Tips for UPC Labels and Improving Your Relabeling Processes

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Tips for UPC Labels and Improving Your Relabeling Processes

Universal Product Codes (UPCs) have been a staple in retail for the last 50 years. They make it easy to keep inventory of, track, and sell goods across the globe by giving each individual product a unique identifier. With the advent of online selling and Amazon allowing companies to offer their products all over the world, UPC labels have become even more important.

Amazon requires all the products sold through their platform to have UPC labels acquired from GS1, a non-profit organization that is tasked with setting up standards for business communication and identifying retail products across the globe. For many companies, that means they have to replace product labels or cover up old UPCs with their own new UPC labels before they can sell on Amazon.

How to place UPC labels on your products

Once you purchase your UPC labels directly from GS1 or a reputable third party source, you have to display them on your product packaging. If you haven’t designed your product’s label or packaging yet, then you may be able to get a digital UPC barcode and print it directly on the packaging material. However, if you already have your packaging designed and ordered, or you’re reselling products on Amazon and need to cover up an existing UPC, then you have to purchase new UPC label stickers to place on your products.

The problem is, product labeling or relabeling can be a daunting task, especially if you have a large inventory and many different individual products. That’s where using label applicators and automated labeling machines comes in.

Automate product labeling

Adding new UPC labels by hand or with a handheld applicator can work if you have a lower volume of products. However, as you start to move more products, and you have to label or relabel hundreds or thousands of individual boxes or bags for reselling on Amazon, a manual operation can create a serious bottleneck in your packaging process.

By adding a semi-automatic or automatic label applicator machine to your operation, you can significantly increase throughput, ensure UPC labels are applied correctly on every product, make sure they cover any old UPC stickers, and reduce your dependence on time consuming manual labor. The result is that you’ll be able to reduce your labor force and move products to Amazon or other selling platforms more quickly, adding to your bottom line and seeing a fast return on investment for your labeling equipment.

Best practices for product labels

Whether you’re applying new UPC labels or other type of labels or stickers to your product packaging, there are several basic best practices that you should adhere to:

  • Remove old product labels or other types of identification barcodes – It’s important that you don’t confuse Amazon or other selling platforms! If you are relabeling products with new UPC labels, be sure to remove any other barcodes or identification codes, or make sure that old UPC labels are completely covered, so that the wrong ones aren’t scanned. Having non-UPC labels or multiple ones may cause Amazon to reject your product or remove the listing.
  • Choose the correct spot for your UPC labels – Where you should place the label should be a flat (if possible) and easily visible. If you’re using a box, we recommend applying the UPC labels to both the top and bottom to make identification easier.
  • Clean and dry the packaging surface – Product labels won’t stick very well to dirty, wet, or damp material, whether it’s plastic, cardboard, or paper. We suggest using an Isopropyl alcohol wipe (IPA) to prepare packaging for product labeling. These remove grease, oil, and dust, evaporate quickly, and they don’t leave any marks or residue.
  • Wait until labels reach room temperature – Hot or cold temperatures can cause problems with label adhesion. This is especially true if the adhesive isn’t specifically designed for that kind of use. Wait for them to reach room temperature whenever possible.

At Tach-IT, we have the automatic, semi-automatic, and manual label applicator products that make fast and easy to handle product labeling. Whether you’re adding new UPC labels or any other type of label to your packaging, we can help!

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