Almost every item purchased at a store has a bar code. The Universal Product Code (UPC) or bar code makes it possible to find out what the item is and where it was made. Information is coded by the size and spacing of the black lines. A bar code scanner translates the bar code into text that consumers can read. UPC is the standard numbering system that defines what information is contained in a bar code. The UPC is usually a group of numbers found underneath the bar code.
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Identify the bar code. Bar codes can be found on the packaging of an item you purchase from a grocery store or on the tags of clothing you buy from a department store. A bar code looks like a small white rectangle with black lines, the spacing of the black lines and the width of the black lines are a code that is translated into numbers that identify a specific item.
Find the UPC. The UPC is found under the bar code and consists of 12 numbers. The UPC numbers are coded so that with just 12 numbers the item can be identified by a bar code scanner, speeding up the process of purchasing many items at the same time.
Find the bar code or UPC of a specific product. If you don't have a bar code or UPC for the item in question it is possible to contact the retailer or manufacturer to find out the specific UPC or bar code for that item.