We decided to bite the bullet and get UPC codes for our drawer dividers when I found that we could purchase legit codes for $6 a piece. That way we can get our products into the Home and Garden store at Amazon (where a UPC is required) and out of the Office category (where a UPC is NOT required).
So, if you're thinking of selling a product in a retail establishment that requires a UPC code, don't take Amazon's support's their word that a single code will cost around $89. By shopping around, you'll find that you can spend hundreds of dollars on a single UPC through GS1 (formerly the UCC, Uniform Code Council) or much less through a UPC reseller. According to George J. Laurer, the inventor of the UPC, GS1 has grown too big for its britches (my paraphrase), and is now requiring initiation fees and yearly dues in addition to UPC purchase fees (which are determined by the answers you provide to their nosey questions about your projected earnings, etc.) Sheesh!
Luckily for little guys like you and me, some forward thinking individuals/companies made bulk UPC purchases years ago, and their numbers do not fall under these post-2002 guidelines and extraneous fees. They are available for a single low purchase price, with no annual fees, no questions, and the numbers will be yours for keeps.
I know, I know. I was skeptical too until one supplier pointed me to Laurer's personal website where he explains the whole messy situation and links out to legitimate resellers that he has personally checked out. That's how I found Bar Codes Talk, Inc.
After making my purchase, I was supplied with my UPC numbers and a copy of my supplier's certificate from the UCC. More importantly, Amazon is recognizing my numbers as legit.
A downside of all this is that switching stores within Amazon will make us lose our reviews and the beloved buy box. Concerning the buy box, I've been told that we should win it back within a month at the most.