The Value of an MSKU – Seller Assigned Code

Creating a SKU of Value

Sometimes the value of an MSKU  (Merchant Stock Keeping Unit) is overlooked because it is not an asterisked field. However you can put it to good use.

If you don’t assign an MSKU Amazon will automate it.

If you create your own, you can code it how you wish to provide useful info.

The following are ideas for the ideal SKU.

1) It enables you to group items together because they will be listed alphabetically in your “Manage Inventory” section. You can group by using the first letters of the category, e.g.:

  • CLO_  clothing category
  • HOM_ home and kitchen category
  • SHO_   shoes category
  • TOY_   toys and games category

2) You can add extra abbreviations in if wished, such as SW for Star Wars.

3) You can add the store you bought from in case you want to replenish WAG for Walgreens, DIS for Disney, etc.

4) You can add price 0650 for $6.50 – very important when calculating cog/value of inventory. Most importantly you can use a formula to extract the price. See video link at bottom of this page.

5) You can put in expiration dates, but then you will have to create a new SKU each time you replenish; instead I alternate between 2 SKU’s “A” and “B”, so I can force the old product on “A” SKU to be used up before “B” SKU is active, but it will depend on the products you sell as to how best to record this.

6) For shoes I like to put the size and color in case it’s not obvious in the title, so 5MBlk for 5 Medium Black. SHO_MJ_5MBLK_Az0800X

These are just some ideas. Keep it as simple as you can while getting the most use out of it.  Write down your rules, so if you hire help, they can follow the pattern. Consistency is the main objective.

The MSKU is the one field you cannot change once it has been entered. Everything else you can change, such as quantity.  If you need to change it, you’d have to add a new one, and the FNSKU will change too, so if you are labelling, make sure you change the label in that case.

Other uses for having a Seller Assigned SKU:

7) Running promotions/coupons, you may want to include a whole category. They are easy to find when grouped.

8) Feedback Genius emails – you can include or exclude using a pattern. Check with their support staff to make sure you have it correct.

  • “SKU Must Not Match” pattern,  use the pipe symbol (|) and not a comma (,) between SKUs to separate them and no space.  You don’t need to include the whole SKU, just the beginning that repeats.
  • “SKU Must Match” pattern, you can list as ^ABC – “^” means “starts with”.

9) Reports: Some do not give the Product Title (or the product title column Is very long), so the SKU is useful to be able to identify the item.

10) Product Tax Code settings. Can group ‘like’ items together, school supplies, etc.

11) Accounting: I have 2 products that I have an agreement with others on when sold; I can run reports and data sort by SKU and then by Order ID, to extract those specific products and quantities sold.

I hope this helps you organize your inventory in Seller Central.

Here is a link to the video to extract the cost of goods from your MSKU.


You will most likely start with =LEFT(RIGHT(C2,5),4)/100  whichever cell your SKU is in is what you will reference.

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About the author: Karen Holmes

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