How to Barcode Your Products for Amazon

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If you’re launching a new product, or want to give your goods more visibility on the web, Amazon.com is a great way to go. There’s only one catch—if you want to sell products on Amazon, you’ll need a barcode. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1
If you’re in the US, you’ll want to choose a UPC (Universal Product Code) and if you’re in the UK, you’ll want to choose an EAN (European Article Number)*. Folks in the US should contact the GS1-US and people in the rest of the world should contact the GS1 regarding a membership application. Once you are a member (note: there is an annual fee), you will be assigned a unique company code to use on all of your products. This number will act as a prefix for your barcode. The rest of the barcode will be comprised for each specific product, since each number must be unique for the product and size. For example, if you are selling homemade shampoo in a 12 oz. bottle and 16 oz. bottle, that would require two different numbers.

*If you are self-publishing a book, you will need to use an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), or if you need to barcode a monthly publication, you will need to use the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN).

Step 2
After you receive your barcode number, you’ll need to find a way to print the barcodes and put them on your products. You can either print your own labels, or order pre-printed ones.

If you choose to print your own labels, laser or inkjet labels are the cheapest option if you are a small company and don’t foresee needing to print large amounts of labels at a time.

If you are a larger company, or foresee rapid expansion, it may be wise to invest in a thermal printer with thermal labels in order to print large quantities quickly. Check out our post on choosing the right barcode label for you for more information on this.

See our post on Barcode Printing for Small Businesses for a more in-depth analysis of barcode printing options.

Step 3
Connect your printer to the computer and load the printer with labels. Use Amazon’s system to label your items within the shipping workflow. You can also use your own barcode label software to design and print custom labels for your products.

After the barcoding process is complete, you simply need to sign up with Amazon.

If you have any questions regarding barcode labels, printing or software, feel free to comment, or shoot me an e-mail at mmclean@barcoding.com. Goodluck with barcoding and selling your products on Amazon!