your IP in the first place. You can always tell Amazon the packaging is different even if its just a bar code as they expect it to change with each iteration.

If you don’t fix it now, some China seller will hijack it from you eventually.




Thanks. I think that’s definitely worth a try anyway.

Similar issue here. Barcode is pre printed on the packaging and we hold a lot of stock. Do you know if you can label over the old barcode?

Yes we do own the IP, and interestingly the two main products I need to change also have an issue with the wrong brand. So arguably if it’s a different brand name it’s not a duplicate.

Thanks for the replies everyone.


Yep, you can.

If you hold the physical items, you certainly can. Two steps, though:

  1. Block out the old GTIN/barcode.
  2. Print or relabel the new barcode. If you use labels, put them OVER the old barcode, and yes, you still need to render the old one unusable/unscannable first.

Yup, use FNSKU labels (Amazon bar codes)

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…if you’re FBA. (FBM Sellers don’t have these.)

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FBM sellers technically don’t need to do anything with the barcode. It’s only a problem because if you send inventory to FBA with mismatching barcodes they might generate a problem.

:grimacing: Well, that’s not at all accurate.

The “barcode” in OP’s question is the GS1 UPC (GTIN) associated with the ASIN. The product’s GTIN certainly needs to be printed on the item packaging and needs to match the UPC associated with the ASIN, or the item is NAD and/or counterfeit.

To clarify, a “barcode” is just an imaged machine-readable code for any alphanumeric identifier string, such as UPCs, EANs, other types of GTINs, SKUs, FNSKUs (Amazon’s Fulfillment Network SKU), internal-use strings, serial numbers, ISBN, locations in a library, etc.

Lots of folks unintentionally use the term “barcode” loosely or incorrectly, such as interchangeably with “UPC” or to indicate FNSKU.


  • All Amazon Sellers must deal with GTINs (usually but not always UPCs) or ISBNs. Some Amazon Sellers who are FBA also must deal with FNSKUs, and even though Amazon will let a FNSKU substitute for a GTIN, FNSKUs are only usable within Amazon FBA.
  • Each of those alphanumeric string types can be represented in barcode form, plus many other types, too.
  • “Barcode” is not interchangeable with UPC or FNSKU.

What I mean is, unless the customer’s name is “rainman” nobody’s going to look at the UPC and complain that the UPC doesn’t match the UPC associated with the detail page.

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ummmm … not true … we’re not a “rainman” and we often refer to the UPC when buying to ensure we are purchasing the same item … especially when it comes to a computer and/or computer part …

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I understand that for ordering purposes, but you also check that the UPC on the box matches what you ordered after receiving it?

Can’t say I’ve done that even if there’s an issue, either the product matches the detail page or it doesn’t.

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Yes … box and product


I don’t think this applies to all products or no products, so both of you are correct. I did not feel it was necessary to check the UPC of the pet water fountain I just bought, but would certainly check a graphics card.
Only the OP can determine if their products are something where a consumer would look/care for a UPC.
That said, a seller can cover the UPC with any internal tracking information that would look respectable, just like a FNSKU.