What are product identifiers?
Most new and manufacturer refurbished branded items have product identifiers, on the original casing or box. These identifiers include the item's brand name, Manufacturer Part Number (MPN), and Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). Identifiers make it easy for shoppers to find your items when searching online—on eBay.com and in external search engines such as Google and Bing. Find and update your qualifying listings with product identifiers now.
Learn more about how to locate and add product identifiers to your listings with Jim "Griff" Griffith.
Help shoppers easily find your items
Sellers who list branded items in new or manufacturer-refurbished condition in select categories are required to include the item's brand, manufacturer part number (MPN), and global trade item number (GTIN) to complete their listings. As of February 29, 2016, this applies to both new listings and existing Good 'Til Canceled (GTC) listings.
Apply identifiers to these items
- We will continue to extend the product identifier requirements to additional categories later in 2016. eBay will give advance notice of enforcing these new requirements so you’ll have time to update your listings.
- In addition to the boost in listing visibility, when you include product identifiers you can also benefit from:
- Increased visibility in eBay deals, bargains, and other promotions
- More robust listing information and item specifics, which are included automatically by matching your item with a product from the eBay catalog
- More accurate pricing guidance when you list your items
- Trending price alert in view item when your listings are priced lower than the trending price and include product identifiers.
- Be sure to add the required product identifiers to your listings now. Use the eBay bulk edit and relist tool or contact your 3rd party tool vendor to add product identifiers to items within your existing listing inventory. Learn how.
- Note: Sellers who list used, collectible, vintage, or one–of–a–kind items are not required to include product identifiers at this time.
How to maximize item views with identifiers
- Be sure to include your item’s product identifiers any time you list branded items in new or manufacturer-refurbished condition—particularly in the categories listed here.
- Use eBay’s bulk listing and editing tool to update your listings with the required product identifiers now to take advantage of increased search visibility.
- To save time while listing new items—and to make sure your listing is accurately described and priced competitively with like items on eBay.com—match your item with a product from the eBay catalog every time you list. When you do, the product identifiers for your item are included automatically in your listing.
- Review eBay’s best practices for maximizing your position in Best Match search results. And remember, creating great collections can also help attract more buyers to your listings.
Frequently asked questions
What are product identifiers?
Most new, branded items have identifiers that help buyers recognize and find them, including the item’s brand, Manufacturer Part Number (MPN), and Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). These GTINs can include an item’s Universal Product Code (UPC), European Article Number (EAN), or International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
Why is eBay now requiring product identifiers on some items?
Search engines, including the one on eBay.com and external sites like Bing and Google, use thousands of algorithms to help identify and display relevant product matches during online search sessions. Product Identifiers help those search engines capture eBay sellers' merchandise and display it for relevant searches. Product Identifiers also help grow the eBay catalog—which will ultimately facilitate faster, better buyer/item matching on eBay.com. Over time, as more sellers use product identifiers in their listings, the eBay catalog grows—connecting more shoppers to your listings.
In which categories are product identifiers required?
Items in new or manufacturer-refurbished condition in select categories are required to include the item's brand, MPN, and GTIN to complete new listings and manual relists.
Do I have to provide product identifiers for refurbished items?
Yes, refurbished items that are being listed in manufacturer refurbished condition will require product identifiers. Items listed in seller refurbished condition will not require identifiers.
Are multi-SKU listings included in this requirement?
- After January 31, 2016, you will be required to include product identifiers for new and manufacturer-refurbished multi-SKU items with variations in select categories.
- Until then, you will be able to voluntarily include product identifiers at the variant level in every listing tool except bulk editing within Selling Manager. Bulk editing in Selling Manager will be available in December.
I sell used/collectible/vintage/one-of-a-kind items—do I have to add product identifiers to my listing?
No. Although we recommend that you use product identifiers whenever possible to maintain search visibility, they are not required for listings of used, collectible, vintage, unbranded, or one-of-a-kind items at this time. Use "Does not apply" in the required fields.
What are the benefits of including product identifiers in my listing?
Product identifiers help buyers find your item more easily, both on eBay and in search engines like Google and Bing, even when the buyer does not specifically use them during their search. Listings that include an item’s brand, MPN, and GTIN are given greater visibility in eBay search results and navigation, and also benefit from:
- Priority placement in eBay deals, bargains, and other promotions
- More robust listing information and item specifics, which are included automatically when your item is matched to a product in the eBay catalog
- More accurate pricing guidance to help make your listings more competitive
How do I find my item’s MPN or GTIN?
Most manufacturers list identifiers like MPN and GTIN directly on a product’s packaging, and often right on the product itself. Remember, when you match your item with a product in the eBay catalog, product identifiers for your item are included automatically in your listing.
How do I add the required product identifiers to my listing?
Any time you create a new listing, use the appropriate fields to include your item’s required product identifiers.
You can add product identifiers to your existing listings using the drop-down menus found in eBay’s bulk listing and editing tool.
Where do I add EANs?
You should use the UPC field to enter EAN codes.
I already list my items using the required product identifiers. Do I need to do anything else to meet the requirement?
No. Many sellers already include all of the required product identifiers in their listings. For these sellers, there’s no additional action to take.
How can I find out which of my current listings need to be updated?
- Go to My eBay or Seller Hub
- Select all of your active listings
- Click "edit"
- Click on the filter(s) for "Required field" (UPC, brand, MPN) to display only the listings that need updated with product identifiers.
- Update the required fields, click "save" and "submit changes" to complete your listings and publish to eBay.
How do I add product identifiers to items where they are not required, but I still want to use them to help boost my search results?
When you're creating a new listing, simply click "add your own item specifics".
Will I need to add product identifiers when I revise my Good 'Til Cancelled listings?
Starting the week of February 29, 2016, product identifiers will be required to list or relist all items in new and manufacturer-refurbished condition in select categories. Good 'Til Cancelled listings of new and manufacturer-refurbished items in the same categories will also require identifiers to continue to automatically renew beyond the week of February 29, 2016.
I don't see the product identifier fields when I list on my mobile device. How can I add them?
If you usually use a mobile platform to create your new listings, you can continue to list as usual. You’ll simply need to use one of the other eBay listing tools to enter product identifier information. Be sure to talk to your 3rd party listing tool provider about using product identifiers if you list using a non-eBay listing tool.
I am reselling a new item but I can't find any product identifiers on the box or on the item. What should I put in the required fields?
- If you know the brand or model information but don’t know the MPN, GTIN, ISBN or UPC, search the eBay catalog when you list or relist your item. Additionally, the eBay catalog saves you time by auto-populating item description with accurate, validated product information directly from the eBay item database.
- If your item isn’t yet listed in the eBay catalog, search the manufacturer’s website or perform a web search using the brand and model to help locate the correct product identifiers.
- If you don’t know the brand, and there is not a visible product identifier on the item or its box, try searching the web or contacting your supplier.
- If you list new items that are considered white-label, custom manufactured, samples not for retail, or other types of new or refurbished products that do not have product identifiers, please enter "Does not apply" in the required fields.
- Note: If you purchase your own product identifiers for custom items, you may enter them in the required fields during listing.
What should I do if I sell branded vintage items that are new, but there are no product identifiers?
Some vintage items that are still new condition may not have product identifiers available. For example, books older than 1960 likely do not have ISBN. In these cases, the item would be considered 'vintage' and product identifiers are not required to complete your listing. Simply enter the words "Does not apply" in the product identifier fields to complete your listing.
I sell new and unworn sample shoes that are not in a box. Do I still need product identifiers?
If you list new, branded items that are considered white-label, custom manufactured, not intended for retail or other types of new or refurbished products that do not have product identifiers, you may enter "Does not apply" in the required fields.
If I use "Does not apply" in a required product identifier field, will buyers still be able to find my item in Search?
- If a product identifier truly does not exist and you enter "Does not apply" in the field, your search visibility will not be affected.
- If the product identifier does exist and you enter "Does not apply" in the required field, your item will lose search visibility — meaning, shoppers will have a harder time finding your item on eBay and on external search engines.
We strongly recommend sellers use "Does not apply" only when product identifiers truly do not exist to maintain visibility and remain competitive.
I entered a UPC code but I'm getting a message that it’s invalid. What’s wrong?
A product identifier would only get rejected if (1) it was not a valid product identifier, or (2) it was already associated to a different product. If you’re having trouble with a UPC, you can validate them online (just do a web search for 'UPC validator'). If you are entering a confirmed, valid UPC and it is not conflicting with an existing product already in the eBay catalog, please contact eBay Customer Service to troubleshoot.
What if I am selling a bundle or group of items that could have multiple product identifiers?
Bundles are defined as multiple different products being grouped together and sold as a single offer.
- If the bundle contains a primary items plus accessories (like a camera plus case and additional lenses) use the identifiers of the primary item and indicate in item specifics that it is a bundle offer
- If the bundle is created by the manufacturer use the identifiers provided by the manufacturer for the group
- If the offer contains multiples of the same product, we refer to that offer as a “lot”. Use the identifiers of the item that is grouped and use the lot size value to indicate the quantity in the listing. For example, if you are listing a 12-pack of blank DVDs, use the product identifiers from an individual DVD and enter a lot-size of “12” when creating the listing.
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