The UPC code was the original format for product barcodes. When supply demand in Europe, Asia, and Australia increased there was a need to distinguish each seller by location.

GS1 then began allocating specific prefixes for different GS1 member organizations.

While certain prefixes identify the GS1 branch where the prefix was licensed, it does not necessarily specify where that product was made. For example, there is a misconception that all barcode prefixes on American-made products will start with a zero or one.

There are two main types of UPC codes, UPC-E and UPC-A

Remember, Amazon can remove your listing if they discover that your UPC codes don’t match the information found on the GS1 database. It’s important to spend the initial time and money to ensure Amazon success in the long run.

EAN or European Article Numbers (Also known as International Article Numbers) are GS1 issued barcodes that also include Company Prefixes at the beginning of the numeric GTIN, but again, these may not necessarily identify the country where the product was made and buy from

There are two primary forms of EANs that are popular among Amazon sellers, EAN-13 and EAN-8, which encode a GTIN-13 and GTIN-8, respectively.

It’s time to assign each one of your product’s unique product numbers. GS1 gives each seller a set number of digits to use for product numbers depending on the number of future products the seller indicates in his or her application.

The seller can decide his or her own numbering system to apply when naming their unique product numbers. The first six to nine digits of your barcode are your company prefix. The company prefix is a unique identifier of the product’s manufacturer. Basically, as a supplier, your company prefix will remain the same on the barcodes of all your different products. Each product that you offer will then be assigned a unique product code that will follow your company prefix.


There are various UPC and EAN resellers out there who will try to sell replicated UPC codes to satisfy Amazon’s UPC code needs. Many sellers purchase their UPC codes from third party websites due to their cheaper prices, however using resold Amazon UPC codes will cause more harm than good in the long run.

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