EAN Codes: A Quick Guide
Updated over a week ago

With the rise of global export trade and the increasing digitization of processes, barcodes have become indispensable tools widely utilized by sellers and businesses worldwide. Among the various barcode systems such as GTIN, UPC, and EAN (European Article Number), EAN holds significant importance. EAN codes, comprising a series of numbers, are crucial in product identification and listing on marketplaces.

Why do you need an EAN code?

To sell your products on online marketplaces that use a catalog system, you'll need EAN codes. These codes are unique to each product and are used by the marketplaces to keep track of product details. Once your product has an EAN code, you can easily add your offer to the marketplace's catalog. The best part? If other sellers have the same product, they'll use the same EAN code, allowing multiple sellers to offer the same item on the marketplace. It's a straightforward way to get your products listed and sold online!

To sum it up, EAN codes are key for selling on major marketplaces like Bol, Amazon, Zalando, Allegro, Kaufland, and others

What exactly is an EAN code?

EAN, or European Article Number, represents the 13-digit Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) found on most products sold in the EU and internationally, excluding North America (USA & Canada). These codes encapsulate information about the product's origin country, manufacturer, and specific product number, helping in product differentiation and specification. There are two types of EAN codes:

  • 8-digit code for smaller products

  • 13-digit code predominantly used for larger products by traders and exporters.

The structure of a 13-digit EAN code includes the GS1 prefix, the three first digits identifying the GS1 member organization to which the manufacturer belongs. Following this, the manufacturer code, unique to each manufacturer and assigned by the corresponding numbering authority and the product code assigned by the manufacturer and follows the manufacturer code. Lastly, a check digit is appended to verify the accuracy of the scanned barcode.

Every unique version or variation of a product should have its own dedicated EAN code to identify and distinguish each item variation within the market effectively.

How to get a valid EAN code?

Obtaining EAN codes involves registration with GS1 or utilizing third-party reseller services. During registration, businesses must provide relevant documentation and product information. Once obtained, the EAN code must be properly placed and visible on products or packaging.

GS1 is the authority in Europe managing EAN codes. Suppliers or brands purchase EAN codes from GS1, associating them with their brand. Whether you're launching a brand or your supplier doesn't provide EAN codes, you can acquire a set directly from GS1. They offer a variety of packages to suit different needs for EAN code quantities.

Can you sell on marketplaces without EAN codes?

Absolutely, you can still sell online even if you don't have EAN codes. There are several marketplaces like eBay, Beslist, Wish, Miinto, The Vintage Bar, and Spartoo where EAN codes aren't needed. To find out about all the places you can sell without EAN codes, just contact our support team. We're here to help you explore all your options!

Allegro EAN code requirements

The Allegro marketplace has specific EAN code requirements. Check Allegro helpdesk for details.

Did this answer your question?