Buying UPCs and Barcodes– Where to start?

Ed. Note – This is the first blog post by Maria, from the SellerEngine Services team. She’s an expert in selling globally.

What are UPC symbols and why are they important?

UPC stands for Universal Product Code and they’re the numbers you see below barcodes on the products you buy. They’re especially important to Amazon sellers because every item listed on any Amazon marketplace must have a UPC associated with it.

Most products you buy at the store will have a UPC provided by the manufacturer. However, sellers who manufacture their own products, or those who create product bundles will need to source their own UPC symbols and barcodes to put on their products.

What are my Options?

Depending on the size of your business and the number of UPC symbols and barcodes that you need, you have a few different options.

If you’re looking to buy thousands of UPC symbols, you should be going to straight to the GS1.  They’re a nonprofit group that sets standards for international commerce. There you can register as a company and you get your own identification number that appears as the first part of the UPC.

You’ll pay an application fee of up to several hundred dollars, then a much smaller annual fee. The exact amount of the fee depends on your answers to application questions, including a revenue projection for the next 12 months, and the number of products for which you expect to need individual UPCs in that time. Descriptions of your products may be required.

If you need a smaller number of products, there are other sites which resell UPC barcodes individually or in bulk ranging from $8-29USD each. You will be paying for the use of that company’s identification number– not your own. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you’ll be paying a premium for this service.

Buying from Resellers

If you decide to buy from such a reseller, you need to be careful since there are some out there whose bar-codes won’t work on Amazon, or you’ll find they are already in use.

Here are my recommendations for the best UPC resellers out there:

  • http://www.BuyABarcode.com – A pricy option, but we’ve had great success purchasing from them. $85USD for a single barcode and $2,475USD for 500.
  • http://www.BarcodesTalk.com – Great online reputation and prices that range from $7.50USD for a single barcode to $825USD for 1500 barcodes.
  • http://www.LegalBarCodes.com – Barcodes purchased from Legal Barcodes are owned by you and unique to you. Prices range from $7.50USD for a single barcode to $125 for 100.

Where do You Buy Your Barcodes?

Do you know of other sites that offer good prices on barcodes and UPCs for Amazon sellers? Are there any sites you should definitely avoid?

What have your experiences been purchasing barcodes and UPC symbols?

Let me know in the comments or on Facebook.

 

21 Comments

  1. Clarice & Ron

    Marie,
    Thank you for this information
    It was very helpful
    I ended up going with Legal Barcodes
    They were listed on the Authenticated UPC Seller Registry
    Their prices were even better than you quoted for the quantity we needed($70.00 for One Hundred), and the customer service was excellent.

  2. I am the president and founder of Nationwide Barcode: http://www.NationwideBarcode.com

    Our prices range from $9.50 for one, $70.00 for 100 and $1500 for 1000. We are listed on George Laurer’s site as one of the legit guys, have a BBB A Rating and are the only vendor of choice for Pandora Radio. The reason this is so important is, in order for a musician to get their music on Pandora, they have to have a CD being sold on Amazon. Since we have such a great reputation providing a bullet-proof solutions for Amazon, they have determined that we are their best best.

    We also have a free e-book available, Barcodes Demystified, with excerpts from George Laurer, Barcodes Demystified. Please feel free to download this to help better understand how barcodes work.

  3. Hi,

    I’m Robert
    Owner of Legal Barcodes
    http://www.legalbarcodes.com/
    We are celebrating our seventh year in business this year.
    Currently we have a Buy One Get One Free sale in progress.
    Purchase any number of our GS1 compliant UPC or EAN barcodes for your products, and receive a like amount free.
    Starting at 2 UPC or EAN barcodes for $7.50
    We are listed on the Authenticated UPC Registry as a verified legitimate barcode seller.
    We welcome your calls or emails with questions about barcodes for Amazon.

  4. Helen

    Very useful information.

    We went with Legalbarcodes. Satisfied, and good customer service.

    Highly recommended.

  5. Sam

    I found several websites that create free barcodes. I assume these are not accepted globally, but will they suffice for a small business selling to small boutiques? Will they get the the job done or be simple just numbers.

  6. Hi Paul,

    There has been a lot of information flying around about Amazon changing their requirements and guidelines for UPC & EAN barcodes.

    From what I have been able to find out the UPC barcode manufacturers number
    (The First Six Digits), must be listed in GS1’s database.
    A UPC barcode number that is just made up, will not appear, and will not be accepted by Amazon.
    If you could post something about this, for us sellers, and for our customers, that would be great.

    As an FYI, the UPC & EAN barcodes purchased from Legal Barcodes, do meet Amazons new standards.

    Thanks

    Robert
    Legal Barcodes
    http://www.legalbarcodes.com
    1-800-496-0451

  7. Karilyn Colegrove

    My barcodes arrived extra fast, in about 10 minutes.
    I had some questions afterward and those were answered equally promptly.
    Robert even resized my barcodes for me at no extra cost.
    Legal Barcodes gets an A+ for service and customer satisfaction!
    Karilyn Colegrove, Pasadena CA

  8. Abhijit Kukreja

    Hi,

    We are super impressed by his professionalism. Very timely, very helpful. Must use if you need a barcode service

  9. Robert at Legal Barcodes was amazing!

    I received my order within 20 minutes and even though my order was small, he spent much time helping me figure out technical issues I was having on my end. He was kind and professional, and I would definitely give him by business again.

    Susan

  10. aunty betty

    Can these be bought by UK sellers too? It may be a silly question but I never see anyone explain if these can be used by anyone outside of the USA?

    • Maria

      Hello,

      It’s not a silly question at all.
      UPC codes are universal, so yes you can buy them even from outside the US. Also, UPC codes are widely used in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and in other countries for tracking trade items in stores.

      I hope it helps,
      Maria

  11. I have always purchased from Product Barcodes. They are very professional and the lowest priced.
    https://productbarcodes.com

  12. Vincent

    Purchased the barcode from http://www.legalbarcodes.com. Good support and answer all my questions. Very well priced. Fast delivery the barcode within 15 minutes.

  13. Thomas Bailey

    Seems like there are a lot of places to buy from with a lot of different services. I own a record label in Nashville Tennessee and we have been using Quality UPC http://www.qualityupc.com for the past 10-years. Geoff, the manager has been great to us and it’s all about the customer service at the end of the day. I’ve never been disappointed.

  14. You need to purchase a barcode software from http://www.iwinsoft.com . Fast make the barcode within 5 minutes.

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