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UPC is a 12-digit barcode used to identify products in retail. E-commerce sellers use UPCs to identify products, simplify checkout, improve product listings, and prevent counterfeiting. 

What is a UPC?

A Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode that identifies products in the retail industry. It consists of a 12-digit code divided into three parts.

  • The first five digits identify the manufacturer.
  • The next five digits identify the product.
  • The last digit is a check digit used to verify the accuracy of the code.

UPCs are used by retailers to scan products during checkout, and by e-commerce sellers to list their products on online marketplaces.

Why is UPC important for e-commerce sellers?

UPCs are important for e-commerce sellers for several reasons:

  • They help identify products and ensure their uniqueness.
  • They make it easier for retailers to scan products at checkout.
  • They can improve product listings on online marketplaces.
  • They can prevent counterfeit products.

How can I obtain a UPC for my product?

There are two primary ways to obtain a UPC. One way is to purchase them from a UPC barcode generator. Another way is to join the GS1 organization, which serves as the global authority for UPCs.

If you decide to purchase UPCs from a UPC barcode generator, you will be asked to provide the manufacturer identification number and the product identification number. The cost of UPCs may vary depending on the generator you choose.

Alternatively, you can become a member of the GS1 organization by paying an annual membership fee. Once you become a member, you will be eligible to purchase UPCs at a discounted rate.

Here are the steps to get a UPC for your product:

  1. If you are not already a member of GS1, you will need to join. The cost of membership varies depending on the size of your company.
  2. As a member, you will need to purchase a unique UPC prefix, which is a 5-digit number specific to your company.
  3. To assign UPCs to your products, each product needs a unique UPC code.

Getting a UPC for your product can be a bit complicated, but it is important to do it correctly.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your products are properly barcoded and can be easily identified by retailers and consumers.

Is UPC a barcode or a SKU?

A UPC is a type of barcode, but a SKU is not.

Instead, a SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is a unique identifier assigned by a company to its products.

Unlike UPCs, SKUs are not standardized and can be any length, consisting of any combination of letters and numbers.

Frequently asked questions