UPC Barcodes and How They Work


I don't know about you but when we needed to start using barcodes for our products it was a nightmare to try to figure out how to do it and where to get them.

Here is the simple explanation for how to start using UPC codes on your products.

UPC (Universal Product Code) is simply a unique code for your product that no other product in the world has. There is an organization that regulates the industry. There are many types of UPC codes but in nearly all cases small businesses do not have to worry about that, you will be using the standard 12 digit code, sometimes referred to as UPC-A.

The organization that regulates UPC codes (GS1 US) forces you to buy a very large block of them, I think around 100,000, and there are maintenance fees. You DO NOT have to do this. A long time ago a few companies purchased huge blocks of UPCs and sell single UPCs for a very low cost, sometimes less than $20 per code. I have investigated a lot of them and the one that was clearly the best, easiest, and legitimate was:

For small businesses the best place I have found to buy UPCs is: SingleUPC.com

They have live customer support, same day service, bulk discounts, and give you the barcode in .eps format so it is easy to put on your packaging.

After purchasing the UPC only use it on ONE product. For instance, if you have a small green shirt and small red shirt they will each require their own UPC. Keep that in mind when deciding how many to buy. Also, when someone asks for the code supply them with the entire 12 digit code (including that one digit that shows up in the bottom right corner).

Realizing this may still be confusing please email us at info@stitchlabs.com anytime and we're happy to help you figure it out. Another good resource is this Wall Street Journal article.


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