Are UPCs required to sell on Sears Marketplace?


What is a UPC?
A Universal Product Code (UPC) is a 12 digit barcode unique to a product.  This barcode is often found on the packaging of an item, or on a tag if the product is clothing.  The UPC is used for retail purposes to track sales, inventory and other valuable data.

Where do I find a UPC?
UPC codes are found in various positions on product packaging.

What are the benefits to having a UPC in my item build?
UPC is the first criteria that we use to match items when grouping like products on the Sears.com website.  Accurate UPCs will ensure that your item is grouped with other sellers selling the same item.  We also use UPC to provide the best possible content for an item on the Sears.com website.  This too will help provide our Members with the best possible information on a product allowing them to make the most informed purchasing decision.  Ultimately, UPC provides our Members with the best possible shopping experience.

External to the Sears.com website, UPC allows search engines outside of Sears.com such as Google and Bing greater opportunity of discovering your items for sale on Sears.com. Thus producing your products in potential customer’s search results driving traffic and sales.

Why is Sears requiring me to add a UPC to my item build?
To ensure the best possible content and grouping on the Sears.com site, we are requiring that sellers provide a UPC for all items in categories where UPC is required.

My items already have a UPC as part of the item build. Do I need to do anything else?
We highly encourage all of our sellers to review current UPCs to ensure that they are accurate.  If they are accurate, no further action is required.

In which categories do I need to provide a UPC?
We are requiring UPC to be provided in most of our current categories.  A complete list is available.  You will also see this as a required field in Excel bulk uploads and in the Seller Portal user interface.

Can I add a UPC to categories where a UPC is not required?
Yes!  We highly encourage all sellers to provide a UPC for items regardless if they are in a required category or not.  Providing a UPC is beneficial to all items in the ways described above.

What item conditions will require a UPC?
A UPC is required for all item conditions including all variations of New, Used and Refurbished.

My product’s packaging has multiple barcodes. How do I know which one is the correct UPC?
We highly recommend that you search a UPC validation program to determine which of the barcodes on your packaging the correct one is.  You can search for “UPC Validator” online and choose from those that are available.  Once you have determined which one is the correct barcode, please provide that to us in your item build.

My product’s packaging does not have a UPC. How do I find it?
There are a variety of ways that you can locate a product’s UPC.  The easiest would be to search using Google or another similar web search engine.  If this does not produce a result, you can contact the manufacturer for the product or use the contentless offer functionality to determine if the item’s information is already available in our master catalog.

What will happen if I do not provide a UPC for my item(s)?
Although the deadline to provide UPCs is still far away, you should start providing the UPCs for your items and realize the benefits. After the deadline, items without UPC in required categories, and not part of the exception criteria risk falling offline. In case of any concerns, please reach out to us through the ‘Contact Us’ page.

How do I add a UPC to my item’s build?
Information is available on how to add a UPC to your current item build.  The article dedicated to how to add a UPC will give step-by-step instructions for all 3 methods.

If I apply for a UPC exception, will it affect my search results on Sears.com? When a Member searches for an item by UPC, your item likely will not show up in search result pages. Also, misusing exceptions to the UPC requirement may risk your selling privileges.

Do I need to enter UPC number if I’m the manufacturer of the item? If your items are registered with GS1, they should have a UPC. If not, please apply for a Brand Level Exception using the steps outlined below.

Can I enter any UPC number (incorrect), since I’m the manufacturer? No, incorrect UPC numbers are unacceptable. You can apply for a Brand Level Exception.  Please follow the steps outlined below.

What is a seller customized bundle? These are items that do not come packaged by manufacturers, but instead are specially bundled by sellers. For example, a camera with its own UPC can be bundled with a lens that has its own UPC to make a seller-customized bundle. If this bundle is not manufacturer created, an exception can be requested. Please don’t provide the UPC of any individual item in this case.

What is a collectible item? These include items such as an autographed baseball cap or hard-to-find vintage merchandise.

If I create my own bundle, do I need to provide UPC? Any bundle which is not manufacturer created but customized by sellers will likely not have a UPC. If the UPC is not available, you can provide an exception by selecting the option ‘seller customized bundle’ in your content feed. Please do not provide UPCs for the individual items in the bundle.

If I have a collectible, do I need to provide UPC? Collectible items such as a signed baseball cap or hard to find vintage merchandise, may not have a UPC. Please provide an exception by selecting the option ‘Collectibles’ in your content feed.

What is the process for brand exception? We understand that there are certain circumstances where an exception is required for an entire brand such as private label brands. Please review the following criteria and apply for an exception through the established process.

  1. For requesting brand level exceptions, sellers will need to open a case through the contact us form using the topic/subtopic combination of New UPC Requirements/Brand exception request
  2. Please provide a list of brands that you are requesting exception for in the message box along with the reason for taking the exception. It is very important that sellers provide us with the exact brand names when seeking exceptions, as otherwise problems may arise.
  3. UPC #1

  4. Your brand exception request will be reviewed within 1 – 2 business days. After review, the seller will be provided with a list of approved brands.
  5. Once the approval process is completed, the seller can list their items using the regular item build channels and leave the UPC field as blank for items with brand exception.

 

If your product falls under UPC required categories and is not a seller customized bundle or a collectible item, then it needs to have a UPC unless approved for a brand exception. Any product with a brand which has not been approved for exception, and does not have a UPC, will NOT be listed online and will appear on the removed items report, which can be accessed in the Seller Portal. In order to list any existing items with a brand exception, the items will have to be uploaded again after getting approval.

 

UI-bundle_collectible

Two new fields have been added to the User Interface for the item build process.  These fields are located on the Details tab (step 2) in the item creation process. There are two choices, Yes and No.  The default for these fields will be No.

bulk_collectible_bundle

In the Bulk Excel template, two new fields have been added on or around column L.  The placement of the fields is dependent upon which template you are downloading (generic vs. item class specific).  There are also only two options for this field, Yes or No.  The field will default to No.

Updating the Item Management XML to version 24

What is changing?

We added two tags to support exceptions:

  • seller-customized-bundle
  • collectible
Tag Definition
seller-customized-bundle

Used to identify if an item is a customized bundle using ‘true’ or ‘false’

collectible

Used to identify if an item is a collectible using ‘true’ or ‘false’

 

In version 24, the UPC is required when an item belongs to certain category, unless you are granted an exception for a specific brand, or when identified as a seller customized bundle or a collectible item.

If your brand has been granted an exception, you can leave UPC blank.  If the item is a seller customized bundle or a collectible item, leave the UPC blank and flag the seller-customized-bundle or collectible tag as “true”.

Example

xml

Production URLs
PUT: https://seller.marketplace.sears.com/SellerPortal/api/catalog/fbm/v24?sellerId={sellerId}

XSD: https://seller.marketplace.sears.com/SellerPortal/s/schema/rest/catalog/import/v24/lmp-item.xsd

Sample: https://seller.marketplace.sears.com/SellerPortal/s/schema/samples/rest/catalog/import/v24/lmp-item.xml

When is this version available?

This is currently available in both the sandbox and production environments.

Will old versions still work?

Old versions will work until we deprecate them on July 11, 2017.