FBA/FBM Glossary

UPC (Universal Product Code)

Definition, meaning, and explanation of

UPC (Universal Product Code)

What does Universal Product Code (UPC) Mean?

A Universal Product Code (UPC) is a 12-digital number that is assigned to every item which is placed to be sold in store or online. It is accompanied by a machine-readable barcode (a series of black vertical bars). 

The universal product code along with barcodes is a barcode symbology that is widely used globally to help in identification of a particular item or track it. 

Types of Universal Product Codes (UPCs)

  • ITF-14 Barcodes: Typically used in modern warehouses and distribution centers for the identification of pallets, cases and/or cartons. 
  • GS1 Databar Barcodes: Usually allocated to fresh items and products which have an expiration date and are visually small. 
  • GS1-128 Barcodes: These barcodes contain GTIN and additional information about the product such as expiry date
  • QR Codes: These codes are scannable through phones and are two-dimensional in pattern that link to digital information location about the product. 

How To Get a Universal Product Code (UPC)

  • Define the number of codes needed
  • Select where you want to purchase UPC from
    • Like GS1 or other barcode companies
  • Pay the charges for the code, if any
  • Receive your universal product codes (UPCs)

Explore More: Inventory Management Guide

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