The UPC is a barcode found on retail products that is scanned at checkout and used for inventory purposes. It consists of a vendor number, product number, and check digit, and is part of the GS1’s Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) system.
FAQs about UPC Codes
What is a UPC code and how does it work?
A Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode that is used to identify products in retail stores. The code is scanned at the checkout counter using a barcode scanner, which reads the information encoded in the barcode. The information includes the product’s vendor number, product number, and a check digit.
What is the purpose of a UPC code?
The primary purpose of a UPC code is to provide a unique identifier for each product. This allows retailers to track inventory, manage stock levels, and ensure that the correct price is charged at the checkout counter. It also makes it easier for manufacturers to manage their supply chains and ensure that their products are properly distributed to retailers and wholesalers.
What is the difference between a UPC code and a GTIN?
A UPC code is one type of Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). The GTIN is a standardized system for identifying products that is used worldwide. It includes a variety of different codes, including the UPC, European Article Number (EAN), and International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
What makes up a UPC code?
The standard 12-digit UPC-A code consists of three parts:
- The first six digits are the vendor number
- The next five digits are the product number
- The final digit is the check digit, which is calculated using a specific formula to ensure that the code is valid
How are UPC codes assigned?
UPC codes are assigned by the GS1 organization, which is responsible for managing the GTIN system. Manufacturers and vendors must obtain a unique identification number from GS1, which is used to create their vendor number. They can then assign product numbers to each of their products, which are combined with their vendor number to create a unique UPC code.
Are UPC codes required for all products?
There is no legal requirement for products to have a UPC code, but most retailers require them as a way to manage their inventory and track sales. If you plan on selling your products in retail stores, it is highly recommended that you obtain a UPC code for each of your products.