Where to get a UPC or EAN for Amazon?

When listing a new product on Amazon, you’ll be required to enter a product name, manufacturer and a UPC or EAN. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers assign these codes to their products. So where can you get them?

The official place is the GS1 (Global Standards 1) organization in your country (use country selector here or simply enter “GS1” and the name of your country in your favourite search engine). However, nothing prevents you from registering in another country if this is cheaper or easier. For me, registering with GS1 UK GS1 France would be significantly cheaper and faster than registering with GS1 Belgium & Luxembourg.

If even the cheapest package from GS1 is too expensive for you, you might feel tempted to buy from a reseller. I strongly advise against this. This may be an option if you know what you’re doing. Due to a class action settlement (PDF), some numbers can be legally resold and do not require yearly payments to ensure that they remain valid. There are risks, of course: What’s to prevent the reseller from selling the same GTIN multiple times or from selling a number that’s completely made up? Going through a reseller also means that your company would not show up in the GEPIR (Global Electronic Party Information Registry) when an end user or business partner checks “your” GTIN. This directory might be helpful when looking for a trustworthy reseller.

Update May 5. 2016: This article claims that “Amazon has started cross checking listing UPC’s against the GS1 database”, which would make it impossible to use codes bought from resellers.

Further information:

This post was updated on October 24, 2015 and May 5, 2016. Changes are marked as follows: deleted and inserted.