What is an Amazon FNSKU & How to Create One (Detailed Guide)


Are you planning to start an Amazon FBA store?

If so, you’ll encounter a unique term – FNSKU.

This seemingly cryptic code plays a vital role in streamlining your inventory management and ensuring smooth operations within Amazon’s fulfillment centers.

But what exactly is an FNSKU, and how do you get one for your products?

In this post, we’ll delve into what exactly an Amazon FNSKU is, why is it important, and how to create one for your store.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is an Amazon FNSKU?

Amazon FNSKU

An Amazon FNSKU, which stands for Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit, is a unique alphanumeric barcode assigned to each product you send to Amazon’s fulfillment centers as part of the FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) program.

It acts like a special fingerprint for your items, allowing Amazon to meticulously track them within their warehouses. This ensures your products don’t get mixed up with others and that the correct items are picked, packed, and shipped when a customer places an order.

FNSKUs are essential for streamlining operations, minimizing errors, and providing transparency into your FBA inventory. They work alongside your own internal SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) – you create the SKU for your own organization, and Amazon assigns the FNSKU specifically for their FBA system.

Why FNSKU is Important?

  • Enhanced Inventory Tracking: Amazon warehouses can house millions of products from countless sellers. FNSKUs ensure your items are meticulously tracked, preventing mix-ups and ensuring accurate order fulfillment.

  • Streamlined Operations: When a customer places an order, Amazon’s fulfillment centers use FNSKU scanners to identify the correct product, expediting the picking, packing, and shipping process.

  • Reduced Errors: FNSKUs minimize the risk of human error, such as accidentally picking the wrong item. This not only leads to happier customers but also saves you time and resources dealing with returns and replacements.

  • Improved FBA Experience: FNSKUs contribute to a smoother overall FBA experience. They provide transparency into your inventory levels, allowing you to optimize stock management and prevent stockouts.

Amazon FNSKU Barcode vs Manufacturer Barcode: What's the Difference?

When you’re setting up a new product listing on Amazon, one of the decisions you’ll need to make is whether to use the manufacturer’s barcode or the Amazon barcode.

The Amazon barcode, also known as the FNSKU, is a unique identifier assigned by Amazon to each product in its fulfillment network. This is what we’ll be focusing on in this post.

On the other hand, the manufacturer’s barcode is exactly what it sounds like – it’s the barcode applied by the brand owner during manufacturing. If you’re selling products from other brands, you won’t need to worry about this, as the original brand will have already taken care of it.

However, if you’re selling your own branded products (private label), you’ll need to make a choice between using FNSKU labels or sticking with the manufacturer barcode.

However, if you decide to go with a manufacturer barcode instead of an FNSKU label, you’ll need to generate a barcode from a UPC or EAN number.

Please keep in mind that, even if you are a reseller, having an FNSKU label may make more sense. Multiple sellers competing on the same ASIN with the same manufacturer barcode can be problematic in some cases for Amazon.

UPC vs FNSKU: What's the Difference?

Think of UPC as the universal language of retail. It’s a standard barcode used globally to identify products across various platforms and stores. When you create a UPC for your product, you’re giving it a unique 12-digit number that can be recognized anywhere.

Once you have your UPC, you can generate a barcode image using that number. This barcode can then be applied to your product using a sticker or incorporated directly into your packaging design. When your products arrive at Amazon’s fulfillment centers, the UPC barcode is what gets scanned rather than FNSKU.

EAN vs FNSKU: What's the Difference?

EAN (European Article Number) is essentially the European counterpart to the UPC. It functions similarly, encoding product information like brand, type, and a unique identifier.

Unlike UPCs, which consist of 12 digits, EANs typically comprise 13 digits. This additional digit allows for more extensive coding possibilities, accommodating a broader range of products and variations

SKU vs FNSKU: What's the Difference?

This stands for Stock Keeping Unit. It’s like a nickname you give your products to keep track of them in your own store, completely independent of other stores or codes.

Imagine you sell different colored mugs. You might have an SKU like “BLUEMUG123” for your blue mug. SKUs are great for internal organization, but they’re not a universal language – they only make sense within your own system.

ASIN vs FNSKU: What's the Difference?

This stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number. It’s exclusive to Amazon and acts like a unique product ID within their marketplace.

If you sell something on Amazon, it gets its own ASIN, kind of like a social security number but for products in the Amazon world. This code helps Amazon track and manage your product listings and orders.

Is Using Amazon FNSKU Mandatory?

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s address whether it’s mandatory to use FNSKUs for your Amazon products.

The short answer? It’s not always mandatory.

While FNSKUs are a common choice, Amazon doesn’t universally require their use. You have the option to employ UPC or EAN numbers instead of FNSKUs.

However, there are instances where Amazon mandates the use of FNSKUs. This typically applies to products lacking a scannable barcode, those not in new condition, items with expiration dates, or products categorized as restricted.

Despite this flexibility, it’s generally recommended to opt for FNSKUs whenever possible. Even if your product already boasts a UPC or EAN barcode, using an FNSKU streamlines the monitoring process and reduces potential confusion within Amazon’s FBA system.

How to Get Amazon FNSKU?

Step 1 – Set your Product Barcode Preference:

  • Log in to Seller Central and navigate to Settings.

  • In the Settings menu, select Fulfillment by Amazon.

  • Scroll down to the FBA Product Barcode Preference section and click Edit.

  • Choose Amazon barcode and click Update. This ensures Amazon generates the FNSKUs for your products.

Step 2 – Create a New FBA Listing:

  • Go to the Inventory tab and select Manage FBA Inventory.

  • Click Add a Product and follow the steps to create a new listing for your product.

Step 3 – Amazon Generates the FNSKU:

  • Once you’ve created the product listing, Amazon will automatically assign a unique FNSKU to the same product.

How to Label Your Products with an FNSKU Barcode on Amazon?

Firstly, you have a few options for labeling your products:

  1. Self-Labeling: You can label the products yourself.

  2. Supplier Labeling: You can ask your supplier to label or print the FNSKU barcode on the packaging.

  3. Amazon Labeling: Alternatively, you can pay Amazon ($0.55 per unit) to label each unit for you, although this usually incurs a fee.

If you choose to label the products yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Amazon Seller Central account.

  2. Navigate to the “Manage Inventory” section.

  3. Find the product you want to label and click on the “Edit” button.

  4. Click on the down-arrow next to the “Edit” button and select “Print item labels.”

  5. Choose the number of labels you need and click “Print Item Labels.”

  6. Print FNSKU labels and affix them to your products’ packaging before sending them to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.

On the other hand, if you prefer to have your supplier handle the labeling process, provide them with a screenshot of your FNSKU barcode label. Once you click on “Print Item Labels” as mentioned earlier, a PDF containing your FNSKU barcode will download. You can then share this with your supplier for printing.

Final Thought on Amazon FNSKU Barcodes

In conclusion, understanding the significance of FNSKU barcode labeling is crucial for navigating the complexities of selling on Amazon. While it may not always be mandatory, opting for FNSKU ensures seamless inventory management and order processing within Amazon’s ecosystem.

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