What is MPN?

MPN (Manufacturer Part Number) is the product identifier used to differentiate a product among other (similar) products from the same brand/manufacturer, making it easier for customers to find and buy your products and protecting it from counterfeit (that is, when somebody would be trying illegally sell products on behalf of a manufacturer or make a copy of a product. Example: Chinese making their versions of “iPhones”. Usually, they will not know MPNs unless contact a manufacturer).

Does MPN has a generally accepted form?

No, and it is usually up to a manufacturer to decide how the code will look like and where it will be located.

What are the benefits of having an MPN?

MPN assists customers to find and buy the precise item. This reduces the headache of managing product returns and dealing with a dissatisfied client.

Manufacturer Part Number helps:

  • Make a product search more accurate;
  • Correctly match a search query with the item;
  • Ensure a customer purchases the right product or product detail;
  • Place product ads in search engines or social networks to the right audience;
  • Track product information more accurately within a product catalog;

For Manufacturers MPN helps:

  • track specific details/part numbers of a product;
  • manage, arrange, and communicate on the product details amongst internal and external systems and partners.

How to find manufacturer part number

Typically you will find MPN number on a product packaging: on a label or a bar code. Though not always you will find it there. Continue reading here.

Important: MPN is issued by the manufacturer only, so the first source of truth is a Manufacturer.

Warning: do not type in any other code in an MPN field. It is not the same and every marketplace has a right to put a ban for this kind of fraud. Do not use a value that you’ve created yourself (unless you are a manufacturer). For example, you can’t use a UPC number as an MPN, because Amazon/eBay/any other marketplace will reject it.

What is MPN on eBay + MPN on Amazon + comparison engines (Google Shopping)

MPNs are used when importing products to marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress, as well as comparison shopping engines like Google Shopping. They let those platforms match products with customers’ search queries and perform product comparisons in a more precise way.

What is MPN on eBay

MPN on eBay is not a “must-have” point, though there are quite literal guidelines for which product categories and subcategories it is mandatory, and for which it is optional. For instance, for such eBay product categories as Business & Industrial, Cameras & Photo, Cell Phones & Accessories, Computers / Tablets & Networking, Consumer Electronics, Musical Instruments & Gear, and Sporting Goods it is a must. For such categories as Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, Crafts, Health & Beauty, Tickets & Experiences, and Pet Supplies eBay will accept products without MPN numbers. See the detailed eBay product identifiers table, where you can see MPN eBay demands.

MPN on eBay example:

Manufacturer Part Number Amazon

On Amazon MPN is an optional field. Though for such categories, where you know your customers will be struggling to find a specific product detail, it is important to help in navigation.

  • You get more return customers: usually when buying some parts for a product, clients are coming back for other replacements.
  • Less returns: the more precise information you provide, less chance of getting the wrong item/the item that doesn’t fit or serve well.
  • Good reviews: if you’ve tried to find highly specific products/products’ parts on a web, you realize what a challenge it is. Those kind of clients are highly appreciative when served with the right match.

MPN on Amazon example:

MPN Google Shopping

What does Google Shopping say about MPN? Google Merchant Help Center mentions that MPN is only required for products that do not have a manufacturer-assigned GTIN (UPC/EAN/ISBN for books). It is also optional for the custom-made products (for instance, art, custom clothes, handmade).

MPN on Google Shopping example:

Distinguish between variants: do they have different MPNs?

Be careful to use the correct MPN for each item. Commonly, each variant of a product (that could be different colors, sizes, models) has its own manufacturer product number.

What to do if the product doesn’t have MPN?

Some products don’t have an MPN, and so you don’t need to submit it. Although, if the item has an MPN number and you didn’t apply it, for example, for a reason that you don’t know it or couldn’t find, or gave the wrong one — then the product could be not accepted by the marketplaces (if there was a field for MPN).


It happens, retailers are mixing the notions of SKU and MPN. SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) and MPN (Manufacturer Part Number) difference lies mainly in the method of usage. SKUs are used by retailers or brands to keep track of inventory internally; while MPNs are exposed to the customers and are visible to search engines and marketplaces.



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