How To Swap Your Non GS1 Barcode Without Persecution

Lorna Lever joins us to dispel myths about how to swap your non GS1 barcode, the amnesty for those sellers still on legacy barcodes and how to make the change of barcode on your Amazon listing

  • Selling on marketplaces for global retailers, Mothercare, Early Learning and BooHoo and Dune London
  • Lots of experience na scars from these areas
  • Didn’t understand what EANs or UPCs were
  • Global brands just have this setup already
  • Lorna learnt a lot coming into GS1

The Wild West

  • Goes back to 2002 and a lawsuit in the US
  • GS1 Members could perpetually keep their barcodes without paying an annual licence
  • They started selling those on and these are the unauthorised source of GTINs

Duplicate GTINs

  • There are companies out there that are duplicating and selling on and on
  • These are not part of the GS1 system and could therefore become a duplicate of GS1 codes
  • It need to be one system only for them to work
  • As soon as a duplicate appears in Amazon it’s a problem for them and customers

Amazon data feed from GS1

  • Amazon take a data feed from GS1 and verify new lines against the data feed
  • They will be moving onto the back catalog as well making the unauthorised GTIN sellers a bigger problem for Sellers
  • eBay are also tackling this duplicates problem and having a crackdown


  • Difference between Amazon and eBay is that Amazon can have a GTIN as a prohibited item so can’t be resold
  • eBay not there yet as a newer player
  • But have been accelerating their programme from the end of 2017
  • On eBay people are still buying GTINs there creating duplicates
  • GS1 working with eBay to demonstrate how this is causing problems
  • Had 300 listings removed on eBay already

Don’t know where to buy

  • Not about policing or squeezing money out of small sellers
  • Why are people buying these?
  • People don’t know where to buy
  • Pricing is different from US to UK
  • Can I buy from the UK as it’s cheaper?
    • People see a 13 digit number and assume that’s all you’re getting, but GS1 offer a lot more than just the digit
    • When you’re starting out you might want to test things
    • GS1 has 112 offices and compete against each other – so don’t talk of pricing between localities
    • You can join whichever one fits you and your business best but a local office gives a more local service and language

Shady Barcodes can be Changed – Hurrah

  • Buying shady barcodes worries you – can you swap your non gs1 barcode?
  • You may not be able to change your listing or ask anyone about the barcode
  • Heard it’s Not easy to change a barcode once you’ve started selling
  • We’ve a seller here that has switched his barcode to a new GS1 legit barcode and it’s worked
  • GS1 website shows you how swap your non GS1 barcode safely
  • Lorna looking for someone with a product that people are happy to test the switchover

How to Swap your Non GS1 Barcode

  • Any existing stock in Amazon with an old barcode needs to come out of Amazon first to change the barcode
  • Clear your stock
  • Close the listing
  • Switch over the barcode on the listing
  • Once it’s gone through and confirmed and listed – give ti a few hours afterwards
  • Raise a new shipment with the new barcode and send it in

Change the FNSKU or keep it?

  • Does changing the barcode change the FNSKU
  • Suggest you use the stickerless option – the GTIN is the identifier for the product


  • Not persecuting anyone, won’t hold anything against you
  • Legacy products with old barcodes are out there
  • There is a way forward to swap your non GS1 barcode
  • The Amnesty is in an experimental phase currently
  • Want to ensure the system is working and so needs everyone to use it to be a success
  • Looking to talk to people about what would work as an amnesty to help you join GS1
  • Feedback on why you didn’t join GS1
  • A lot of it is down to awareness


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