Why you need SKUs

Learn why SKUs are required in Sellbrite. Learn how to use (or create) a SKU System for your business.

Holland Rocha avatar
Written by Holland Rocha
Updated over a week ago

Sellbrite requires a unique SKU for every Product in your inventory. Ensuring your Products have SKUs before you begin using Sellbrite will save you hours when completing your Go-Live Checklist.

What is a SKU?

SKU (pronounced "skew") stands for Stock Keeping Unit. A SKU is the unique identifier for each Product you sell. SKUs are a core part of retail and ecommerce selling.

Your title or description for a Product may vary for different channels, but the SKU should remain the same. This allows Sellbrite to identify the Product across many sales channels. SKUs also make working with inventory and using sales reports much easier.

How Sellbrite uses SKUs

Sellbrite uses SKUs to "link" a Product to that Product's listings. Think of listings like advertisements for a Product. You may have listings on various Marketplaces (like eBay, Walmart, Etsy, etc.) for the same Product. You may also have listings for a Product on your own website/shopping cart platform (like Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce).

If SKUs are missing or do not match, Sellbrite cannot automatically link a Product to its listings, and cannot keep everything in sync. If you have SKUs but they don't match, you can solve this by manually linking a Product to its listings.

Will my SKUs work with Sellbrite?

As noted above, the first thing to consider is whether your products have the same SKUs or different SKUs across different sales channels.

If your SKUs are the same: Great! Sellbrite's auto-linking will work for you. Since your listings on different channels all have the same SKU for a single product, Sellbrite will know that this is the same item across the various channels, and will link the Product to the various listings.

Different (Mismatched) SKUs: If your listings for a Product have different SKUs per channel, this means your Product has Mismatched SKUs. When SKUs are mismatched, Sellbrite will think each SKU is a totally different item for sale, and won't be able to keep everything in sync.

Example: You sell a white ceramic coffee mug on eBay. You also sell this same coffee mug on your Shopify website.

The mug's SKU on your eBay listing is: CERAMIC_MUG_WHT

The same mug is listed on your Shopify site with a different SKU: WHTCERAMIC_MUG

Sellbrite will think these are two entirely different Products, because they have two entirely different SKUs. To fix this, manually link Product to the Product's Listings in Sellbrite. Or, change the SKUs on the eBay and Shopify listings to match one another, and re-import the listings into Sellbrite. Then, Sellbrite will see that the SKUs match and auto-link the listings to your Product.

3. Do your Variation Products have their own SKUs?

Example: You sell a ceramic coffee mug in white, and also sell it in black. The SKUs should look something like:

Variation SKU for black mug - CERAMIC_MUG_BLK  
Variation SKU for white mug - CERAMIC_MUG_WHT    

The black and white mugs are Variations. For a product with variations, each variation requires its own unique SKU.

What If I Don't Have SKUs?

For tips on how to create SKUs for your Products in Sellbrite, read this blog post. You have a few options.

Option 1: Add SKUs to the listings directly in your sales channels

You can add SKUs to each listing, then import the Listings into Sellbrite. Since the SKUs will match, Sellbrite will auto-link the listings to the relevant Product.

Option 2: Add SKUs to using a CSV file

You can add SKUs to a Product CSV spreadsheet. When you import the Product CSV spreadsheet, Sellbrite will build Products for you, and add the SKU you specified for each product. Note: SKUs built through CSV can only use letters, numbers, hyphens, spaces, periods, and underscores

Option 3: Let Sellbrite create SKUs for you (not recommended)

If you never plan to replenish stock on a particular product, or only sell one-of-a-kind items, you may not have SKUs. Sellbrite can autogenerate SKUs for your products during setup to get you started quickly. This option is only advised if you sell on a single sales channel, or if you have a relatively small number of listings (under 250 listings). This is because you will need to manually link your product's listings to the autogenerated SKUs in Sellbrite. This can be time consuming for even a low number of SKUs. There is no way for Sellbrite to auto-link autogenerated SKUs to existing listings that have no SKUs.

When you import listings with a blank SKU field, Sellbrite will use the listing to build a Product in Sellbrite for you. Since the listing has no SKU, and SKUs are required, Sellbrite will automatically generate a randomized SKU for the Product.

Keep in mind, these autogenerated SKUs make identifying Products a little more difficult, since SKUs will look something like Ghy76akhd rather than COFFEE_MUG_BLK.

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