A Quick Guide to Amazon Lingo – Part 2!
Welcome back! Now that we’ve covered some common Amazon terminology in the first part of this blog post back in December, we’re going to delve a little deeper and define a few more terms you will come across when selling on Amazon.com.
How Amazon Keeps Track of Millions of Products
ASIN – Amazon Standard Identification Number
An Amazon Standard Identification Number, or ASIN, is a set of ten letters and numbers that classify products being sold on Amazon.com and its partners. Each product sold on Amazon is given a unique ASIN when it is entered into the marketplace. For books, the ASIN is the same as the ISBN, but for all other products it serves as a separate way from a product’s UPC to designate and track items.
UPC – Universal Product Code
Universal Product Codes, or UPCs, are not specific to Amazon. In fact, they are used all over the world in the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe and many more countries to track items for sale in stores. This is the twelve-digit number found directly underneath a barcode on most products and is likely a number most consumers and sellers are familiar with. When you create a new product listing on Amazon, sellers need this number to identify any existing listings with the product(s) they are looking to sell. Amazon requires that you list your product on an existing listing and only create a new listing if the UPC is not already being used.
GS1 – Global Standards One
All UPCs used to establish Amazon listings are required to be registered in the Global Standards One, or GS1, database. The GS1 is an organization that provides and manages identification numbers for virtually every consumer product in the world. Amazon requires that all UPCs on product listings throughout the marketplace be identified with GS1 UPCs. According to their policy:
“By providing industry-standard product identifiers [GS1 UPCs] for their listings, sellers improve the quality of the Amazon catalog as a whole. We verify the authenticity of product UPCs by checking the GS1 database. UPCs that do not match the information provided by GS1 will be considered invalid. All invalid product UPC listings will be removed and may result in your ASIN creation or selling privileges being temporarily or permanently removed.”
Can Brands Protect Their Pricing on Amazon?
Yes, and no. While a brand can establish a MAP agreement with Amazon directly, they cannot control the rest of the marketplace. So what is MAP?
MAP – Minimum Advertised Price
This isn’t strictly an Amazon term, but Minimum Advertised Pricing is an important number to keep in mind for Amazon merchants. This is an agreement between a brand and seller on what the minimum pricing a particular product can be advertised at. A brand can negotiate this with Amazon when they start to sell a product to them via Vendor Central, but the brand will only have marginal control of the final pricing on the listings because other sellers can still sell their products without meeting any agreements that a brand formed with Amazon directly.
While many sellers bring products to Amazon by buying wholesale and selling online or buying retail and reselling online, there is another option that many sellers have never heard of – private labeling.
Private Label Products
Private labeling is another way sellers bring products to the Amazon marketplace. Private label products are manufactured by one company without a brand name to then be sold under another company’s brand. Some sellers on Amazon will use private label products to build their Amazon business by buying direct from a private label manufacturer and placing their own branding on the product listing.
We know that selling on Amazon can be a challenge when you don’t “speak the language” so we hope that this Amazon Terminology 101 has been helpful! If you haven’t read it yet, check out part one of this series!
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more Amazon content coming to our blog!