UPCs, Barcodes, and Labeling Your Products Correctly for FBA


Purpose of this lesson

1.    To explain the definitions of and differences between the following codes:

•    Barcode

•    UPC

•    ASIN

•    FNSKU

2.    To show you the easiest way to have your products labeled appropriately for FBA


•    A Barcode is simply a way to represent any number in the form of vertical lines of varying thickness.

•    This code is able to be scanned in and read using an optical scanner, such as the one used at the grocery store.

•    People sometimes confuse “Barcode” with either “UPC” or “FNSKU” (both covered later), but in reality a barcode can represent either one of those.


•    UPC stands for “Universal Product Code” and is a unique 12 digit number with a barcode that is used to identify products used in trade.

•    Most products listed on Amazon require a UPC code in order to be entered into their system (while there may be some exceptions, for our purposes we will always need one)

•    You provide this number to Amazon when setting up your product in inventory.


•    The ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number and each product within each Amazon market (Amazon.com, Amazon.uk, Amazon.ca, etc.) will have it’s own unique ASIN

•    Example: B00004SPZV

•    You will see this code in the URL for your product as well as in your Amazon inventory screens.

•    Amazon automatically generates this code for you when you setup your product.


•    An FNSKU is an identifier used by Amazon fulfillment centers to identify each unique product

•    It can also be represented with a barcode so that it can be scanned at FBA warehouses

•    When labeling your products for shipment to FBA, the FNSKU label/sticker is what needs to be placed onto your product

•    Amazon automatically generates this code for you when you setup your product for FBA.

FBA Labeling Requirements

In order to use Amazon’s FBA service, your products will need to be labeled appropriately.

Since there are a few variables involved (the labeling requirements vary by category and can also be done by yourself or by Amazon), we recommend the following strategy to ensure you have no issues:

1: Incorporate your UPC into the design of your products packaging. While not all products require this, more and more categories are being added to the list over time and there are no downsides to having this done.

2: When you are ready to ship your products to FBA, elect to use Amazon’s “Label Service” in order to have them print and apply the necessary “FNSKU” sticker to your products.

While this process may seem like overkill, using Amazon’s labeling service is only .20 per item and ensures that your products encounter no issues.

Once you have been selling for a while, you can always contact Amazon and inquire as to whether or not the UPC code (that is already incorporated into your product packaging) will suffice without the need for Amazon to apply the “FNSKU” sticker over it


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