The above is a copy of the 1996 letter sent to me, Daniel Kamen (Three Boys Press, now Vetrolaser LLC) from the Uniform Code Council officially welcoming me as a participant in the Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) program. (I covered up my prefix which was on the upper right hand side)
BE WARY OF RESELLERS WHO SELL UPC BARCODES FOR RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICES.
I won't mention any companies by name, but there are some out there who sell UPC barcodes for under two dollars. Do You Really Want To Buy From Them?
HERE'S WHY YOU SHOULD BE CAREFUL WHO YOU BUY FROM
Most UPC barcode resellers, like myself, started off in another business where they needed to generate UPC barcodes for their own products. My original product was a book on animal chiropractic I was going to self publish under my publishing company, Three Boys Press. I was going to handle the marketing as well, so I needed only a single barcode, but instead I decided to buy a much more expensive six digit prefix from the Uniform Code Council, a company that was later bought out by GS1. This six digit prefix allowed me to generate up to 100,000 UPC barcodes. I don't know why I thought I would ever need a hundred thousand barcodes. But in 2002, the UCC changed the agreement for those wishing to buy prefixes and started charging an annual renewal fee, even to those who bought the prefixes prior to 2002. A class action lawsuit was filed against the UCC and the UCC lost and settled for almost 3.9 million dollars. Here is a partial synopsis of that lawsuit:
The settlement provides that: 1. If you paid a membership fee to UCC prior to August 28, 2002, you will be entitled to perpetual membership in UCC and not be obligated to pay annual renewal fees to UCC, either now or in the future, as a condition for continued membership in UCC, or as a condition for your continued use of the company prefix issued to you before August 28, 2002. However, this does not apply to any company prefix(es) issued to you by UCC after August 28, 2002. 2. If you are such a member, UCC's "licensing agreement" --which pertains to your company prefix and accompanied UCC's renewal invoice-- will be declared null and void.
Getting back to the low cost resellers. First, we sell barcodes from one source only; our original six digit prefix under the name Three Boys Press (now Vetrolaser LLC) which we own outright. Once our 100,000 barcodes are sold, minus the few we use ourself on Amazon.com, we won't have any more to sell. All the bargains will be had--by you. But there are other resellers out there who troll UCC's old database and buy prefixes on the cheap that are owned by other small companies. Some of these companies were tricked into selling their prefix not knowing its value. These sneaky resellers now have millions of these 'other people's' barcodes to sell. Only....these other prefixes were not the original assets of the sneaky resellers. It isn't clear if this is legal or if it violates any GS1 agreements. And that could be a problem, especially for the retailers who bought UPC barcodes from these sneaky resellers. It could be the retailers may be using bogus barcodes and may have to start all over with new barcodes. Some bargain. That could cause a lot of confusion, and cost these retailers a lot of money and heartache. Yeah, you can buy these two dollar barcodes from one of these suspect companies, but what are you really buying? Beware.
Buy from us and you'll have peace of mind knowing you bought a legal barcode from the original prefix owner. And we're just talking about a few dollars more.
With your order you will be emailed a copy of the 1996 letter sent to us by the Uniform Code Council which proves we own the six digit prefix. Along with that letter you will get a transfer of ownership certificate from Vetrolaser LLC listing the barcodes your bought. Click "About Us" which can be found in small letters at the bottom. There you will see a copy of the 1996 letter sent to me by the Uniform Code Council proving I own my six digit prefix (prefix covered up for security reasons).
Important: ALL sales are final. We cannot offer refunds once someone buys our barcodes. This prevents duplication. Once a barcode is "out there" we don't want anyone else to use it, even by mistake. So please, make sure you want these barcodes before you buy.
At your request, you will also receive, at no additional charge, a barcode graphic for each barcode you buy (similar to the barcode example near the top of this page). You can even specify the dimensions of the barcode graphic you want. Most Amazon sellers don't need the graphic, just the number, but it is available if you want it.
We maintain a complete database of all barcodes sold to prevent duplication.
My Business History