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Where can I buy UPC codes for my products?

Disclaimer: This article was written after an honest and detailed investigation of our team on this topic. We do not have any affiliations with the companies mentioned in this post. We are also not responsible for the accuracy of any claims here. Any purchase of UPC codes is done at your own risk. Provided below is data only for informational purposes, and should not be considered as 100% accurate.

This article was updated with new information on January 2021.

GS1 US updated pricing for UPCs and now offers more than just the Company Prefix option. You can now get a single GTIN (also referred to as a UPC) for just $30 with no renewal fee. See the press release for full details.

If you want to sell your products on Amazon, Walmart, or any other marketplace, you first need UPC codes. This makes having valid UPC codes more crucial than ever.

On Amazon, you don’t need it if you know ASIN of a product, but if you don’t have these, then you do need a UPC. Walmart, on the other hand, accepts only UPC and GTIN-14 as identification numbers. This means you need to have one of them list a product on This makes having valid UPC codes more important than ever.

What is a UPC? The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode symbology widely used in the United States and in other countries for tracking trade items in stores.

Where do I get a UPC code?

If you google for options, you will find two types of deals: websites selling UPC codes for less than 10 cents each and companies selling a single UPC for more than $20.

After contacting support of several marketplaces, talking to multiple merchants, and GS1 support ( and 937.435.3870), we concluded that any place selling UPC other than GS1 is just a reseller of numbers, and it will not list your name as the manufacturer. Many places online sell cheap UPC codes, but this can be hit or miss, and you most likely will end up buying invalid codes or codes used by other merchants. There are many complaints about that online and on the BBB website.

For example, we have a client who purchased UPC codes from, and none of them are working with Walmart. However, we have multiple clients who use UPCs from, and they have no issue with using them on places like Amazon and Walmart – it is truly hit or miss.

Major retail stores and online marketplaces require you to purchase through GS1.

Number of UPC codes Total fee Annual renewal fee
1 $30 NONE
10 $250 $50
100 $750 $150
1,000 $2,500 $500
10,000 $6,500 $1,300
100,000 $10,500 $2,100
NDC/NHTIC Company Prefix $2,100 $2,100

Prices from GS1 as of Jan 2021

There are two ways you can get UPC codes the correct way:

  • Option 1: If you want the UPC numbers to be listed in your name, then you are required to purchase from GS1. Go to and apply for a GS1 Company Prefix.  Pricing can be found here (to buy codes and pay an annual fee)

  • Option 2: If you don’t need your own prefix, you can go to and get codes without the annual fee. There, you can buy a single UPC for $10 each (or less if you buy more than one).

You will want to double-check with stores that will be selling your product(s) and ask whether they want you to have your own company prefix. That will also determine where you should go. It looks like Amazon and other online retailers require you to go with the expensive version (option 1).

What if you are a small merchant who does not want to spend thousands of dollars for few UPC codes?

This is what we usually suggest:

  • If you run a medium or large business, you can afford the UPC pricing and planning to sell on many online marketplaces, and to resellers, go with GS1 and get your own company prefix

  • If you are on a tight budget, try services like and get a small quantity of UPC codes. See if they validate with the marketplaces you need it for. In the worse case scenario, you will just purchase 1000 useless random numbers for $170. It seems worth the risk, but it should be considered a short-term strategy. As your business grows, you will most likely need to use GS1 in one point anyway.

About the Author


This post was written by the GeekSeller team.

18 responses on this

  1. Michele Passarella January 9, 2021 9:56 pm

    I sell only 20 products like honey, homemade deodorants, lip and hand balms.

    1. GeekSeller January 9, 2021 10:20 pm

      Hi Michele, using the official GS1US site is the best way to go.

  2. Holly October 30, 2021 12:43 am

    We are resellers and about 2% of our products come in without UPCs. This can cause issues with inventory tracking. We just want UPCs for internal inventory management. Should Speedybarcodes work?

    1. GeekSeller November 1, 2021 1:00 pm

      Hi Holly, You should use SKUs for internal inventory tracking. UPCs are used to identify products globally on marketplaces. Did you try to search for those 2% products online if those products already exist with some UPC in any databases?

  3. Douglas kline November 28, 2021 5:26 pm

    I had a reseller write me to sell 1 of my 3 upcs for $100. Is this legit?

    1. GeekSeller November 28, 2021 8:37 pm

      Hi Douglas, It is hard to provide suggestions without knowing more details. But if you are a producer, you may want to get your own GS1 Company Prefix, pricing starts at $250 for 10 items. Please remember, UPC/GTIN are global identification numbers. Once you buy them and assign them to a product, and publish them on marketplaces, those will be the official UPCs for your items, and any reseller of your products will use them to identify those products on marketplaces.

  4. Kani January 22, 2022 4:58 pm

    Hello. I make soaps with 12 different scents. Do I need a bar code/upc for each scent?

    1. GeekSeller January 22, 2022 5:03 pm

      Hi Kani,

      Most marketplaces (such as Walmart and Amazon) require to have a separate barcode for each scent (this is because you will list those scents as separate SKUs with separate barcodes and group them together). This is really the recommended way. Potentially, you could sell your product as a customizable item with an option of scents to be selected. However, not many marketplaces offer it and it is usually a pretty complicated process to list such products.

  5. Christian January 28, 2022 11:18 am

    I just start our retail business in USA and
    We are just get approval for walmart seller account and they require us to fill UPC for our product listing.
    How do i get this UPC for our listing in walmart ?

    1. GeekSeller January 29, 2022 3:22 am

      Hi Christian, Most marketplaces (such as Walmart and Amazon) require to have a barcode for products. If you sell items that already exist on Walmart, this is very simple, you just use the Setup by Match option when creating a listing. If you sell your own new products, you need to buy barcodes codes from GS1.

  6. mike July 11, 2022 7:18 pm

    Why do you have to pay to have your UPC renewed every year. I used to get them from a different site and never had to pay a renewel fee or as high as your initial fee.

    1. GeekSeller July 11, 2022 10:39 pm

      Hi Mike, Great question. You do not need to renew them, once you assign a UPC/EAN (GTIN) to a specific product, it will stay with that product for life. However, renewal is recommended for larger companies that keep adding new products, the annual renewal fee is mandatory to retain the Prefix. If you do not renew, somebody else can get GTIN with your prefix in the future. See this post for more information on when would you want to renew it.

  7. Ouida Cook November 30, 2022 7:46 am

    I own a restaurant and want to sell my barbecue sauce. For know this is the only product that I am considering selling in retail locations other than my restaurant.

    1. GeekSeller December 11, 2022 8:37 pm

      Hello, yes, we strongly suggest getting UPC codes from, so you can fully control it and protect your product.

  8. Dave June 9, 2023 1:01 pm

    I need codes, but I don’t want to market products on behalf of the manufacturers who I purchase from, so I don’t want any code that can trace them. Is this possible? I have been selling over the last 34 years in the UK.


    1. GeekSeller June 11, 2023 10:22 pm

      Hi Dave,

      Yes, it is possible to obtain UPC codes without them being directly tied to the manufacturers of the products you are selling. Here are a couple of ways you could do it:

      1. Purchase from GS1: GS1 is the primary global distributor of UPC codes. When you purchase UPCs from GS1, they are registered under your name or your company’s name, not the manufacturers from whom you purchase your products. This way, the codes wouldn’t trace back to your suppliers. However, this option is more costly and comes with an annual fee.

      2. Use a UPC reseller: There are websites that sell UPC codes at lower prices, and these codes do not list your name as the manufacturer, which fits your requirement. However, the downside is that these codes can be hit or miss. You might end up buying invalid codes or codes used by other merchants, and there have been many complaints about this online. But keep in mind this should be considered a short-term strategy. As your business grows, you will most likely need to use GS1 at some point anyway.

      Remember to double-check with the stores or online marketplaces where you plan to sell your products, as some may require you to have your own company prefix.

      Hope this helps!

  9. Tonia October 23, 2023 3:30 am

    Hi, I sell nail polish and yes there are many different colors, my question is do I need to have a UPC code for each one or can I use the the same UPC code for all?

    Thank you

    1. Daniel Sodkiewicz (Co-founder and CTO) October 24, 2023 2:16 am

      Hi Tonia! It all depends. If you’re reselling nail polish, reach out to the manufacturer; they likely have the UPC. If you’re the brand, some marketplaces (such as Walmart) may allow you to sell without the UPC. However, if your product is already popular, investing in UPC codes for each color can be beneficial in the long run.


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