Thousands of new ASINs are created every day and the catalogue number of Amazon is essential for a smooth managing of the product catalogue – for sellers, customers and for Amazon itself. It also makes products easier to find, avoids counterfeits and still, nearly every product sold on Amazon needs to have this number. Here you find everything you need to know about it.
Definition: What is an ASIN number?
ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number and it’s an alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com and its partners. It is used to identify all products within the organization and therefore, almost all products do get such a number.
This main goal of introducing this code was to have an easier and more efficient handling and tracking of all products in the respective warehouses and to improve the user experience by providing a unique search term.
The ASIN itself consists of a sequence of 10 letters or numbers or both. Even though it’s not internationally standardised, it is still making processes easier and reducing the overall workload.
Why ASINs are important for Amazon sellers?
You might wonder why this number is so important to Amazon sellers, but the explanation is quite simple. Here a brief overview before we go more into detail:
- ASIN equals Amazon’s catalogue number(s)
- More efficient item management by Amazon
- Exact and simple product search for sellers and customers (Required for almost every listing/product sold on Amazon
There are countless articles sold on Amazon and the product range is constantly growing. As the product catalogue of the online mail-order giant is incomparably huge, potential customers needed a simple and fast way to find products and Amazon needed that as well.
The introduction of the ASIN was also the introduction of a referencing system. It is also used by Amazon to track goods movements and inventory in warehouses and for indexing catalogue pages for search.
The customer satisfaction and user experience still matter and by using the ASIN for searching for a product, the search results are most accurate and relevant for the customer.
Last but not least, it’s mandatory to have a valid identifier to list a product on Amazon. Briefly speaking, the listing cannot be part of the catalogue without a catalogue number.
How to get ASIN numbers from Amazon: Where can I find this code?
Although all products that are sold on Amazon need to have an ASIN. Amazon’s own catalogue number does not necessarily have to be recreated every time.
Basically, there are two different types of products here that need to be distinguished:
- regular products and
- unique products.
For unique products, it is necessary to create a new ASIN, for products that are already sold by someone else, the existing ones shall be used.
ASIN number for regular products
Now let’s talk about regular products. In case you want to sell products that are already sold by competitors, an ASIN is likely to have already been created.
So how to find the correct ASIN?
There are several ways, or rather places, to identify the ASIN number. These places are:
- The web address/URL of the Amazon product listing
- The product details of the product Listing
- Specific ASIN lookup tools/software
Note: The ASIN can be found in the URL and in the product details of a listing!
ASIN in web addresses
The ASIN number of a product, that can be regarded as some kind of Amazon catalogue number, can easily be found in the URL of the product listing. This is probably the fastest and easiest way to look up the ASIN. You can always find it after /dp/ in the respective web address:
www.amazon.com/name of the product/dp/ASIN/...
This structure is always the same and this is definitely the fastest way to find the Amazon Standard Identification number.
Here is an example on how to find the identification number in the web address of the Amazon listing:
ASIN in product details
Besides looking up the ASIN in the URL, it is also directly displayed in the product details near the bottom of the product detail page.
As a manual ASIN lookup, like the two examples above, is not really useful when having many different products, here is what to do instead: using tools.
ASIN lookup tools
As just mentioned before, when you have many items listed on Amazon or if you need to manage several ASINs, you should use software or special tools for finding the numbers you are looking for – not only to save time but some providers also offer useful additional services that can improve your listing and your ranking.
Which tool work best? It depends.
There are many different tools for checking the ASIN of a product, like the Amazon ASIN Lookup Tool from amazon-asin.com or the ASIN Finder from keyworx. Some tools are free, others have to be purchased but provide a great overview as well as additional features. At the end, it depends on the amount of products you want to sell.
While sellers with only a few products can check their ASINs manually, for sellers with a big assortment, sellers that are selling a variety of products, using more complex and multi-layered tools (that can often be a bit pricier) can definitely make sense to keep track of the required number and e.g. to track the keywords or the whole ranking of the listing.
|Price||Free||United States: $30/month|
Specific country: $15/month
Outside US: $60 per month
|Reverse ASIN Search||✓||–||✓ (additional charge)|
|FBA Countries||UK, DE, FR, IT, ES||UK, FR, IT, DE, ES||UK, DE, FR, IT|
|Outside Europe||US||US, CA, AU, JP, MX, IN||US, CA, MX, IN, JP|
|Extra||Keyword Translator||Big collection of Amazon shopper search data||Keyword Trends|
ASIN code for unique products
If you want to sell a unique product (check if it’s really unique before you start selling), you need to get a new ASIN for this item.
This is the number that sellers who will sell the same item in the future are going to use as well. Naturally, especially if you are a manufacturer, this doesn’t always have to be the case and not all Amazon ASINs are used more than one time.
When adding a new product to the Amazon catalogue, you need to provide the UPC or GTIN of the product. What all these abbreviations mean and how they differ from each other, more about that later, now let’s talk again about unique items getting their respective number.
How to add a new and unique ASIN
When adding a new product to Amazon’s product catalogue, you need to add a new ASIN to it as well. This is only the case if your product is new on Amazon and wasn’t sold before.
To add a new ASIN, add a product on Amazon.com and create a new product listing. As soon as it’s uploaded, you are good to go and can start selling.
Note: Other Amazon sellers can use your ‘new’ ASIN when they are selling the same products!
Where is the Amazon ASIN used?
This identifier is not only used on the US-American Amazon market, Amazon.com, but also on Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Amazon.co.jp, Amazon.cn and Amazon.es.
Amazon’s ASINs are always unique, at least within one specific marketplace. If you are selling on various Amazon sites, different ASINs might be used for the same product.
Are there any products without an ASIN number?
Long story short: yes. The identifier Amazon uses for books is the book’s ISBN, the International Standard Book Number. Each book and even each edition of a book has its own ISBN, it replaces the Amazon-Identification-Number and can be found in the product detail page and in the URL of the listings as well.
The ISBN can be found in the product detail page and in the URL, just like the ASIN. Further, the UPC barcode on the back of the book has the ISBN written above. More in the next chapter.
ASIN vs SKU (Comparison): Amazon Stock Keeping Unit
SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) is a series of identifying numbers that allows you to get information about the actual location of your stock. It is mainly used to make inventory management for online sellers easier. The SKU can include short abbreviations from the actual product like the size, the colors, etc.
Every business has its own SKU and when you are storing in Amazon’s warehouses for example, this number allows you to track your goods and articles.
Other Product Identifiers: ASIN vs. GTIN vs. UPC vs. ISBN
There are several product identifiers that are used to identify products in the commercial world. While the ASIN is Amazon’s identifier, GTIN is used as a product identifier in international trade.
ASIN vs GTIN
The GTIN is a unique identification number which marks commercial articles and helps to identify these products in the commercial market. It consists of 8-13 digits and this sequence gets added to the barcode. The GTINs that are mostly used are the ASIN, the EAN, the UPC and the ISBN. We already spoke about the ASIN, now let’s continue with the European Article Number (EAN). This abbreviation can still be found rather often, even though it has officially been replaced by GTIN in 2005. That’s why we will also take a brief look at it.
European Article Number (EAN) – 13 digits
The European Article Number (EAN; also called International Article Number, IAN) is the former name of the GTIN. It’s an internationally unique product identification number for all kinds of commercial articles.
Note: The EAN has been replaced by the GTIN.
Universal Product Code (UPC): 12 digits
The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a bar code used to identify products in retail stores. It is a numerical code that gets coded and the barcode scanner can then read the sequence and identify the item. It consists of 12 digits.
International Standard Book Number (ISBN): 10-13 digits
The International Standard Book Number is a number used to uniquely identify books and other publications with editorial content. The ISBN replaces the ASIN for books sold on Amazon and even different editions of the same book are having different identification numbers. That’s why you can find the ISBN in the URL of the listing and in the product details as well, as some copies might have an ASIN and an ISBN, checking the ISBN in the product details makes more sense. Just to make sure. The ISBN consists of 10-13 digits and basically looks like this:
Note: Talking about books that are sold, the identifier is always the ISBN, also on Amazon.
Avoiding counterfeit sales
Now let’s talk about brand gating on Amazon and how the ASIN is used to prevent counterfeit sales.
Brand gating means that third parties who want to sell a trademark product must fulfill certain criteria set by Amazon. This is to prevent counterfeiters and unauthorized resellers from offering items on the platform and shall stop sellers that are currently doing so. Sellers and brands can apply to have their products protected by using Amazon’s brand gating. Now what has the ASIN to do with that?
The protection of the brand is ensured with the respective ASIN as any seller who wants to sell a product with a protected ASIN needs to get permission first. Further, after a reseller gets permission to sell a product with a protected identification number, usually he will have to pay an additional fee and provide recent and updated purchase invoices on a regular basis. A written permission from the brand has to be shown as well.
Merge ASIN numbers
Another way to protect your trademark from unauthorized use by counterfeiters is to merge two ASINs. Simply open a support case and request the merge of two ASINs of your products and avoid having duplicate listings.
All products that are sold on Amazon need to have a valid ASIN. Products being sold for the first time need a completely new number while products that are/were already sold can also take over the existing one. Especially manufacturers have to apply for a new ASIN regularly as they are usually the only ones selling this specific item.
The number is used in Amazon’s internal logistics, customers and sellers can find products more easily and counterfeiters have a harder time. Creating a list of the own ASINs can be very useful in order to always keep an overview and to be able to react quickly in certain situations – regardless of whether you need to find a listing, avoid counterfeits or simply want to reach out to Amazon’s support team.
We hope this article could give an insight on the Amazon Standard Identification Number and by keeping the information above in mind, you should be on the safe side.