eBay Barcode Rules (2017)

Help and information about eBay's barcode policy changes in Sept '17

Clare Cormican avatar
Written by Clare Cormican
Updated over a week ago

eBay have recently started publicising some changes that they are making to their Product Identifier rules.


You can read all about their current rules and plans here:  Use product identifiers and item specifics


Of particular relevance is this section: 

Key dates

Make a note of these dates to make sure you're well prepared for all the upcoming changes:

September 2017
: you'll need to ensure that product identifiers are entered correctly for Good 'Til Cancelled listings. 

October 2017:
you must include product identifiers for all seller refurbished items.


Note: We previously announced you’d be able to add new types of product identifiers, including Amazon, Google and self-created product identifiers, and that we’d be removing the Does not apply option. This is no longer the case and we will communicate further updates, if available, at a later date.”


What does this mean for ChannelGrabber users?

In a nutshell, this means that whenever you list a new or seller-refurbished item to certain categories, you may no longer be able to select the “Does not apply” option for the “barcode” field. 


You should always endeavour to enter a barcode/product identifier whenever possible as well as the Brand field in the Item Specifics section of the eBay listing in ChannelGrabber, to avoid receiving eBay error messages when listing new items, or having your items removed by eBay at a later stage.


You will also need to go back through any previously listed items that are missing Brand and Barcode information, and populate this data too.



What if my item doesn’t have a barcode/product identifier that I can use?

If your item does not come with a barcode and your manufacturer is unable to provide one, or you manufacture your own products, then you can purchase your own barcodes that are fully licensed to your company, then you can allocate these to your products.


The only recommended body to purchase barcodes from in the UK is GS1:  www.gs1uk.org

When you register your barcodes through GS1 this means that they belong to your company, and cannot legally be used by, or sold to, anyone else.


Purchasing barcodes from anywhere else, including eBay sellers, will not guarantee you that your barcodes are licensed to your company and you may get into legal complications if you re-use someone else’s barcode for a different product (of course, if you are selling the same item as someone else, then it’s perfectly acceptable to use the same barcode).



Can I upload barcodes to my eBay listings in bulk?

Yes!  First you will need to export your eBay listing data from the Products > Data Exchange > Listings > Exports section. You will need, as a minimum:

  • eBay Account ID

  • eBay Nationality

  • eBay Barcode

  • eBay Title


Once you have exported your data, you will receive a CSV file which includes the SKUs and Listing IDs as well as the data listed above.  You can enter your barcodes in the “eBay Barcode” column, using the eBay Title column to help identify your products more easily, then just before you save the file, you should remove the eBay Title column as you don’t need to update the titles, just the barcodes.


Once your spreadsheet is ready you can then import this data back into ChannelGrabber via the Products > Data Exchange > Listings > Import section, which will populate the eBay barcode field and revise your existing listings so that eBay receive the update too.


More detailed instructions on the full export and import process can be found in our other guide here:  Exporting Product Data and Updating Existing Products & Listings

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