Differences Between GTIN vs UPC, EAN, ISBN
August 22, 2023
It is technically impossible to distinguish between a GTIN and a UPC since they are the same thing. Likewise, UPC, EAN, and ISBN are all GTINs. GTINs are numbers encoded into either UPC, EAN, or ISBN barcodes.
GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number. More specifically, GTIN is the series of numbers associated with a barcode. An organization’s unique products are identified by GTIN codes, which are part of a larger global data structure.
GTIN-12 (UPC), GTIN-13 (EAN), and ISBN are the three types of GTINs. Although each serves different purposes, each GTIN type is a part of the GS1 System of International Standards, so they are all recognized globally.
GTIN-12 & UPC Code
A UPC is a 12-digit GTIN embedded in a barcode, which is referred to as a universal product code. A UPC number is a part of the data structures used in the United States and Canada.
Upon acquisition of a UPC number, a Company Prefix remains constant, lasting from 6 to 9 digits. The next set of numbers following that are the product numbers assigned to a unique item chosen by the purchaser. The last digit in the UPC is called a check digit, which is a calculation based on the 11 digits before it.
GTIN-13 & EAN
European Article Numbers, or EANs, are 13-digit GTINs used globally, except in the United States and Canada.
Like a GTIN-12 or UPC, an EAN is a 13-digit number attached to barcodes
An ISBN, which stands for international standard book number, is usually between 10-13 digits long and is embedde d into a barcode. Unlike a UPC or EAN, an ISBN identifies a unique book or book-like product. And, as the name suggests, it can be used to reference a title at an international level.
To get an ISBN, you’ll have to get it through the UABN (Universal Agency for Book Number or one of the 160 ISBN agencies around the world, such as isbn.org.
How to purchase Gtin number
- Decide how many GTINs you need for your products.
- Choose and join a local GS1 member organization.
- Pay the membership fee.
- Provide product information to GS1.
- Receive your assigned GTINs.
- Generate barcodes using your GTINs.
- Use GTINs and barcodes on your products and listings.
Cost of GTIN numbers
The cost of a single GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) can vary based on several factors, including your location, the number of GTINs you’re purchasing, and the policies of your local GS1 member organization.
- United States: In the US, the initial membership fee with GS1 US starts at a few hundred dollars, which includes a certain number of GTINs. Additional GTINs can cost around $0.05 to $0.20 each, depending on the quantity you purchase.
- Europe: In European countries, the costs can vary. Membership fees might be higher, and GTIN prices can range from €1 to €3 per GTIN.
- Other Regions: Prices in other parts of the world can differ as well. Some regions might have lower fees, while others could have higher costs.
Keep in mind that GS1 membership fees usually include more than just GTINs; they also cover access to their standards, tools, and support for accurate product identification and barcoding.
It’s important to check with the GS1 member organization in your specific country or region for the most up-to-date and accurate pricing information. Costs might have changed since my last update, so be sure to verify the current prices before making a purchase.
How Much A GS1 Membership Costs
You will have to pay an initial fee for obtaining GTINs based on how many you will need. This is known as a Prefix Capacity fee.
Business owners can purchase as few as 10 UPC barcodes to as many as 100,000 UPC barcode
Prefix Pricing for New GS1 Members
You must renew your membership each year to maintain valid barcode numbers after the initial fee covers your prefix and barcodes for a year. As long as your membership is current, you can use GS1’s unique tools for barcode management.
Renewal Fees for GS1
GTINs are licensed annually, so if you wish to keep your barcodes valid, you must renew your license every year. The amount you pay for an annual renewal fee depends on the number of GTINs you have.
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