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Product Advertising API
Developer Guide (API Version 2013-08-01)

Other Item Identifiers

Amazon has other item identifiers but these are rarer and they can be used in fewer Product Advertising API operations:

  • UPC — Universal Product Code

    A 12-digit item identifier used in the US and CA locales. The UPC is the identifier used in bar codes.

  • EAN — European Article Number

    A 13-digit equivalent of the UPC that is used in Europe for products and bar codes.

  • JAN — Japanese Article Number

    The equivalent of the EAN that is used in Japan for products and bar codes.

  • ISBN — International Standard Book Number

    An alphanumeric token that uniquely identifies a book. To use ISBN-13, use the EAN IdType.

  • SKU — Stock Keeping Unit

    A merchant-specific identifier for a purchasable good, like a shirt or chair. Amazon's version of the SKU is the ASIN.

    Amazon assigns items with SKUs an ASIN. If you had to search by SKU only, you would have to search each merchant's items independently because SKUs are not unique across all merchants. Several Product Advertising API operations enable you to search by SKU but the merchant must also be identified in the same request.

  • EISBN — Electronic International Standard Book Number

    A token that uniquely identifies a digital book.

All items in the Amazon marketplace have an ASIN even if they also have one of the preceding identifiers. Some Product Advertising API operations can use these identifiers. That functionality is presented as a convenience function. You would typically only use one of these identifiers if you knew it but did not know the item's ASIN.

The validity of these identifiers varies by search index, as shown in the following table.

Search Index UPC EAN SKU
Apparel Y Y Y
Automotive Y Y Y
Automotive Y Y Y
Baby Y Y Y
Beauty Y Y Y
Books Y Y Y
Classical Y Y Y
DigitalMusic Y N N
DVD Y Y Y
Electronics Y Y Y
HealthPersonalCare Y Y Y
HomeGarden Y Y Y
Industrial Y Y Y
Jewelry Y Y Y
Kitchen Y Y Y
Magazines N Y Y
Miscellaneous Y Y Y
Music Y Y Y
MusicalInstruments Y Y Y
MusicTracks N N N
OfficeProducts Y Y Y
OutdoorLiving Y Y Y
PCHardware Y Y Y
PetSupplies Y Y Y
Photo Y Y Y
Software Y Y Y
Tools Y Y Y
Toys Y Y Y
VHS Y Y Y
Video Y Y Y
Watches Y Y Y

The following table shows the valid identifiers by locale.

Locale Valid Item Identifiers
CA ASIN, EAN, EISBN, SKU
CN ASIN, EAN, EISBN, SKU, UPC
DE ASIN, EAN, EISBN, SKU
ES ASIN, EAN, EISBN, SKU, UPC
FR ASIN, EAN, EISBN, SKU, UPC
IN ASIN, EAN, EISBN, SKU, UPC
IT ASIN, EAN, EISBN, SKU, UPC
JP ASIN, EAN, EISBN, JAN, SKU
MX ASIN, EAN, EISBN, SKU, UPC
UK ASIN, EAN, EISBN, SKU, UPC
US ASIN, EAN, EISBN, ISBN, SKU, UPC

The default value of IdType is ASIN. For non-ASIN searches, including searches by ISBN, JAN, SKU, UPC, EAN, and EISBN, a variety of additional parameters become mandatory, including a value for IdType. To use ISBN-13, use the EAN IdType.