Best Place to Buy UPC Barcodes

So you have a new product and you just figured out that if you want to sell it in retail stores you’ll need a UPC barcode. After doing a bit of research online, you realize there is a wide range of UPC barcode vendors offering a variety of prices and services.  It’s messy and reduces a lot of people to tears.


Do not fret.  When it comes down to it, there are really only 2 places to consider when purchasing barcodes: and GS1.


Yes, there are dozens of websites other than and GS1 purporting to sell legitimate UPC barcodes for dirt cheap prices.  The problem with these companies, however, is that the majority of them are simply making up numbers out of thin air, putting them into the UPC format, and then passing them off as legitimate barcodes.  Otherwise, they are pirating barcodes created from dormant prefixes listed on GS1 and then passing them off as registered barcodes.  Unfortunately, neither method creates legitimate barcodes and using them on your packaging can cause a variety of major issues.


The #1 major issue you will have when buying barcodes from the dirt cheap sellers is that they WILL NOT WORK ON AMAZON.  Amazon now requires that every new vendor shows proof that they have a direct connection with the company name listed next to the prefix inside the GS1 database.  Also, many large retailers, such as Costco and Whole Foods, require this proof as well.  Without documents proving your connection, you will be rejected and not even allowed to apply to be a vendor.  As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for!


Thus, the choice is now down to and GS1.  I will now explain the differences.


First, let me state that ALL barcodes need to originate directly from GS1.  GS1 deserves credit for creating the entire barcoding system and that is what guarantees your barcodes will be unique. 


That said, GS1 (which is now owned and operated by Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Kroger, and Federated Group) has been around for 50 years and they are extremely expensive and slow.  On top of that, they charge large annual renewal fees.  GS1 also only sells barcodes in a quantity of 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000, or 100,000.  To make matters worse, they do not even provide you with the images of your barcodes.  That is a process they force you to have to figure out on your own., on the other hand, has purchased all of their barcodes directly from GS1.  This means can provide all proof of ownership documents to their customers.  This allows their customers to sell on all parts and even be listed in the Amazon Brand Registry.  This also opens up the ability to sell at the largest retailers worldwide. is also a fraction of the cost of GS1, sells barcodes in any quantity the customer requires, and does not charge any renewal fees.  They also instantly provide the barcode images in multiple formats via email within seconds of purchase.


So why would anyone choose to buy barcodes from GS1?  There is only one reason.  As I stated previously, 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 that receipt.  So if you want to do business at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Kroger, and Federated Group, you have no choice but to buy your barcodes directly from GS1.  If you don’t care about those 5 stores, then it makes no sense to go to GS1.


Thus, in 99% of all cases, the only choice to purchase legitimate GS1-registered UPC barcodes that work for Amazon and stores all over the world is  They are truly the only source other than GS1 where you can purchase legitimate UPC barcodes.

– 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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