Amazon Standard Identification Number

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An Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com and its partners for product identification within the Amazon organization.[1]

Usage and structure

Each product sold on Amazon.com is given a unique ASIN. For books with 10-digit International Standard Book Number (ISBN), the ASIN and the ISBN are the same.[2] The Kindle edition of a book will not use its ISBN as the ASIN, although the electronic version of a book may have its own ISBN. It may be possible to convert an ASIN to obtain a corresponding EAN code, also known as an International Article Number.[3] The ASIN form part of the URL of a product detail page on Amazon's website.[4]

Proponents of the free culture movement, such as Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, have criticized the ASIN as an example of a proprietary product identifier, arguing that it draws producers—especially smaller ones—into a lock-in with Amazon, and have proposed the creation of an open alternative where producers could register product IDs for a marginal fee without proprietary control, and the resulting databases would be available under a free license.[5]

References

  1. ^ "Amazon.ca Help: Product Identifiers". Amazon.ca. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  2. ^ "FAQ: ISBN-13 for Amazon Associates". Affiliate-Program.Amazon.com. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  3. ^ "ASIN to EAN converter". erwinmayer.com.
  4. ^ "Find a Product's ASIN - Amazon Hacks [Book]". www.oreilly.com. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  5. ^ Jimmy Wales: Ten Things That Will Be Free. Wikimania 2005 keynote, August 2005. Section "8. Free the Product Identifiers!"
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