How do I set up UPCs?

What’s the best practice for setting up UPCs? GS1 seems expensive…is it worth it or is fine?

You will absolutely want to use GS1 from the beginning for registering your barcodes if you intend to sell your products in retail stores.

We have seen countless brands buy recycled barcodes from 3rd parties only to have to switch to GS1 when they got into Kroger or Target or tried to sell internationally. The lucky ones were really small when this happened, the unlucky ones had loads of packaging that needed to be tossed.

It is good to also understand that distributors like UNFI cannot stock 2 of the same items with different UPCs. So, if you make this mistake, DTC or clearance are your best options to get rid of the old inventory.

But don’t make the mistake! Go to GS1 from the beginning.

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Also chiming in here to note that the GS1 customer service team is excellent and they will walk you through the whole onboarding process.

They make it very seamless to create UPCs and generate the barcodes you need for your packaging. It’s a very quick setup!