Skip links

Why do i need UPC EAN barcodes

If you are asking the question about why do I need UPC EAN barcodes then you must have either recently started an online business or are moving your products online. If you still need to know the UPC meaning or the EAN meaning or what is the difference between UPC and EAN barcodes. Then we have articles to help you on that. Understanding what an EAN UPC code is can be confusing at the beginning but a little bit of reading can clarify any issues you may have.


Understanding an EAN UPC code.


But back to the question at hand. Why do I need UPC EAN barcodes? The answer to this depends on what you need them for. If you are selling products worldwide via retailers or online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay. Then you will need buy barcodes them because all of the above use them and that’s how everyone keeps track of products. They are just universally used so you will also have to use them. 


The actual UPC EAN number is what you actually need. The barcode images are just for the use of barcode scanners. But the actual numbers are what holds all the information such as name, price, description or whatever else you want to store. Some marketplaces such as Amazon won’t let you submit to their website. Unless you buy EAN barcodes and attach them to your listings. 


The emergence of the upc ean number in europe. 


EAN barcode numbers have become the prominent variant between UPC and EAN Barcodes. After the emergence of the EAN being used in Europe, it was mainly thought that the UPC was in fact 13 digits because of the different pattern of the left side. Half of all even characters were assigned the value of “0”. We earlier recognised that the UCC used to print only 11 of the 13 digits and left only 10 digits in the database. The UCC organization continued to make the argument that “0” means nothing and therefore was to be ignored.

However, the European’s were clever enough from the very beginning to call the EAN barcode numbers what it is, “EAN-13”. They continued to print all 13 characters. The majority of systems within Europe carry all 10 country flags including the “0” in their database. Their systems could handle both UPC EAN barcodes numbers. American grocery stores at that time were selling very few foreign items and therefore saw no reason to buy and modify their currently installed system. Even though UPC barcode numbers were not widely recognised at that time. The UCC accommodated all international companies by issuing them UPC barcode numbers with the invisible country flag of “0”.


This was a heavy burden on European businesses. A waste of EAN barcode numbers since the majority of European companies had both UPC codes and EAN-13 barcode numbers. It wasn’t until two decades after the mess that something was finally done about UPC and EAN barcodes. It was the year 1997, when the Uniform Code Council Inc announced project SUNRISE. This new initiative required that every single U.S. and Canadian businesses must be fully capable of scanning and processing EAN-13 symbols within their systems. In addition to UPC barcode numbers, at the point-of-sale by January 1, 2005. This has now been completed. The UCC has since changed its name to GS1 US. They take full responsibility for both the UPC EAN number being controlled.

Leave a comment