What Is eBay UPC? (All You Need To Know)

eBay is one of the oldest online retailers in the game after being created in the 1990s, and is still wildly popular in today’s world. But how can this be? What services does the company have to keep people wanting to go back for more? Well for one, it uses product identifiers such as UPC.

So, you might be wondering what UPCs are, or why eBay uses them. If so, continue reading the article below to find the answers to these questions more!

What Is eBay UPC in [currentyear]?

eBay uses Universal Product Codes or UPCs to assist customers and sellers in [currentyear]. By using these product identifiers, a buyer’s experience is made much easier, as more items they might be interested in will pop up for them. Furthermore, for sellers, having UPCs helps their listings show on not only eBay’s navigation but also Google and Bing’s.

Why Does eBay Use UPCs?

eBay wants users to have an easy and relaxing shopping experience while using their site.  Therefore, they have certain services in place for this to happen.

Furthermore, something eBay does to help shoppers find what they are looking for is use UPCs, item brands, global trade item numbers, and more.

However, adding these search topics not only helps buyers but also sellers, as it increases the visibility of your listings in eBay’s search engine, but also in Google.

Additionally, they also make your item eligible for possible inclusion in deals and promotions.

Also, product identifiers allow eBay’s catalog to grow, which then allows better and faster buyer/item matching on the company’s website.

Therefore, eBay uses UPCs not only to help buyers and sellers on its site, but also because they help eBay grow its online catalog, which brings more shoppers to the website.

What Categories Can I Use Product Identifiers In?

What Categories Can I Use Product Identifiers In?

In certain categories, if you are selling your item in “as new” or in a manufacturer refurbished condition, you must list certain things in the item’s description.

For example, you must say the item’s brand, global trade number, and manufacturer part number. The categories where this rule applies are as follows:

  • eBay Motors
  • Home & Garden (Tools and Appliances)
  • Music
  • Pet Supplies
  • Health & Beauty
  • Musical Instruments & Gear
  • Toys & Hobbies
  • Sporting Goods
  • Video Games & Consoles
  • Baby
  • Cameras
  • Cell Phone & Accessories
  • Books
  • DVD’s
  • Consumer Electronics (Computers, Tablets, etc.)
  • Clothing & Shoes
  • Business & Industrial (Electrical, Health Care, Heavy Equipment, etc.)

How Can I Create a UPC Code?

Most items you try to sell on eBay should already have a UPC code if the item is second-hand or is being sold refurbished.

However, if the item is something you created and you would like it to have it’s own UPC, then follow the steps below:

  1. Figure out how many of your products need a UPC
  2. Join GS1 US and apply for your GS1 company prefix
  3. Assign a unique product number to your item(s)
  4. Choose a barcode design
  5. Determine how to display the barcode
  6. Order your UPC barcodes
  7. Test the printed barcodes

Furthermore, although GS1 is the only legitimate producer of UPCs, it is possible to buy them from third-party internet sources.

However, even though buying a UPC from a third-party source is cheaper, a lot of online stores won’t accept them.

This is because the barcodes aren’t original and were used for stores that are no longer in business.

So, even though it’s a new barcode to you, when it’s displayed it will have another company’s prefix attached to it.

Overall, this is a problem, as most retailers require you to have your own prefix attached to your UPC barcode.

To know more, you can also read our posts on eBay reserve price, eBay’s Global Shipping Program, and what is a bid on eBay.


UPC’s or Universal Product Codes are extremely helpful for everyone involved, as they allow you to find what you want online in one quick and easy search.

Furthermore, not only does it help potential buyers, but also sellers, as people can more easily find your listing on eBay’s site and on Google and other search engines.

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Florence Howard

Florence Howard has been freelance writing for over a decade, and has a vocational background in retail, tech, and marketing. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to rock and metal, and playing with her dog and cat.

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