Product Identifiers

Boost visibility and sales. Include product identifiers.

2018 Spring Seller Update    See What’s New
Product Identifiers

What are product identifiers?

Most new or manufacturer-refurbished branded items have product identifiers on their original packaging. These identifiers include brand name, Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)— such as a Universal Purchase Code (UPC) or International Standard Book Number (ISBN)— and Manufacturer Part Number (MPN).


eBay requires these identifiers in many categories. They make it easy for shoppers to find your items on eBay and through external search engines. Find the entire list of qualifying and required categories here. Note that eBay does not currently require product identifiers for pre-owned, vintage, collectible, or one-of-a-kind items.

Benefits of product identifiers

Product identifiers give your listing:

  • Better visibility on eBay when an item's brand, MPN, and GTIN are included, and in search engines like Google and Bing, even when buyers don't use product identifiers in their searches.
  • Increased visibility in eBay Deals, bargains, and other promotions.
  • More detailed listing info and item specifics, which are automatically included when your item is matched to a product in the eBay catalog.
  • More accurate pricing guidance as you create your listing.
  • A trending price alert when similar items are selling for a higher price than your item.

Use eBay's bulk listing and editing tool to update your listings with product identifiers now to take advantage of increased search visibility.

  • Why does eBay require 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. Learn more about using product identifiers in listings.

  • In which categories are product identifiers required?

    Product identifiers for New and Manufacturer Refurbished items, and now the Seller Refurbished condition, are required in certain categories. We are also expanding the requirement to Used condition to some of these categories. Learn more about where identifiers will be required for the Used condition.

    Effective October 19, 2017, you will be required to provide product identifiers for newly created or revised listings.

    This requirement will be expanded to include Good 'Til Cancelled listings for Seller Refurbished and Used conditions in 2018.

  • Do I have to provide product identifiers for refurbished items?

    There is no difference between Seller Refurbished, Manufacturer Refurbished, and New items, in terms of which categories require product identifiers. For a full list of categories that require product identifiers, please visit our Structured Data - Product Identifiers page for details.

  • Are multi-SKU listings included in this requirement?

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    Seller update screen-7

    You can add product identifiers to your existing listings using the drop-down menus found in eBay's bulk listing and editing tool.

    Seller update screen 8

  • How do I associate my listings with the eBay catalog?

    There are different methods for associating your listing with a product in the eBay catalog. See detailed guidance below:

    1. Using eBay Tools

      New single variation listing

      1. Navigate to the listing flow.
      2. Search for products using Keywords, Title, MPN, or GTIN (UPC, ISBN, EAN).
      3. Review the details of the matching products.
      4. Select the product that best matches the item you are selling.
      5. Select condition and complete the rest of the listing form.
      6. Publish your listing.

      New multi-SKU or listing with variations

      1. Navigate to the listing flow.
      2. Enter your Title or select a Category.
      3. Select 'Create variations'
      4. Select the attributes that your items vary by and select 'Continue'.
      5. Add images.
      6. In the variation combination table, enter the GTIN (UPC, ISBN, EAN).
      7. Select 'Save and Close' and complete the rest of the listing form.
      8. Publish your listing.

      Revise an existing single variation listing

      1. Locate the listing you would like to revise.
      2. Select 'Revise your item' or 'Edit'.
      3. Click on the 'Find a product' link in the top right.
      4. Search for products using Keywords, Title, MPN, or GTIN (UPC, ISBN, EAN).
      5. Review the details of the matching products.
      6. Select the product that best matches the item you are selling.
      7. Update your listing.

      Revise an existing multi-SKU or listing with variations

      1. Locate the listing you would like to revise.
      2. Select 'Revise your item' or 'Edit'.
      3. Next to 'Variations', select 'Edit'
      4. In the variation combination table, enter the GTIN (UPC, ISBN, EAN).
      5. Select 'Save and Close'
      6. Update your listing.
    2. Using File Exchange

      You can use the column headers in FileExchange to associate your listings with products in the eBay catalog.

      For single variation listings, use the Product:EPID header and the appropriate EPID value for each listing.

      For multi-SKU or listings with variations, use the Product:UPC, Product:EAN, or Product:ISBN fields for each variation of the listing.

      For more information on formatting and header prerequisites, please review the File Exchange Advanced Instructions here.

    3. Using the Merchant Integration Platform (MIP)
      1. Open/Create the MIP flat file.
      2. For single variation listings, add a column with a designated EPID and provide the number that represents your item in the eBay catalog.
      3. For multi-SKU or listings with variations, include the correct values for UPC, EAN, or ISBN for each variation in the file.
      4. Upload the flat file to associate your items with the eBay Catalog.

      More Details

    4. Using Turbo Lister
      1. Select the appropriate category. For example: (DVDs & Movies > DVD, HD DVD & Blu-ray).
      2. Under Details, search using a keyword or the product's assigned identifiers (UPC/EAN/ISBN) to return a list of product matches.
      3. Select the product and click on Next button to enter, review, and provide additional Item Specifics.
      4. Once Item Specifics are selected, click on the Done button to save the product details.
    5. Using the API

      Review the 'Product Based Shopping API Playbook' for detailed instructions on how to associate your listings with products in the eBay catalog.

    6. Using 3rd Party Providers

      Contact your 3rd-party provider to find out more on associating your listings to an eBay catalog entry.

  • Where do I add EANs?

    You should use the UPC field to enter EAN codes.

  • How can I find out which of my current listings need to be updated?
    1. Go to My eBay or Seller Hub
    2. Select all of your active listings
    3. Click "edit"

    Active listings

    This takes you to the eBay bulk editing tool. From here:

    • Click on the filter(s) for "Required field" (UPC, brand, MPN) to display only the listings that need updated with product identifiers.

    Bulk edit

    Custom label

    • 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 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".

    Add item specifics

  • 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 samples 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.

  • 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.
  • What is a bundle?

    A bundle is group of items being sold in one listing. Bundles can be created by the either the manufacturer or the seller.

  • Can bundles include items from different categories?

    Yes. List your bundle in the category that is most representative of the primary item, or the majority of items in the bundle.

  • Are there different listing requirements required for bundles?

    Bundle images and descriptions must adhere to eBay listing requirements.

    Bundles should include items that are compatible.

    Images, Item specifics and description should clearly itemize all items included with bundles.

  • What product identifiers should I provide for my bundle listing?

    Provide the required product identifiers for the primary item in the bundle.

  • What is a lot?

    A lot is a listing that specifies a designated fixed quantity of items.

  • When should I consider listing items as a lot?

    For best results, list items that are generally multiple units of the same item being sold together, e.g.: four packs of 8 AA batteries.