Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find an answer to your questions, please contact us

A barcode is an image designed to represent a concise amount of information that can then be conveniently read by a barcode scanner or cell phone application. Though barcodes are available in numerous shapes and formats, they are mostly visible on retail items to retrieve price and product details during checkout. In this case the barcode is simply a 12 or 13 digit number encoded as an image.
Developed by George Laurer in the 1970s, the barcode system is a universal system for tracking items and prices in inventory systems worldwide. It is now used by almost every retailer in the world and works on the premise that each barcode is associated with only one product, so in any one store there is no chance of a barcode being on two different products. This system incorporates both UPC-A numbers and the superset EAN-13 Numbers.
While we can supply a wide variety of both retail (UPC-A & EAN-13) and non-retail barcodes, we mainly supply EAN-13 retail barcodes. These are the barcodes used most commonly on all retail products outside of the USA (with the exception of books and magazines). Our numbers come from the same original system as GS1 numbers, however are now outside of GS1’s control. Therefore we are able to sell these for a one-off cost.
The short answer is yes, usually. – The vast majority of retailers find it much easier if products entering their stores have barcodes on them, many retailers require barcodes. This means that barcodes open the door to retailers and allow you to extend the availability of your product. If you only sell your product in your own store and do not intend to sell it elsewhere, you can choose not to use barcodes on your products. Alternatively, you can label all your products with non-retail barcodes, which may be cheaper. This is because if the products are only for your own internal use, they don’t need to be part of the ‘barcoding system’.
– Both UPC-A and EAN-13 barcodes are used in retail stores worldwide, however the 12-digit UPC-A codes are most common in the USA, while EAN-13 barcodes are most common in all other countries. In terms of actual encoding, these barcodes are very similar, in fact a UPC-A barcode can be encoded as an EAN-13 barcode by adding a ‘0’ to the front. In this case, the image or bars of the barcode will be exactly the same as the UPC-A barcode. Barcode scanners can generally read both types of barcodes, but it is recommended that if your product is only (or mainly) going to the USA, you get a UPC-A barcode. If your product will be sold in other countries, an EAN-13 barcode is best.

Please see our Difference Between UPC-A and EAN-13 Page for more details.

It’s better to use a unique barcode for each product or variation. The reason being, shops use barcodes for two main reasons: 1. Barcodes help cashiers obtain the product’s cost when it’s scanned at the tills. 2. Barcodes assist in managing stock by determining when to request more items.

If retailers only use barcodes for option 1, you can use the same barcode for two variations of a product, such as different colours. However, if they use barcodes for option 2 as well, each product variation will need a different barcode.

Retailers prefer to stock products that are easy to manage. Some shops may not want to sell goods if they have to count manually how many are left of each size and then buy new ones. So, it’s better to have a distinct barcode for every type of product variation.

The only types of retail products that do not use EAN-13 Barcodes are Books and Magazines. All other products used EAN-13 or UPC-A Barcodes – You can purchase there here.
Our barcodes are accepted in almost all stores across the world, with only a few exceptions. The Super Cheap Retail Group and Woolworths Australia Central Branches in Australia, as well as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Krogers, Fred Mayers, Macy’s & JC Penney’s in the USA and Super Retail Group and Foodstuffs Auckland and Wellington Branches (only on food products), are the only stores we know of that do not accept our barcode numbers. We have sold tens of thousands of these barcode numbers to various stores without any issues, except for those few stores.

We can also organize third-party reports that certify that our barcodes are valid in more shops than any other retailer.

For more information on which stores do not accept our barcode and which require verification reports, please see Barcode Acceptance.

We cannot guarantee this – no barcode company can. Retailers can choose their own barcode requirements, even if they do not make sense. These requirements may also change. Nevertheless, we have sold thousands of barcodes globally and are certain that stores, excluding those mentioned, will accept our barcode numbers. If you are unsure, feel free to contact us to query particular stores.
If you purchase 1 barcode number, then you will not be supplied with a company prefix (no barcode company supplies this). However if you purchase in lots of 10, 100, 1000, or 10,000 barcodes from us, they will come with a unique company prefix.
A retail barcode is simply a unique number encoded as an image. As such does it not hold any product or company details. Upon arriving in stores, the product information is linked to the barcode in the store’s scanning system. Thus, when the barcode is scanned, the computer accesses the related product information.
You can order a barcode here. EAN-13 barcodes are the first option available. After you proceed to check-out you can elect to pay by credit card or pay through PayPal. Once payment has been made, we will email you through your barcode with the images as attached files. If you would like to pay by bank transfer or via another alternate method then please email us.
Once you receive your barcode number with the images as attached files, you can simply incorporate them into your product packaging or have them printed onto adhesive labels. You can resize the barcode before doing this if you wish, however you should be aware of the barcode dimensions. When a retailer receives your barcode and product they will scan the barcode into the system and enter the product information so that when the barcode is scanned after this point the product information will automatically appear.
Yes they will. We can supply both EAN-13 Barcodes (which are used worldwide) and UPC-A Barcodes (for use in the USA and Canada). Our barcodes are currently being used in the following countries worldwide. This list is growing all the time:

Europe – Belgium, Bulgaria, The Channel Islands, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom.

North America / Caribbean – The USA, Canada, The Bahamas, Barbados, Curaçao, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago.

Central / South America – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela

Australasia – Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Micronesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu

Asia – Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

Africa – Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

The Middle East – Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine (Gaza Strip), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE.

We assure you that the barcode numbers we sell are entirely new and have never been sold or used before. Our numbers are exceptional and come from the Uniform Code Council (now called GS1 US). We provide certificates of guarantee, which can serve as evidence that you are the rightful owner of the barcode number. Furthermore, we have received a written guarantee from the company who supplied these barcodes that they are intended for our resale only – the same company that George Laurer (the UPC Barcode inventor) recommends. Additionally, we review our figures for unlawful online activity before selling to guarantee that they are not being used illegally during purchase.
No, once you purchase a barcode from us, it is yours for life, and you are free to use it how you wish. We have a selection of barcodes that do not require annual fees as they are outside of GS1’s control now. We pass this benefit onto the consumer.
In the 1990s, GS1 became established worldwide and granted their members access to 13 digit barcode numbers. Membership and joining fees were applicable, as we previously discussed. On the other hand, the Uniform Code Council (UCC) in the USA provided their members with 12 digit barcode numbers for a one-off cost, without ongoing license fees. The UCC was effectively in competition with GS1. Their 12-digit numbers were essentially a part of the 13-digit system.

During the late 1990s, UCC merged with GS1, which then became GS1-US. This merger led to the decision of introducing annual license fees for each member, including those who had paid a one-time charge for barcode numbers in the 1990s. Many members were unhappy about the new annual license fees, and as a result, a group of them filed a class-action lawsuit against GS1. The members won a court case in the early 2000s, leading to a multimillion-pound compensation payout by GS1. Moreover, this case demonstrated that the original numbers given out by the UCC in the 1990s are no longer under GS1’s control, hence no licensing fees are needed. These are numbers bought by resellers and subsequently sold. They are ‘new’ numbers since they have never been used on any retail products and are part of the GS1 system.

The official standard size of an EAN-13 barcode is 37.3×25.9mm – This can be officially reduce to 80% of the size (around 20x30mm) or enlarged to 200% the size. It is dependent on the retailer as the whether you can get away with a smaller or bigger size however if you require verification reports then you should adhere to the standards as the barcode will not pass verification otherwise. It is always a good idea to do a test scan of your barcode before sending it to stores. Please see Barcode Dimensions for the official standards.
No – there is no up to date official database for barcodes to be registered (neither nationally or internationally). Barcode registration is not required. Instead it is up to resellers and GS1 to ensure that each number is only sold once and up to manufacturers (you) to ensure that each barcode is only allocated to one product. We offer an optional barcode registration service which has various different advantages.
– George Laurer invented the 12 digit UPC-A Barcode system when he was working for IBM. He is supportive of reseller barcode numbers like ours and does not like the way GS1 has decided to restrict entry to the market by charging high fees.
The International Barcodes Network was formed in order to increase the availability of reseller barcodes and barcode information worldwide. They do this by providing local offices where local licensees, who know their individual markets, provide reseller barcode numbers for a reasonable price in the client’s native language.
Yes, It is possible to print your barcode in something other than black and white, depending on the colours you use. For more information please see our Barcode Colour Guide IBN 2016.
– Books use ISBN Barcodes (International Standard Book Numbers). This means that to get an ISBN Barcode an ISBN Number first needs to be obtained. Information on obtaining an ISBN number can be obtained here.
– Magazines use ISSN Barcodes (International Standard Serial Number). To obtain one of these, an 8-digit ISSN Number first needs to be obtained. This can then be changed into a 13-digit barcode – or various other styles including a 13+2 format for separate editions etc. For information and purchasing of ISSN numbers or barcodes, please see our Magazine barcode page.
– Global location numbers are globally unique numbers which are used by some retailers as a location identifier for suppliers.
Our barcodes begin with a ’07’. This means that the barcodes themselves originally come from the USA, however, this says nothing about the origin of the products themselves. Products from any country can use barcodes from the USA and vice versa. NOTE that the ‘country code’ says NOTHING about the country of origin of the product – it ONLY shows the country of origin of the BARCODE NUMBER.

If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us. If you are ready to purchase your barcodes you can do this here. Or here for CD barcodes, DVD barcodes, ISBN book barcodes and ISSN magazine barcodes.