As you probably already know, EAN stands for European Article Number. However, its official name is International Article Number, but the old acronym has been retained. The meaning is somewhat different, but the acronym of EAN still remains the same. Online merchants need EAN 13-digit bar codes for unique identification of whatever products they’re selling on their online shop.
The reason why online shops like Amazon and other online sellers require EAN codes is to prevent product confusion. You see, thanks to the internet almost anybody can come up with an online shop and offer their products for sale to an international audience. As you can probably already know, there are many ways to name the same product.
On the other hand, different products might also go by the same name. Do you see how confusing this is? Do you see how people can end up with a situation where they think they’re comparing the same product when it turns out they’re actually looking at two totally different items for sale? Similarly, online consumers might think that they are looking at two totally different items when it turns out it’s actually the same product.
The move towards an international article numbering system is long overdue and the EAN code is a key part of that standardization. EAN codes are actually subsets of the original Universal Product Code or UPC system that was originally developed in the United States.
If you are selling items in the US or Canada, you have to use the original 12-digit UPC code. However, if you are selling products exclusively outside of the US and Canada, you need to get an EAN barcode. If you are already on board regarding the importance of these codes and you’re looking to buy EAN codes, hold on a second. You might end up buying the wrong codes or you might end up getting ripped off. In other words, you might end up doing things the wrong way.
Just like with anything else in life, there’s always a right way and a wrong way of doing things. If you decided to buy EAN codes, you can go about doing it in such a way that you end up wasting your time, effort, and money. Just like with anything else involving your online business or other activities in your life, you can choose to do things the right way. You can choose to do things in a systematic and methodical way.
If you plan to sell on Amazon, you need to buy EAN codes.
Having a UPC or EAN code makes your shop look more professional
If you’re selling anything in your online shop, simply designating all your products by UPC or EAN codes make your online operations look that much more professional. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s so easy for online consumers to get confused regarding product designations. Make their job of shopping much easier. The less confused your consumers are, the higher the likelihood that they would buy from your online shop. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. This should be one of the primary driving reasons why you should buy EAN codes.
Be aware of the downside of using UPC codes
Whenever you’re using UPC codes or EAN codes, there is a big downside. The big downside is that people will automatically zero in on the product and quickly shift over to the price. Instead of comparing products based on who sells them online and the customer service and delivery experience that usually goes with a particular product sold by a particular vendor, most consumers simply focus on the price. This can be a problem because a lot of consumers get burned by less than scrupulous or downright shady online merchants.
Sadly, if you are going to be featuring UPC codes on your online shop, you run the risk of essentially engaging in race to the bottom with much cheaper online shopping competitors. This is the big downside that goes with your decision to buy EAN codes.
Look up your product before you decide to buy EAN codes
Before you decide to get universal codes for your products, look up your products. Make sure that they don’t already have EAN codes assigned to them. You’d be surprised as to how quickly seemingly unique products get assigned EAN or UPC codes. You don’t want to go all the time hassle and effort of getting special codes when it turns out that you didn’t need to. Do yourself a big favor and assume that your seemingly unique product already has a UPC code or EAN code attached to it.
Make sure you’re looking up the right products
One of the main reason why many online entrepreneurs draw false negative or a false positive in their search for EAN codes is that they were actually researching the wrong products. Make sure you are looking up the right model, brand, and manufacturer. Get as much details about the products you’re selling, so that you can be sure that you’re looking up the right products. This is crucial before you buy EAN codes.
In many cases, you might get a false negative. You might end up wasting a lot of time thinking that the product that you’re thinking of selling still doesn’t have a code.
Focus on distinctions
It’s important to make sure that you’re aware that there are certain distinctions within the same product line. Brands often come up with special collections or specially manufactured lines of products. Focus on these distinctions. It may turn out that some lines are so specialized and driven by certain occasions like special holiday programs that they don’t have an EAN code yet. In such a situation, it makes all the sense in the world for you to buy EAN codes for the specialized products you’re selling.
Don’t just focus on price when looking to buy EAN codes
Assuming that you actually need to get out there and buy product identification codes for your store, the next step is to not fixate on prices offered by vendors selling these codes. This is the worst thing that you can do. Instead, you should focus on how robust their database is in giving you truly unique codes. Also, pay attention to their assignation number.
The reason you’re paying attention to all this is because you’re looking for trusted providers. You don’t want to deal with shady providers that would basically give you duplicates or trick you by giving you a code that doesn’t exist.
The tricky task of looking for trusted providers
You might think that finding trusted vendors of EAN codes is a slam dunk. You might think that it’s a pretty straightforward affair, it isn’t. The reason why it can get tricky is because a lot of providers out there get a lot of positive online reviews.
The problem with these online reviews is that you have to take them with a grain of salt and in some cases you have to take them with a block of salt. It doesn’t take much effort for a code provider to hire people to post positive reviews of their service online. This can extend to blog posts as well as crowdsourced online rating systems. You need to be aware of this if you’ve decided to buy EAN codes.
Finally, your decision to buy EAN codes should be a part of your online branding efforts. You have to tie in whatever codes you’ve purchased as well as the presentation and positioning of the products that you are buying these codes for in the context of your larger online brand. Otherwise, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. This is a tremendous opportunity and it can make your online shopping brand all the more professional and trustworthy.
Keep all the tips above in mind when looking to buy EAN codes. It’s not as easy as you think. I mean, just as you would buy any kind of product or service online, you need to do your due diligence. Otherwise, it’s too easy to get ripped off.