Can i use UPC code repeatedly?


Hi there, I have an individual account and I know that you can sell no more than 40 items but I was thinking, if I buy 40 UPC codes can I use them repeatedly? In case i sell these 40 items and I post the new 40 with the same UPC code. Or do I have to buy new ones? The items are going to be of the same material and design, just completely different images. Thank you.


You’re not limited to only selling 40 products with an individual account. UPC’s are assigned to a Specific product. Amazon now compares the UPC Against the GS1 database. You can sell a million plus identical products using the same UPC. Slow down and read over all the help pages etc… found in your seller central. If you get banned from selling here, it’s for life.


I’m selling images transferred onto fabric, that are in handmade, I did apply for it but I am still waiting for approval. In the meantime, I opened an individual account just to try it. I need to figure out where to put these handmade items, if there is even a chance for me to do that because I know that those items are just for Amazon Handmade. And I don’t want to be chased off of the Amazon Marketplace for silly mistakes. But thank you for the info.


That is not how it works.

There are different categories for Handmade.

There are different formats for the catalog pages, and different rules for many aspects, like images/


Hi. I know that there are different categories for Handmade, (I was approved back in 2017) when i finally tried to post some items this year, i was denied, i was told that the Handmade is valid just for 6 months, and that if I like to try again i need to apply again with different email this time. I’m just looking and reading if I can sell handmade items while waiting to be approved (or not) on Amazon, and what category i can sell in, it is to much to read and i don’t like to make a mistake while doing that…Thank you.


Look at the subcategories of Home and Kitchen>Home Decor

you will need UPCs for each different product and may have difficulties due greater controls on brands which are not in brand registry.


I see that i can sell handmade items in Arts, Crafts & Sewing›Needlework›Cross-Stitch, because Home and Kitchen>Home Decor belong in Handmade. I’ll try with Arts & Crafts section first. By the way, if I’m approved in Handmade, can i transfer the items from my individual account to Handmade? or I need to delete my individual account? Thank you.


@And_Then_Some, are UPCs required for Handmade ASINs? :thinking:

@EVASTREASURE1, are you certain that Amazon Custom might be a better fit than Handmade? Or do you prepare these items ahead of time to list and sell, rather than customize on-demand for Buyers?


Hi. Maybe they are not better fit, but while I’m waiting to be approved, I’ll post around 40 items, just to see how it will go, and for Handmade you don’t need codes, but you need to be approved first, so nothing to lose right?


IMO that is the wrong category and may violate Amazon policy. Copying other seller’s violation does not protect you in any way. “Everyone else is doing it” is not a valid defense when you are targeted by Amazon.


Maybe you are right. Under “Everyone else is doing it” I meant people who do a similar job as me. Artists who do a lot of handmade stuff. Some of them have been on Amazon for years, and they are still here. I don’t copy anything and anyone, I’m just looking for the right category to sell my items in, without being punished by Amazon, while I’m waiting for approval from Amazon Handmade (if I’m approved). The question was, can I sell handmade items without even applying for Handmade (i did apply which is plus) account, and in what category? I signed up for an individual account, just to see how it goes. That’s about that.


You can only use the UPC code for the exact item. This UPC code should always be used for the item it was assigned to. You cannot re-use UPC codes for any other item at any time


No you can’t reuse them


Strange…I thought that if I sold two similar pictures (like 99% similar), I could use the same UPC code for the second picture. Because they are almost identical. But what do I know? I am just getting info at the moment, so when I start, I will know what to do. Thank you guys!


Instead of using UPC as Universal Product Code think of it as UNIQUE Product Code. It must (in theory at least) match EXACTLY.

I have one manufacturer that has chosen for whatever reason (cost I’m sure) to “recycle” their UPC codes using ones from long discontinued products. The PROBLEM is that AMAZON has a long memory and a PERMANENT data base – once a UPC Code is in, it is in forever.

Because of that I had a nightmare trying to list the NEW products from the company since the UPC Code kept defaulting to an entirely different product – not even in the same category, let alone for the same instrument!

Another question for you though – you say you are selling images transferred onto fabric. Are those images that YOU own the rights to or are they images taken from someplace else? If you don’t own the rights to the images you can end up in a world of hurt financially and legally. A LOT of people that own images crawl the web looking for targets and have really expensive lawyers on retainer.


i sell in amazon handmade.

when i wanted to try out selling my handmade items in my professional account, i got GTIN exemptions so i didn’t need upc codes.

but i’m not sure if that works in individual accounts or not, you should look into it.

good luck!!! :slightly_smiling_face:


@Hello_Friends gave you the right answer. If you’re going to list outside of handmade, you can request GTIN exemptions for your products, so you don’t need UPC codes for them.

If you do use a UPC code though, you need to make sure it’s the right UPC for the product.

Think of it like this -

  • If you shop at a craft fair with homemade items, none of them will have UPC codes because they’re not mass produced. A UPC is, in simple terms, used for mass produced items.
  • If you shop at a grocery store, each item will have a UPC code, and it better have the right code. UPC’s identify unique products, so that when the clerk scans a bag of Lay’s potato chips, you end up paying for Lay’s potato chips, not Kraft salad dressing. You can see why it’s essential for each bag of chips, bottle of dressing, and every other product, to have the unique and correct UPC on the product.

Now, think of Amazon like a giant retail store, with a section of handmade items. The mass produced stuff needs the right UPC code on it so it can be inventoried and sold correctly. If you wanted to sell chips, salad dressing, underwear, toilet paper, swim suits, neckties, blenders etc on Amazon, you would need to list them under their correct UPC.

If you’re selling items you make yourself, you wouldn’t need UPC’s, and that’s why you’d request a GTIN (GTIN just means ‘formal product identifier’, of which a UPC is one type) exemption. Requesting this exemption is telling Amazon that your products don’t need identifier codes.