Practically every item you purchase in a store has a barcode or Universal Product Code (UPC) on it. The code consists of a series of varying stripes readable by store scanners, known as the barcode, and a 12-digit series of numbers readable by humans, known as the UPC. You may find no rhyme or reason to the codes, but if you're familiar with them, there's a pattern which allows you to determine which company the barcode belongs to.
Locate the barcode on your product, often on the bottom or side.
Turn on your computer, connect to the Internet. Click "Start" and "Internet Explorer" to open your browser.
Type in the address of a UPC search site such as "checkupc.com," "gepir.org," or "upcdatabase.com."
Type all 12 numbers from your barcode into the search box, including any small numbers to the left or right of the larger numbers.
Click "Search." The company information appears on your screen. The information may include the company name and contact information, the product name, the country the product originated in and a modification date.
If you have trouble locating the information on one UPC search site, try another. They are not all created equal, and what you can't find on one will most likely show up on another.
- pencil and barcode image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from Fotolia.com