What are product identifiers?
Product identifiers are unique codes created by the product manufacturer that can be used to identify a specific product. They work like barcodes and may include:
- Universal Product Codes (UPCs)
- Stock Keeping Units (SKUs)
- International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs)
- Manufacturer Part Number (MPN)
- Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)
The type of product identifier you use can vary depending on the category you’re selling in.
Using a product identifier can save you time when creating listings. When you enter the product identifier, eBay will suggest a match if your product already exists in the eBay catalog. If there’s a match, many of the fields such as title and some item specifics will be pre-populated.
When to use product identifiers
Product identifiers are required when you’re listing in most categories on eBay. Only use product identifiers that exactly match the product you’re selling. If you select a product that’s slightly different, such as a model from a different year or with different specifications, you risk misleading buyers. When you use the correct catalog entry, it could help reduce the number of return requests because people can be sure what they’re buying.
If there aren’t any matches in the catalog, you can click Continue without match, select a category, and create your listing manually.
Not every product has a product identifier. If you are listing a product that has no identifier (such as antiques) or you aren’t sure what it is, then you can simply select Does not apply.
Find the entire list of qualifying and required categories here.
Benefits of product identifiers
The biggest benefit of adding product identifiers to your listings is that it increases the chances of a buyer finding your item — both on eBay and through external search engines. Product identifiers give buyers a way to easily find and compare what's available while knowing your product is exactly what they’re looking for.
If you already have live listings without product identifiers
If you selected “Does not apply” or didn’t have the product identifier handy when you created your listing, it’s well worth spending the time to go back and fill in any product identifiers. This is the best way to future proof your eBay listings.