Do you need only a few numbers?
2004 - 2012
In the past I have told everyone that the only place to obtain a legitimate U.P.C. number is from the GS1 US (formerly UCC).
Since then I learned that there are several places where one can obtain a subset of a U.P.C. number issued to another company. GS1 US considers it is against their rules and inappropriate for a company to purchase a U.P.C. number from them and then resell subsets of the number to other people. However, the rules were not codified in their license agreement until August of 2002, and therefore, if a company sells a subset of a number they obtained prior to August 2002, there is little recourse available to GS1 US. Several companies are now selling numbers. They are a good alternative to buying from GS1 US, however, please read before you buy. Below is a list of resellers that I have contacted and verified to my satisfaction that they are legitimate and have a right to sell their numbers.
Please see Companies selling UPC barcode numbers for my list of those companies that I am aware of that sell UPC numbers.
Record and CD labels:Some record labels such as CD Baby and Ampcast include a bar code and number for a more reasonable fee when handling music CDs. See www.musicians.about.com for details.
Another record label, Independent Records offers the same service. See www.indierec.com for details.
If anyone finds other places selling subset numbers, please notify the Authenticated UPC Registration Directory for the benefit of others.
Also, if anyone finds that a company is not living up to statements they have made, please notify the Directory.
Of course a caveat is in order. GS1 US warns:
"The numbers assigned will continue to direct ownership and identify only the company to which they are assigned. This could potentially cause legal or liability issues for the company who sold the numbers and may cause disruption to you selling your product with someone else's bar code on it. However, we are not responsible for identifying products which contain someone else's bar code and the ramifications of doing so will be handled solely by your trading partners. They will ultimately decide whether your product can be sold and your sales tracked within their individual stores." from Chelsea Bailey Uniform Code Council, Inc. Customer Service (26 Nov 2003). Also Click here. to read my comments on this and other letters from GS1 US to visitors to my web site.
GS1 US has implemented the Variable Length Prefix but it is no more friendly to the small user than before. (SeeUpdate for the small user .)Therefore my advice to those needing only a few numbers remains the same: Buy the number where you get the best bargain.
Another concern expressed in several e-mails, was what happens if one needs more reference numbers that their present Variable Length Prefix allows? GS1 US said, “When a company obtains their UCC Company Prefix from the UCC, the prefix itself is licensed, not the item reference numbers or full UCC-12. If a company has exhausted the capacity under their current UCC Company Prefix, the member will need to apply for an additional UCC Company Prefix. If approved, the member will be issued another UCC Company Prefix with additional item reference capacity.”
George J. Laurer
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For contact information please go to my Contact Page.Revised: May 24, 2012