Ultimate Guide to Amazon Product Barcodes: Understanding UPC, FNSKU, and 4 Special Labels

When conducting business, you must learn all the barcodes of Amazon FBA products, such as UPC and FNSKU, and some special labels that can easily be overlooked.

In this article, we will provide essential tips to ensure your products are barcode-ready. Additionally, we will present examples of common mistakes made by suppliers and freight forwarders during the labeling process.

With this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about Amazon FBA Barcodes and how to use each of them properly.

Source from Freepik

Amazon FBA Barcodes and Other Labels You Should Know

When selling on Amazon FBA, two common barcodes are crucial: UPC and FNSKU.

UPC is a global product identifier, while FNSKU is Amazon-specific for accurate tracking within their fulfillment centers.

Furthermore, apart from FNSKU and UPC, several other product labels require careful consideration. These include the “Transparency Authenticity Code,” “sold as set,” “Amazon suffocation warning,” and “country of origin.”

Neglecting these crucial labels during the labeling process for Amazon products may result in penalties and potential delays in your Amazon deliveries. Hence, it is vital to ensure compliance with all necessary labels to avoid such complications.

Source from Freepik

Know about Amazon Barcode – FNSKU Label in Detail

As previously mentioned, you must familiarize yourself with two types of barcodes: the UPC and the FNSKU. Let’s delve into the FNSKU label, its purpose, and what sets it apart from other Amazon labels.

What Is FNSKU Label

FNSKU, which stands for Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit, is a type of Amazon barcode used exclusively within the Amazon ecosystem.

It is the most commonly used product label among the different types of Amazon barcodes, which also include ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number).

FNSKU could sometimes be mistaken for an ASIN. While the two barcodes do seem similar, there are key differences between them.

Regarding barcode information, the FNSKU barcode always begins with an XO. On the other hand, the ASIN always begins with B0.

On the aspect of roles, FNSKU serves as the product label code for Amazon FBA items, indicating that the products are part of Amazon’s fulfillment network.

In contrast, ASIN is the product ID that can be used to locate a product on both Amazon and Amazon seller stores. Besides, ASINs are not needed to print or label FBA products.

How to Get Your FNSKU

As an Amazon seller with your own FBA inventory and your Amazon barcode enabled, you should take note that each unit has its own FNSKU. On the other hand, if you have any FBM or Fulfilled by merchant listing, then those will usually not have an FNSKU. Follow these 6 key steps for getting your own FNSKU.

  • Step 1: go to Manage Inventory
  • Step 2: Go to your product and click the drop-down menu to the right of the product
  • Step 3: Select “Print Item Labels”

  • Step 4: Choose how many labels you want and click “Print Item Labels.”

  • Step 5: Following the same steps above, once you click on “Print Item Labels,” a PDF will download. Once opened, you will find your FNSKU barcode.
  • Step 6: If you want your supplier to label or print your barcode on the packaging, send the PDF to them.

Know about Manufacturer Barcode(GTIN) – UPC Label in Detail

Let’s now delve into the UPC label, one type of manufacturer barcodes.

What Is UPC Label

A UPC (Universal Product Code) is a type of GTIN that is mostly used in Canada and the US. There are many types of manufacturer barcodes(GTIN), such as the EAN (European Article Number), JAN (Japanese Article Numbering), or ISBN(International Book Number). However, the UPC is the most commonly used.

The UPC barcode contains key information that will speed up product identification. These parts include the Left Guard Bards, Number System Character, Manufacturer Number, Center Bards, Item Number, Check Digit, and Right Guard Bars.


UPC plays several important roles, particularly in online marketplaces like Amazon. When creating a product listing on Amazon, sellers are required to provide UPC information, ensuring that each product has a unique identifier and helping to prevent confusion or duplication.

UPC also plays the role of the identity code as FNSKU, which is necessary for Amazon warehouses to manage receiving, tracking, and inventory. Notice that you can only choose UPC or FNSKU for your product labels.

How to Get GTIN

To obtain a GTIN (Global Trade Item Number), we recommend registering and purchasing UPC barcodes directly from the official GS1 organization rather than third-party platforms like Taobao, which may cause many problems. Here are the steps to register and buy UPC barcodes from GS1:

Step 1: Go to the GS1 official site, click “Get Your Barcodes”, and select the location for your barcode.

Source from https://www.gs1us.org/

Step 2: Choose how many barcodes you need, scroll down to “What to Expect and press Get a GTIN”.

Source from https://www.gs1us.org/

Step 3: You’ll be taken to the Get A GTIN page, where you will choose a brand name and product description. You will also have to pay $30 for the GTIN.

Aside from getting a GTIN, you may also be exempted from buying a GTIN in certain situations. Here are the conditions for GTIN exemption:

  • You may want to sell products for which the brand, publisher, or manufacturer does not provide a GTIN.
  • You want to sell product parts that do not have a GTIN.
  • You may want to sell products for which you are the brand, manufacturer, and publisher, but you do not have barcodes on your products.

FNSKU Vs. UPC Barcode: What’s the Difference

FNSKU and UPC are both barcodes that can be used on Amazon, but they serve different purposes and have distinct roles. FNSKU labels are exclusive to Amazon and help identify your products within their system. On the other hand, UPC barcodes have a broader meaning beyond Amazon and are used globally for product identification.

Here’s some advice to take into account when choosing between the two barcode options:

  • For brand owners who sell in only one country on Amazon, FNSKU is sufficient. On the other hand, if you are going to sell globally and are the only one to sell these products, then the UPC is a good choice.
  • Suppose you buy products from manufacturers or act as a distributor, and the products already have UPCs. You should use FNSKUs, which help prevent commingled inventory, ensuring Amazon won’t send other distributors’ products to your customers.
  • Please note that UPCs are available to create listings on Amazon Europe, eliminating the need to register separate EANs (European Article Numbers) if you intend to sell in the US and EU markets or globally.

Other Amazon Product Labels You Also Need to Use

Aside from the FNSKU and UPC, you will need to be aware of other types of labels. You will need to use these labels properly to send packages efficiently. Let’s delve into the four common product labels.

Transparency Authenticity Code

This type of barcode is used for each product unit enrolled in the Amazon Transparency Program. Amazon will generate a unique serial number barcode for each product.

The main use of the Transparency Authenticity Code is to verify the origin and authenticity of products, which will help to prevent counterfeits from reaching your customers.

The Transparency Authenticity Code costs 1 to 5 cents per code. It also depends on the volume of product units enrolled in the transparency program.

Requirements to Apply it:

  • Only brand owners who enroll in a Brand registry with a government-registered trademark could apply for it.
  • Before you apply, you should have a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) for your products.
  • You should also be able to apply unique transparency codes to every unit that you produce.

If you meet all the application requirements, you should go to Amazon’s Transparency Page. Click on the “Get Started” button and enroll in the program within a few steps.

Sold as Set Label

The “Sold as Set” label is used when units are packaged together as a set and are ready for sale. Sellers should attach this label to the outer package before shipping the products to the Amazon warehouse.

Its role is to tell Amazon warehouse employees not to unpack the products into individual units.


  • You should remember that items that need to be sold as one unit should be labeled with a “sold as set” sticker.
  • You should wrap the products together in a polybag, shrink wrap, and box, then apply the label on the most outside.
  • You can add the “Do not Separate” or “Ready to Ship” label to highlight your requirements.

Amazon Suffocation Warning Label

This type of label is used for polybags that have a 5” opening or larger. It serves as a warning to prevent the risk of suffocation, particularly for babies and children.

An example text commonly used on this label is: “To avoid the danger of suffocation, keep this plastic bag away from babies and children. Do not use this bag in cribs, beds, carriages, or playpens. This bag is not a toy.”

It must be printed in a legible font and prominently placed at the front of the product packaging.

Tip: You’d better print suffocation warnings on the product packaging, but labels can be used as a remedy to prevent miss-labeling.

Country of Origin

The Country of Origin label is essential for all imported products. This label specifies the products’ manufacturing, production, or growth location.

An example of this label is “Made in China.”

Customs will always check the country of origin label on both your shipping boxes and the product packaging. Failure to include the Country of Origin label can result in penalties, product returns, or confiscation.


  • To ensure compliance, print the Country of Origin on your product packaging.
  • You can use labels as a backup measure to prevent any miss-labeling.
  • Country of Origin label should be placed in the easiest-to-spot place, which helps Customs accurately identify their source and facilitates smoother import processes.

Comply with FBA Product Barcode Print and Labeling Requirements

To avoid hassle or delay in delivering your FBA products, you should comply with FBA product barcode prints and labeling requirements.

For Amazon FBA product barcode printing and labeling, you can rely on suppliers or freight forwarders to handle the task. Don’t miss the following tips for printers!

  • Amazon usually requires laser label printers with over 300 DPI.
  • Amazon also highly recommends two ZEBRA printers, 430T and 888T.
  • If your supplier lacks a suitable printer, ask them to buy an Amazon label printing service on Taobao.

Additionally, ensure compliance with Amazon’s label requirements, including information, label size, color, type, and proper placement.

Requirements on Information in Labels

When creating labels for Amazon FBA products, it is crucial to include specific information to ensure accurate matching with the product units and compliance with laws. Here we list some requirements and tips for you in practice:

  • Ensure the product name and condition on your FNSKUs or UPCs labels align with the actual product units.
  • You could also combine other product labels, such as the Country of Origin label, with the FNSKU on a single label. This helps to simplify the labeling process and keep the label concise.
  • Please remember to use the local languages on the product label of the country you will sell to. For example, if you sell to Germany from the US, you should still use German on your label.

Amazon Label Size Requirements

Aside from the contents of your label, Amazon has specific label size requirements for sellers.

The labels should have a height-by-width dimension ranging from 1″ x 2″ to 2″ x 3″. This means you can use labels such as 1″ x 3″ or 2″ x 2″ as long as all the necessary information is included.

Tip: Ensure that the label matches your products’ size. Using a large label on small products may result in the label being placed on the corner of the packaging, potentially causing scanning issues for Amazon.

Color and Type Requirements

Amazon also makes requirements on color and type of labels for smooth scan work and to ensure labels can be easily removed without damaging the product or packaging.

The key rules are the following:

  • The label must be printed on white non-reflective paper and black ink.
  • Labels must use removable adhesive-type labels.

Placement Requirements

Regarding the placement of Amazon labels, there are several requirements to follow. Adhering to these requirements ensures proper identification and scanning of your products by Amazon.

  • Each unit should have a label.
  • The barcodes must be placed on the outside of the packaging, ensuring it is scannable without the need to open the packaging.
  • Please do not label at the margin of the product packaging. Leave a 0.25-inch space between the label’s edge and the product packaging’s edge.
  • Ensure to cover any original barcode on the packaging, except for the sole serial number barcode used to identify your product, such as the IMEI on a phone packaging.

You can also directly print the barcode on your product packaging.

Directly printing on your product packaging can reduce the chances of mislabeling barcodes, ensuring accurate scanning. However, it can be more expensive compared to using label stickers.

Amazon FBA Product Barcodes Common Mistakes to Avoid

Common Mistakes on Amazon FBA Barcodes

When dealing with Amazon FBA barcodes, you should make sure to avoid these common barcode mistakes.

  • Misunderstand the difference between FNSKU and ASIN, leading to unscannable problems for Amazon.
  • Overlook important labels such as the Made in China/Sold as a set/ and Suffocation warnings.
  • Buying UPCs from a third party that does not match your products.
  • Use other barcode formats instead of Code 128A. Remember that Amazon can only identify barcodes with CODE 128A format.
  • Using multiple barcodes that can be scanned, such as having a UPC and FNSKU on one unit, can cause confusion.

Common Mistakes in Printing

When you print your barcodes and labels, you should avoid these common printing mistakes to ensure clear, properly adhered, and scannable labels, which is essential for successful fulfillment and inventory management within the Amazon FBA system.

  • The barcode is printed on A4 paper, and taping the paper on the unit.
  • The font size is so small that it could no longer be scanned.
  • Use thermal printers that may make the label contents disappear under certain circumstances.

Common Mistakes in Labeling

To properly label your products, you should be aware of common mistakes to avoid potential issues. Some of these mistakes include:

  • Mislabeling some products, resulting in inventory inaccuracies and potential fulfillment errors.
  • The label is placed on an area where it could get wrinkled easily.
  • The barcodes cover important product info, such as logos, names, and raw materials.
  • Applying multiple labels on the package, making it appear untidy and potentially causing scanning issues.
  • The barcode is hard to reach. For instance, the product is packaged in a polybag within a box with the barcode located on the polybag instead of the easily scannable outer packaging.
  • The label is stuck around the product, which makes it hard to scan.

FAQs About Amazon FBA Product Barcodes and Labels

Before you start using FBA product barcodes and labels, let’s delve further into key facts on how to use them.

How many UPCs do I need for Amazon?

If you are going to use UPCs, you should remember a few rules. The first rule is that different types of products require different UPCs.

The same goes for different variations of a product, such as different sizes and colors. They also require different UPCs. If you want to get more accurate numbers, you can also use GS1’s barcode estimator.

How to verify UPCs?

To verify UPCs, the most efficient way to do so, is to go to the official GS1 website. This will enable you to verify your UPCs should you buy them from a third party.

Can Transparency Authenticity Codes replace UPCs?

No, it can’t. Please take into account that UPCs and Transparency Authenticity Codes have different roles. As a rule, UPCs are often used to identify a specific type of product on the market.

Transparency Authenticity Codes, on the other hand, are used to identify individual product units. To state it simply, products of the same type may have only one UPC, while ach product will have a unique transparency code.

How many FNSKU do my products have?

Please take note that different products require FNSKU. Even the same type of product comes in different sizes and colors.

What needs to be included on my product label?

If you are going to use Amazon FBA barcodes, you should know what you should include. You should put UPC or FNSKU on your product label. Aside from that, you should also print out Country of Origin, Sold as Set, and suffocation warning labels in one sticker if deemed necessary. Please take into account that you should not put any marketing or promotional material, such as discounted coupons to ask your customers for good reviews.


In conclusion, understanding and correctly implementing Amazon FBA barcodes and labels is essential for smooth operations and compliance.

Ensure that all products have the necessary manufacturer barcodes or Amazon barcodes and adhere to specific labeling requirements for certain products.

Avoid common mistakes discussed in this guide to prevent unplanned service fees from Amazon.

Should you have any further questions or need clarification, please leave your comments below or feel free to contact our FBA experts.

Read more about Amazon product packaging requirements to experience smooth shipping to Amazon warehouse!

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