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Universal Product Code Registration


Scott @ Twenty2Vodka

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Is the Uniform Code Council http://www.uc-council.org/ the place to go for registration of a UPC? I want to be sure before dishing out the $$. Looks like the fee is $750. Does that sound accurate? Has anyone had good or bad experiences with this stage of the process?

Thanks,

-Scott

Yes, unfortunately thats right. Bad experience- it's a ripoff, you're basically paying to use a barcode which you must renew each year too (albeit at a lower cost). The other option is to buy individual codes from one of the two companies that started selling them before the UCC caught on and took them to court. The UCC lost, but immediately changed their licensing to ensure that won't happen again. Meanwhile those two companies are allowed to legally sell subcodes from the company codes they bought. I believe this is one of them...

http://www.buyabarcode.com/index.php?/en

That being said, we're a member of GS1 and pay the fees. If I had known I could do this to begin with (before I paid the membership fee) I would have bought individual codes from the other suppliers.

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FYI- just found this on Buy a Bar codes faq- likely won't affect too many of us but just in case...

"The bar codes will not be able to be used at either Wal-Mart or Kroger's. This is due to their application process and not to the actual functionality of the bar codes. In the application process for these 2 stores only, they require a copy of your GS1/UCC certificate with your own company's name on it. Unfortunately neither we, nor any other reseller of bar codes, can provide you with this document. If you intend to sell your product at either Wal-Mart or Kroger's, you must purchase your bar codes directly from GS1/UCC to get this document. The bar codes will work at any other stores in the world but these 2 stores".

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Unbelievable! Thank you Guy!

The UCC fee is $750 and the buyabarcode.com fee is $75. One tenth! The cost difference seems to make this decision a no-brainer. And the fee is even cheaper if we are purchasing an additional bar code for a new product, $35 according to their homepage. Unreal.

However... Here in Maine, supermarkets are allowed to sell spirits. While we don't have any Kroger's Grocery Stores in our state, are they present in other states which allow the sale of spritis through grocery stores? Any residents of those states aware if the do or don't sell spirits? I'm pretty sure that Wall*Mart will never transition to distilled spirits sales....however they do sell beer and wine...

Can a UPC be changed down the road with minimal headache if we wanted to tap the consumers of these stores? I'm guessing it's probably not easy to change.

Thanks for the insight,

-Scott

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Can a UPC be changed down the road with minimal headache if we wanted to tap the consumers of these stores? I'm guessing it's probably not easy to change.

Thanks for the insight,

-Scott

I can't imagine it would be any more difficult than paying the $750 to UCC at that point.

Sean

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I got two bar codes direct from GS1 for $150 total ($75 each). If you need lots of bar codes, then become a member and you're good to go. If you just need a few, then buy the few you need for $75 each.

http://www.gs1us.org/

Am I missing something?

If you print your barcode directly on your label, you'll need to print new labels. Getting another barcode is easy.

And if you're doing enough business to stock major stores like Wal-mart (do they even sell liquor?) I doubt the $75 is going to cause you to break a sweat.

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OK, it is more complicated as there is an application process, and if I remember it is based on annual sales. I fuzzily remember the application. It probably had a lot of questions that didn't apply to my business.

Is this where you folks have been already? Does this help?

http://barcodes.gs1us.org/dnn_bcec/Default.aspx?tabid=186

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If you print your barcode directly on your label, you'll need to print new labels. Getting another barcode is easy.

My question regarding the headache of changing your barcode was in reference to the agencies you must register the barcode with, not just the mechanics of ordering a new one. I know the dept of agriculture for Maine has a form where the UPC must be entered, and I believe (although uncertain) the NABCA does as well. Sometimes it takes a letter head request to make the change and sometimes you practically choke on the red tape. Any experiences with changing a UPC once registered?

Thanks,

-Scott

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Ah, thanks for the explanation. I wasn't thinking about that yet. I don't have to do those things for my state, so you're several steps ahead of me there.

Obviously, if you need approvals/registrations/whatever from a state agency, accounting for those time lags is needed. Another juggling act. But the UPC folks don't care if you have two barcodes for one product.

Has the state said anything about how to coordinate a barcode upgrade? Seems like that must have happened in the past.

Agreed about red tape. This business seems to have more than it's fair share.

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The UCC fee is $750 and the buyabarcode.com fee is $75.

UCC is a cruel and unusual monopoly, but their entry fee (which is tiered) does come with 100 UPCs at the base level.

We have six products, with 375, 750 and 50 ml fills possible, which is 18 bar codes off the bat, so for us it's already more sensible to register as a member. If we wanted to barcode packaging or special boxes or whatnot, having those 100 codes begins to look OK.

I do hate that there's no competition though.

-A

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Unbelievable! Thank you Guy!

The UCC fee is $750 and the buyabarcode.com fee is $75. One tenth! The cost difference seems to make this decision a no-brainer. And the fee is even cheaper if we are purchasing an additional bar code for a new product, $35 according to their homepage. Unreal.

However... Here in Maine, supermarkets are allowed to sell spirits. While we don't have any Kroger's Grocery Stores in our state, are they present in other states which allow the sale of spritis through grocery stores? Any residents of those states aware if the do or don't sell spirits? I'm pretty sure that Wall*Mart will never transition to distilled spirits sales....however they do sell beer and wine...

Can a UPC be changed down the road with minimal headache if we wanted to tap the consumers of these stores? I'm guessing it's probably not easy to change.

Thanks for the insight,

-Scott

When we were faced with this, their questionnaire asked about how many products we anticipated producing. By my answers, our fee was $1500. I paid it begrudgingly because I feared there could be problems with the prefix had I not...

I chalked it up to yet another fee or charge or tax.

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