About unique product identifiers
Unique product identifiers define the product you're selling in the global marketplace. They uniquely distinguish products you are selling and help match search queries with your offers. Unique product identifiers are assigned to each product by the manufacturer, so if you sell the same product as another retailer, the UPIs will be identical.
Common unique product identifiers include Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and brand names. Not all products have unique product identifiers. However, if your product does have one, especially a GTIN, providing it can help make your ads richer and easier for users to find. If your product doesn’t have a UPI, you’ll tell us so in your product data.
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
How to 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 (
mpn) to help boost ad performance and help users find your products.
|9876-S-GRN||Google T-shirt - Green - Small||-||9504000059422||00638HAY|
|9876-S-YELLOW||Google T-shirt - Yellow - Small||-||9504000059446||00638ANG|
|9877-M-Black||Black T-shirt - Customized with Your Design||no||-||-||-|
Use the following set of rules to provide the correct identifiers for each of your products.
|Product identifier requirements|
|Regardless of category||
Required product identifiers based on category
|Requires a value for the
||Requires a value for the
Requires a value for the
If there is no GTIN, provide the
|Otherwise||If product identifier requirements are not met, then your item’s performance may be limited.|
Products with GTINs
For all widely manufactured products (which are submitted with the
condition attribute) that have a GTIN assigned, submit the following attributes:
Some products don’t have a GTIN assigned, and so you don’t need to submit one. However, if the product does have a GTIN assigned and you don’t submit it, the product’s performance may be limited.
For these products, submit the following attributes:
Examples of products that may not have an assigned GTIN include:
- Store brand products
- Replacement parts
- Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or replacements for OEM parts
- Custom-made products (custom t-shirts, art, and handmade goods)
- Books released before ISBN was approved as an ISO standard in 1970
- Vintage or antique products
- Pre-order products (using the
To help identify your products without a GTIN, you can use the
brand attributes. An MPN, or Manufacturer Part Number, is a UPI for specific parts assigned by the manufacturer. The
brand attribute allows you to use the brand of your product as a UPI.
mpnattribute is optional, but including it may improve your ad’s performance. Keep in mind that your products may be disapproved or their performance may be limited if you submit products without a UPI when one is available.
Products without a brand
If the product has a clearly associated brand or manufacturer, submit the
However, you don’t need to submit the
brand attribute if the product doesn’t have a clearly associated brand (for example, movies, books, and music) or is a custom-made product (for example, custom t-shirts, art, and handmade goods).
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.
A bundle is a main product that you’ve grouped with other accessory products, sold together as one package for a single price.
- If the manufacturer created the bundle: use the GTIN, MPN, and brand of the bundle, not the individual products.
- If you created the bundle: use the GTIN, MPN, and brand of the main product. For example, if you bundle a camera with a lens and carrying bag, submit the brand of the camera, which is the main product. Learn more about submitting bundles
Compatible third party products
Submit the correct GTIN value for your product. Learn more about requirements for compatible or refurbished third party products
If you offer customization, engraving, or other personalization of a product, explain that the product is customized in the title and description attributes.
- Submit the
gtinattribute with the value assigned by the manufacturer if you offer customization, engraving, or other personalization of a product.
- Use the
is_bundleattribute to let us know that the product includes customization.
- For the United States, a National Drug Code (NDC) can be converted into a GTIN. Learn more from the GS1 GTIN Validation Guide Appendix C
- For European countries, similar conversion rules exist. Learn more from the Guideline on the packaging information of medicinal products for human use authorised by the Union
A multipack is a group several identical products for sale as one product. This group can be created by you or by the manufacturer, and you’ll need to submit the brand differently depending on who created the group.
- If the manufacturer created the multipack: use the
brandof the multipack, not the individual products.
- If you created the multipack: use the
brandof the individual products. Learn more about the multipack attribute
Submit the correct GTIN value for your printer cartridge. Learn more about requirements for printer cartridges
Products available in variant colors or sizes
gtinfor each variant. Learn more about the size and color attributes.
Products with several GTINs
Make sure to the submit the correct GTIN for each product:
- For variants (comes in multiple colors, sizes, etc.), submit 1 GTIN for each product.
- For products with more than 1 valid UPI (for example, products with a global GTIN and a GTIN specific to the distributor), submit additional UPI attributes with each value.
Store brand and white-label products
Don’t submit a GTIN for products without a GTIN. If you’re the only seller of a product or if your product is a store brand, it may not have a GTIN, and if so you don’t need to submit one. Instead, submit the
mpn attributes for these products.
White-label products are products that are produced by one company, but relabeled by the company selling it to make it look like they produced it. For example, Company A makes a connected-TV device. Company B buys it to resell and rebrands it with their logo and name.
Used and vintage products
Used or vintage products may have a gtin, and you should provide it if possible.
- Submit the
gtinattribute with the value assigned by the manufacturer.
- Submit the “
used” value for the
When you're working with unique product identifiers, don't 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 of GTINs 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 Google Shopping. 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.
Quickly check if your GTIN is correct using the following tips:
- Use the right number of digits. Each GTIN should have a specific number of digits, so count the number of digits for each GTIN (for example, ISBN-13 should have 13 digits).
- Use numbers only. If your GTIN has letters or symbols, then it’s 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 (99, 981-984).
- 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).
- Make sure you don’t submit a reserved code GTIN. Some GTIN prefixes are not yet assigned because they are reserved for future use. If you use a GTIN with such a prefix, we will let you know on the Diagnostics tab in Merchant Center so you can adjust it.
For more detailed information about GTIN validation, download the GS1 GTIN validation guide.