UPDATED: Who needs a UPC barcode and what is it for anyway?
You need a UPC barcode for any product you intend to sell through retail shops that use the GS1 database.
A UPC code is the Universal Product Code – it was created to help business sell their goods and retailers capture the information through a simple scan. Every company who is registered with the GS1 gets a 5 digit Company code that is part of the UPC barcode.
The company then creates as many codes as it needs and uploads it to the Global Database. Retailers, who have access to it, can scan the item and all the information is captured.
You do not need a UPC barcode if you plan on selling your product:
1. Online through your own ecommerce website.
2. Online through an auction site such as ebay.
3. Through small retailers
4. In Arts and Crafts shows
5. Directly to the public
Some software systems (POS) require A UPC barcode on the product. As long as the system is not connected to the global database of codes, you can use any series of numbers you would like (within the guidelines of the UPC barcode) to produce your barcode.
You will need to get a UPC barcode if you sell your product through any outlet that uses the Global Database.
2. Fill the Application
3. The last page of the application will give you your fees that are based on Annual Sales (I put $30,000 in my application) and number of products you intend to barcode.
GS1 has lowered their fees for the very small business that may only need few barcodes. This new category is for businesses with 1- 10 products and the annual renewal fee is also more affordable at only $50.00 a year.
1 to 10 Initial Fee: $250, Annual Renewal Fee: $50
1 to 100 Initial Fee: $750, Annual Renewal Fee: $150
1 to 1,000 Initial Fee: $2,500, Annual Renewal Fee: $500
“GS1 US provides a GS1 Company Prefix through its Partner Connections membership that allows you to build many unique and authentic U.P.C. barcode numbers, also known as Global Trade Item Numbers® or GTINs®. No matter what you need, Partner Connections makes it easy for you to meet the barcoding requirements of your retail customers.”
Use companies such as nationwidebarcode – to obtain only few barcodes. They only charge few dollars for each one. These companies got their UPC company prefixes before 2002 and can sell those legally. Your prefix company information will be their company, but it is a legitimate and working UPC code. Be sure to use a reputable company as there are many fraudulent companies out there.