If you’re interested in selling on Amazon and looking up how to do it, sooner or later you’ll come across a curious little acronym, ASIN. So what is an Amazon ASIN? The short answer is, Amazon Standard Identification Number, but it’s more about how they’re used — and when they’re necessary — that makes them so important.
In this guide, we run through everything you need to know about Amazon ASIN: what they are, when you need them, and how to get one.
What Is ASIN on Amazon?
As we explained in Chapter 1 of our Ultimate Guide to Inventory Management ebook, the ASIN is the product identifier used by Amazon. (If that’s a new term for you, a product identifier is a scannable number like a UPC, usually listed under a barcode, that helps retailers keep track of their inventory.)
ASINs are used exclusively by Amazon, so you only need one if you’re selling there. In form, they are a 10-character alphanumeric code, a blend of seemingly random letters and numbers. ASINs are crucial to organizing Amazon’s internal structure; if everyone used their own product identifiers, it would be veritably impossible for Amazon to keep track of everything from each order.
The only exception are books — on Amazon, book products use their ISBN as a product identifier instead of an ASIN. This could be because Amazon started as an online book seller, or perhaps because books are the only products that already have a pre-existing, universal identifying code.
When Do You Need an ASIN?
You need an ASIN for every product you sell on Amazon. Moreover, ASINs are separated by countries, so for example Amazon U.S. and Amazon France use different ASINs for the same product. That means if you’re expanding into Amazon markets in other countries, you’ll need a new ASIN for each international site you sell on.
You also need to modify your ASIN if you offer product variations like different sizes or colors of the same item. Product variations use a “parent ASIN,” where a special “child ASIN” is tacked on to note which variation of the original product it refers to.
Product variation ASINs can be stacked on one another; if you’re selling two colors of t-shirts in three different sizes, you’ll have nine different combinations of parent-child ASINs, corresponding to each unique possibility. If you still have questions on how to use ASINs with product variations, this Amazon Seller Central page explains everything in more detail.
The good news is that products currently available on Amazon already have an ASIN, so if you’re selling them as well, all you have to do is look them up. We’ll explain how in the next section.
If you have an original product, then you’ll need to register a brand new ASIN, which we also explain below. Just be warned that, if you’re a new seller on Amazon, there’s a limit to how many new ASINs you can create. You’ll have to improve your sales numbers and ratings to earn more.
How Do You Find a Product’s ASIN?
If you’re selling a product that’s already available on Amazon (in your country), there’s no need to create a new ASIN. You use the same ASIN that the first seller created.
Finding a pre-existing ASIN is rather easy. For starters, it’s listed in the product details, so you just have to scroll down a little on the product page to find it. But you don’t even need to go that far — ASINs are also at the end of the product page’s URL. Assuming there’s no referral code, it will be the last ten characters, separated by a backslash.
If you’re using inventory management software like ecomdash, you won’t have to find it at all — our listing tool automatically fills it in for you so you don’t have to lift a finger to get it. All you have to do is add your product and ecomdash takes care of the rest.
How Do You Get a New ASIN?
If you’re selling a product that’s never been sold on Amazon before, it’s a bit trickier to get a new ASIN. On the bright side, it means you’ll be the only seller on Amazon to offer that product, so no competition.
Essentially, there are two ways to get a new ASIN: do it yourself, or use inventory management software.
Do It Yourself
First and foremost, you need a certified GTIN, or Global Trade Item Number. GTINs refer to standardized product identifiers registered by the GS1, the world authority, and they include UPCs, ISBNs, and EANs. Check your product to see if you can find any of these, or contact the manufacturer directly.
If you are the manufacturer, you’ll need to register your product directly with the GS1 US. This requires time — and small fees — so plan ahead. They’ll eventually send you your GTIN, which will allow you to register the product on Amazon for an ASIN.
Once you have a certified GTIN, go to Amazon Seller Central > Add a Product and click the button that reads “Create a new product.” Upload the product’s GTIN and Amazon will auto-generate an ASIN for your product.
Use Inventory Management Software
To save time, you can create a new ASIN using the listing tool on ecomdash. As long as you have a proper GTIN, you can register a new and original ASIN directly in ecomdash — no need to sign on to Amazon Seller Central.
On top of that, you can also create kits and bundles for your Amazon products, making more enticing packages for your shoppers. Not every inventory management software allows you to sell groups of products as individual units, so take full advantage of this ecomdash perk to set yourself apart from your competitors.
Get Started on Amazon Today
Don’t be intimidated by the random letters and numbers — ASINs are just a minor obstacle in the way of getting started on Amazon. If you’re selling products that already exist on Amazon, finding the right ASIN should take no time at all. And if you’re selling new products on Amazon, chances are you’ll need a GTIN anyway, so you might as well get one as soon as possible.
Once you have your ASIN, though, there’s nothing standing between you and the lucrative Amazon marketplace!