TAS 317: The UPC Code DEBATE – What and Where to BUY?

What do you do if you have all the passion, dedication, vision, and organization to start your own business but technical nuances can sometimes overwhelm you? Don’t give up! You need experienced and thorough experts that can help you navigate complicated waters. Scott and his team at The Amazing Seller have gone through all the tough and “in the weeds” details so don’t have to! Let Scott and Chris guide you on this episode as they break down the UPC code debate, where to get UPCs, and other great business advice! Rest assured, you came to the right place.

What are your options when obtaining a UPC for your product?

If you are just getting started with selling on Amazon, a lot of the recent talk about UPCs can get really confusing. What you need to know is that UPCs are essential to selling your product on Amazon and with other retailers. You might be wondering, “Where do I get a UPC for my product?” You can get a UPC from GS1 or other Third party providers such as Snap. The big difference between these two options is that GS1 gives you ownership of your UPC. They create the unique UPC and hand it to you for a cost. Most third party providers like Snap obtain the first few digits of the UPC from GS1 and then generate the rest. You can verify via GS1 the UPCs that you obtain from Third parties to make sure you are compliant with Amazon’s standards. This might all sound very confusing but Scott and Chris take the time on this episode of The Amazing Seller to break down what this all means and how it directly impacts business owners like you.

What you need to know regarding Amazon’s policy with UPCs

Let’s cut through all the jargon and get to the clear cut information that you need to make sure you are compliant with Amazon’s standards. The last thing you want is to go into selling with Amazon or continuing to sell with them and go off of the wrong information. So here is what Amazon wants you to know regarding their recent change in UPC policy:

“We verify the authenticity of product UPCs by checking the GS1 database. UPCs that do not match the information provided by GS1 will be considered invalid. We recommend obtaining you UPCs directly from GS1 and not from other 3rd parties selling UPC licenses to ensure that the appropriate information is reflected in the GS1 database.”

This means that you CAN continue to get UPCs from 3rd parties but they MUST be verified via GS1. Anyone can verify a UPC through GS1. Don’t panic if your UPC is provided by a party like Snap. Just double check to make sure it is valid via GS1. If it’s not, there are steps you can take to address this. To hear Scott and Chris expand on this topic, listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller.

Key advice when you are just beginning your business.

Lots of people come out of the woodwork when you start a business to share in your excitement and give you their advice. How do you determine which voices to listen to? It’s kind of like parenting in a lot of ways. When you first find out that you and your spouse are expecting, everyone wants to chime in on how you should start off as new parents. But at the end of the day, the best advice is what Chris mentions on this episode of The Amazing Seller. You can take all these opinions in and consider them but ultimately, you have to do what’s best for you. When all is said and done, you are the one that has to live with the decisions that are made. Don’t allow yourself to get pressured or convinced to take advice that doesn’t sit right with you.

Don’t miss this simple step when starting your business!

When you first decide that you are going to start your own business, emotions are flying. There’s joy, excitement, anxiety, nervousness, and so much more! In the rush of emotions, sometimes you forget the little details that are vital to success. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott talks about one of the early mistakes he made with his photography business that cost time and money him right when things were taking off. Don’t miss out on this great advice. Learn from Scott’s mistake and find out how you can start your business off with your best foot forward!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [1:20] Let’s talk UPCs
  • [3:30] Where you can get UPCs
  • [9:00] Chris and Scott discuss Pat’s post about UPCs
  • [14:00] Renewal fees
  • [14:30] Amazon’s policy regarding UPCs
  • [21:30] If you are just starting out, here’s what you should do.
  • [29:00] Chris’ advice – Do what’s best for you.
  • [30:20] What to do when you are coming up with a business name.

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 317

TTAS 317: The UPC Code DEBATE – What and Where to BUY?

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 317 and today we’re going to be talking about the UPC code debate; what and where? What I mean by that is, there’s been a lot of talk out there about…

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…UPC codes. Number one we have to talk about a little bit what they are and why we need them and how we use them. More importantly, recently, Amazon said that they only want GS1 UPC codes. I’ve invited on my special friend, I said special, my good friend, my special friend Chris Shaffer. Chris are you there brother?

[00:00:42] Chris: I am and I am a special friend. My mom always told me that I was special so…

[00:00:48] Scott: You’re very, very special. This is definitely a live intro here. I normally have the ability to do a couple of retakes if I need to but this is like on the fly, so that’s cool. I’m glad that I messed up there a little bit. I didn’t mess up, you are special but that’s not really what I wanted to say. I did want to…

[00:01:08] Chris: I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing but we’ll just power through it and move ahead.

[00:01:11] Scott: Let’s please move ahead. I did want to get you on because I do know you have had your opinion on this ever since they came out with this announcement as far as what they’re going to allow. Some people are saying you can only have a GS1 code now that is issued by them and some people are saying, “No you don’t. You can just get a UPC code but it needs to be verified but it doesn’t have to come directly from them, it could be from a 3rd party that sells those.”

That’s really what I want to do here is talk a little bit back and forth. Now, I did have someone that actually does sell these codes and is a 3rd party and it is someone that I have referred to in the past and I’m going to continue to recommend them if you want to go down that road of a 3rd party. The reason why I feel comfortable still backing them or saying that that’s where I would go is because I reached out to them.

I said, “Listen you got to clarify some things here because there’re some things here that I’m not even sure of. I want you to really lay it out for me and my audience and see exactly what we might be missing or what we don’t understand.” Then, once he wrote that back to me I said, “Chris have a look at this, does this seem legit? Does this seem like something that we should be worried about or does this make sense?” That’s really what I want to do here Chris. I want to go through that email but then also what he had sent back in this post to really educate us all on this UPC mystery. Where do you want to start on this brother?

[00:02:49] Chris: Let’s just start with the background of UPCs and guys, this sounds super dry but it’s also super important to understand.

[00:02:57] Scott: It’s not that exciting.

[00:02:57] Chris: Anything you have on your desk or in your cupboard has a UPC on it. It’s the thing that when you go into the grocery store and they scan it, it goes ‘Beep!’ That’s what they’re scanning, they’re scanning the UPC. It’s a Universal Product Code or Unique Product Code depending on who you ask. I call it the Universal Product Code because that’s what I was taught. Basically it’s just a unique way of identifying a product.

Each UPC is assigned to a specific product. Every real UPC in the world is created by a body called The GS1, gs1.org, and that’s why you hear people saying, “You have to buy direct from GS1 because they’re the only people who issue real UPCs.” That’s not exactly true and people like Snap UPC, who we’re going to talk about a little bit have what’s called an open license to resell UPCs basically.

They have a prefix from GS1 from GS1 which is basically just the first few digits of the UPC and they can sell the back end of that, the rest of the UPC; the other 12 digits of the UPC. Those are still legitimate “GS1 codes” as you’ll hear people say. The only time that in my opinion you may want to buy direct from GS1 is if you’re not only going to sell on Amazon. There are certain stores like Kroger, Walmart, some of those kinds of places will only accept products with UPCs that are 100% unique and owned by you. If you want to sell on like Walmart you would have to buy direct from GS1 but if you want to just sell on Amazon you can buy from places like Snap UPC without a problem, at least in my opinion.

[00:04:35] Scott: I want to go back a little bit and just address why we need a UPC code on Amazon in the first place. Some people that are listening are brand new and they hear FNSQ, UPC, ASIN all of these different numbers and terms and bar codes and all of this stuff. Really the UPC code for anyone that’s brand new is an identifier for that product. Then when you go to list it on Amazon, let’s just say it’s on Amazon, you have to have a UPC code to identify that product to even create the listing.

That’s like number one, you need that. Do you need that UPC directly printed on the box? The answer is no but some sellers, we can maybe talk a little bit about this because I know Dom, our good friend Dom he basically just has to put a UPC code on there. He doesn’t even have to mess around with the FNSQ number anymore but he still needs a UPC in order to get that product listed and to sell it because that’s really his FNSQ in a sense or his identifier.

[00:05:45] Chris: Let’s just take a minute Scott and talk about the difference between those two because I think that’s important. The UPC is like universal code. It’s what everybody in the world uses to recognize that product. Kroger, Walmart, Amazon all of those places no matter you have that product if they have it in stock they can scan it and their system will know that it’s Scotty V’s awesome garlic press. Amazon uses that system to a certain extent but they also have, for whatever reason and I’m sure they have a method behind the madness, they also have what they call the FNSKU which is their fulfillment net or stock keeping number.

[00:06:24] Scott: Nice job.

[00:06:25] Chris: I believe that’s what [Q] stands for.

[00:06:27]Scott: That’s why I have you on the show; you can remember that stuff.

[00:06:30] Chris: It’s their own unique identifier for it for whatever reason. I’m sure they have a logistical reason for having that versus having the UPC be used for that but it is what it is, so they have two different numbers. Up until recently to send a product into Amazon you had to cover the UPC with that FNSKU. For us who were private labeling we wouldn’t cover it we’d just print the FNSKU directly on the package.

Actually I have two things on my desk that I clearly bought from Amazon because they don’t have UPCs on them they just have those fulfilment network SKUs on them. You can do that as an Amazon seller, it’s just Amazon’s unique way of identifying those products; they have used UPCs in the past. What they are starting to do and what you alluded to with Dom, is they’re starting to allow brand registered sellers… You could always do this to a certain extent, use UPCs as that unique identifier within the Amazon ecosystem.

When you are brand registered they know that you are the owner of that brand and part of the brand registry process is saying, “I’m using a unique UPC that I own.” You’re essentially saying anytime you create a listing but you’re verifying with Amazon and you’re vouching for that when you go through the brand registry process. They say, that’s fine you can now use the UPC instead of the fulfillment network SKU because you as the brand owner have told us that you own the UPC.

We’re not going to see it on any other products. Nobody’s going to accidently use this number on something that’s not Scotty V’s awesome garlic press. We know that this is Scotty V’s awesome garlic press when it comes through the system. You don’t need the fulfillment network skew you can just use the UPC, which is really convenient if you want to sell places that are not just Amazon. If you want to sell in Walmart or Kroger or any of those places down the line then you don’t have to have two different packages, you can just print the UPC. You don’t have to worry about the 20 cent putting in that labeling fee or any of that stuff which is really neat.

[00:08:34] Scott: I want to go through a little bit of the post that he had written and what I’m going to do is I’m going to link this up in the show notes to this episode. We’ll actually include the post and all the show notes, the transcripts and all of that stuff. This episode, like I said, is episode 317, so you can grab those that theamazingseller.com/317. A pretty good post as far as really understanding and laying out what exactly this all means and the talk about fake codes or different kinds of codes that aren’t issued by GS1. I just want to read this here.

In the post it says, “The problem. Several problems recently came about which has caused Amazon policy changes. In the past you would be able to generate a random number of a similar format as a UPC using a specific algorithm in places like eBay, Amazon and iTunes would accept them. These are called air codes. They’re constructed using the same rules as a real code but were never issued by GS1, so they’re not GS1 UPC codes.

These codes if searched for in the GS1 database would not show up. Essentially this has led many people generating fake air codes and selling them online. As a result companies like Amazon rightfully require the UPC codes to verify with the GS1 database to ensure they’re using legitimate UPCs. This doesn’t mean you need to own the prefix or avoid 3rd party sellers but you must buy unused codes that verify with the GS1. All the codes that we sell at Snap UPC were issued by GS1.” What’s really happening is what it says. What’s really happening… We can talk about that but maybe you can talk a little bit about what I just read.

[00:10:26] Chris: There’s a couple of things that are in here in terms of terminology that I think we should clarify, first is the prefix. When you’re buying from GS1 and when you go to gs1.org and buy direct what you’re actually paying them for is that prefix and then whatever number of codes you want to have that prefix.

Like the first three digits or the first few digits of that code say that this is Scotty V’s awesome company. Then when you add the rest of the UPC code to that, the other digits, that’s when GS1 knows it’s Scotty V’s awesome garlic press from Scotty V’s company. Essentially the first few digits are that prefix which is what he’s talking about there and that’s what you own when you’re buying direct through GS1. You own the entire code basically.

Anybody that looks it up will see that it came from Scotty V’s awesome company. Snap UPC happens to own their own prefix and they’re able to issue codes out of that to other people.

[00:11:22] Scott: Leading into that, what was written in this post was like, so what’s really happening? If you’re a new seller online and you want to sell let’s say one to 10 products online you have to pay $250 upfront plus $50 a year to GS1. Up to 1,000 codes it’s $2,500 flat and $500 a year and so on. The full price chart… He lists a full price chart. Guys, again we’re going to link that up in there. He says, “There are three factors in play that affect the modern day UPC market.

One, because of the pricing model people purchase UPCs in bulk and then resell them. Two, people buy too many UPCs and want to resell the rest. Three, people who own prefixes prior to 2002 can sell unused UPCs that don’t require renewal fees.”

[00:12:08] Chris: That’s exactly what Snap UPCs is doing and that’s why I said they own the prefix. That’s really all that you’re buying from GS1 is the first few digits and if somebody looks up your UPC then they know that it’s owned by you as the company. That’s why some places like Kroger and Walmart will only work with people who own the prefix. Amazon doesn’t care as long as it’s a true GS1 registered code, meaning the prefix is legitimate and the rest of the UPC is legitimate.

I’m just going to start calling it the post fix. The rest of those digits are legitimate as well and you can look in the GS1 database and see if that number has ever been registered with GS1. What was happening, and he alluded to this and he actually straight out said it in the problem section, is people were just using basically a creator and they were saying I need 12 digits and it has to start like 01 or 02 or whatever the prefix was that they were using in that generator.

Then it was generating a number that looked like a UPC and had 12 digits in it but it wasn’t ever registered inside the GS1 database. Previous to that Amazon was talking that and just accepting it because it was 12 digits and it didn’t conflict with another number that was already in their system. Now they’re actually looking at the GS1 database to make sure it’s been registered.

[00:13:22] Scott: What I’m gathering here, just to boil this all down, is really like someone like Snap UPC they go out and they bought a bunch, it could be even before 2002. That was their business even back then and now because of that or anyone else for that matter they own these and they will not have to have a renewal fee. It’s kind of like you scooped them up beforehand and now they’re yours and you get to issue those. Then you don’t have to pay because it’s kind of like a newer thing for new sellers that you will have to pay a renewal fee, kind of like a domain name. Is that correct?

[00:13:58] Chris: The only time… Right, the reason you pay a renewal fee after 2002 is to avoid people doing what they’re doing. GS1 said, we want to shut this down and we only want prefixes going to people who are actively using them. If you’re not actively using it we won’t be able to take that back basically. Their way of ensuring that was by charging their renewal fees but anybody that bought one before 2002 had it for life.

People like Snap UPC are able to continue to generate codes based on their prefix and register them with GS1, which is the important part and then say Scott this is your code for your next product. It’s registered with GS1 and it’s legitimate.

[00:14:43] Scott: He also writes in here, “What does Amazon think?” Well, the current Amazon policy is this right here, “We verify the authenticity of product UPCs by checking the GS1 database. UPCs that do not match the information provided by GS1 will be considered invalid. We recommend obtaining you UPCs directly from GS1 and not from other 3rd parties selling UPC licenses to ensure that the appropriate information is reflected in the GS1 database.”

Again, this is what he says, “This policy change was made due to people selling air codes which Amazon doesn’t want people using. Additionally, here are a few quotes from amazon.” He basically goes through and he says what they’ve said. I’m not going to read all of these. Then again there from what he’s saying is they do want to make sure that you purchase them through GS1 but there is ways for you to validate the code after you’ve purchased it to make sure that it is registered in the database. Isn’t that right Chris?

[00:15:38] Chris: Yes. You can run a search through the GS1 database, anybody can run a search through the GS1 database.

[00:15:44] Scott: He even says here, “Should you be worried? If UPC codes verify with GS1 there is no need to worry. 100% of our codes verify with GS1, so if you bought from us you’re fine. You can verify your codes here, search “trade item ownership”.” and then he gives a link here. What you would do is that you would see that it validates and it verifies that it is registered by GS1. That’s how you would do it. I just want to throw this out here.

If you want to go to GS1 and you want to be 100% sure, you know this product that you have is going to be a product that you’re going to have for a very long time or it’s going to be one that you don’t want any hiccups with, you’re not doing like an open brand. You’re doing like this is going to be your main, main brand and you’re only going to have five products probably then maybe you go down the route of a GS1 code. What’s your thoughts on that Chris?

[00:16:43] Chris: For me, and you’ve heard me say this before, I’m a fan of going direct to GS1. I know this is probably going to lead to an interesting discussion. For me just based on what I knew coming into this business if you want to resell or there are some people who will only take the UPC code like I said if you own the prefix as well. If you think you’re going to sell other places then it may be worth registering direct through GS1. The upfront fee I think it’s $250.

[00:17:10] Scott: $250 and then it’s $50 a year to renew.

[00:17:13] Chris: The $50 a year is not a big deal. If you’re selling 100 products or you’re selling 11 products and you have to go to that 750 level which is the one, 100 codes, again not a big deal. To start out 300 bucks to make sure that if I want to sell my business down the line that I’m never going to have an issue with it that I can get into any store that I want down the line, that I’m never going to have an issue with it. That 250 bucks upfront is not a big deal to me and that way I own the prefix and I don’t run into any issues ever with anybody.

[00:17:45] Scott: Isn’t that what Snap UPC is saying that they own the prefix?

[00:17:49] Chris: But then snap UPC owns the prefix. It is a legitimate verifiable code but there are some people and I think the term that I’m looking for here is they’re on the board of governors for GS1, so they won’t accept those codes and it’s some places. It used to be Kroger and Walmart and some of those types of stores like the bigger stores would only accept it if you own the prefix as well.

I don’t know if that’s still the case and he may be able to correct us and let us in the show notes if that’s still the case. They wanted you to go through the whole process with GS1. That’s just the way I do it and then I own everything related to the business, 100%. I know there’s never any issue. For me that’s like the sound, mind and body move.

For testing products, if you’re not sure you’re ever going to sell it or you’re throwing up unlabeled samples or something like that absolutely Snap UPC. If you’re not concerned about owning 100% of everything and making sure that you never run into an issue anywhere with anybody Snap UPC is absolutely the way to go. You could always move to GS1 later and change your UPC, you just wouldn’t be able to do that on Amazon very effectively, if that makes sense. You could change the UPC that’s been printing on the package if you ever run into that issue as well. I just don’t want to deal with that down the line.

[00:19:11] Scott: Let’s just go back to the fee though. It says here, I’m looking at the chart and it says 1 to 10 UPC codes is $250 initial fee. Is that per or is that like the 10 issued?

[00:19:21] Chris: No, that’s for the prefix. What you’re buying when you buy it from GS1 is you’re buying the prefix basically. They’re saying $250 and then you can issue up to 10 codes and then next year same day you’ll pay $50 to continue to be able to use those 10 codes, up to those 10 codes. You actually get 10… You’re paying $25 a bar code the first year and then after that you’re paying $5 per UPC.

[00:19:48] Scott: Up to 10, I got it. That makes total sense. If someone was going to go down that route and go to GS1 then you’d probably just want to have 10 codes issued right?

[00:20:00] Chris: Here’s the deal, when you actually sign up for a prefix inside of GS1 you go in and you create the codes as you need them. You get up to 10 and when you launch your first product you just say I need one.

[00:20:12] Scott: Throughout that same year.

[00:20:13] Chris: You type in the name and description of your product inside of GS1, the link that he gave us here that we can post in the show notes will actually take you… When you type that UPC then it will show you the name of the company and the description of the product.

[00:20:26] Scott: You do it as the products are launched, you don’t just buy them and then say, “When I have a product I’m going to put it on there.”

[00:20:35] Chris: They don’t just create 10 for you, you create them as you go basically. You just log in to GS1 you say I need another one, here’s what the product is, here’s the description of it and then it gives you the new UPC.

[00:20:46] Scott: Got you. That makes total sense. I think that really does clarify a lot of things for a lot of people. Again, if you’re going to be launching a bunch of products and you’re testing, you’re in that testing phase or maybe again you want to cut down your cost in the beginning, the I would say go down the route of sampling the UPCs as well. It’s like you’re doing the same thing.

If this is something that you know that this is going to be the brand that you’re going to be running with and you’re going to be really pushing and you may want to exit out of it then, what’s 250 bucks and 50 bucks a year? It’s like a website. If you buy a domain name and then you buy hosting it’s like that’s your business, that’s part of the maintenance and everything for the business. I know some people are saying but still I don’t feel comfortable to buy through a third party, then don’t just go to GS1.

[00:21:43] Chris: You don’t have to. Here’s the thing, it works both ways and that’s really what we’re trying to get to. You can register direct to GS1 and I tend to prefer that just because I 100% own it then. You do own the UPCs that you get issued through a Snap UPC and other 3rd party sellers that are selling based on their prefix but you don’t own the prefix. If you ever run into an issue like you’re trying to sell the business and it’s somebody that wants to own the prefix then you lose that sale.

For me it’s a security check. It’s just another way to ensure that I’m protected against anything that might get thrown at me in the future. It works for Amazon, it’s going to work for a lot of merchants but it’s not going to work everywhere, at least it didn’t use to if you bought from someone else that had a prefix. That’s why when we started selling with some of my clients we went direct through GS1.

I have launched products both ways and I’ll freely admit to that. We don’t always use GS1 but if it’s somebody that’s established that we’re selling as a brand and we’re doing that, I tend to go and get a prefix from GS1 otherwise I tend to get something from Snap UPC.

[00:22:55] Scott: That’s exactly what I was just going to say, like there’s one brand that we’re partnered with and we have not bought any from GS1, we got them through here. I’m not really too concerned that when or if I was ever to sell that if I would have an issue or even if that’s our plan, it’s really not. It’s a way for us to test products but then also be able to do it fast. Right now for me it depends on the brand, it depends on the situation.

Until they came out with something else that said you cannot buy from a 3rd party even if they own the prefix you can’t. If that was the thing then yes then we have to go down that route but that’s not the case. All they’re saying is they have to be verified in the database of GS1.

[00:23:51] Chris: Here’s another thing Scott and this happened… This was a question that we got inside the classroom a whole bunch is, what happens if they do that? What if Amazon comes back and says, “We only want prefixes that you own as the brand registered owner?” First of all I don’t foresee Amazon doing that, it’s possible but they wouldn’t do that because it would destroy their catalog.

[00:24:16]Scott: Would it ever?

[00:24:17] Chris: Not just private label seller but retail arb and there’s lots of places. You’re going to lose hundreds of thousands of products from the Amazon catalog because a lot of companies, not just private labelers but a lot of legitimate companies buy UPC codes from 3rd party sellers because it’s significantly less expensive and 90+% of places don’t require you to own the prefix, so why would you?

A lot of brands, not just people who sell exclusively on Amazon, there are people who sell other places. Some people who sell wholesale to retail stores have 3rd party prefix UPCs as well. I don’t foresee them doing that but even if they did it gut their catalog. Secondarily to that, you can change your UPC on your listing. There’s a giant warning that says you probably don’t want to do this but if that day ever came and they said you have to own your prefix you would be able to switch that.

How you can do it? You can ask seller support to change the UPC associate with it. I don’t know if it’s actually a writable field inside your listing but there is a button that says, “Yes I’d like to change this field,” inside of your listing creation in the Amazon back end. If for whatever reason Amazon ever came back and said, you have to own the prefix to list anything on Amazon you would be able to just go to GS1 and get your own prefix and then make that update.

[00:25:41] Scott: Again I’m going to repeat it one more time. Depending on where you are and what your initial investment is going to be and all of that stuff is really going to come down to that. You can’t just buy one UPC code through GS1 for 10 bucks or 25 bucks. It’s 250 minimum up to 10 and then is a $50 a year renewal, so just be clear on that. I did go over to… I’ve got a special link on the resources page for using Snap UPC and it’s 20% off. I did the math and right now even without the 20% off if you buy… I think I put in up to 10. I think you get them for like… It was like $1.50 or $2 a UPC. You can buy one up to… Obviously if you do more you’re going to get a better deal and plus the 20% off. There’s a code that I have on our resources page.

Again guys, it’s truly your call. Like Chris said, if you already have products in the catalogue I would not be worrying that all of a sudden they’re going to wipe out your inventory. What could happen is they could contact you and say we need you to update your UPC code but that would be a nightmare for them to have to do that. It would just be a nightmare.

[00:27:08] Chris: It’s one of those things where… Yes you’re right, it is possible. Anybody that has that question it is possible but it would be a nightmare for them and it would be a nightmare for their sellers and so they probably would ever do that. That’s like worst case scenario. Worst case scenario you might at some point in the future you have to spend the 200 bucks if you don’t do it now or the 250 bucks.

Do what makes sense for you and for your brand for where you are but you absolutely can use Snap UPC or some of these 3rd party sellers that own the prefix. There is no reason to worry about it. If you type in the UPC, you buy it through them and you type it into the link in the show notes to verify it you’ll know that you own it, you’ll know that it’s unique and then you can use it on Amazon.

[00:27:56] Scott: How that would work really, if I’m thinking about this clearly, you’d have to go and buy those codes. Let’s say I go over to Snap UPC, I go over and I buy 10 UPC codes, it’s going to cost me $15 or if you use our code it’ll be $3 off. You pay 12 bucks for 10 codes. Now, you would take those codes and then you would have to buy them and then you’d have to run them through the database check.

Now, if you did have a problem then you got to contact the company that you bought them from. You gotta just say, listen I just ran them through here, not the owner, I want my money back or whatever. That’s what you have to do as far as, you’re not going to be able to go through their codes before you purchase them, just to understand that.

If you go through GS1 they’re validated, they’re brand new, they’re yours and they’re crosschecked because they know the database. Just wanted to throw that out there. Chris is there any last bits of advice or discussion about this topic?

[00:28:59] Chris: I think the big thing is, and I’ve said it before, you’ve said it before, do what makes the most sense for you. Going direct to GS1 is going to be more expensive but it’s also going to be you absolutely 100% own everything about that UPC. You should never run into any issues anywhere anytime because they issue the codes directly. If you’re not worried about that and most of us shouldn’t be especially if we’re only selling some place like Amazon, then go direct through a 3rd party somebody like Snap UPC which used to be Easy UPC, correct?

[00:29:37] Scott: Yes, it used to be Easy UPC and then they had an issue with the name. Someone came out of nowhere and they’ve been in business for a long time and they’ve been battling it back and forth and just to be safe I think they decided to just change out the name. I had that happen to me in my photography online business. We had a year’s worth of stuff built and… It was a nightmare.

We didn’t do it intentionally. Again, it’s a sad thing when that happens because you have to change every single thing; your logo, your branding, redirection of all of your different pieces of content. It’s just a nightmare. Again, let’s touch on that real quick. If you guys are coming up with a business name go through the .gov

[00:30:29] Chris: The patent and trademark office? That’s pto.gov.

[00:30:32] Scott: Definitely go through that. We’ll throw that in the show notes as well and just search your name if you are starting from scratch and you’re thinking about what name you might want to use. Just be very careful with that because… Again another lesson from myself but also from Snap UPC now who was Easy UPC and now they’re changed because of that. Just do yourself a favor, it takes not that long to do. Then if you see any signs there could be confusion amongst your name and someone else I would contact an attorney if you really fell in love with that name.

If not just go completely in a different direction and just come up with something else. Just a little side note there because that is what happened. What I’m going to do though is I’m going to throw everything up on the show notes page. I think this is going to be a good one for you to bookmark just so you can come back to it if you have any questions when you start to either buy more UPCs or even if you’re just getting started.

We’ll have all of the links that we discussed in there as well. There is a discount there for the Snap UPC, it’s 20% off so you can use that. There’s a code there that you guys can use if you’re interested if you’re going to go down that route. We’ll also throw in the direct link to GS1 so you can get that there. I just wanted to hop on here and kind of go over this topic because I know it’s really unclear. I’m not saying, like I said Chris, I’m not saying this is like the gospel.

This is our discussion. I know it’s a huge debate out there and you have to do what you feel comfortable with and what you can sleep at night with doing. If this is going to be that thing in the back of your mind that’s like, “I don’t want to have a UPC and then have it all of a sudden not work anymore or have someone from Amazon say you got to pull down your listing until you get this fixed.”

If that’s worrying you, which I don’t believe would happen but if you did think that was going to happen just go direct to GS1. Simple, end of story. Chris any last little bit?

[00:32:31] Chris: I think you nailed it brother.

[00:32:32] Scott: Nailed it, cool. The show notes can be found at theamazingseller.com/317, again that’s theamazingseller.com/317. Go check that out. All the show notes, transcripts and that blog post that Pat had written you can go ahead and check that out. That’s pretty much going to wrap it up. I’m fired up today even though it’s a little cloudy out today I’m still fired up. Glad to be alive today Chris. It’s just a great day.

[00:33:03] Chris: It is a good day.

[00:33:04] Scott: Except you had thunder and lightning last night.

[00:33:06] Chris: I did, I had a fairly epic thunderstorm last night which I love but…

[00:33:11]Scott: You thought you were in a dream right?

[00:33:12]Chris: Getting woken up that way is not always pleasant at 3:00 in the morning.

[00:33:19]Scott: That is not good.

[00:33:19]Chris: Once you’re awake and you can enjoy it, that’s fine.

[00:33:21]Scott: All right man, now that you know that you’re out of that dream of that thunderstorm now you can carry on with your day if you could stay awake because you got up so darn early.

[00:33:30] Chris: I’ll be fine.

[00:33:30] Scott: I want to thank you once again for coming on and discussing this. I know this is an unsexy topic but I think it’s an important one. Guys I just want to say remember I’m here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to, you have to, come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, Chris on the count of three, one, two, three, “Take action.” Have an awesome amazing day guys and we’ll see you right back here on the next episode. Give me a test.

[00:34:06] Chris: Test, test, test.

[00:34:07] Scott: Perfect, perfect, perfect.

[00:34:09] Chris: That’s a first.

[00:34:10] Scott: That’s a first.

[END]

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