What would you like to ask GS1 about GTINs?

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In a couple of weeks time I’m going to interview GS1 and ask some of the questions you want answers to. If there is anything you’d like asked, please pop your question in comments below.

GS1 are the authority on GTINs ( EANs and UPCs) and if you want to buy genuine GTINs they are the only people that can issue them for your business, but some people still sell unauthorised GTINs on the Internet. Should you buy genuine GTINs or unathorised ones? What if you already have unathorised GTINs what should you do? They’re a pain point when all you want to do is list your inventory on marketplaces. We want to ask GS1 the questions you want answered.

What are we going to ask?

The type of questions Tamebay readers have already asked are:

Do GTINs on marketplaces really make a difference with search engine traffic?

Why should I buy a GTIN if other retailers can then use it?

I have custom made products and someone else is selling a similar product and using my GTIN, what can I do?

I bought GTINs someone else, why should I (and can I) update my marketplace listing with GTINs from GS1?

I don’t want reviews for other sellers appearing against my eBay listings so I don’t use GTINs. Am I right to do this?

Why should I pay for GTINs, surely the manufacturer should do this?

I’m sure there are many other similar questions. Let us know what you want to ask and we’ll put the questions to GS1 in the interview.

8 Responses

  1. Why is their pricing so old-world an utter weirdness of revenues — not per number? Who regulates their monopoly? Who dished out the monopoly? What is GS1? Who owns it? If they’re so good/useful, why aren’t they free and/or paid for by the marketplace? Why are they more expensive than MAC addresses or IP addresses (other numbers with a central registry that mustn’t clash). Does it offer a centralised registry (whois) of numbers vs products/organisations or just bank the cheques? What do they do with the money? Are gtin’s fattening / immoral / vegan?

    Can I reuse numbers allocated to me? Can I get a refund on numbers I no longer need? Can I just use one number? What does a number cost – for a year? How do I buy just one number? Can an item have more than one gtin? Is it advisable for an item to have more than one gtin? What stops an item from having more than one gtin? Who polices the use of gtins? Can I buy many (all?) the numbers and sell them on to other retailers? Can ebay buy a huge block of numbers and have their retailers use them free?

    What is annual gmv of google shopping sales? What is google’s planned site and search changes to accommodate non-gtin items? How do gtin’s compare with asin’s? Why didn’t Amazon use gtin’s if they are such a good thing?

    If I have an item in front of me without a barcode how do I find out its gtin? In under 30 seconds? What if the barcode is wrong or unauthorised — how do I check it?

    * * * *

    Why am I worrying about this rather than figuring out how to delight my customers?

  2. Yes I do have question, I initially purchased 1000 codes to start my business as I did not know whether it would be successful or otherwise and that was the most sensible option to start with.

    I then had to purchase 10,000 as the need for new barcodes grew with new ranges for each season. However for some reason GS1 would not give me the new barcodes with the same company prefix. This has caused a major problem with Amazon as my company prefix is white listed to sell a range of brands.

    When the codes arrived with the new prefix they could not be used on Amazon because the prefix was not white listed. It would appear to anyone not selling on Amazon that resolving this would be a straightforward process to get the new prefix white listed. Unfortunately it is not and 5 months down the line it is still not resolved. I am by no means alone in this situation.

    This change of company prefix for each new batch of barcodes is in fact not compatible with the Amazon processes. It is destroying businesses selling on line with Amazon.

    I can see no reason for GS1 to change the company prefix just because they are issuing a new batch of codes. They seem to be unaware of the major problem it is causing for the businesses it affects and don’t appear to be prepared to make changes to resolve this.

  3. I would like to know:
    1. When we invest in the code, why can’t we get other users of it to share that cost, the easiest way being that other users also have ot invest and then we should get a refund / credit periodically.
    2. Why can a product have more than 1 code? It’s ridiculous that I pay for them and then someone else lists the same product with a different code, maybe just os they can get around the listing requirements and they actually do not want to be on my listing.
    3. Why are the rules surrounding the use of the codes sacrosanct around the world like they are for ip addresses and domain names etc? When they are, perhaps it will be right to use them

  4. What is going on with the adoption of the next generation “DW” barcodes which can’t be counterfeited


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