Q:

What information does the UPC code database provide?

A:

Quick Answer

Universal product code databases provide a product's name, its manufacturer's suggested retail price and the type of code. Occasionally, an image of the related product and the actual UPC barcode accompanies the UPC database entry.

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Full Answer

There is no single go-to UPC database, and each database offers slightly different product information beyond a product's manufacturer's suggested retail price and type. UPCDatabase.com includes the country that issued the UPC and the applicable package size that the UPC denotes, whereas UPCDatabase.org does not.

Most current UPCs are International Article Numbers. The correct acronym is EAN, despite the fact that it corresponds to an outdated identifier, the European Article Number. Some UPC databases specify when a UPC is in fact an EAN, which is simply an internationally standardized 13-digit UPC that replaces the older 12-digit UPC format. GS1, a nonprofit that maintains standards for international supply and demand chains, defines an EAN.

Some UPC databases include a check digit, or checksum, with each product's UPC information. A check digit enables someone to gauge the soundness of a barcode's structure and its encoded information when transmitted digitally.

Amazon.com may be a viable alternative for those who require more detailed information and descriptions about a product. The site can retrieve products via UPC searches and intermittently groups similar products from the same manufacturer, which may amount to easier access and comparisons.

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