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Fri May 13 2016 11:47:11

Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
There is no real "crackdown" by Amazon on UPCs not purchased from GS1 because Amazon does not automatically check the GS1 registration of UPC codes.

The UPC registration checking: "the crackdown," is only done manually and is usually done by an overzealous Customer Service Rep at Amazon.

Usually this registration checking is done in response to a seller's request for assistance with a listing problem and the Amazon person doesn't want to, or can't solve the problem. They will then lookup the GS1 registration and blame the UPC codes for the problem with the listing and scare the seller by telling them the codes are either stolen, already used or invalid and that they must purchase codes directly from GS1. Amazon sometimes even asks to see the "GS1 Certificate," but this shows how much misinformation about UPCs there is at Amazon - GS1 does not issue certificates.

To comply with Amazon's directive and purchase codes from GS1, the pricing for a small quantity starts at $250 for the first 10 codes plus a $50/ year annual renewal fee. The high cost of codes is why GS1 is a minor player for Amazon sellers who list using their own UPCs. Probably > 90% of the codes used by sellers for creating listings on Amazon were purchased from UPC barcode resellers and not GS1.

Amazon and GS1 are totally out of touch with the way UPCs are being sold and used.

For existing listings, Amazon cannot afford to "crackdown" on the use of GS1-issued codes purchased from sources other than GS1 without invalidating millions of listings. 

And, if all new Amazon listings were required to have codes purchased directly from GS1, and the rule was enforced, the financial hardship on sellers would be significant and the number of new product listings would decrease.

Thank you,
S.



Comments (24) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 13 14:47:05 2016

Just like Ebays so called crack down on UPC's.

Its all smoke and mirrors, no meat.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri May 13 15:20:01 2016

I just got off the phone with Amazon.

I wanted to find out what I needed to do to sell there.

Used tools are OK

But, I have to by a UPC code for $5 for my item that doesn't have one. She said the price would drop if I bought a lot of them, I wonder what a lot is?

Next is the $39.99 a month fee on top of the 15% they want for selling tools.

Top that off with having to wait 14 days for customer payments.

I can tell you I WON'T be selling on Amazon anytime soon ~ LOL

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri May 13 15:38:37 2016

Ebay is NOT doing any kind of a "crack down" on UPCs themselves.  They have announced nothing of the sort.  It was Amazon that said they were cracking down on invalid UPCs.

What Ebay is doing is trying to get sellers to accomodate UPC or ISBNs because the primary search engine for the internet [Google] says they want it or they will lower items without it in the searches.

What Ebay is doing is NOT what the OP is talking about in regards to Amazon.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 13 17:01:50 2016

@Marie You probably didn't get hundreds of listings taken down in early April like the rest of us did. It was a UPC crack down. Ebay offended some big sellers and have since stopped taking down the listings.

No where did I say Fleecebay announced any crack down. Most of the smart sellers have gotten around the UPC codes by simply using DOES NOT APPLY.

All I did was make a comparison between the harassment of both slimy companies.

So my statement stands. ALL SMOKE AND MIRRORS NO BEEF,

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

by: sellerchick This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 13 22:10:29 2016

Requiring UPCs is not only smoke and mirrors, it's a joke. The big picture: Amazon needs to STOP allowing sellers to sell on each others listings!  I'm so sick of doing all the heavy lifting on providing UPC compliant private label listings, only to have 6 Chinese Spammer seller accounts(meaning the same person using 6 accounts) list on my ASINs immediately. What a joke. My sales are down 75% on Amazon and it's AWFUL seeing negative product reviews trashing my ASINs because people bought from the lowest priced bottom feeder sellers.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri May 13 22:44:13 2016

@froggy

I had some taken down that were missing UPCs.  But it still is not the same thing at all.

Ebay in certain categories wants UPC/ISBN/MPNs where appropriate.  If you don't put the number in or put Does Not Apply, then they were closing listings.  Ebay announced this and talked about it for over year before starting the take down.  It was covered in Seller updates and various announcements.  Ebay started on this UPC thing in 2014.  They didn't keep it a secret.

Amazon is the site doing the "crackdown".  Amazon is trying to get rid of BAD UPCs.  Many of the UPCs on Amazon are not correct and that is what the are cracking down on.

Two completely different things.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Sat May 14 04:26:29 2016

What's the difference between "Does not apply" and the field left blank? No doubt a cretin from eBay would be able to explain ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent, the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid. ...

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 15 09:27:49 2016

I dont know about any UPC crackdown on eBay, but I am aware of one on Amazon.

My rep simply told us that they were trying to fix the catalog (some items have a half dozen ASINs) and that alot of the UPC codes were wrong.

The Amazon app uses UPCs to order and even lets you scan directly into the app.

They found that alot of the UPCs were false, some made up, some cobbled together from different sources, some off grocery items!

Mine were correct to start with so I had no issues.

Alot of people I know buy UPC codes for the bundles they create (to avoid UPP/MAP or blocked/gated items). Id venture to say Amazon is working to crack down on that as well.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: askalice59

Sun May 15 18:34:44 2016

The current Amazon crackdown is about be able to only use product photos with burned White backgrounds.  

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 16 00:15:42 2016

The difference between an empty text box and 'does not apply' is probably the empty text box interrupts the aggregated search whereas 'does not apply' is a recognised text string.

Having said that, the whole business of forcing UPCs on the resale market is barmy. I know of few who purchase everyday stuff on eBay - they go to the store or to amazon or another website. What they DO purchase on eBay, and purchase regularly, are items that cannot be found anywhere else, used items, unusual items, and they spend plenty of money on what they're looking for, because NO ONE has it but eBay. Why does eBay seem so ashamed of we resellers? We're still the name reason people come to the site.  

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon May 16 02:35:37 2016

I don't think they are Bargainzbabylon.  Certainly there are lots and lots of used items for sale on Ebay, but there are also lots and lots of new items.  I'd bet there are more new items than used now.  

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 16 02:49:08 2016

The funny part about amazon's cracking down is they abuse isbn numbers the time.  I'll enter an isbn for a hardcover book and it will take me to the Kindle page

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon May 16 02:57:03 2016

@mindelec

That is their problem and that is why they are doing their so called "crackdown".  They have allowed invalid UPCs to be entered on the site.  They are trying to get it cleaned up.  Certainly Amazon is at fault for the problem, they allowed it to happen.  So not it is a mess they are trying to get cleaned up.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 16 03:11:02 2016

@marie  

the isbn I enter to search for a book is a valid isbn from the hardcover.  Amazon has decided that the number will lead me to the Kindle ebook page for that title instead of taking me to the hardcover page which matches the book.

Find it ironic that in the book category amazon itself is the biggest misuser of isbns. I guess they think that if they take people t the Kindle ebook page they will just buy a kindle.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon May 16 03:46:07 2016

@mindelec
I think you discovered the real crackdown.

''Sellers make sure you put in the correct UPC so buyers will be directed to make their purchases from Amazon Prime along with Kindle and Echo.''

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

by: Alex5512 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 16 06:34:43 2016

I know there is a crackdown on some brands UPC coding. Michael Kors being one. We have sold Michael Kors since 2008 on Amazon and now even when we put the authentic upc codes in we cannot list our items. We have to contact Seller Support and get help with the product listing. It is a ridiculous waste of our time because I like to list our items fast and this is a huge slowdown that I am feeling I do not want to bother with any more.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

by: tjdbike This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 16 10:24:46 2016

So just make eBay happy by finding a UPC for a box of rocks and then use it for any listings that you don't have a UPC for.
The are currently 2,834 BOR listings on eBay to choose from.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 16 10:36:31 2016

askalicet59 - that is not a crackdown by Amazon. it's been a requirement for listing for YEARS and YEARS (I've been on Amazon as long as I've been on ebay - 19+ years)

For photos, I use Powerpoint 2010 to remove backgrounds.  EasyPeasy

askalice59
     
Sun May 15 18:34:44 2016
The current Amazon crackdown is about be able to only use product photos with burned White backgrounds.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon May 16 10:42:38 2016

>>Amazon is the site doing the "crackdown".  Amazon is trying to get rid of BAD UPCs.  Many of the UPCs on Amazon are not correct and that is what the are cracking down on.<<  And these incorrect UPCs need to be removed. I am constantly turning in incorrect UPC and product pages for having the wrong info. I only know my niche when it comes to UPCs, but all the companies that I deal with have their own set of 6 numbers at the start of the UPC number. Any numbers other than those are false! They make piles of trouble for those of us listing with the correct numbers, which is why I correspond so frequently with CSR. I don't understand why anyone is buying UPC codes anyhow. If your item doesn't have a UPC then go find a different place to sell it. What I find worse is items that have a UPC and people either buy or make up their own numbers. This tells me that the 'sellers' of the items with the made up number AND category at least half of the time, don't even have or own the actual item in stock.

Wrong UPCs are a continual source of irritation for me and I am happy to help Amazon crack down on them. Putting an incorrect UPC in a listing is deceptive. I don't understand why so many are willing to break all the rules, lie and cheat to make money.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown   Amazon and the So-Called UPC Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon May 16 13:00:39 2016

@tjdbike

You can certainly do that or something similar, but in the end you only hurt your own visibility of your own products when people use outside searches such as Google.

Again, what Ebay is doing and what Amazon is doing are two completely different things.

@mindelec

I only speak for myself, but when I put in an ISBN for a book, I do see Kindle electronic books as well as paperback and hardback if available.  Whatever versions that are available is what I see.  

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