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GS1 identification keys helping eBay shoppers to find items more easily

Date: June 29, 2015

Category: Industry news


Starting today (29 June) eBay sellers are required to add product identifiers to their listings for a number of categories – check below to see if it effects you.


Which products are affected?

Branded products listed as in a new or manufacturer refurbished condition in the following categories.

 Baby  eBay motors
 Books   Health and Beauty 
 Business and Industrial (Test, Lab and Office Equipment)   Home and Garden (Tools and Appliances only) 
 Cameras and Photo  Music
 Cell Phones and Accessories  Musical Instruments and Gear
 Clothing, Shoes and Accessories (Shoes only)  Pet Supplies
 Computers/Tablets and Networking  Sporting Goods
 Consumer Electronics  Toys and Hobbies
 DVDs and Movies  Video Games and Consoles
Selling on marketplaces
Download the white paper below


There are three identifiers that will need to be added to listings, the brand, the Manufacturer Part Number (MPN), and the GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).

Why is a unique identifier important?

The ability to uniquely identify a particular product is essential, enabling an accurate view of what items are available across eBay. Traditional retailers have been using product identifiers for the past 40 years, you will have come across them in the form of a barcode. Barcodes go far beyond ringing through your products at a till, with the number - the GTIN - used as an identifer throughout the product lifecycle and sales cycle. These identifiers enable the avoidance of duplicates, the ability to accurately control stock and ensures customers receive the product they ordered.

On eBay adding a unique identifier will provide sellers with some big advantages, particularly when it comes to products being found. In the online world, with such huge amounts of data available, buyers can find it difficult to find the product they are looking for. Which is why the major marketplaces, are now using GS1 numbers to manage their product catalogues.

By including a GTIN in a product listing as an identifier, eBay will include this information as structured data - the same way search engines do for returning their results. With accurate information linked to the product, listings have more visibility in eBay’s search results and navigation, as well as better placement in search results. 



What to do if you require GTINs?

GS1 UK is the UK's issuing body for GTINs, part of the global network of GS1 organisations that ensure that your GTIN is kept unique to your product. We’re a global, not-for-profit organisation. We work with our members to continually develop our standards – so they keep pace with the changing requirements for online marketplaces, supporting you as you grow your business, locally and internationally. Which is why there are over two million companies worldwide who use our numbers and barcodes.

If you’re already a GS1 UK member then you can use your existing GS1 numbers for your products on eBay. And you can manage them in our online database, My Numberbank. Just login and start using it today.

If you'd like to create your own GTINs to use on your products, you can join GS1 UK today.

Please beware, GTINs purchased outside of a GS1 membership may not be truly unique to your product, and possibly distributed illegally. The only way to ensure that your GTINs are truly unique to your product listing is to obtain them from your local GS1 organisation. 

Join today and get:

  • A minimum of 1,000 barcode numbers 
  • An online database to manage them
  • Free telephone and online support

Join from as little as £119 a year – just 12p per barcode number. See how much it would cost your business.

Membership fees
Turnover  Annual licence fee  Joining fee Allocation
up to £0.50m £119 £75 Up to 1,000 numbers
£0.5m to £1m £131 £75 Up to 1,000 numbers
£1m to £10m £203 £140 Up to 1,000 numbers
£10m to £50m £318 £200 Up to 10,000 numbers
£50m to £100m £1,300 £250 Up to 10,000 numbers
£100m to £250m £1,700 £250 Up to 10,000 numbers
£250m to £500m £2,200 £250 Up to 100,000 numbers
£500m to £1bn £2,700 £250 Up to 100,000 numbers
Over £1bn £3,200 £250 Up to 100,000 numbers

All prices exclude VAT

Join GS1 UK

Getting started with selling online

Download our guide to getting started to selling online. It will help you, understand the rules around using our GTINs as a product identifier for marketplaces:

  • Use your company prefix
  • Identify your products online
  • Understand GTIN rules
Download here