What’s the difference between UPCs and EANs?


UPCs were invented in the 70’s by George Laurer while working for IBM. The first item scanned using UPC technology was a ten pack of juicy fruit gum on June 26, 1974 for 67 cents. Since then, millions of items have been using UPCs throughout North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

UPC’s consist of twelve digits and EANs (European Article Numbers) use thirteen numbers. While both systems identify a product to their manufacturers, the EAN’s extra digit reveals the manufacturer’s locale. While initially used in Europe, EANs are now recognized internationally and have been renamed to International Article Number. When you order from INeedAUPC.com you get both a UPC and an EAN number enabling you to sell your products globally! Sites like Amazon will accept both UPCs and EANs.

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