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Basically a barcode image is a cool way of encoding a number into machine readable format. If a store cashier had to type in the 12 digit UPC number manually for every product, we would be waiting for hours in lines at the store premises. Alternatively the creation of the UPC barcode has radically reduced the time it takes to checkout when going to the store. It’s possible you have seen that if a store clerk cannot get a barcode image to scan, they manually type the UPC code number into the computer system. Barcode scanners don’t read digits from a barcode image; it only reads the vertical lines. The numbers on a barcode image are always used as a backup for cashiers to input manually should in case the barcode image doesn’t scan correctly.
The UPC Barcode is popular because it is the standard that inventory tracking and point-of-sale (POS) software uses as the unique identifier of the product. If you had to type in the name of the individual product for each item you are selling, the checkout process would take forever. Amazon.com uses UPC Barcodes because it is the one-and-only identifier that is consistently on all products. It would not make sense for Amazon to require it’s own unique identifiers on packages. It would cost too much for manufacturers and suppliers to uniquely mark their products for each location their product was sold.
Barcode image collections are always free; it’s possible to enter any 12 digit number and create barcode graphics for the 12 digit number. Though, if you create a 12 digit number and generate the barcode image which you then apply to your product, this would not be a valid and legal number. This is the major reason why you need to purchase UPC codes first, so as to enable you own the legal rights to use those UPC codes on your products.
Immediately you own the legal rights to your UPC codes, you can always convert those UPC codes into barcode images and then apply to your product packaging through labels or printed on the product packaging itself. After the barcode images have been applied to your products you can then go to retail stores or vendors who are interested in carrying out your line of products. When you are asked for your UPC code on the application, you are already covered, just write down the 12 digit UPC code for that product and fill the remaining of the form.
Using UPC codes at online retailers such as Amazon, you are not expected to have the UPC code stuck to your products. If you are shipping the product to the customer directly by yourself, it is not compulsory to stick the UPC code to the product. Though, if you plan on using FBA – Fulfillment by Amazon, you are required to have your UPC code stuck to your products. When you are creating an Amazon listing you are required to input the UPC code for your product, just enter the 12 digit UPC code number that you have decided to assign to the product and you are set!
Why do we need a UPC code and how does it work?
UPC stands for Universal Product Code. UPCs are used by manufacturers to quickly specify different products. Comprised of two elements, UPCs are made up of numbers, and a corresponding image. This image is the UPC barcode. The barcode is comprised of a series of vertical lines, all of differing widths. These line widths are carefully structured to represent numbers, and therefore the barcode is a graphical representation of the number sequence associated with it. The UPC in its most common form is the UPC-A, made up of 12 digits. Each number is unique, and created by GS1. While it seems that it would be simple to just create a series of numbers to be used, there is actually encoded information in each UPC, including verification checksums. These checksums are used by the computers which read the codes to ensure that the codes are read correctly with no errors.
The UPC codes are important for all retail products globally. For you to understand how UPC codes work, it is really essential to know the difference between a UPC code and a barcode.
It is a 12 digit legal number that looks like this: 123456789012. You can’t just make up a 12 digit number for your products; this is exactly why you must purchase our UPC codes. This is any type of code which can be converted into a “bar” styled code. There are various types of barcodes. A barcode is not a UPC code, whereas a UPC code is a type of barcode. Since a UPC code can be transformed into a barcode image. All the codes that you see on products are UPC codes that have been converted into a UPC barcode image. UPC codes can also be referred to as “UPC Barcodes”. Since you now understand the difference between a UPC code and a barcode, it will be so much easier for you to understand how UPC codes work.
The UPC codes works by converting the 12 digit UPC code or number into the barcode image that you see on products. The main reason why a UPC code is converted into a barcode image is to enable a barcode scanner easily scan a product at checkout. the vertical lines of a barcode image represents a number in “machine format” as the laser of a barcode scanner translates these vertical lines of a barcode image into numbers. At this point you may wonder, why are we starting with a number, then converts to an image, then the barcode scanner translates it back to a number? As this does not seem logical in the real sense, it is a perfect system.