Step 2: Assign Unique Product Numbers
Once you have licensed your GS1 company prefix, you can assign unique product numbers to each of your items. The amount of digits you can assign to your product number is based on your company prefix. Companies that sell many different items will receive a shorter prefix, allowing them to assign a larger range of digits for their products, while companies that plan on selling a smaller amount of unique products will receive a larger number, limiting the amount of unique product numbers.
For organizations with a 6-digit Company Prefix, a 5-digit product number must be created. Companies with a 9-digit Company Prefix, can only create a 2-digit number. The UPC Company Prefix and Product Numbers must always total 11-digits. (The 12th digit in a UPC is called the check digit and is mathematically calculated based off of the previous 11 digits.)
You need a unique product number for each variety of item you want to sell. For example, let’s say you’re selling t-shirts in two different styles – yellow and blue. Your blue small, medium, and large t-shirts would each have their own unique product numbers, while your yellow small, medium, and large t-shirts would also have their own different unique product numbers.
|Product Style||Product Number||Full UPC (GTIN-12) Number|
|Blue Shirt – Small||00001||01234500001-0|
|Blue Shirt – Medium||00002||01234500002-7|
|Blue Shirt – Large||00003||01234500003-4|
|Orange Shirt – Small||00004||01234500004-1|
|Orange Shirt – Medium||00005||01234500005-8|
|Orange Shirt – Large||00006||01234500006-5|
The GTIN management rules can be quite overwhelming and cover an array of situations with product number changes and product variances. GS1 does offer paid educational training classes or you can work with one of our GS1 Barcode Consultants. At the end of this simple tutorial, you will be provided information on to obtain UPC barcodes for your products and support options. Click on the link below to continue.