UPC Barcode Creation
May 11, 2007 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Is there a fast, simple way to create and register a real UPC barcode for a retail product? Seems like all I can find is desktop software for sale or sites that don't seem too official or just don't work. Maybe I'm ignorant and there's something about the process that is more complicated than it seems like it ought to be?
posted by coudal to Technology (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Having worked for a couple companies that assign barcodes, my understanding is this: The first 6 digits belong to the company. After that, the rest can be assigned arbitrarily by the company - no need to make them "official," per se. One company I worked for based the UPC's on their internal item #, and another just picked the next available number when we needed a new one.
posted by ferociouskitty at 10:35 AM on May 11, 2007

For a music product, you can buy a one-time UPC from indierec for $20.
posted by omnidrew at 10:59 AM on May 11, 2007

If you want a registered upc, go here: http://barcodes.gs1us.org/dnn_bcec/Default.aspx.
posted by Svenny at 11:09 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

thanks for the answers insights
posted by coudal at 11:10 AM on May 11, 2007

GS1 and their US subsidary GS1 US will sell you a company prefix won basis of which new barcodes can be generated. Actually it is quite similar to an IP address a longer prefix is more expensive but allows to generate several thousand barcodes a longer one will give you less possible barcodes. I think smallest chunks by which GS1 US sells barcodes are per 100 barcodes. ( The days of old 6 digit prefixes have passed over. There are several web-sites which sell one-offs but none of them can guarantee that same number is not assigned twice and that there is not a number clash (or that prefix belons to someone else). Actually you can validate an "ownership" of a barcode here: http://www.gepir.com

Once you have barcode or barcode prefix you can generate UPC or EAN image here: http://www.barcoderobot.com The same link also helps with check digit calculation and generation of new barcodes based on GS1 company prefix.
posted by chexov at 4:46 PM on May 13, 2007

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