What is UPC?
A universal product code (UPC) is a unique barcode printed on product packaging and used for tracking items in stores. UPCs help to identify product features at checkout and track inventory within a store or warehouse.
Universal product codes are widely used in the US, Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and other countries.
What does a UPC consist of?
Each universal product code has two parts:
- a bar code (a series of unique black bars)
- 12 numeric digits
How do I get a UPC code for my product?
There are two ways to obtain UPCs for your products:
- Buy a GS1 US membership. GS1 US is a member of GS1, an international group that administers universal product codes. Your company will get a prefix number that will become part of any UPC for your products.
- Buy UPCs from a reseller. Some companies resell UPC codes so small businesses don’t have to pay to buy a GS1 US membership. If you choose this option, your products’ codes will begin with another company’s prefix number.
Buying a GS1 US membership works better for bigger companies with lots of products or variations of the same item.
Buying UPCs from a reseller can be a great solution for smaller businesses that sell a couple of products.