How to buy UPC codes for Amazon the smart way

If you’re looking to sell any kind of product on Amazon as a vendor, you need to get UPC codes. Amazon is actually five steps ahead of other online commerce platforms. This is not a surprise. After all, Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla of online commerce. They thought of problems before their competitors have even realized such problems exist. That’s how far advanced Amazon is. It truly is an online selling machine.

The main reason why Amazon is requiring vendors and manufacturers selling through its platform to adopt UPC codes is actually quite simple. You see, one of the biggest problems with any kind of online shopping or online commerce is consumer confusion. If you are selling one particular product that goes by different names, then it’s very easy for your consumers to think that they’re dealing with many different products when in reality they’re actually dealing with the same product.


(CC) – Flickr – Bec*

The opposite is also true. It may seem that consumers are talking about the same product, but it turns out that the manufacturers behind these products are actually using the same names, designations, or informal names. It can be a truly confusing mess and what do you think the result would be?


When consumers are confused they don’t buy. Amazon has taken the bull by the horns and required vendors selling on its platform to get UPC codes. UPC codes prevent consumer confusion because by definition these 12-digit barcodes strictly for the United States and Canada are unique.

If you get a UPC code, you are locked in. In theory, no other manufacturer or vendor could use that UPC code that you have attached to your product. You can go ahead and include that code with you product, so that online merchants can feature your product and there will be no risk of confusion.

The difference with UPC codes

As you probably are already aware as an online merchant, there are UPC codes and EAN codes. What’s the big difference? Well, first, EAN codes have 13 digits and they’re used primarily for markets outside of North America. I am of course talking about the US and Canada. UPC codes on the other hand are based on a 12-digit barcode system and are used primarily in the US and Canadian markets.

If you are going to be selling on Amazon and the rest of the world, you need to get UPC codes. If however you’re sure that you’re not going to be selling in North America at all, then you’ll be fine without UPC codes. Again, it’s all about the geographic target of your marketing efforts. If you’re going to be selling in the US or Canada, it’s a good idea to get UPC codes regardless of whether you plan to feature your product on Amazon or not.


(CC) – Flickr – Kieren Pitts**

Why should you be so systematic when looking to buy UPC codes for Amazon?

If you’re looking to buy UPC codes for Amazon, you can do things in the same way as other online merchants. You can simply choose to fly the seat of your pants and deal with things on an “as needed” basis. The problem with is that you’re essentially leaving yourself wide open for scams, shady merchants, and all sorts of people who are hell-bent on wasting your time.

Make no mistake about it, if you’re not going to buy UPC codes for Amazon in a systematic and methodical way, it’s too easy to waste your time. You might think that this is not that big of a deal because you have a lot of time to spare. Well, think again.

If you are the typical manufacturer or distributer and you got tons of products that you’re looking to sell online, this can be a massive headache. If you deal with shady sellers and they give a long list of duplicate UPC codes or UPC codes that don’t exist, you are in a world of hurt. Do yourself a favor and invest the right amount of time, effort, and energy in looking to buy UPC codes of Amazon the smart way. You owe it to yourself.

The best way to buy UPC codes for Amazon: Focus on your branding

As I’ve mentioned earlier, there are always two ways to do anything online: You can do things the easy way or you can do things the hard way. Usually, doing things the easy way is doing things the smart way. This is especially crucial when you’re looking to buy UPC codes for Amazon.

One of the most effective strategies you could ever pursue is to focus on your branding. You see, the way consumers perceive of you brand and perceive of your products are often interrelated. In many cases, they’re one and the same.

If you are very sloppy regarding the codes that you associate with your products, then chances are high that your target consumer would look at your brand as an unprofessional brand. You can’t afford to have this happen. Why? You need all the competitive advantages that you can get. There’s just so much competition out there and every little advantage that you can get can make a big difference as far as your bottom line is concerned.

If you look more professional than your competitors, not only does that translate to better online reviews and better overall sales, but it can translate to a fatter profit margin. I hope you see where I’m coming from.

Common tricks to look out for

If you have resolved to buy UPC codes for Amazon the smart and methodical way, you need to look out for common tricks. If you notice that online distributers or online registries of UPC codes are getting lots of negative reviews, that’s a red flag. Of course, you shouldn’t trust all online reviews. Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true. However, where there is some, there is usually fire.


(CC) – Flickr – Sascha Kohlmann ***

Pay attention to the patterns of these reviews. If you see the same complaints over and over regarding duplicate UPC codes, nonexistent UPC codes, or downright fraud perpetrated by the vendor you’re thinking of buying UPC codes from, pay close attention. You have to understand that this is a huge market and there’s a tremendous demand for this service. There are lots of online vendors, manufacturers, and distributors such as yourself looking to buy UPC codes for Amazon.

There’s a lot of money on the line and that’s why this attracts less than scrupulous players. Be on the lookout for the common tricks outlined above. Use online reviews, but don’t trust them automatically. Similarly, don’t trust online chatter. There might be a lot of mentions regarding a particular UPC provider on Twitter, but that doesn’t automatically mean that you should trust that particular provider just because they get a lot of favorable buzz on Facebook or Twitter.

You need to go a little bit deeper. You need to scratch the surface and pay attention to trends. If you notice that the same accounts are saying the same things, that’s a red flag. However, if you notice that many different people in many different times are saying pretty much the same thing and these accounts look real, then you may be standing on solid ground. Don’t automatically trust everything that you read on social media.

Keep your eyes peeled for fake reviews

Now, you may be thinking, “If a blog posted a positive review of the service I’m thinking of using to buy UPC codes for Amazon, then I’m good to go.” Well, you might need to think again because there are many bloggers out there who take money for positive reviews. This is a conflict of interest that victimizes people just like you.

You’re looking for honest reviews. You’re looking for objective assessments of products and services. Unfortunately, there are so many unscrupulous bloggers out there that basically just post the best reviews for pay, so pay attention to the other reviews on that blog. Are they all positive? Do you see some sort of patter? If there’s anything that throws you off, discount that review because it may be fake.

Buy UPC codes for Amazon and take your online shop to the next level

I didn’t mean to scare you with this blog post, but you need to do your due diligence when looking to buy UPC codes for Amazon. You owe it to yourself to save time, effort, and money in your search. Most importantly, if you go with the wrong provider, it can have a profoundly negative impact on your online brand, so be very careful.


* Image taken by Bec on Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) (

** Image taken by Kieren Pitts  ( the licence Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) (

*** Image taken by Sascha Kohlmann ( with the licence Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) (


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