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How to Get SKU Number: The Difference Between SKU and UPC

If you’re starting a new business, you may be wondering how to get SKU number. A SKU (or stock-keeping unit) is a unique identifier for products. In this blog, we will go over the difference between an SKU and a UPC, what a skus looks like, and how to get SKU numbers for your products.

What a SKU Looks Like

Let’s say you’re selling shoes. The size 6 version of the black terraa women’s shoe has a product code of 4001-00-0-0-0-0.

Finally, “6” is the size of the shoe. The SKU for the Steve Madden black Terraa women’s shoes in size 6 would be “Sm-terraa-bk-6”.

The size of the shoe is denoted by the number “6”.

The SKU for the Harley Davidson rear axle kit is 100211.

“0,” is the version number. “B,” is the color code for black. Aa rak 1 0 B

2010 is the year of HD, which stands for the harley davidson, which is the brand of the motorbike that the part is for.


Remember these things when comparing UPC vs SKU:

  • SKU codes are internally assigned and used only for internal tracking. UPC codes are externally assigned by a nonprofit and are used by retailers and distributors for external tracking at the point of sale.
  • SKU creation is not a standard practice. However, UPC creation is a standard practice.
  • A different SKU will likely be used for the same product purchased from a different seller. Regardless of the seller, UPC codes will have a single code.
  • SKU codes can be alpha numeric. UPCs can only be numeric.
  • SKU codes can be read by humans, but UPC codes are not.

Although UPCs and SKUs look identical — both appear to be identical alphanumeric codes — they can be used in two different ways. Here’s a breakdown.

When creating your stock keeping units, make sure they are different from your UPCs.

As a general rule, your SKUs should identify product characteristics. UPCs will identify the manufacturer (first six characters), item (next five characters) and check digit (last). To verify that the UPC code is valid, the check digit can be formulated by multiplying and/or adding multiple digits to the code.

Significance of SKU numbers

1. Creating SKUs is an Industry Standard

Having unique product identifiers (SKU) is essential for business, whether you’re a manufacturer or a distributor. It’s how products are identified and traced through the supply-chain. Not having these would be like not having a company website or email address – it’s essential to compete.

If you’re not already using a product identifier, you’re missing out on a lot of sales. Product identifiers, or “SKU”, are a requirement for listing products on Amazon, eBay, and other marketplaces. Start using them now!

2 | They convey information quickly

SKU codes are an efficient way of communicating product information in a way that helps everyone quickly understand what the product is. They are a form of shorthand that can effectively communicate the key product details at a glance.

SKU codes are an essential part of warehouse business operations. They help to speed up the process of finding products and keeping track of inventory levels. By using SKU codes, you and your employees can save time when searching for products or referencing product information.

Since products and SKUs move through warehouses all the time, it’s important to use procedures that shave time off of each task. This can be done by using SKUs in each of the following steps: 1. Receiving 2. Putaway 3. Picking 4. Shipping 5. Inbound transportation 6. Outbound transportation

When you multiply the seconds saved by the hundreds of times a week or day that each task gets completed, you’re looking at hours of time saved. And it’s important to remember that time is money.

4 | They increase accuracy in warehouse procedures

One benefit of using SKU codes is that businesses can take inventory much more accurately. This is because SKU codes allow businesses do inventory tracking in a multitude of ways. Barcode scanning, for example, is 99.99% accurate. In contrast, it’s difficult to say how accurate warehouse workers are in taking inventory manually.

5 | They improve quality control

When everyone is using sku codes, it cuts down on the amount of errors that happen because of poor or unclear communications. Using these product codes for orders ensures that orders are accurate and that shipments are correctly made.

Using product SKUs to communicate clearly and concisely is just one more way to prevent errors like mispicks and misships, and ensure that orders are always shipped correctly.

How to Get SKU Number

When it comes to SKU generation, there’s no need to overcomplicate things – a simple, straightforward system is usually best. This guide will help you get started understanding some basic SKU naming conventions, but I recommend that you read it and then figure out a system that works best for your business. Keep it simple, and you’ll be able to easily keep track of all your products!

Create a Format

The first step to creating SKUs is to establish a standard format to follow. This includes deciding what numbers and identifiers will be included, and in what order. By doing this, you can ensure that all of your SKUs are consistent and easy to read.

Yes, we will include the brand name and color.

What attributes does your product have that distinguish it from other products? Include the manufacturer’s part number to ensure customers can easily find the right product for their needs.

Here’s an example of a SKU format:

SKU: manufacturerbrand identifier, part number or name, category identifier, product name-color identifier-size identifier

The 9.5 size red men’s shoe from Stacy Adams’ “Gordon” collection has the SKU “Sams-RD-GORDON-9.5”.

If you can determine your SKU format now, you can save time in the future when you’re naming more SKUs. By having a set format for your SKUs, you can easily keep track of all your products and inventory.

You’ll always know how to read a SKU because the attributes will always be in the same order and place.

Form a Coding System

You’ll want to create and maintain a list of codes for things like manufacturers, brands, colors, and sizes. This will help you keep your inventory organized and streamlined.

You can create a coding system for manufacturers and brands by listing them in one column of a spreadsheet and assigning a code to each. Create a spreadsheet with colors and sizes -Abbreviate each color and size


The main benefit of having standard identifier codes for your SKUs is that you and your employees will be able to memorize them over time. This way, you’ll be able to quickly read and interpret SKUs without any confusion.

You don’t need to use long, detailed product descriptions for each inventory item when you can just look the the sku number to see what it is. Having a code system for your products makes identifying them easier for you and your workers.

So, save your long form, description-baity titles for marketplaces and websites!

Best Practices in SKU Forming

Keep it simple – Use a consistent naming convention – Make it easy to remember – Avoid using special characters Don’t: – Get too creative with the naming conventions – Use abbreviations that are not commonly known.

Use dashes to separate words – Be as specific as possible Include all relevant information Double check your work for mistakes When creating a SKU, be sure to: –

Include all relevant information – Double check your work for mistakes


If you’re looking to know how to get SKU number, there are a few things you should know. First, understand the difference between an SKU and UPC number. Second, create a coding system that will help you keep track of your inventory.

And finally, name your stock-keeping units in a way that makes sense for your business. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to getting the perfect SKU number for your products.