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Google Shopping expanded GTIN requirement

Mar 15, 2016

Last month, you may have received an email from Google Shopping with subject, "Google Shopping GTIN requirement expanding for Shopping Ads."

Rather than trying to find a GTIN for all of your products, check your Google Merchant Account to see which items are flagged with a GTIN error or warning. You only need to enter a GTIN for those products.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Is UPC the same as GTIN?
Yes, a UPC is a GTIN. GTIN (global trade identification number) is the umbrella term for numeric product identifiers such as UPC, EAN, ISBN, JAN, etc.
What does a UPC look like?
UPC is always a 12-digit number, which may have leading zeros. If it is not available, you should leave it blank.

What is the new requirement?
The feed is required to have a valid GTIN for all products that have one assigned by the manufacturer.

How can I tell which of my products require a GTIN?
Check your Google Merchant Account account to see which items have a warning or are disapproved for invalid or missing GTIN. You only need to provide a GTIN for these items.

Does the new requirement apply to new items, or existing items?
The new requirement applies to all your items, new and existing.

When does the new requirement take effect?
Since Feb. 8th, Google has been flagging your items with warning. Starting May 16, 2016, the warnings will convert to errors, and the products will no longer be listed.
Can I enter a random number?
No, the GTINs must be real GTINs assigned by the manufacturer.
How do I check my feed for errors/warnings?
Log into your Google Merchant Account account
Click the "Diagnostics" tab
Click the "Items" box in the "Current issues" section
Click the "Affected Items" count to see the affected items for a particular error or warning.
Where can I find UPCs for my products?
Use the Google Shopping "Compare prices" page under the "Details" section for any product. For additional suggestions, refer to Finding unique product identifiers for your products.
Are there any exceptions to the requirement?
Yes, there are a number of products types where GTIN is not required, e.g. custom products, antiques, OEM parts, and some apparel products. For a complete description of the rules, refer to the official specifications.

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