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Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN)
Posted by Johan Du Toit, Last modified by Johan Du Toit on 19 June 2018 09:46 AM

When creating a listing on bidorbuy, sellers need to fill in the product identifier or Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) field, if available.

GTIN is commonly found on the barcode number. That means that sellers simply need to copy the barcode number of the product.

Sellers who bulk upload their products will find the new GTIN column in their spreadsheet. As for trade feed sellers, bidorbuy has implemented a plug-in to pull the GTIN codes (providing that trade feed sellers have already implemented GTIN labels in their ecommerce websites).

What is GTIN?

Global Trade Item Numbers, or barcodes, have been around for about 40 years. They are currently used in more than 150 different countries and can be grouped into five categories:

  • UPC is a 12-digit GTIN (older 8-digit UPC codes are being converted to 12-digit codes) used in North America.
  • EAN is a European GTIN number with 13 digits.
  • JAN can have either 8 or 13 digits and is used only in Japan.
  • ISBN is a 13-digit number used exclusively for books. ISBNs with 10 digits should be converted to ISBN-13.
  • ITF-14 is generally used on bulk packages of a specific product. For example, a case of dozen cans of the same soup (with each individual can stamped with the same barcode) can bear a 14-digit long ITF-14 number.

When online platforms such as Google, Bing and Facebook decided to use GTIN codes in marketing advertisements, they became important for online sellers. bidorbuy will not be able to market and promote products listed on bidorbuy effectively if they do not have a GTIN code.

What are the advantages of GTIN codes for bidorbuy sellers?

Since product identifiers are becoming a norm in ecommerce, not having GTIN codes is likely to affect the indexation of your products on search engines such as Google and Bing. On the other hand, products with GTIN codes will be better referenced, which can improve traffic to your bidorbuy listings and help grow your business.

GTIN codes also help in building customers’ trust. Savvy shoppers know that GTIN-labelled products are more likely to be authentic and will therefore be more likely to buy them.

If you sell internationally, GTIN codes make it simple for shopper around the world to identify your products.

What if you sell products that do not have GTIN codes?

Some products do not have identifiers, such as original paintings, antiques, handmade items, and so on.

The majority of mass-consumption products, however, should have barcodes. If you sell items made by manufacturers who are not (yet) in the GTIN system, or if you sell items you manufacture, consider obtaining GTIN codes. You can buy them from GS1, a global non-profit organisation, which involves an initial outlay and an annual subscription. Alternatively, you can buy GTIN codes from a reputable reseller.

Do note that a unique GTIN is required for each variety of a product. For example, if you make six varieties of lip balm, you should have six different GTIN (or barcode) numbers.

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