If you’re looking to start selling on Amazon then you need to learn about Amazon UPC codes.

Online sellers need a UPC code because they use it in the product ID section of their new Amazon listing. Without a code in the Amazon Product ID section you can’t list your product.

Amazon’s only requirement is that you need to buy a “GS1 UPC code” to finalize your product listing and start selling on Amazon.  Remember, you cannot create your own Amazon UPC code.

Keep reading below to learn the basics of buying a UPC code for Amazon and where to get them at a discount. (We have a 20% discount code below)

Let’s begin:

Do You Need a UPC Code to Sell on Amazon?

You need a UPC code for Amazon so you can fill out the product ID field when listing a new product to sell.  In the “Product ID” section you need to select “UPC” from the drop-down menu. It’s not possible to list a product for sale on Amazon without the UPC code.

Another name for UPC code is “Barcode”. So, if your product already has one because you’re re-selling something then you can enter that code in the product ID area.

What Goes Into the Amazon Product ID Section?

UPCs and EANs are the common most common Amazon product ID’s.

The United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and other Western European countries commonly use UPC’s and EAN’s

Using the Amazon product ID when creating a new listing


How to buy a UPC code for Amazon

  1. Go to a reputable website that sells UPC Codes (Recommended: SnapUPC)
  2. Click on “Buy Barcodes”
  3. Enter the number of barcodes you want to purchase
  4. Download the JPEG Images of your barcode and Excel spreadsheet
  5. Create an Amazon Product Listing
  6. Enter the UPC code you purchased in the “product ID field” to verify it’s unique
  7. Finalize your new Amazon product listing

Where to buy UPC codes for Amazon?

People commonly purchase cheap UPC codes from shady sellers on eBay. Most likely they’re recycled UPC codes. Amazon will think your products are fraudulent and shut down your account.

You can avoid this and buy UPC codes for Amazon from legitimate GS1 resellers.

We recommend SnapUPC because they purchase their UPC codes from GS1 directly in bulk.

That way they can pass the savings to us because they joined the GS1 database before GS1 started charging renewal fees every year.

We only trust SnapUPC
Use Code “stubr20” for 20% Discount!


Let’s define some common terms you will see in the Amazon product ID section of your product listing.

Handpicked Content for You: 5 Dirty Hacks for Amazon Sellers to Dominate the Marketplace


Stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number. This 10-character alphanumeric unique catalog number is assigned by Amazon but isn’t generated until you’ve actually listed your product already.

When you create a new product listing using a UPC code, Amazon will then assign your listing an ASIN number. This is how Amazon’s system keeps it straight when multiple Sellers are listing offers for the same product.

GCID (Not Important for Beginners)

When you create your own brand on Amazon they will give your brand a unique identifier for you to list your products. Amazon will assign that number to your products.

You can only use this ID when adding a new product that is part of your approved registered Brand list.

You can save money and completely eliminate having to buy UPC codes for Amazon by registering your brand on Amazon. Consider it after making your initial sales.


GTINs are a part of codes you might use, such as UPCs or EANs. They’re 14 digit codes used to identify items, product, or services. Think of it as an umbrella that holds the entire family of GS1 barcodes, including the UPC codes we’re going to use.

To make things simple, new product listings will require UPC codes. Keep that as standard practice.

Here are the most common questions we get: 

UPC Codes for Amazon Sellers FAQ

How many UPC codes do I need to list one item on Amazon?

You only need to buy one UPC code for one new product listing on Amazon. One UPC code for the “Tee Shirt” no matter how many “Tee Shirts” you’re selling.

How many UPC Codes for Amazon do You need
I have never sold on Amazon and want to start a private label business. When I click “create new product listing” it asks for product I.D. Is this where I enter the UPC code?

Yes, in creating a new product listing the product ID is required. Select UPC from the drop-down and enter the whole number from left to right.

Are UPC codes the same for the same product?

If it’s the same product then yes they are the same. You can use the same UPC code for any number of the same product. If the product has already been listed then simply change the amount of products you have for sale.

My product is already listed on Amazon and I want to list the same product do I need to purchase a UPC code?

If the item is already on Amazon and it is the exact same item, you should piggyback on that detail page rather than start a new page. You wouldn’t need to purchase a UPC code if the item is already on the site. Select ASIN on the product ID dropdown and enter the active listing ASIN number.

Does the Amazon UPC code have to physically be on each product I list? What if I’m listing 50 products?

You can use 1 single UPC code to list as many of the same item as you want. If you’re selling 100 hair brushes when creating the product listing you only need 1 UPC code for all 100 hair brushes. The UPC code does not have to be on your products.

When you create your product listing, Amazon gives you a unique identifier for each item and that would need to be placed on your product. The UPC code is only for product listing purposes.

People say I need GS1 barcodes to sell on Amazon. What does GS1 mean?

GS1 is an organization that developed the standard barcode for business communication. When you buy a GS1 barcode you are buying a unique identifier that can be traced back only to your business and product. Amazon only accepts barcodes that meet the GS1 Standards.

Handpicked Content for You:Do I need an LLC or Business License to Sell on Amazon?

What’s the bottom line?

Closing Remarks

You only need UPC codes to initially list your product on Amazon.  They do not need to physically be on each product and you only need one UPC code for one variation of a product.

You’re not going to need UPC codes when you’re selling via retail arbitrage. The products come with their own barcodes and you can use that to list the product.

Remember that at the end of the day you’re trying to sell on Amazon, you’re not a UPC code or logistics expert. Going deeper into the UPC code discussion is not necessary and this is only a small portion of ranking your products and starting an Amazon business.

Continue Learning

So, the idea behind this post is to give you a quick primer into understanding what you need to do because people get confused about the technical side of starting an Amazon business and never know where or how to start researching products.

And now, we want to give you every single tool you need to get your business started.
Check out the 7,000 Word “Mega-Guide” here

The Mega-Guide to Starting an Amazon Business

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Avatar for Will Mitchell
Will Mitchell

Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the Startupbros about page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!

  • Avatar for upc code upc code says:

    One of the best article ever seen on upc codes. Love the concept and idea you presented in your article.Very helpful article.

  • Avatar for Calvin Calvin says:

    I wish I could read it earlier! Last week I spent almost two days to get my head around how UPC works.

  • Avatar for ARA.Electronics ARA.Electronics says:

    I have used snapUPC before, all savings count at the end of the day.

  • Avatar for gitu gitu says:

    Very helpful. I ordered mine.

  • Avatar for Rafael Rafael says:

    Do I need a company to be able to buy a UPC code and create a listing on Amazon?

  • Avatar for Nika Nika says:

    Is it allowe to buy a barcode from 3rd party if you sell on Amazon?

    Amazone says:
    Valid UPCs
    We verify the authenticity of product UPCs by checking the GS1 database. UPCs that do not match the information provided by GS1 will be considered invalid. We recommend obtaining your UPCs directly from GS1 (and not from other third parties selling UPC licenses) to ensure the appropriate information is reflected in the GS1 database.

    Important: All invalid product UPC listings will be removed and may result in your ASIN creation or selling privileges being temporarily or permanently removed. For more information on licensing UPCs from GS1, see the GSI standard website.

    • Avatar for Joel Oquendo Joel Oquendo says:

      Hey Nika,

      Yes, it’s absolutely allowed to buy 3rd party UPC codes to sell on Amazon. We’re very careful about the UPC code companies that we recommend. SnapUPC works to make sure that all of their UPC codes are valid on Amazon and eBay.

  • Avatar for Suri Suri says:

    Thanks for the coupon code !

  • Avatar for Satvik Satvik says:

    What if I’m listing a new private label product? Such a product is already sold by another brand on amazon. Should I get a newc UPC or copy their ASIN?

    • Hey Satvik, truthfully, it’s completely up to you. You can start by listing under their ASIN and then if you see some sales you can create your own listing and buy your own UPC code. When you use someone else’s listing you can’t improve on what they’re doing. You can’t take better pictures or do anything better than that seller because you don’t have control of that listing. If you get your own UPC code and list the product with a new Amazon listing then you can create a better listing than the best seller and beat them 🙂

  • Avatar for Matt Matt says:

    Great post! Do you know if a new UPC is required for bulk products. For example, if there is an existing code for a t-shirt, but I am selling a 10 pack of that shirt will it need a new code? Or, if I am selling that same shirt along with a hat, will it need a unique code if its all packaged together?

    • Hey Matt thanks for reaching out. UPC codes are for different products or single packaged products. So if you have 10 shirts in a bag then only 1 UPC code is needed. But if you had 10 different types of shirts individually packaged then you need 10 different UPC codes. If the hat and the shirt are sold in the same box or package then only one UPC code is needed. But if there is a shirt sold and a hat sold but you “bundle” them together you need 2 UPC codes. When you have an Amazon listing you can bundle products from two listings together and that sounds more like your example.

  • Avatar for Florence Florence says:

    I just purchased 5 UPC code to use and when I try to use it I get the message that product code in invalid.

    • Avatar for Joel Oquendo Joel Oquendo says:

      Hey Florence, thanks for reaching out! That’s weird that happened. We trust Snap UPC because they are the most reliable UPC code supplier. If you reach out to their support staff I know they will be more than happy to help fix the issue you had. One of the most common issues is that when you buy a code that you enter it as an EAN rather than UPC on Amazon. Make sure the drop-down on Amazon is selected as UPC.

  • Avatar for farhad farhad says:

    do we need to update the codes annually?

  • Avatar for richard greenwood richard greenwood says:

    Thank goodness I found your page nobody else broke it down as simplistic and straightforward well done

  • Avatar for richard greenwood richard greenwood says:

    I’m going to buy off snap UPC because I trust you after reading your straightforward well broken down comments on this subject matter

  • Avatar for Siobhan Siobhan says:

    Is a UPC code required if selling FBM?

    • Hey Siobhan, a UPC is required to list a product on Amazon even if it’s FBM. But you wouldn’t need one if you create a listing using a similar listings ASIN. If you take the second route you won’t be able to customize any part of your listing other than price.

  • Avatar for Ravi Mehta Ravi Mehta says:

    I need UPC Urgent

  • Avatar for Josh Josh says:

    What if my product comes in many different sents? Would I need a different UPC for each sent? Like the shirt sizes? What about if I have a 5oz, 10oz, and 20oz size would I need 3 UPC’s?

    • Hey Josh, any variation at all would be a different UPC code. So if you have 6 different scented candles then you need 6 UPC codes. If you have a lavender scented candle that 5 oz, 10oz, and 20oz then you would need 3 UPC codes for the different sizes. Hope that makes sense. 🙂