Haven’t you wondered where the UPC barcodes we see in products come from? I have and thanks to Kelly Spors of the Wall Street Journal, I now know the process for getting a UPC Code. [ARTICLE LINK]
Universal Product Codes (UPC) are given out by GS1, a nonprofit group responsible for setting standards for international commerce. A company must pay $750 to join GS1 and then an annual maintenance fee of at least $150. Once a company joins GS1, they are given a unique identification code and barcode(s) for use on their portfolio of products. (You can fill out a GS1 membership form online here.)
Kelly gives small businesses a smart tip to getting a UPC on the cheap. Buyabarcode.com resells discarded/unused UPC barcodes from less than $100. A small business doesn’t have to join the GS1 in order to get a UPC barcode. However, the drawback to this route is that most major retailers require their product suppliers to have their own company-specific ID code. But if you only sell to independent retailers or through your own means, using a discarded/unused UPC identification number will work just fine.
And now we all know how to get a UPC barcode.