How to Buy Cheap UPC Codes for Amazon?

If you planning to sell goods online, you need to register your products with the GS1(Global Standard 1). You will be assigned your own unique UPC that identifies your company as the maker of the product, which is necessary to do business. Here only one authorized producer of UPC exists globally, (GS1) Global Standard 1 is a non-commercial organization that has set the global standard for supply chain barcoding.

GS1 manages several types of UPC codes.

Currently more than 100 GS1 organizations around the world. US businesses serve GS1 to US organizations. GS1 issues unique prefixes to brand owners so that they can generate their unique UPCs containing the prefix number provided to the organization by GS1.

Here Amazon is always already checking the UPC which is assigned to different ASINs in their area (marketplace) against the GS1 database, which means any seller without authentic GS1. Listings can be removed in case Amazon decides to go down that route, and UPCs become at risk.

Recognize GTINs

Every product has its own unique UPC, so No need to be confused with an actual product UPC, GTINs are numbers that help you to identify individual products. You’ll assign each unique GTIN for every product. The rules for assigning GTINs confirm that every variation of an item or product is assigned a number that is globally unique and the same UPC is never assigned to another.

You generate your GTIN by combining a GS1 US-issued Company Prefix number with a unique product number which you assign, plus a verify the digit that helps to ensure or confirm the GTIN is created correctly. A GTIN, along with a barcode/UPC code, can be used anywhere in the world.

GTINs can be made secret into different types of barcodes/UPC Codes. The two basic types of UPCs used on products: –

  • UPCs (Unique Product Code)
  • EANs (European Article Number).

What are UPC Codes?

The UPC is an actual format for product barcodes. Whereas supply demand in Europe, Asia, and Australia increased at same time it is necessary to differentiate each seller by their locations. Then GS1 start to assigning specific prefixes for different GS1 member organizations.

On the other hand, certain prefixes identify the GS1 branch where the prefix was permit to accessible which does not necessarily specify, where that product is going to make up.

For example, here, misconception that all barcode prefixes on American-made products will start with a zero or one.

There are two main types of UPCs

  • UPC-E
  • UPC-A

Image by Bar Code Graphics

UPC-A is essentially similar to UPC-E.

However, UPC-E does not include 0s. That means you will not actually see the 0s within the barcode/UPC code, only within the corresponding GTIN.

UPC codes are currently the chief barcode used in US and Canada. In other countries can scan and read UPC codes, most countries outside of US and Canada mainly use EANs.

What are EAN Codes?

In GS1, EAN full form European Article Numbers (Also popular as International Article Numbers). Issued barcodes that also include Company Prefixes at the beginning of the numeric GTIN, these may not be necessarily identify the country where the product was made up.

Two primary forms of EANs are popular among Amazon sellers:

  • EAN-13, which encodes a GTIN-13
  • EAN-8, which encodes a GTIN-8

Similar to UPCs, the type of EAN you use depends on a lot of different factors such as product category, and product distribution channel.

To know more details or explanation of GS1’s various barcodes check out their own articles.

Remember, If Amazon discovers that your UPC codes don’t match the information found on the GS1 database in this case Amazon can remove your listing. So, it’s important to spend the initial time and money to confirm Amazon success in the long far.


In Amazon, it requires every seller to be register a GTIN with each product listing which available on their account or marketplace. Amazon said, sellers can either invest in authorized UPC codes directly from GS1 as well as go through a reseller.

Various UPC and EAN resellers out there will try to sell replicated UPC codes to satisfy Amazon’s UPC code needed. Due to their cheaper prices, many sellers purchase their UPC codes from third party websites, however using resold Amazon UPC codes will cause more dangerous than good in the long run.

The problem with replicated UPC codes actual reason is, they could belong to another company or might not link the company with their products.  

As long as GS1 is the author of the GTIN system, by definition they are the only validated resource to check barcode validity. If you are purchasing a reseller’s UPC code rather than a 3rd party website like GETUPCCode, UPCStock, eBay, that UPC code was probably originally assigned to another company.

Although Amazon has not starting clearly said they will remove any listing that does not match the GS1 database, they have statement that such a policy might be enforced in the near future.

Our in-house Amazon expert David Cooley says, “It’s important to stay up to date on Amazon’s policies around UPCs.

The recent emphasis on GS1 codes may be just the beginning for brand manufacturers or private labelers”.

First Initial steps to sell products on Amazon!

GS1 classified the process of buying your UPC code into 4 easy steps.

Step 1: Initially apply for a GS1 Company Prefix

The first six to nine digits of barcode of your company prefix. The company prefix is special/different identifier of the product’s manufacturer. Initially as a supplier, your company prefix will remain the same on the UPC codes of all your different- different products. Each product that offer to be assigned a unique product code which also known as UPC code or barcode that will obey your company prefix.

Refer to the diagram below for an example:

There are numerous ways to purchase a company prefix, however it’s important that the company prefix can be traced back to your business. Business owners often make mistakes purchasing their UPC code from a company other than GS1. There’s only cannot lead to legal issues, but can also impact the mistakes of your brands supply chain as well.

To be secure way, it’s defined to purchase your Amazon UPC codes/barcode only from GS1 directly. GS1 has an easy-to-use often how to get your Company Prefix on their websites.

The initial set-up fee ranges from the low end of $250 but can be as much as $10,000 depending on the how many different products you intend on selling. After the initial fee, GS1 must be charge an annual renewal fee to maintain your company prefix. This cost ranges from $50 a year on the low end and around $3000 on the high end.

Where might be tempting to go with a 3rd party barcode vendor, or find a cheaper UPC code on websites like eBay, the cost of buying UPC codes from GS1 is much less than the money you can potentially lose by purchasing accepted standard UPC codes.

Step 2: Assign a Unique Product Number

Now that you have your company prefix, it’s time to allocate each one of your products having unique product numbers. GS1 gives each seller a set number of digits to use for product numbers depends on the number of future products the seller indicates on their application.

The seller can decide to get their own numbering system to apply when naming their unique product numbers. One thing to keep always in mind is that each SKU of every product requires its own unique product number. This means every variety of each individual product needs to be represented with its own wondered product ID.

For example, In Case you are selling different hats as a product selection. You may have three different color hats (red, white, and blue). Each different-different hat variation must have its own special/unique product number.

Red Hat: 0001
White Hat: 0002
Blue Hat: 0003

For Amazon UPC codes must always total 11 digits. The final digit as well as 12th digit is called the “check digit”. This digit number is calculated by GS1 based on the previous digits number 11 of your barcode.

Step 3: Express!  How Your Product Will Display Barcode

If in case you having not packaged or designed your labels for your product, you can obtain a digital barcode file directly from GS1 to incorporate in the packaging and labeling of your product. Almost all manufacturers or makers will be comfortable with the idea of working with UPCs/barcode and understand how to contain them from a digital file.

If you have already packaged and labeled your products, you can order UPC code/ barcode labels to stick on your product or its packaging.

It’s important that the barcodes/UPC code which can be clearly visible and its must be accurate to the information on the GS1 database.

Step 4: Order Your Barcodes

Now, its hard part is out of the way, the last step is to order UPC/barcodes. There are different numeral websites out which is specialize in printing barcode/UPC labels, GS1 US has a Solution partner program, which can find certified barcoding companies familiar with GS1 standards.

Step 5: Place Barcodes

As an Amazon seller it’s extremely important to place your UPC/barcodes on your product so they are both visible, scannable, and readable. Amazon has unique directions for sellers on Amazon to follow when it comes to UPC placement. Remember, they are most likely using robots to process your directed FBA shipments. The easier to make the job for them to accept shipment, the faster you are going to see products selling online.