Sales down since April 2021

My product is not doing so well and my competitors are in the same boat as me ( well many). All the relevant keywords search volume trend has depreciated too. Does this happen time to time ? My sales have been low since April ( when lockdown lifted). Any advice pls as I am thinking of giving up.

Answer: Let me give you some tips that how you can increase your sales,You should start with optimising listing like images, title, bullet points and put your competitor’s keywords in your listing plus backend search terms, take out these keywords from helium 10.After that start running auto campaign analyze the keywords after 2-3 weeks.Later, lower the bid on auto campaign and run manual campaigns on high performing keywords.Run exact, phrase and broad campaigns seperately.Put high performing keywords in exact and repeat the process.

Revolut or transferwise? which is better in 2021

Which account is better for international transactions. Revolt or transferwiseI am opening transferwise account but its asking for a 16 pound fees. Is it ok??As people vote more for wise account so I opted for this. Is it a normal procedure to pay this fees and then done with account opening.

Answer: You don’t pay fees for wise. You have to have money deposited before they send you a card or give you the bank details. But that money is there for you to spend or withdraw, hence its not a fee. 

Shipping from china to FBA (2021 costs)

So before I get quotes for shipping, I thought Id ask everyone in the group for THEIR idea of a ballpark figure just so I know if im getting sold a dream, or being taken advantage of when I receive my quotes. My shipment will be 180kg, preferably by air from China to UK, again I know professional sellers cannot quote me an accurate price but I am curious to a rough price.

Answer: I suggest that you can find a professional freight forwarder and let them give you a DDP air freight price. DDP includes all the costs. You only need to wait for the goods to be collected. They will give you a tracking number, you can track your goods

How to Buy UPC Codes for Amazon (2021 Update)

| JAN 11, 2021 | AMAZON & MARKETPLACESpeople searching google

As an Amazon seller, you should already be familiar with UPC codes and what they entail. Amazon requires sellers to have unique product codes (also called UPC codes) to list their products.

There is only one legitimate global producer of UPC codes: GS1. GS1 (Global Standard 1) is a non-profit organization that has set the global standard for supply chain barcoding.

GS1 US is the organization that provides UPC codes to US-based businesses, but here are more than 100 GS1 organizations around the world. GS1 issues unique prefixes to brand owners so that they can create their own unique barcodes with the prefix number given to them by GS1.

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Keep reading for everything you need to know about Amazon’s UPC code policies and how to buy UPC codes for Amazon in 2020. 

Jump to a section below:

1. What is a GTIN?

2. What are UPC codes?

3. What are EAN Codes?

4. Where to Buy Your UPC Codes

5. Steps to Buying a UPC Code

6. Amazon’s UPC Code Requirements

What is a GTIN?

 
A GTIN is a Global Trade Item Number that identifies individual products – not to be confused with an actual product barcode. GTINs are a combination of GS1 US-issued company prefix numbers and a unique product number, plus a check digit that helps to ensure the GTIN is created correctly. 

GTINs can be encoded into different types of barcodes:

  1. UPCs (Unique Product Codes)
  2. EANs (European Article Numbers)

It’s important to assign each product a unique GTIN, and you must ensure that every variation of an item is assigned a globally unique number.

Keep in mind, in most Amazon categories, sellers are required to use a separate UPC for multi-pack products, and they must also indicate the ” item package quantity ” when listing multi-packs. Product bundles (aka Amazon product bundling) are composed of different products (not multiples of the same product) and each bundle requires its own unique UPC (or EAN). For more info, check out Amazon’s Product Bundling Policy and How Products are Defined.

A GTIN, along with a UPC code, can be used anywhere in the world. GS1 is the only official global provider of GS1 GTINs and EAN and UPC barcodes.

UPC codes
Amazon UPC Code

What are UPC Codes?

 
The UPC code was the original format for product barcodes. There are two main types of UPC codes: UPC-E and UPC-A. UPC-A is essentially identical to UPC-E; however, UPC-E does not include 0s. That means you will not actually see the 0’s within the barcode, only within the corresponding GTIN.

Amazon UPC Code
Amazon UPC code

UPC barcodes are currently the primary barcodes used within the US and Canada. Although other countries can scan and read UPC codes, most countries outside of the US and Canada use EANs.

When supply and demand in Europe, Asia, and Australia increased, there was a need to distinguish each seller by location. GS1 then began allocating specific prefixes for different GS1 member organizations.

While certain prefixes identify the GS1 branch where the prefix was licensed, it does not necessarily specify where that product was made. For example, there is a misconception that all barcode prefixes on American-made products will start with a zero or one.
 

What are EAN Codes?

 
EAN or European Article Numbers (also called International Article Numbers or IANs) are GS1-issued barcodes that include company prefixes at the beginning of the numeric GTIN. Two primary forms of EANs are popular among Amazon sellers: EAN-13 and EAN-8, which encode a GTIN-13 and GTIN-8, respectively.

Like UPC codes, EANs don’t necessarily identify the country where the product was made.

Amazon UPC code
Amazon UPC Codes

Also similar to UPCs, the type of EAN you use depends on various factors such as product category and product distribution channel.
 

Where to Buy UPC Codes for Amazon

 
Amazon requires every seller to register a GTIN with each product listing available on their marketplace. Amazon sellers can either buy legitimized UPC codes directly from GS1 or purchase through a reseller.

There are various UPC and EAN resellers out there who will try to sell replicated UPC codes to satisfy Amazon’s UPC code requirements. Many sellers purchase their UPC codes from third-party websites due to their cheaper prices — but using resold Amazon UPC codes can cause more harm than good in the long run.

If you don’t purchase your UPC code from GS1 and purchase a cheap replicated UPC code that doesn’t match the information found in the GS1 database, Amazon can remove your listing and potentially suspend your seller account.
From Amazon:

“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. We recommend obtaining your UPCs directly from GS1 (and not from other third parties selling UPC licenses) to ensure the appropriate information is reflected in the GS1 database.”

As our in-house Amazon expert David Cooley advises, “It’s important to stay up to date on Amazon’s policies around UPCs.”

The bottom line – since GS1 is the creator of the GTIN system, they are the only legitimate resource to check barcode validity. 

If you are buying a reseller’s UPC code off of a third-party website, that UPC code was probably originally assigned to another company. If those replicated UPC codes belong to another company, Amazon won’t associate your company with your products.
 

How to Buy a UPC Code for Amazon

 
GS1 lays out 4 steps to buying your UPC code for Amazon.

Step 1: Determine if you should buy a single GTIN or apply for a GS1 company prefix

GS1 US offers two options. For small companies that only sell a few products, there is a single Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) option now. This means each UPC or barcode is only $30 with no renewal fee. However, for those businesses that see their product lines growing over the next few years, the Company Prefix option might be best.
 
The first six to nine digits of your barcode are your company prefix. The company prefix is a unique identifier of the product’s manufacturer. As a supplier, your company prefix will remain the same on each barcode for all of your different products. Each product that you offer will then be assigned a unique product code that follows your company prefix.

Amazon UPC Codes

Image by Bar Code Graphics

Again, make sure that your single GTIN or company prefix can be traced back to your business by buying your prefix and Amazon UPC codes directly from GS1. To purchase your UPC codes from GS1, you need to fill out an application on their website. 

Figure out how many barcodes you’ll need. How many unique products do you have? Each combination of size and color variation needs its own barcode. You can use GS1’s barcode estimator to get a more accurate picture. 

Next, figure out which pricing plan makes the most sense for you. GS1 offers a variety of pricing tiers based on how many different barcodes you plan to purchase:

Step 2: Identify each product with a GTIN

The next step is to assign your products unique product numbers, aka GTINs

Your GTIN should be a combination of your company prefix, a unique product number that you assign, and a “check digit” that helps make sure that your GTIN is created correctly.

On Amazon, UPC codes must always total 11 digits, plus that “check digit.” Your “check digit” is calculated by GS1 based on the previous 11 digits of your barcode.

Step 3: Determine your barcode type

The barcode type you need depends on where your product will be sold or scanned. Products scanned at a brick-and-mortar point-of-sale need different barcodes than products scanned in a distribution center or a warehouse.

  • If you sell in both brick-and-mortar stores and online, you should use the same GTIN online and in physical stores. 
  • If you use Amazon FBA to fulfill your Amazon orders, Amazon requires that you place UPC barcodes on your items. FBA uses barcodes to track inventory throughout the order fulfillment process. 

 
Because we’re talking about barcodes for Amazon, we’ll skip to the online and ecommerce retail store requirements. 

Step 4: Place barcode on your product

Last, but definitely not least: put your barcode on your product! 

If you haven’t packaged or designed your labels for your product, you can obtain a digital barcode file directly from GS1 to incorporate it into the packaging and labeling of your product. 

Almost all manufacturers will be comfortable with the idea of working with UPC codes and understand how to incorporate them from a digital file. If you have already packaged and labeled your products, you can order adhesive barcode labels to stick onto your product or packaging.

As an Amazon seller, it’s important to place your barcode in a place that is visible and scannable. 

Avoid placing your barcode on the edge of the package, and make sure there’s enough white space around the barcode so it’s scannable. Make sure that the barcodes you use are printed clearly, sized correctly, and match the information on the GS1 database.
 

Amazon UPC Requirements

 
Amazon has specific requirements for sellers when it comes to UPC code placement. The easier you make it for FBA warehouses to accept, process, and track your inventory, the better set up for success you’ll be.

Can Amazon’s Brand Registry be Used as an Alternative to UPCs?

Previously, if you enrolled your brand in Amazon’s Brand Registry, Amazon would provide you with a GCID (Global Catalog Identifier) that you could use as the unique identifier in your listing, in place of a UPC. 

But, as of April 17, 2018, GCIDs can no longer be used in place of a UPC, EAN, JAN, or ISBN to create ASINs. If your brand has been approved for the Brand Registry program and you don’t have UPCs, EANs, JANs, or ISBNs for your products, apply for GTIN exemption.

Looking for an agency to assist you with your Amazon selling endeavors? Check out our Amazon agency buying guide to learn how to choose the right agency for you – and why Tinuiti might be that agency.

GS1 or our codes?

Should you get a barcode prefix from the GS1 or buy barcodes from you?

Why we may be a Better Deal.

GS1, formerly the Uniform Code Council (UCC), is the provider of UPC barcode prefixes. A company goes to the GS1, they purchase a prefix and then are responsible for the self-assignment of the identification numbers that go after the prefix.

In 2002 GS1 attempted to codify the agreement with UPC Barcode prefix holders which included renewal fees. The codified agreement included rules that were in the form of a contract which included not being able to subdivide a barcode number. Prior to this, there were no signed restrictive agreements with any prefix holders.

They started sending out renewal notices insisting that the prefix holders pay renewal fees and agree to the new terms and conditions. Ultimately a class action suit was levied against the GS1 in the state of Washington and the GS1 lost. All prefix owners prior to August 28, 2002 became exempt from the GS1’s renewal fees and new codified agreement.

All of the UPC barcode prefixes that we own are 6 digit prefixes and all predate 2002.

Quoting the UCC Settlement web site:

This Settlement provides that companies who became members of UCC before August 28, 2002, are not obligated to pay membership renewal fees to UCC to maintain membership as a condition for their use of Company Prefixes issued to them by UCC, or as a condition for Basic Membership Benefits as defined in the Class Settlement Agreement. Class members who have paid a renewal fee to UCC are entitled to compensation from a $3,895,000 settlement fund. The settlement also provides that the “licensing agreement,” which accompanied UCC renewal fee invoices, is null and void as to those who became members in UCC before August 28, 2002. **

In addition to renewal fees and added constraints, the GS1 also implemented variable-length 6, 7, 8 and 9 digit prefixes. Prior to this time, all prefixes were 6 digits in length allowing prefix holders to create as many as 100,000 UPCs. The GS1 realized that not every company needed to be able to generate 100,000 UPCs and also realized that by creating these variable-length prefixes, they would be able to sell more prefixes, for more money, to more people.

As far as we know, there are only a handful of companies that require a copy of this certificate: Kroger, Walmart/Sam’s Club, JC Penney and Macy’s. Depending on your buyer and region, Walgreen’s, Lowes and Home Depot may have additional requirements. It’s always important to ask your (major) retailers for their Vendor Compliance Documents prior to purchasing from us. According to our clients, we have sold barcodes to companies with products in Pep-Boys, Autozone, Amazon, Guitar Center, CD Baby, Whole Foods, Raley’s, Toys-R-Us, Safeway, Longs (CVS), etc.

The GS1 maintains the database of UPC Prefixes. It is our opinion that, although this database is conceptually a great idea, and has to be maintained, it is virtually ignored, unknown and unused.

Retailers input information from product data sheets filled out or given to them by their suppliers. The supplier gives the retailer the product information including the barcode based on the complete 12 digit code and the retailer enters it into their point of sale system.

There are no formal centralized databases of all product barcodes. Using the mathematical formula x=11*10 there are potentially 10 billion products that can be represented by UPC-A Barcodes at any given time. This, more than anything else, explains why there is no centralized database of products. No one has the bandwidth, energy or resources to catalog something this massive.

There is nothing programmed into a UPC barcode. The bars only represent the 12 digit number that is the barcode. The retailer associates these 12 numbers with the product information. This information is pulled from the retailer’s database when a product is scanned.

You have two choices when you need to buy a barcode or block of barcodes. You purchase directly from the GS1 (They charge a minimum of $750.00 plus a yearly renewal fee) or you purchase from us or a company like ours. Unlike some others, we do not charge set-up or renewal fees.

Quoting George Laurer, “Often I am asked if a person that purchases a number from a subset seller will have legal problems in the future. Again, I am not a lawyer, but if the number was originally assigned to the seller by the UCC before August 2002, the answer is no problem.”****

The decision to go with the GS1 or us is a matter of economies of scale. GS1 charges an upfront fee and a yearly renewal fee based upon the number of 12-digit barcode numbers that you need along with your company’s revenue. The more you make, the more the barcode prefix will cost you, and this amount can increase over time. We believe that the GS1 is a great organization, they provide a tremendous service, however, for a small business with a limited budget, we makes the most sense.