How to Get a UPC Barcode

UPC LabelUniversal Product Codes, are 12-digit numbers commonly required for products sold by retailers and distribution centers. Each unique product requires it’s own assigned UPC number from GS1. Products are then identified with UPC barcodes.

How do I get assigned UPC numbers?

All UPC numbers are assigned by GS1 – the Global Standards Organization, formerly known as the Uniform Code Council. Their website is very helpful and includes complete information to applying for and getting assigned UPCs. If you’re outside the US, visit here to find contact info for your location.

Ask a real personIf you need UPC labels to sell your products or plan on reselling through large retailers (such as Walmart, Whole Foods, Kohl’s, Home Depot, CVS, Michaels, among many others), you will need to work with GS1 directly. You may also find that over time, the number of retailers forcing GS1 compliance for traceability requirements will increase.

I have my assigned UPC numbers from GS1. Where do I get UPC labels?

From The Label Experts, of course!

  1. We design, print, and ship them to you. All it takes is filling out a Label Expert request.
  2. Print your own UPC barcode labels with blank material and barcoding software. If you’re brand new to all of this, ask about our complete UPC printing kit. It includes everything you need to start printing on your own.

Ordering pre-printed labels that are ready to go makes sense if you don’t want to invest in special barcode software and label printer, or if you need labels quickly. Since many retailers penalize manufacturers if their barcodes are below GS1 standards, you can rest easy knowing EIM provides UPC barcodes that always scan and exceed all scanning requirements.

What are ISBN and Bookland numbers? How are they different from a UPC Barcode?

The Bookland EAN or ISBN-13 barcode is used globally to identify books mainly, as well as videos, audio cassettes and software. The unique number assigned to each item is the International Standard Book Number (ISBN). ISBNs are printed on books using the EAN-13 barcode symbology. The Bookland EAN barcode may be followed with a 5-digit supplemental code that contains the suggested retail price.

If you are a new publisher, you need to be assigned ISBNs before creating them, just like UPCs. The agency responsible for assigning these numbers in the US is R.R. Bowker (

Also just like UPCs, you can order custom ISBN labels by requesting a custom quote.

Are you designing packaging labels that have a UPC barcode included?

For packaging that incorporates a UPC or ISBN right in your graphic design, we can provide the code in electronic format (typically an EPS file). Contact The Label Experts for more details.

Print Your Own UPC Barcode Labels

QuickShip Roll Labels for UPC Printing:
Labels supplied in roll form make it is easy to print single labels or large batches. Thermal printing can also easily handle larger operations where you have a lot of different UPCs to print.

Still have questions about UPC barcodes and labels? Connect with The Label Experts or call 1-800-535-6987 for help.

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