Step 1: Estimate Barcode Quantity
One of the most common questions companies ask us when it comes to UPC barcoding is determining “How many UPCs to buy”. There are two different GS1 barcode options available. For companies, who plan on selling to larger retailers and determine that they need several UPC barcodes normally license a UPC Company Prefix so they can have 10 or more UPC barcodes. Alternatively, single GS1 GTINs are available to small companies that need just a few barcodes now. The next steps provide additional information for either option.
How To Estimate Your Barcode Needs
As a general rule, every variation of your product will need its own UPC. If your product comes in different colors or patterns, each different color or pattern will need a UPC. If your product comes in different sizes, each size will need a unique UPC.
The same is true for different configurations and packaging. For example, a plastic bottle of sparkling water will need a different UPC than the same sparkling water in a glass bottle. The same kind of baby shampoo with and without a bundled toy will need different UPCs for each type of packaging.
Estimating your UPC needs is important now, but also important to revisit from time to time. Regardless of which option you select now, the GS1 management system is flexible enough to allow companies to obtain additional company-licensed prefixes and single GTINs in the future.