1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

UPC Code Definition - What Is a UPC Code?

By

Picture of a UPC Code.

How UPC Codes Look

Image © B S K, Spekulator at Stock.Xchng.
Definition: A UPC Code is a method used by manufacturers to identify products quickly. UPC stands for "Universal Product Code." A UPC code generally has two parts - numbers, which people can read, and a series of bars which can be scanned and tracked by computers.

The numbers generally indicate both the manufacturer and the specific product. The UPC Codes for a 6-pack of strawberry yogurt, a single strawberry yogurt, and single blueberry yogurt from the same manufacturer would all be different.

A UPC Code does not carry any price information. When the code is scanned, a store's computer will check that product against the current price stored in its database. This allows stores to set their own prices.

Sponsors sometimes require a UPC Code from one of their products in order to enter sweepstakes. See How to Find Free UPC Codes for more information about entering these kinds of sweepstakes without purchase.

Also Known As: Universal Product Code, Bar Code, UPC Bar Code
Examples:
To enter, you'll need a UPC Code from a specially-marked package of Diet Coke.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.