UPC stands for Universal Product Code, which usually consists of a 12-digit number underneath a barcode. This is most likely something you’ve noticed on products you buy from any retail store. A unique number is assigned to merchandise, identifying both the product and the vendor that sells the product and the barcodes make it easy for retailers to scan products at checkout. A store inputs all of the products they are selling into their system and organizes them by UPC code so when an employee scans the barcode the system automatically generates price information. This process also makes it easy for retailers to keep track of inventory.

UPC barcodes keep track of brands and are required to be on product labels of packaging if you are selling products to a distributor or retailer. For example, if you are selling products through a service like Amazon, you will need a unique barcode for each item. If you are selling products through a national store, a barcode will also be required. If in doubt, it’s best to contact the distributor or retailer and they can confirm if you need a barcode for your products.