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Google Merchant GTIN Print On Demand Products?? HELP

19 0 8

Hi -

I have print on demand products (dropshipping) so do not have GTIN codes.

I see people saying you need to change: 

"submit an identifier_exists
attribute with a value of FALSE"

I don't know what this means or where you even type this in Shopify or Google Merchant Centre?

Basically, how do I advertise my shopify products on Google Shopping (Google Merchant) without GTIN codes - as I'm using print on demand suppliers like ?


Replies 13 (13)
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
779 43 174

Hi, there!

Katy here from Shopify. Thanks so much for reaching out, and great questions!

When selling via the Google Shopping sales channel, you will need to specify if your product has a GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) or not. GTINs are unique identifiers used internationally to store and locate product information. We have some more info on this here under 'inventory'. 

Certain cases which would not require you to have GTINs would be where the products you are selling are custom items. As you are operating a print-on-demand service, if each of your items are custom made then this seems likely to be case for you! 

In this case, what you will need to do list your products as 'custom items', by checking the box in the Google Shopping Fields modal (from More Actions on the product page). This can be done from your Shopify admin and we have some info on this here to help you out. Once completed, this then sets the feed for this product as: identifierExists to false for you. Doing so then tells Google that this is a custom item, for which you do not have the GTIN. 

Ultimately it is up to Google to review this, however if you encounter a case where it not accepted, you can then request a GTIN exemption from Google (which you can do via the Google Merchant Center) or you can uncheck this as a Custom Product (within your Shopify admin) and provide a valid GTIN or MPN for approval before going through the process again.

I do hope this helps you out. We have some additional information from our own guides here along with some resources from Google Merchant Center support too.   

Feel free to let me know how it goes for you, and happy selling!


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Shopify Expert
873 34 223

How you set the identifier_exists field to false depends on the solution you're using to push products to Google Merchant center. Are you using the Shopify marketing channel?

Run Google Shopping ads? Get the free definitive guide to Google Shopping for Shopify (no optin required):
Shopify Partner
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Please remember, drop shipping on Google Shopping is not allowed and can only be done via the Affiliate Program, which is still in closed beta. Continuing to advertise on Google Shopping wile drop shipping is a serious violation and you account will get suspended.


I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
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New Member
1 0 0

Hi Katy


Thanks for you advice
We did everything as described however when checking our custom items on f.e.

they still get the 'warning' for missing "This product is missing a global identifier (e.g. isbn, mpn or gtin8). Please see documentation for valid identifiers."

and I can't see any 'identifierExists to false' even though we checked the box "custom product".


Do you have any other ideas?




5 1 4

I'm having the exact same problems. Products are set to true under Custom Product in the bulk editor. But Google is not approving the products because of missing identifiers

Shopify Partner
5 0 1

@snowyny25 and @adorablymini  What method are you using to connect your product catalog to Merchant Center? There should be a field for this in whatever app you're using.


Here's what that looks like in our app:








Digital Marketer @ GoDataFeed
5 1 4

The Google Shopping app in Shopify connected the catalog for me and I am adjusting feed data in there. Is there a better app?


Heres how I'm doing it.

If you go to Apps > Google Shopping > Product Feed - next to product status, there's a link to 'Manage Availability', This is the only place you can view the bulk editor with all the data that maps google products.


There is a column labeled 'Custom product'. The options are true and false. Common sense tells me to choose true. But since the identifier_exists must say false, AND it's the only true/false option,  I set it to false.


Now I wait until the feed updates to see if this fixes the problem (if 'custom product' is in fact 'identifier_exists' and maybe the boolean had been coded backwards?)


In Google merchant center. Under Products > All Products. Choose a product and scroll down to Final Attributes.


I can see ALL of the attributes that I set in Shopify. It's confusing because the labels are not the same. For example, the Shopify field 'Vendor' shows up as the merchant attribute 'brand'. Its also time consuming because the feed needs to update to see changes. So it's taking days. But as things change on that list, I'm starting to get an idea of what data should go where in Shopify. Ideally, there would be a short guide to mapping data somewhere in the google shopping app. There IS a 'Get Support' link in the app, so I hit them up with my questions about mapping...


Will let you know if I get my problem fixed and how.


BTW, this is for custom handmade products, not dropshipped items. I must have posted in the wrong thread.

5 1 4


Custom Product DOES need to be set to true.

I'm not sure what the issue was when I HAD it set to true the first time.


If you're using the Google Shopping App, click 'Get Support' on the app and it will open a ticket for you. The person who helped me was insanely helpful and quick about everything. She was able to push a re-sync which updated my feed in the merchant center.  And immediately my products went from Disapproved to Active. (they may still need to manually approve, still says pending in shopify)


Here are some of the helpful tips she gave me.

Brand (Vendor field on Shopify.)

GTIN (Barcode field on Shopify.)

MPN (found in Google Shopping metafields modal.)

13 0 4

Replying to EmmanuelFlossie: "Please remember, drop shipping on Google Shopping is not allowed and can only be done via the Affiliate Program, which is still in closed beta. Continuing to advertise on Google Shopping wile drop shipping is a serious violation and you account will get suspended."

Is this still true in 2020? I'm trying to get my products on Google via Shopify and have both self-fulfilled items and Printful items in my store—neither of which have barcodes, GTINs, or MPNs. And I'm baffled why my products are being rejected. I just followed the instructions in the Google App—no mention of dropshipping issues that I recall and did a lot of work to make sure all their criteria was followed to the letter. My account was suspended within eight hours of opening it. 

Custom product field set to True—I tried False and it resulted in a barcode error. No idea what to do.

New Member
2 0 0

I wish someone would answer you as I have the exact same problem

13 0 4

@Wiggles Here's an update and what I've learned since posting this question over a month ago. Mind you, this issue has persisted for closer to eight weeks. 

1. I submitted a request to Shopify support and received an email response about week later in which I was asked to provide additional information so they could look into the issue further. In that email, I was told that Shopify "has a great many stores that sell POD products on Google" and that they are "unaware of any specific rule that states that doing so is against Google policies". I have not received a followup since submitting the additional information that was requested. My conclusion: nothing is being done. 

2. I spoke directly with a Google representative—Spent over an hour on the phone (mostly on hold) talking through this issue while the rep spoke with numerous people in-house who all concluded that Google's rules were ambiguous, stating only that "products sold on Google must be stored in a warehouse"—Because this suggests that people can't sell products that are preorder only. POD is not preorder. In other words, I didn't get a definitive answer and was told by the rep that many people do, in fact, sell POD products on Google ... AND may get penalized at any given moment or they may not. Incredibly, I was also forwarded a link by the Google rep to another random article penned by Emmanuel Flossie to "explain" their POD policy ... But not an official Google article/response. My conclusion: Google doesn't even understand their own policy. 

3. I removed all my POD products on Shopify from my Google feed—90% of all my products. I then requested that Google review my account to lift the ban. That was six weeks ago. Since then, I have received a message each week from a Google rep telling me that my request for review is still in progress and will be reviewed by x date and that they "appreciate my patience"—In fact, I received another such email just this morning. 

Needless to say, my patience is long gone. And I still don't have a single definitive answer from either Google or Shopify. My conclusion: Won't get past forum filters. 

New Member
1 0 0



I'm also having the same issue and looked through my products in more actions to see they were all set to custom product.

I digged a little further and went into google app > Product status and then clicked on the products that takes you to the editor then bulk edit and you can see a field for custom product. Mine were all set as false even though in more actions they were true. I have now updated and i'm waiting for the feed to update but I think this may be the issue for me here so maybe for you too?


Correct me if i'm wrong!



22 0 5

hi @adorablymini AdorablyMini,


In your comment you mentioned the google shopping metafield modal.. where can i find that? also is there anyway to update my products in shopify to not say the "brand" field to my vendor rather to use my store's brand?