UPC Barcodes - Universal Product Code Barcodes

UPC Barcodes - Universal Product Code Barcodes

by Yogesh Khanna 16-Aug-21

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We have all struggled with the questions that why do shopping items have barcodes and how these barcodes are read. Today, we will answer all your questions with this blog.

What UPC Barcodes Are: UPC Spotlight

Identifiers for all products are provided by the Universal Product Code, a 12-character code. The initial purpose of UPC barcodes was to improve the efficiency and speed of grocery store checkouts, but they soon began to be applied to other retail products.

Besides the manufacturer identification number (first six digits), the UPC barcode also contains an item number (second five digits) and a check digit (last digit). All item numbers must be unique, and this responsibility rests with the manufacturers.


  • How is the price determined?
  • There is a misconception that barcodes contain the price. The UPC data in the barcode is transmitted to a POS (point of sale) computer at checkout, which uses the number to retrieve the current price of the item. This way, stores can set their own price and make changes to the price whenever they need to.


    How to obtain UPC barcodes

    1 In order to make a barcode, you need the manufacturer's identification number, which serves as the first six digits. Your Barcode number can be obtained from the GS1, which will serve as your unique identifier. You will then need to give each of your products its own item number. The UPC code is generated using an eleven-number formula. The process is as follows:

  • Adding up all the odd-numbered digits, multiply three times
  • Adding all even digits to odd digits
  • Add the two sums together
  • Using the check digit, you should round to a multiple of 10. The numbers you have added up add to 66 + x which equals 70, where x represents the check digit and 70 represents the nearest multiple of ten. In this case, 4 would be an appropriate check digit.
  • 2 After you determine the check digit, assign your product numbers, and receive the assigned UPC number, the barcode image itself must be used. Look into barcode label-making software for an easy way to create barcodes.

    3 Once you have collected all of your information and barcode images, you will need to print the barcodes on labels and attach them to your products. If you are planning to sell a large number of your product, it is highly recommended that you use a direct thermal or thermal transfer barcode printer.


  • A Guide to Understanding Single UPC Limitations

You can purchase single UPC barcodes online for $5 from third-party vendors. Despite their independence, these companies are very important. New startups can be preyed upon by online websites when retailers won't accept their numbers.

Retailers will reject your "UPC codes" if you purchase them elsewhere than from GS1. Online marketplaces and retailers do not all require GS1 Company Prefixes. If you plan to sell to a large retailer in the future, the UPC barcode won't be accepted. Identifying the product correctly is extremely important!




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