SKUs and Barcodes

A SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is a unique ID for each individual product you're selling.

Generally, you will already have a SKU system set up, but if not, you will need to do so prior to getting set up with Whiplash. If your product has an official UPC, you should use that for your SKU instead of creating one.


Let's say you've got a shirt called 'Bird on a Wire' that comes in red and black, men's and women's, sizes S-XL. That's a total of 16 SKUs. A good way to create them is like so:


So your 16 SKUs might be:

For each SKU, you also need to enter a title, such as 'Bird on a Wire T-Shirt', and a Description ('Mens Medium'). Creating unique SKUs that hold to a pattern will make your life much simpler as your business grows!

Barcodes and Scancodes

Everything in a Whiplash facility needs a barcode to maintain accuracy and keep track of your inventory. Each item has a barcode and accompanying scancode associated with it.

  1. If product has a barcode printed on it, that is assigned in Whiplash as its scancode.
  2. If product doesn't have a printed barcode on it but does have a SKU, we'll assign the SKU as the product’s scancode in Whiplash, and attach barcode stickers for a fee.

Required barcode formats

We support a broad range of barcodes, including but not limited to:

Duplicate SKUs

If two of these methods overlap, or if sell on multiple commerce platforms,  you may end up with duplicate SKUs. In that event you can run our SKU De-Duplicator or turn on "Auto-merge" to handle these without any intervention on your part. 

NOTE: If you create items by cloning existing ones in your store, you'll want to be sure to set a delay before merging, as per above. Otherwise, we'll de-dupe before you've had a chance to enter the new SKU.

Last updated Jun 1st, 2020