Frequently Asked Questions

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Why join? What's my personal information used for?
Without an account, you can look up items by their UPC or EAN. You can also submit updates for review. Creating an account on this site adds the following features:
  • Search by product description
  • Update certain entries without review
  • Track your submissions
  • More planned...
The information you have to provide to create an account is minimal -- a username, a valid email address, and a password. One email is sent to the address immediately to confirm its validity, which shows me that you're a human and not a piece of software, and prevents abuse or defacement of my web site. I will never share your email address with a third party.
Where do I go to download the whole database?
I do not offer the whole database for download. I also do not offer subsets of the database (by category, brand, manufacturer, or anything else) for download.
I want to sell a product on Amazon, but they won't let me because the product's not listed on this web site.
I have no affiliation with Amazon, and I'm not familiar with any of Amazon's policies for 3rd party sellers. You'll have to take it up with Amazon.
Why aren't my items in this database? How do I get items into this database?
They aren't there because nobody -- you or anybody else -- has put them there. Individually, you have to look up each item by number to add it or submit a modification request. If you're in a position to contribute more data than can be easily entered by hand, and you have permission to share it, please contact me by email so we can work something out. I can load an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file pretty easily.
It looks like digits 2-6 of a UPC should identify a manufacturer. Why isn't this always true?
Originally, the UCC gave out chunks of UPC number space in fixed sizes of 100,000 numbers (5 digits). This meant the manufacturer could always be determined by the 2nd through 6th digit, the "manufacturer code". This was inefficient, but that didn't seem to matter until they started to run out. So they started to give out smaller chunks, which meant that the "manufacturer code" part was longer, and the "item code" part was smaller, and that it looks like multiple manufacturers are sharing certain manufacturer codes. Also, the original-sized chunks have been split (and not cleanly) up as companies have been bought & sold, split & combined, and their products have gone along with them.
I signed up for an account, but never received an email to confirm, or I've forgotten my username or password.
Make sure that you provided your correct email address. Also check that the message didn't get filtered as spam by your PC or your ISP. An unconfirmed account will be removed in 10 days, and you can try signing up again with the same username. You can also use the "forgot password" page to re-send the confirmation code. This system does work -- it has done so for many many people before you, so it's not likely that any problem is on this end.
How do I get a UPC code for my product?
All I can tell you for certain is that this is not the place. One answer is that you can become a member of GS1-US. But I've seen ads (right here on this web site) for individual UPC codes. That's all I have.
I'm in desperate need of all of the UPCs for [a certain item / a complete category of items / all items from a certain manufacturer / ...]. Do you have such a list? Can you help me find such a list?
If you can find it on the web site, then there it is. If not, then I have no better way to find it than you do. Of course, if you find what you're looking for, submitting it to me will share it with many others, as others have already done for you.
I'm looking for [ category codes / images / dimensions / nutritional information / ... ]. Got anything like that?
Nope. If I had it, I'd share it. I don't have a reliable source, and many such attributes only have meaning in a certain category of items.
The site says the number I entered isn't a valid UPC/EAN13. But I'm looking at the barcode right here. What gives?
There are many kinds of barcodes, used for many kinds of things. Believe it or not, most of them aren't UPC or EAN13. And they're used to encode many different things in a machine-readable form. There's good information on Wikipedia about SKUs and part numbers.

The following questions are no longer relevant, or are in need of an update. I've left them here for any help they can possibly provide in the mean time.

There's no manufacturer listed for XXX. Who's the manufacturer?
Manufacturer data is now gleaned from a couple of different GS1 sites around the globe that expose this information to the public. If a manufacturer name is missing, the either (a) the information isn't available from GS1, or (b) items from that manufacturer were only added here recently, and the site hasn't queried GS1 for the missing information yet. If you don't see manufacturer info listed along with the item information, then I don't have it. Look on the package. Search Google. Contact GS1. Unfortunately, I can't process requests for this information by email.
I know the manufacturer of XXX. How do I add or correct a manufacturer name for an item that doesn't have it listed?
See the above question about how manufacturer data is collected for this site.
Why not allow users to enter manufacturers, too?
Since the correct data is (usually) available, it seems more accurate and consistent to stick with the data I can get from GS1.