MPN meaning: An Overview of eBay’s Product Identifiers

There are a plethora of eBay product identifiers that vendors should be conversant with. A UPC (universal product code) is another name for a product identifier. eBay’s product identifiers are there to aid sellers in pinpointing particular items or aspects of those items on the website. According to eBay’s seller hub, searching for an item using a product identifier makes the process go much more quickly.With millions of new items being added to eBay’s online database of products every week, it can be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for. As a result, the search time can be reduced with the right product information and a product identifier. Because there are often similarities between product titles and listing titles, a product title alone may not necessarily return the most relevant results.

When searching for products or product categories on eBay, the MPN number is merely one of many options. Because of these labels, buyers and sellers are better able to keep tabs on and take care of their purchases.

An Overview of eBay's Product Identifiers

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How Do the eBay Catalog and Product Identifiers Relate?

You won’t find better product details than in the eBay Catalog. Titles, descriptions, photos, item characteristics, and product identifiers are all examples of the types of common data that are stored and maintained here.

Buyers will have a more satisfying “product-based shopping experience” thanks to the catalog, the thinking goes. It is now possible to have a more organized results page that bundles related items into merged product pages, making it so that shoppers don’t have to sift through hundreds of listings for the same product from multiple sellers.

eBay requires product identifiers to accomplish this. By including information like MPNs and UPCs, you can link your products to similar ones already listed. eBay previously said that merchants would be required to directly link their products to the catalog; however, they have since retracted this policy in favor of linking products through product identifiers.

After the ordeal of adding product identifiers, merchants were relieved to hear this news, as they were not eager to undergo yet another large-scale listing update.

The Benefits of Product IDs in Business

If you’re still wondering whether product identifiers are important, here are the advantages of having one:

  • Product IDs save time, effort, and effort by doing away with the need to key in product details by hand. For instance, with the introduction of UPC, we can now employ electronic billing and have speedier checkouts.
  • They make inventory management much more precise.
  • They’re standard, so a product’s code could be used by any store or marketplace.

The Many Product Identifiers of eBay

Not to scare you, the eBay user, but there are more than a couple of identifiers for a product on eBay. And for a good reason, with so many products flying across the globe every minute, these are important to keep things organized. However, for a new customer or vendor, these can get confusing and possibly overwhelming. So let’s tackle them one subheading at a time.


MPNs are unique identifiers that each manufacturer assigns to its goods for use by the company itself, by customers, and by third parties like installers and service centers.

It’s important to keep in mind that the MPN and the marketed model name or number are not always the same.

MPNs on eBay, however, are not used as a universal product code. It is not uncommon for various manufacturers to utilize the same MPNs, given there is no standard length or format for MPNs. There is no universally accepted definition of their proper application.

However, MPNs have the ability to serve as a unique product identifier in addition to the brand name. Whether or not MPNs may be relied upon as product identification depends heavily on each manufacturer’s internal procedures for doing so.

It’s possible for a business, intentionally or unintentionally, to switch component numbers between products or to utilize different part numbers for the same product. It’s common practice for businesses to assign multiple part numbers to the same product in order to differentiate between variations in quality or price from the same source or batch of raw materials. It can lead to a lot of confusion for retailers who use the MPN to identify products for sale.


Universal Product Codes (UPCs) are one type of product identifier that can be found on packages and are accepted all around the world. A universal product code (UPC) is a special kind of barcode used to track individual products. The 12 digits found directly beneath the distinctive black bars (machine-readable barcodes) make up the entirety of this code. When scanned, a UPC identifies not just the item’s brand and maker but also its color and size.

To decipher the meaning of an eBay UPC, we need to examine its three constituent parts.

There are three components to a UPC code: the manufacturer’s identification number (the first six digits), the item number (the next five digits), and the check digit (the last digit).

The first six numbers are assigned by GS1 in exchange for a charge, and when scanned, they show the product’s maker. The other five digits identify the item itself and are assigned by the manufacturer’s designated item number assigner. The final digit is the most intricate.

Several calculations went into it, including some internal multiplication and addition. The scanner at the register uses this information to ensure that the UPC code is genuine.


Developed and maintained by the non-profit group GS1, this is a product identifier. Global brands and retailers contribute to GS1’s budget. For a small charge, manufacturers, retailers, and other businesses can apply for a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), which serves as a unique identifier for accessing product data in a centralized database.

GTIN’s primary function is to unify many product identifier standards, including ISBN, EAN, and UPC, under a single umbrella. Those numbers are now GTINs of various kinds.


Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) are barcodes that retailers can use to keep track of their stock with ease thanks to scanning technology. It might look like a barcode or a QR code. It is often made up of eight different characters. It’s what retailers use to gauge how much of a certain product is still in stock.


The European Article Number is a unique identification for products sold in Europe. It’s the same concept as the UPC in the United States or Canada. If you’re selling on eBay and wish to expand globally, including to eBay Europe, you’ll need to use this standard bar code.


The abbreviation “ISBN” refers to the International Standard Book Number, a unique 13-digit identification for printed books. In addition to their primary users in publishing, bookselling, and libraries, ISBNs are also widely used by online booksellers. Each edition, language, and book media (print, audio, and electronic) of a given title has its own unique ISBN.

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Why Do Experts Advise Using MPN?

Why is it beneficial to include the MPN in your eBay listings? eBay has been thinking about implementing a catalog system for some time now. When doing inventory or product management on eBay, having the MPN number can be quite useful. Adding a universal product code, such as an MPN number, to your eBay listings can help you in a variety of ways.

Increased product exposure

When you use a Multi-Part Number (MPN) on eBay, customers may easily locate your listings in search eBay item number results. Sellers can increase the likelihood that their products will appear in the Best Match section of eBay search results by including unique product identifiers in their listings. Your likelihood of making a sale increases as more people see your product listings.

Updated price alerts

If you list a manufacturer’s part number (MPN) or another unique identifier for an eBay product, you may be eligible to receive price change notifications. If you keep an eye on the market, you’ll know when a product’s price reduces, allowing you to stock up at a discount and increase your profits.

Costs that hold their own

The use of manufacturer list identifiers in product listings also allows for the acquisition of helpful pricing information. The pricing guidelines provided by eBay can help you set prices that are both profitable and competitive.

There is a correlation between including the MPN and other product identifiers in your eBay catalog and a higher likelihood of having that product listed in the ‘Our Pick’ section. Here’s where eBay suggests complementary items that would go well with the ones the shopper has already selected. If a customer is browsing for dresses, the eBay algorithm will suggest accessories they might also like to purchase.

Search engine positioning enhancement

On eBay’s search engines and elsewhere too, listings that include product identifiers are given higher priority than those that do not. Taking this additional time to fine-tune your current or future eBay listings can, therefore, greatly increase your product’s online visibility. If a potential customer conducts a search that includes your product or service, or if they shop around and compare prices on many sites, your product or service may appear in the Google Shopping results.

The Importance of Including a UPC Code

Product identifiers shouldn’t be left out unless you’re completely unfamiliar with the context of online shopping and the eBay UPC.

Better exposure for items on sale

Universal Product Codes aid in raising the product’s profile in related online searches.

Sellers claim that merchandise missing UPC codes receive worse search engine rankings, leading to fewer sales. Spare-part purchasers typically utilize product identifiers to ensure they receive the correct item. Without a UPC code in the eBay item description, your product may end up at the bottom of search results.

Accelerated gratification

The Universal Product Code (UPC) is used by many eBay vendors as a means of identification during the fulfillment process. Barcode scanners allow for instantaneous product identification without the need for human verification, speeding up the shipping process.

Increased effectiveness and efficiency

UPC is the best option for managing your eBay listings. When you consider that it would take 5 times as long to sell or verify things without utilizing UPC codes, you begin to grasp the significance of UPC codes on eBay.


This is a frequent concern of those involved with drop shipping. It’s logical that some people may confuse these two labels. Both are three-letter acronyms that identify products. However, they diverge greatly from one another in that respect.

  • The names of the two IDs are the first obvious distinction.
  • The Universal Product Code, or UPC, is a barcode seen on many consumer goods.
  • The transportation and trucking industries are where its importance really shines.
  • Read this post for more information about eBay UPC.
  • Manufacturer Part Number, or MPN for short, is another common part designation.
  • And it only happens with certain goods.
  • There is also the fact that not all products have an MPN but all UPC.
  • A Universal Product Code (UPC) is required before any item may be sent. However, MPN is not always present in items.
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Final Thoughts

It is reasonable to say that product identifiers have been a major source of frustration for businesses of all sizes. Structured data, product-based shopping experience (PBSE), and eBay catalog are just some of the terms that have been introduced recently and only serve to further muddy the waters.

This is a natural consequence of eBay’s shift toward selling more generic goods and fewer one-of-a-kind items. Ah, the eternal conundrum of eBay: sellers must still craft their own listings, rather than simply linking to existing products. It seems the platform’s fundamental model is to blame.

The wide variety of products is an asset to eBay and product identifiers help keep the catalog organized. So when you, as a vendor list your product, make sure to use the above information to ensure whatever you’re selling stands out. Reach out to PIRS Capital for funding aid so you don’t have to burn through your savings while you experiment and eventually find your footing as a seller on eBay.

Written by: Mitchell L.

I work with companies that sell products on platforms such as Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, Ebay, Etsy, etc. I understand that every business is unique and thats why I form genuine relationships with owners so I can help them reach their goals and find success through our working capital solutions.

eBay's Product Identifiers: FAQ's

MPN stands for Manufacturer Part Number. It is a unique identifier assigned by the manufacturer to a specific product. The MPN helps differentiate and identify a particular item from others in the manufacturer’s product line or similar products in the market.

The MPN serves as a reference for buyers, sellers, and distributors to accurately identify and locate a specific product. It is commonly used in industries such as electronics, automotive, and machinery, where multiple variations or similar items exist.

Including the MPN in product listings and documentation helps ensure that the correct product is selected, referenced, and purchased. It aids in inventory management, compatibility checks, and product sourcing. By utilizing the MPN, it becomes easier to communicate and match product specifications, streamlining the buying and selling process for both businesses and consumers.

No, MPN (Manufacturer Part Number) is not always required on eBay. While it is highly recommended to include MPN in your listings, especially for new branded products, it is not mandatory for all product categories. However, certain categories on eBay, such as electronics and automotive parts, may have specific requirements regarding product identifiers, including MPN.

It is important to consult eBay’s seller policies and guidelines, as well as the requirements of the specific category you are listing in, to determine whether providing MPN is required or strongly recommended. Including accurate and relevant product identifiers like MPN can improve the visibility and searchability of your listings, help buyers make informed purchasing decisions, and potentially increase sales.

The MPN (Manufacturer Part Number) can typically be found on the product packaging, label, or directly on the product itself. Manufacturers assign a unique MPN to each specific product they produce. When sourcing products, you can check for the MPN on the packaging or labels provided by the manufacturer.

If you are unable to locate the MPN on the product or its packaging, you may consider reaching out to the manufacturer directly for assistance. They should be able to provide you with the correct MPN for the product you are selling.

Including the accurate MPN in your eBay listings can help buyers easily identify and find the exact product they are looking for, improving their overall shopping experience and increasing the chances of a successful transaction.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Owner or majority owner must be a US citizen
  • Must have US bank accounts
  • Have to be selling for at least 1 year
  • Minimum sales per month has to be $15000 USD