What Is the Difference Between Serial Numbers and Model Numbers?

What Is the Difference Between Serial Numbers and Model Numbers?

An item's model number helps identify the type of product issued by a manufacturer, whereas a serial number designates an individual item with a unique code. For example, a group of identical items would have identical model numbers, and a set of serial numbers would be assigned incrementally to each item within that group.

Businesses use part-numbering systems such as model and serial numbers to differentiate between differing products or services. These codes can be a combination of letters, numbers or other symbols as designated by the manufacturer.

A model number is a code used to identify a group of items made in a production run, such as a particular type of blender or vacuum cleaner. Knowing a model number is useful when garnering services for a product's repair since replacement parts often correspond with a model number.

Serial numbers are issued to individual units within a production run. Serial codes - as the name implies - are a unique set of symbols assigned to each product that can help further identify when and by whom the product was made. Issuing companies often maintain a record of serial numbers for reference, which is especially useful for proving the authenticity of a particular item.

Both model and serial codes can often be found engraved, printed or otherwise displayed on a manufactured item or on its packaging.