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When I first started selling on eBay I wanted to make sure that I filled in every Specific that I could. I figured that, if I left any blank, I was missing out on potentially showing up in search results and making a sale.
One of the Item Specifics that plagued me the most was the MPN number. eBay requires that you input the MPN on every item that you sell. But what if your item doesn’t have an MPN that you can find? What do you put then?
MPN Numbers (manufacturer part numbers) can typically be found on product packing or on the manufactures website. MPNs are typically for internal use in a business and the types of items that most people list on eBay should be listed with the UPC instead of the MPN. Sellers can simply put N/A for the MPN number on eBay.
What Is An MPN Number And Where Do I Find It?
If you are looking for an MPN the first place you should look is on the item you are selling. Many tools and similar items will have the MPN engraved or printed somewhere on the item. It’s typically a series of numbers, sometimes numbers and letters, and sometimes with dashes.
If you can’t find it there then you’re next best bet is to go looking on the manufacturer’s site for the item and compare it to the one you have. if you can positively identify it from a picture or description you can typically find the MPN on the product page and include it on eBay.
If you can’t find the number online and really think it would help when you sell the item, contacting the company will usually get you what you need. However, you’ll want to ask yourself, “If you can’t find it to list your item, how will anyone know it to search for it?”
MPN vs UPC – What’s The Difference?
A part number (MPN) is a number made up within a corporation to describe a specific piece or part. This is typically for the sake of efficiency. For example, a hardware company can say HSM44034PP instead of “Hardware, screw, machine, 4-40, 1″ long, pan head, Phillips” to reference a particular item.
A UPC (Universal Product Code) on the other hand is a number that can be used and identified internationally. When a company wants to sell a new item with a UPC, they apply to GS1 US, a nonprofit group that sets standards for international commerce, and are issued with a 12-digit number and a barcode in the style of their choice. These are not repeated across industries and are tied to a single product.
In searching for a product, most people are going to use the UPC number. This is especially true on eBay as the UPC is associated with the barcode that you scan to look things up and autofill information from their database.
What If I Can’t Find An MPN Number?
If you sell clothes on eBay, don’t worry about the MPN. Just put N/A in the spot and move on. You won’t lose out on any sales because nobody would ever look up a clothing item with the MPN. If you have the UPC, on the other hand, definitely put it in as it will help your item show up in searches on both eBay and Google.
The areas where I typically do my best to find and input an MPN on eBay are when I’m selling tools, car parts, or other replacement parts. These are integral for people who are looking for replacements. In fact, I will often include the MPN in the title as well as people find it on their old piece and type it in when searching.
An MPN on eBay is just one more filter. If you can’t find it, don’t worry about it. If you fill out everything you can and hit “List” you’ll soon know whether the information you input was sufficient. If your item doesn’t sell, you can always go back later to input the MPN (assuming you can find it) as well as any other information you need.