A UPC (universal product code) is a unique product code printed on the product to mark its identity. UPCs help in identifying the product, its color, size, and brand name and keep a track of its sales.

Why Are UPC Codes Needed for Amazon?

To do business on the Amazon marketplace, you need to have a unique product identifier to distinguish your product from other millions of products on the platform, hence the UPCs!

Amazon does not accept your product for its online marketplace if you do not have a UPC for it.

UPCs for Amazon serve various purposes including:

  • They allow online traders to quickly identify and categorize a certain product.
  • They simplify the inventory management and tracking process.
  • They help locate the products easily in warehouses and online searches.
  • Tracking the product during shipping becomes convenient.
How to Create Amazon UPC Codes for Your Product?

UPCs cannot be generated by individuals. One needs to purchase the codes from GS1 (Global Standards 1). Creating GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) is the most crucial step towards generating a UPC.

The process to create a GTIN is:

  • Firstly, a six-digit Company Prefix is issued by GS1. Company Prefix is a customized number that distinguishes your company from all other businesses around the globe.
  • You need to become a member of GS1 US to get the Company Prefix issued, given that your company is US-based.
  • Furthermore, a five-digit number, exclusive to a certain product is added to the Company Prefix to mark your product’s identity among other products.
  • Lastly, a single check digit is further added to the 11-digit number to increase the uniqueness of the number.
  • This 12-digit number is the GTIN for your product.

The GTIN is then used to generate the machinery readable UPC.

How to Buy UPC Codes for Amazon?
  • As discussed above, you need to become a member of GS1 US if your business is based in the US.
  • Then you need to apply for your Company Prefix.

Many people use other ways of getting their Company Prefixes. They buy them from individual sellers who have bought the Prefixes in bulk to resell them.

However, Amazon might not accept your UPC if it does not match the one officially listed in GS1 records.

Therefore, it is advisable to buy the Company Prefix from the GS1 website to ensure the legitimacy of your business.

  • Now you assign a unique 5-digit code to your product and add it to the Company Prefix.

Bear in mind that the 5-digit code should be exclusive to one product item that you are selling on Amazon. Another product will have to have another unique code.

  • Lastly, you need to order your Amazon UPCs.

It is better to buy the codes through the solutions partners certified by GS1 rather than opting for third parties such as the Snap UPC website.

You can choose any suitable solutions partner for yourself from the GS1 website.

  • Once you have the UPC for your product, you can either get the barcode printed on its packaging or purchase barcode label stickers and stick them on the packaging.
Are UPCs Cost-Effective?

The cost of Amazon UPCs varies depending upon your requirements. GS1 offers affordable UPCs for small businesses. They charge $30 for a single UPC without any renewal fee.

However, if you are a big company selling numerous products, then you will be charged accordingly. Additionally, the price per UPC gets lower as your number of UPCs to be purchased increases.

For example:

  • 10 UPCs would cost $250 with a $50 annual renewal fee.
  • Similarly, 100 UPCs would cost you $750 with a $150 annual renewal fee.

Amazon UPCs are mandatory for you to sell your products on the online platform. It might be costly but certainly worth the money.

However, you must buy the UPCs from the official GS1 website to avoid discrepancies and legality issues. Codes purchased from third parties might not be authentic and always correct, hence not meeting the Amazon standards. Good luck!


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