Come May 16th, Google will require merchants to provide a Global Trade Identification Number, unique manufacturer-supplied identifiers, for all items.
After this, items that do not have a GTIN will be disapproved. You'll start to see item-level disapprovals in the Diagnostics tab for products that don't meet the requirements.
If you see the error message, chances are that the GTIN exists somewhere and it is wise to begin contacting the manufacturer or other suppliers for the GTIN. Keep in mind that merely inputting in GTINs that do not exist or buying a new GTIN will not work. It is best to check to see if particular GTIN is valid. A great website to check is the GS1’s Check Digit Calculator. GS1 is the global standards body that handles GTINs.
Here are the top three common errors error messages or warnings that you may see in your account:
- Invalid GTIN Value: This error appears when you have entered in a GTIN but it does not appear to be valid. Chances are that the GTIN entered is for a different product.
- Insufficient Product Identifiers Missing GTIN attribute: This error appears only when the system is sure that a GTIN exists for the item. Therefore, it is very important to contact suppliers and other stakeholders to find these values. The only exception here is for custom items. In this scenario, you would leave the GTIN area blank and put ‘FALSE’ under the identifier exists column. If the item still comes back disapproved, you can request a manual review/exception directly in the UI (this will be an option on May 16th).
- Ambiguous GTIN Code: This is extremely common and it appears if the GTIN provided is not in the correct format or does not have the right amount of digits. Valid GTINs are either 8,10,12,13, or 14 digits long. If your GTIN has fewer digits, double check to see if it is the correct GTIN. If you are sure that the digits are correct, you can add extra 0’s in front of the GTIN to get it to the next highest GTIN threshold. For instance, if your GTIN is 123456, you would need to add a couple zeros to change it to the 8 digit threshold: 00123456. As always, you can always check gs1.org to see if it is a legitimate GTIN.
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