You are in the: Small Business Computing Channelarrow View Sites +
Small Business Technology
» ECommerce-Guide | Small Business Computing | Webopedia | WinPlanet |  »Close
Enter a word for a definition... ...or choose a computer category.

   Term of the Day
   New Terms
   New Links
   Quick Reference
   Did You Know?
   Tech Support
   Webopedia Jobs
   About Us
   Link to Us

talk to us
   Submit a URL
   Suggest a Term
   Report an Error
Internet Lists
Internet News
Internet Resources
Linux/Open Source
Personal Technology
Small Business
Windows Technology
xSP Resources
Corporate Info
Tech Jobs
E-mail Offers
  Be a Commerce Partner

Last modified: Monday, September 13, 2004 

(pronounced as separate letters) Short for Universal Product Code, a unique 12-digit number assigned to retail merchandise that identifies both the product and the vendor that sells the product. The UPC on a product typically appears adjacent to its bar code, the machine-readable representation of the UPC.

The first six digits of the UPC are the vendor’s unique identification number. All of the products that one vendor sells will have the same first six digits in their UPCs. The next five digits are the product’s unique reference number that identifies the product within any one vendor’s line of products. The last number is called the check digit that is used to verify that the UPC for that specific product is correct.

The check digit verification works like this, using the UPC 438571639853 as an example:

  1. The digits in the odd positions are added together: 4 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 9 + 5 = 39
  2. That number is multiplied by 3: 39 x 3 = 117
  3. The digits in the even positions (except for the 12th digit) are added together: 3 + 5 + 1 + 3 + 8 = 20
  4. This sum is added to the value in step 2: 117 + 20 = 137
  5. The check digit is the number that when added to that sum - 137 - equals a multiple of 10: 137 + 3 = 140, therefore the check digit for the above UPC is 3, which appears as the last digit of the UPC.

Each time that a UPC is read, typically by a scanner reading the bar code, this calculation is done. If the check digit is different than the one that is calculated, then the computer knows that there is something wong with the UPC.

Anyone wishing to use the UPC system must first apply for the rights through the Uniform Code Council.

E-mail this definition to a colleague

Sponsored listings

Barcode Labeling Software: Powerful & Affordable - Flexible, easy to use barcode & labeling software. Print bar codes on any document, any platform with any printer. Connect to enterprise data. Try it.

Siemens Industrial Automation: Bar Coding - PROFINET offers decentralized IO, peer-to-peer communications, data visibility, machine safety, and motion control on one Industrial Ethernet network.

Zebra Technologies: Bar Coding Equipment - Offers bar code and specialty label printing equipment and solutions to businesses and governments in 90 countries around the world.

For pages about UPC . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

The Uniform Code Council Home Page 
Information on the organization, how to acquire UPCs, industry news, and an extensive glossary of e-commerce terms.

Sponsored listings

Data On Call: Data Capture via Bar Coding Scanning Services - Capture data from within faxes for easy document routing and identification. Offers data capture via barcode scanning services for businesses.

LXE: Bar Code Equipment - Offers short range, long range, 1-D, 2-D, RFID and wireless handheld bar code scanners and bar code readers.

Automation Technologies: Automated Solutions - Provides automated solutions for inventory storage and retrieval problems, for increased productivity and substantial inventory holding savings.

Barcode Printing Software - Print barcodes with our easy to use software and fonts. Make UPC, Code 128, Code 39, PDF417, and more. Runs on Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Macintosh.

MASS Group: Bar Code Scanners, Printers & Barcode Software - Offers Symbol, Intermec, Zebra, PSC, RVSI 2D part scanners, Microscan and Code barcode scanners, and barcode software for warehouse & manufacturing.

related categories

Business Tools

Electronic Commerce

related terms


bar code

check digit

keyboard wedge


Give Us Your

UPC Products
Compare Products,Prices and Stores

Shop by Category:
432 Store Offers

Barcode Scanners
1022 Model Matches

56 Store Offers

JupiterWeb networks:

Search JupiterWeb:

Jupitermedia Corporation has two divisions:
Jupiterimages andJupiterWeb

Legal Notices, Licensing, Reprints, & Permissions, Privacy Policy.

Jupitermedia Corporate Info | Newsletters | Tech Jobs | Shopping | E-mail Offers