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CG - How can I avoid losing leading zeros in my SKUs when I export and import data via CSV?
CG - How can I avoid losing leading zeros in my SKUs when I export and import data via CSV?

Find out how to protect zeros at the beginning of your SKUs and Barcodes when working with CSV files

Chelsea Kelly avatar
Written by Chelsea Kelly
Updated over a week ago

A common annoyance with CSV files is that you tend to lose zeros from the beginning of SKUs and barcodes often get reformatted to a format such as "8.89501E+11" which means that SKUs and barcodes then do not upload successfully into ChannelGrabber.

Don't lose hope though!  There is a trick to help you retain the proper formatting for your SKUs and barcodes!

1.   Export/download your original CSV file, either from CG or your supplier etc.

2.  Right click the file and choose "Open with" > Notepad (rather than Excel)

3.  Copy all the data from Notepad and paste into a new blank sheet in Excel - it should paste all data into one column

4. Highlight the column and from the Data section of the header bar, click the "Text to Columns" button:

5.  From the pop-up wizard, choose "Delimited" as the file type then click Next:

6.  Choose "Comma" as the delimiter and then click Next:


7.  Highlight in black any columns that contain SKUs, barcodes or anything with leading zeros in the preview at the bottom of the box, then select the "Column data format" as "Text" (you can select more than one column, just do each one one at a time as needed) then click Finish:

8.  You should then have a separate column for each section of data and the SKU column (and any others that you highlighted) should all be "text" formatted and retain any leading zeros or proper barcode formatting:

We hope this is useful information and helps you when dealing with SKUs and Barcodes in spreadsheets.

If you are creating new products in CG from scratch (see guides on how to Create a New Single Product and Create a New Variation Product) then we highly recommend to avoid the use of zeros at the beginning of your SKUs, so that you can avoid this issue in Excel moving forward  ;)

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