UPCs, also known as universal product codes, are the 12-digit numbers on every point-of-sale item beneath the barcodes. Global Standard 1 (GS1), a nonprofit organisation, distributes UPCs as a standardised way to maintain inventory and identify vendors based on geography. The barcode and the UPC underneath it are scanned at the moment of a sale.
How to Generate Your Own UPC Codes?
- First, determine how many goods require UPCs.
Each product needs a unique UPC, including those with varying sizes, quantities, tastes, etc. To determine how many Item Reference Numbers (IRNs) you’ll need and how many digits your highest IRN will have, make a list of all your products needing UPCs. Your 12-digit UPC will include a portion of the digits in your highest IRN. The number of IRN digits may then be subtracted from 11 to determine the appropriate number of digits for your corporate prefix. Your UPC’s check digit will be the twelfth number, deduced mathematically from the other numbers.
- Sign up with GS1 US and request your GS1 corporate prefix.
The only official provider of UPCs is GS1. GS1 US is an organization that supports American companies. You must apply for membership to receive your firm prefix, a special string of numbers that designates your business as the manufacturer for your product’s supply chain. The quantity of UPCs you require will determine your membership price and the number of digits in your company prefix. You may apply for membership and your company prefix online at GS1 US.com. Before making an online payment, you must provide the contact information for your business and your prefix pricing strategy.
- Give each product a special number.
For each of your items, you must develop a special product number. The number of digits in your IRN will determine how this works. The IRNs for each product can be assigned independently, and you can get the UPC’s twelfth digit using the free check digit calculator provided by GS1. However, managing all the IRNs might be difficult if you have a wide selection of items. You will have access to the GS1 online Data Hub as part of your subscription, which will enable you to generate, track, and double-check your IRNs.
- Pick a barcode layout.
Vertical black stripes on a white backdrop constitute standard barcodes, but you may alternatively use blue stripes on a yellow or red background. Select the colour scheme that you want and that works best for your items. A UPC barcode must be standard and be 1.469 inches wide by 1.02 inches tall. On the other hand, the barcode size might be anything from 1.1875 inches wide by 0.813 inches tall and 2.92 inches wide by 2.04 inches tall. Ascertain that the UPC is readable. There should be an empty space to the left and right of the barcode to make scanning easier.
- Choose a display method for the barcode.
You can buy digital barcodes included in the packaging or label design if you haven’t yet printed the packaging or labels for your items. The digital barcode has to be placed on the box or labelled on a flat, unwrinkled area to facilitate scanning. Additionally, you should confirm the size you require because altering the barcode’s size might interfere with scanning. On the rear of the packaging, digital barcodes are often positioned in the bottom right corner. Suppose the packaging or labels for your items have already been printed. In that case, you can obtain printed barcodes in the form of adhesive labels and physically stick them to the packaging or labels. The barcode labels on all of your items should be placed in the same spot.
- Purchase UPC barcodes.
On the GS1 website, you may obtain digital barcodes that include your individual UPCs. Your UPC barcodes will be delivered to you in (eps) file format, which you can then include into the design of your label or package using a programme like Adobe Photoshop. On the GS1 website, you may also obtain actual barcodes that include your individual UPCs. The printed barcodes on adhesive labels that you will get may be physically applied to all of your items. Depending on how many UPCs you purchase, the cost of UPC barcodes in each batch can range from $400 to $13,000. Of course, your membership fee is included in these prices.
- Examine the printed barcodes.
You should test the printed barcodes to ensure they will scan once you have purchased your barcodes and added them to your packaging. You have two options for barcode verification: you may pay for a certified service to do it for you, or you can purchase your equipment from GS1.
Why you need to purchase UPCs:
Every product sold by retailers, wholesalers, and online marketplaces must have a distinct UPC. You will want one of these globally accepted codes if you wish to distribute and sell your goods.