We've taken the plunge. ... We're getting a UPC symbol. To do so requires signing up with the GS1.org. I don't know how they can call themselves a ".org" when their fees are so incredibly high for very little service. Maybe they do provide some services, but I certainly don't see the justification for a "membership" fee of $1600 for a small company that just needs a few UPC codes. The whole thing is a huge scam. They recommend you getting the UPC codes printed by professional companies, but concede that you can just print it on your home laser printer. They also sell their mailing list. There is an opt-in or opt-out for the mailing list, but I'm sure they make a hefty sum just with the mailing list. Really, if it's a non-profit "dot org," then they must have billions in their coiffures or be extremely inefficient.
Amazon.com is requiring UPC symbols for the new products we want to sell on there now. So that's the immediate reason we're getting it. Plus, we will probably have some retail agreements coming up in the next few months. If any of the agreements are with big companies, we will definitely need the UPC symbols. I suppose it also adds legitimacy.
Oh, just in case you were thinking of just doing a Google search on UPC, you may see a list of companies that will give you UPC symbols. They may not be legitimate companies. Some are just UPC printers — again, you can print your own. You don't need a special printer. Some will sell invalid symbols. So the proper way to go is with the rip-off GS1. It's like with filing patents — there's no cheap way of going about it. You have to do it properly, the first time.