About unique product identifiers

Unique product identifiers go beyond the ID [id] attribute to define the product you're selling in the global marketplace. Common unique product identifiers include the Global Trade Item Number, or GTIN [gtin]; the Manufacturer Part Number, or MPN [mpn]; and the brand [brand] name. Provide unique product identifiers, especially GTINs, to make your ads richer and easier for customers to find.

This article explains the unique product identifiers you may have to provide, how to troubleshoot issues with your identifiers, and what to do if you don't have them.

Types of unique product identifiers

Name Description Attribute
UPC
  • Used in primarily North America
  • Universal Product Code (UPC), also called GTIN-12 and UPC-A
  • 12 numeric digits
  • A unique numerical identifier for commercial products that's usually associated with a barcode printed on retail merchandise.
GTIN [gtin]
EAN
  • Used primarily outside of North America
  • European Article Number (EAN), also called GTIN-13
  • Typically 13 numeric digits (can occasionally be either eight or 14 numeric digits)
  • A unique numerical identifier for commercial products that's usually associated with a barcode printed on retail merchandise.
GTIN [gtin]
JAN
  • Used only in Japan
  • Japanese Article Number (JAN), also called GTIN-13
  • 8 or 13 numeric digits
  • A unique numerical identifier for commercial products that's usually associated with a barcode printed on retail merchandise.
GTIN [gtin]
ISBN
  • Used globally
  • International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
  • ISBN-10: 10 numeric digits (last digit may be "X" which represents the number "10").
    • Note that this format was deprecated in 2007, and not all books can be represented using ISBN-10.
  • ISBN-13 (recommended): 13 numeric digits and typically starts with either 978 or 979
  • A unique numerical identifier for commercial books published since 1970 that can be found on the back of the book along with the barcode.
GTIN [gtin]
Brand
  • Used globally
  • The brand of the product
Brand [brand]
MPN
  • Used globally
  • Manufacturer Part Number (MPN)
  • Alphanumeric digits (various lengths)
  • The number which uniquely identifies the product to its manufacturer
MPN
[mpn]

Include unique product identifiers in your product data

Depending on the type of product you submit, you'll submit different identifiers. For all your items, we recommend submitting all three attributes (GTIN [gtin], brand [brand], and MPN [mpn]) to help boost ad performance and help customers find your products.

Provide the correct identifiers for each of your products

New products with GTINs

If you have a product for which the condition is submitted as “new”, and it has a GTIN assigned, submit the following attributes:

Tips for specific products

Products with several UPCs

Make sure to the submit the correct UPC for each product:

  • For variants (comes in multiple colors, sizes, etc.), submit 1 UPC for each product.
  • For products with more than 1 valid UPC (for example, products with a global UPC and a UPC specific to the distributor), submit additional GTIN [gtin] attributes with each value.
Products that you customize

If you offer customization, engraving, or other personalization of a product:

Learn more about best practices for customized products

Books and media

Use the ISBN-13 of a book as the value for the GTIN attribute.

  • For a product that has a UPC and an ISBN-13, submit the GTIN attribute twice, once for each value.
  • For a product with only an SBN (9 digits, used in Great Britain until 1974), convert it to an ISBN-10 by adding a "0" in front. For example, to convert "123456789", submit "0123456789".
Printed music

An International Standard Music Number (ISMN) can be converted into a GTIN. Learn more about ISMN from Wikipedia

Printer cartridges

Submit the correct unique product identifiers for the brand [brand], MPN [mpn], and GTIN [gtin] attributes for your printer cartridge:

  • Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cartridges
    • Submit the unique product identifiers assigned by the OEM manufacturer
  • Compatible cartridges
    • Submit the unique product identifiers assigned by the manufacturer of cartridge. Don’t submit the unique product identifiers of the OEM cartridge that it’s compatible with.
  • Refurbished cartridges
    • Submit the unique product identifiers assigned by the OEM manufacturer
  • Refilled cartridges
    • Submit the unique product identifiers assigned by the OEM manufacturer
Magazine subscriptions

An International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) can be converted into a GTIN. Learn more about converting values from the ISSN Centre's website

Medication

Troubleshoot GTIN issues

Find unique product identifiers for your products

When you work with unique product identifiers, do not invent or approximate the values. Each product has a prescribed value assigned by the manufacturer, and any other value will cause your product to be disapproved. The most accurate source for the GTIN is always from the product packaging or the product’s manufacturer.

Ways to find unique product identifiers:

  • Check the packaging. Refer to the GTIN on your product's packaging. Learn how to find the GTIN
  • Ask the manufacturer. Contact your product's manufacturer or distributor to ask for it.
  • Search for the product on Shopping ads. For some countries, if you search for the product, the Shopping ad will have a link to compare prices. Click this link, and then look for the GTIN under the Details section.
  • Check ISBNdb.com or Google Books. You can find ISBN information on either of these sites.
Make sure your GTIN is correct

Quickly check if your GTIN is correct:

  • Use the right number of digits. Each GTIN should have a specific number of digits, so count the number of digits for each GTIN (e.g., ISBN-13 should have 13 digits).
  • Use numbers only. If your GTIN has letters or symbols, then it is not correct.
  • Look for the check digit (or letter for ISBN-10). The check digit is a digit within the GTIN that can be used as a mathematical check to make sure the product identifier is accurate. Use the GS1 check digit calculator
  • Look for numbers in the restricted range. Don’t include GTINs in the restricted ranges (prefixes "2", "02", "04") or the coupon range ("05", "981", "982", "983").
  • Use the right levels. For GTIN-14 codes, only use packaging levels (1–8) if you are selling packages containing multiple items, do not use the bulk level indicator (9).

For more detailed information about GTIN validation, download the GS1 GTIN validation guide.

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