Are There Alternatives to GS1?


Many new companies looking to buy UPC codes for Amazon and countless other retailers want to know if there is an alternative to GS1 as their UPC barcode source. Afterall, GS1 has virtually no customer service and is incredibly slow and expensive. GS1 also charges steep annual fees that never end. These facts alone reduce most people to tears when trying to figure out where and how to purchase barcodes.

Thankfully, the short answer to the above question is Yes, there is an alternative to GS1. When came along in 1999 it became the first and ONLY legitimate alternative to GS1 for barcodes. In fact, remains the only barcode seller whose UPC codes work for all aspects of Amazon (including the Amazon Brand Registry) as well as millions of other retailers worldwide.

UPC Barcodes & Amazon

Indeed, there are numerous other online UPC barcode sellers selling dirt cheap barcodes in massive quantities who claim to be legitimate. But the huge problem with these barcode sellers is that the UPC codes they sell DO NOT WORK with the new Amazon barcode requirements.

In the new Amazon UPC code guidelines, anyone listing a new product must show a direct connection to the company listed in the GS1 database as proof they did not make their UPC numbers up out of thin air. NONE of these dirt cheap barcode sellers can provide this proof for Amazon UPC codes. Thus, the UPC codes they sell will not work on Amazon. There are also many other large retail chains (i.e. Whole Foods) that are also implementing these new Amazon UPC code guidelines and therefore will not accept UPC barcodes from these dirt cheap barcode sellers.


Amazon UPC Codes, on the other hand, CAN provide all of the required Amazon UPC code documents. Because has purchased all of their barcodes directly from GS1, they can show evidence of your direct connection to the company listed in the GS1 database and provide you with the necessary documentation. This allows Amazon to quickly whitelist your barcodes and allow you to continue with the product listing process. And not only can sell UPC codes for Amazon, the barcodes they sell will work for Whole Foods, Best Buy, Costco, and all of the other retailers using the Amazon UPC code guidelines.

So why would anyone choose to buy barcodes from GS1? There is only one reason. GS1 is owned and operated by Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Kroger, and Federated Group. These 5 stores (and ONLY these 5 stores) require a copy of the vendor’s GS1 receipt with the vendor’s name on it., nor anyone else, can provide you with that GS1 receipt with YOUR name on it. Therefore, if you want to do business at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Kroger, and Federated Group, you have no choice but to buy your UPC barcodes directly from GS1. If you don’t care about selling at those 5 stores, then it makes no sense to go to GS1.

Thus, in nearly every case, the best and ONLY alternative to GS1 for legitimate Amazon UPC barcodes and UPC barcodes that work in stores all over the world is Hopefully, this article has cleared up one of the most common questions companies have about how and where to buy UPC barcodes. Best of luck launching your new product!

– Erik Quisling

Erik Quisling is the Founder and CEO of Started in 1999, has been featured in both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and has helped more than 100,000 businesses bring their products to market with barcodes.
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