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  • Writer's pictureBill Holmes

How do you get a UPC Code? What exactly am I buying???

SeaClutch boat and RV holder UPC purchase
Buying a UPC code on Ebay - not an option for the SeaClutch brand!

What is a UPC code?

They are the ubiquitous codes that are scanned when you checkout at any store. As a consumer, you see it get scanned at checkout and the price comes up. There is a lot more going on behind the scenes! The UPC is used control inventory, place orders and let the merchant know the details about the product – size, shape, weight, color, etc.

As with everything with in bringing this product to market, caveat emptor! Buyer beware!

I had to do a lot of research on who actually issues UPC codes! You can go to eBay or any number of online sellers who will offer you thousands of “good” UPC codes for a pennies a piece.

That seems like a good deal!

Until you do more research. That person is a re seller, and while you can use their codes to sell individual items, they aren’t what you are looking for if you want to establish a brand with multiple items. They also don't help if you want to become an Amazon Prime seller (where Amazon does the shipping) because they require case UPC case coding as well. There are many re sellers out there who offer this specific type UPC code for in essence single use, but they are buying them from someone.

There is also the issue of people selling “used” UPC codes. A used UPC code is one that was originally issued to someone, but they have quit using it and gave up the rights to it


Huh? What does that mean?

I went to a lot of different sites trying to figure this out, but I eventually found out that the actual issuer of UPC codes for North America is GS1.

From Wikipedia, “GS1 is a not-for-profit organization that develops and maintains global standards for business communication. The best known of these standards is the barcode, a symbol printed on products that can be scanned electronically. GS1 barcodes are scanned more than six billion times every day.”

Next I’ll discuss how the business model works, and why you can have “re sellers” that may give you a good UPC code, but one that Amazon Prime may not like!


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