UPCZilla now rolling out EANs

Big news! If you take a look at a product page on our site you will now see a new addition: “Matching EAN/s“. This has been planned for a while and is just a first step in fully implementing EANs on our site for visitors coming from Europe, although that’s a way down the line.

Here are a few things to know about the implementation of EANs on our site: we collect them where we can, sometimes we can’t find an EAN, sometimes (like in the case of the Logitech MK520 keyboard) there are multiple EANs for a single UPC. We would advise taking the EANs supplied here with a big pinch of salt, things can get very confusing.

All UPCs really are in theory is an EAN with the leading zero (the country code for the US) omitted, to give a 12-digit instead of 13-digit number. So does that mean you can take any UPC, add a leading zero and get the equivalent EAN? Well, no – or rather, sometimes you can, but you don’t know till you try. Some products have a completely different EAN from the equivalent UPC, which might in some cases be because the product in question is a European version of the same product, with some minor differences for the European market. A product UPC that has an equivalent EAN beginning with a 0 will often be only intended for the US market, so the EAN is fairly irrelevant in such cases since the product will not usually be sold outside the US.

It’s also possible that some EANs are just plain wrong – we haven’t got enough data yet to be sure.

Really it’s down to you to use the EANs on our site as you will – we can’t take any responsibility for wrong data, there’s just too much randomness out there! You can certainly try removing the zero (or adding one to the UPC) and pasting it in the search box (we haven’t made them clickable yet, we will do that soon) to see what you get. You can also try searching on EANs to see if there are more products listed under one EAN than under another. We hope in any case that playing with our new EANs feature helps you appreciate how confusing product codes can be and why it is taking us a while to work out a proper implementation!

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