How to get a Retail UPC/GS1 Barcode

How do you get a barcode? It’s simple — you just need to know what options are available to you.

Getting A Barcode

Select the best option:

I need a barcode for products being sold in a retail store. (UPC Barcode)

If you are selling products in a retail store (Supermarket, Department, etc.), you will need an identification number called Universal Product Code (UPC).

UPCe(UPC barcode)

  • UPC is a specific type of barcode language.
  • Getting your own UPC code is like getting your own driver’s license number — it is unique to your products.
  • Your UPC code will be stored in GS1US’s database so retail stores know what the product is.
  • A UPC barcode can tell retail stores: the manufacturer, the product’s properties, and the price. Most retail stores will have their own database of product attributes so the information from ‘Store A’ may be different from ‘Store B’.

To obtain a UPC barcode, you must contact GS1US, an organization that gives out UPC barcodes for a fee. They are the only organization that can give you a UPC barcode.

Once you obtain a UPC, you can print the UPC barcode on your product or on a label with a printer and labeling software. If you would like us to print your labels please visit the Label Printing page.

I need a barcode for products being sold in my own store.

If you have products being sold in your own store and you have no desire to ever sell it in another store then it will be tracked on your own database, not a third party database (which is what a UPC barcode is for). You can create any barcode number you want using any barcode language and print it on your product or on a label. The most common barcode language for this is Code 39. You do not require a special identification number (like a UPC barcode).

extcode39(code 39 barcode)

Example:

  1. You have a blue shirt for sale in your own store.
  2. You create a barcode for the blue shirt: A123
  3. You create a database in your system to identify A123 as the blue shirt for $9.99.
  4. You print 100 labels for A123 and attach it to all your blue shirts.
  5. When A123 is scanned, your database knows that it is a blue shirt for $9.99
  6. B123 can be for your red shirts, C123 for yellow shirts, etc.

The best way to print a barcode is to print from a label printer with labeling software. A label printer will allow you to print high quality labels quickly. Most printers we sell come with  free software to print from your label printers. If you would like us to print your labels, please visit the Label Printing page.

To track your products, you need appropriate software depending on your work environment. A warehouse and clothes store will both require different management software.

I need a barcode to ship, track, or organize products / inventory.

If you want to track your own products being sold in your own store and you have no desire to ever sell it in another store then it will be tracked on your own database, not a third party database (which is what a UPC barcode is for). You can create any barcode number you want using any barcode language and print it on your product or on a label. The most common barcode language for this is Code 39. You may not require special identification number (UPC).*

extcode39(code 39 barcode)

Example:

  1. You have a blue box in your warehouse.
  2. You create a barcode for the blue box: A123
  3. You create a database in your system to identify A123 as the blue box.
  4. You print 100 labels for A123 and attach it to all your blue boxes.
  5. When A123 is scanned, your database knows that it is a blue box.
  6. B123 can be for your red box, C123 for yellow box, etc.

The best way to print a barcode is to print from a label printer with labeling software. A label printer will allow you to print high quality labels quickly. Most printers we sell come with  free software to print from your label printers. If you would like us to print your labels, please visit the Label Printing page.

To track your products, you need appropriate software depending on your work environment. A warehouse and clothes store will both require different management software.

*You may require a UPC Barcode if you are printing barcodes and shipping your packages to retailers. Please contact your retailer for answers.

I need a QR barcode.

Unfortunately we do not have a QR code generator but there are many free QR code generators on the web.

If you would like us to generate QR codes and print it on your labels, please contact us.

I need a barcode for something else.

For all other applications, please contact us directly.