Amazon Barcodes: UPC vs ASIN vs FNSKU vs SKU Labels?

This part is something I was really struggling with when I had to design my first product packaging: How do I get Amazon barcodes? There are so many terms and it all sounded really confusing. So let me explain it for you:

First of all you need a UPC for your product. With this UPC you can create your Amazon listing. Once you have created your Amazon listing you can create a FNSKU barcode. Which you will need to place on your product packaging.

Was that to fast? Let me break it down:

What is an UPC Barcode?

UPC stand for Universal Product Code. It is the 12 digit barcode that is used in US stores. Each product will have a unique UPC. Like I said, this is mostly used in the US. While in Europe they use a different barcode: EAN.

Where to Buy UPC Barcodes for Amazon?

Amazon advices you to buy UPC barcodes from the official GS1 organisation.

GS1 UPC Barcode Pricing

However, they are quite expensive from GS1 and there also a lof other places, where you can buy legit UPC barcodes way cheaper. I buy my barcodes from SnapUPC. If I buy 10 barcodes from GS1 I would have to pay $25 per UPC barcode + an annual fee. While at SnapUPC I only pay $1,50 per barcode.

SnapUPC UPC Barcode Pricing

Amazon is not enforcing the GS1 rule right now. You can buy cheap UPC barcodes from 3rd party sellers and create your Amazon listing. However, in they future they might change their mind on this and force everyone to switch to GS1 UPC barcodes.

How to Create FNSKU Labels?

Ok so we got our UPC labels, it’s time to go to the next step and get our FNSKU labels. In order to do this you have to login to your Seller Central account, and create a new product listing.

In this screen you look for the Product ID field. Here you select UPC from the dropdown menu and enter your UPC barcode.

How to Print FNSKU Labels?

Now that we have created our product we can get our FNSKU label from Amazon. First select the product, then from the action dropdown menu select: “Print item labels”:

On the next page you got the option to select the FNSKU Label size. I would advice not to scale it yourself any smaller, as could mean that the FBA warehouse would not be able to scan your barcode.

There you go: This is the Amazon barcode you need on your product packaging! You can attached it yourself, or if you are create a private label product in China; you can let your manufacturer print it on the packaging.


SKU stand for Stock Keeping Unit. This is mainly used for your own administration. You can pick any number / word combination. However, once you created the SKU in Amazon Seller Central you can’t change it anymore. I would advise people to pick a SKU on which they can remember the product.

For example if I sell a Large Black Garlic Press. I would great the following SKU: GARBLACKL. Now if I just see this SKU somewhere in my administration I would know exactly which product is linked to the SKU.

What is an ASIN?

Another term that people mix up is ASIN. However, it has nothing to do with barcodes. ASIN is Amazon’s own SKU they use to manage and organise all products. You can find the ASIN in the URL of a product on Amazon.

For example:

The ASIN can be found right after the /dp/ part in the link. In this case it is: B07DNBX1C4.

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About the Author: Garlic Press Seller


  1. Thanks for clear explanations. I am the one who has been planning to start my small business on Amazon and getting a lot of useful information from your posts. Thank you so much for that again. I think I have got some points that you have said on this post. However, what does that letting your manufacturer print it on the packaging mean? Does it mean that I should open my id to the manufacturer? Or is that possible to send them by email?
    Also, not to scale it yourself any smaller means that we should print them out into a bigger size?
    Sorry if the things that I have been asking are complicated. but yeah I would really aprreciate if you answered for my questions. Thank you.

    1. Yeah so you can download the FNSKU in different sizes on PDF. You simply send the size you want on the PDF to the manufacturer and he will make sure to add it to the packaging.

      And with resizing I mean not to alter the size of the FNSKU labels when you download them.

  2. Hi! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and responding to every question! Your content is really helpful! I am ready to purchase my first order, and am currently drafting my purchase order contract. The only part where I need help on is packaging. I am selling a product that will be wrapped in a poly bag. Do I ask them to print FNSKU labels and place them outside each poly bag? Then, there will be about 35 of of these units inserted into a box for a total of 14 boxes and the boxes will be mailed to Amazon warehouse. What do I need to make sure is on the box that will be mailed to Amazon?

    1. Hi,

      Thanks! Yeah you need to print the FNSKU on the packaging, so in your case the poly bag. I will post a new guide about packaging next week, which also might be interesting for you. Then you need to create the shipment in your seller central account. When you created the shipment it will give you carton labels & a FBA warehouse address. You will need to apply the labels to your cartons.

  3. So we need a UPC AND a separate FNSKU on each item we sell? So if I’m ordering 1,000 items, then 1000 of the same UPC and 1000 of the same FNSKU? And we can’t get a FNSKU until we make a product page on Amazon for that specific product? So then we’re making the Amazon product page for that item, before it even leaves China? Is that correct? Thanks for all your help.

    1. No you need 1 UPC / FNSKU per SKU. So if you want to sell a black garlic press and order 1000 units, you would only need 1 UPC / FNSKU. But if you sell red, blue, purple & pink garlic press, you would need 5 different UPC / FNSKU’s, as they are 5 different SKU’s.

      1. Ok thanks. And the second part of the question?

        “And we can’t get a FNSKU until we make a product page on Amazon for that specific product? So then we’re making the Amazon product page for that item, before it even leaves China? Is that correct? Thanks for all your help.”

  4. Great post but I do have a question… I’m going to be private labeling a supplement product of sorts, and I’m using Outlinematic per your recommendation, but does the UPC barcode need to be on the product bottle itself, and the Amazon FNSKU on the Box somewhere, or do both codes need to be on the box so they can be scanned at the warehouse?

  5. Thanks so much for your blog….its helping a ton. However, I’m still a bit confused. I send to the manufacture a PDF of my SKU, and a PDF of my FNSKU. They will print both on EACH of the 1000 packages before leaving the factory? Is this correct?

    1. Hi,

      No you only need to have the FNSKU barcode on the product. SKU is just for your own administration.

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