A UPC code is a unique string of digits assigned to every product sold on Amazon. Amazon uses these codes to categorize items so they can be easily searched and sold. With so many options available, how can you determine where to look for your UPC code? RepricerExpress has done the research for you and figured out where you can get them and how to use them.
The UPC Code: A Little Primer
A non-profit organization called GS1 is responsible for determining how UPCs work worldwide. Amazon dips into a database of all these 12-digit codes in production to check if your UPC is a match.
Amazon UPC codes are only officially produced by GS1, so you should check yours with them to ensure it’s correct. However, just because GS1 is the world leader doesn’t mean you can’t buy UPCs from other organizations, as long as they are GS1 members.
Taking a deeper look at UPCs
Despite the fact that they look like a jumble of numbers, UPCs contain meaningful sequences that are associated with a specific company and product.
The first sequence consists of six to ten digits and represents the company prefix. There’s then a sequence of 1-5 digits called the reference number, followed by a digit called the check digit (which indicates the barcode is correct).
Preparation for Buying UPCs on Amazon
The first thing you’ll want to do before you pull out your credit card and pay for a lot of UPCs is to gather all the necessary information.
- Determine how many UPCs you’ll need. When you buy in bulk, you are more likely to get lower prices. Take a moment to figure out how many you will need. As well as individual products, bundles will need their own UPCs. Calculate the number of separate and bundled items you will be selling.
- Select a pricing plan. Bulk purchases should result in lower prices, but pricing plans go beyond that. The cost is $30 each and renewal is not required if you are a small business with few products. A business that needs more than nine UPCs should instead opt for the traditional GS1 Company Prefix model, which helps businesses scale and manage a large product line. The initial fee is $250, followed by a $50 renewal fee each year. On the other hand, if you go up to the next tier of 1 to 100 UPCs, the prices only triple ($750 initial fee, $150 annual renewal fee). Find out if it’s worth it to triple costs when the UPCs are doubling, or if you should invest in a higher bracket.
- Choose the right UPC. If you sell both online and offline, your UPC needs might be different than if you only sell online. The same GTIN will be used for both a brick-and-mortar store and an Amazon store, for example. Those same brick-and-mortar items, however, will need different codes if they are also being scanned at a warehouse or distribution center.