Are There Alternatives to GS1?

Barcodes Explained (Part 6)

Now that you know the history of barcodes and why they are so important, it is time to get your UPC barcode for your products. However, as I mentioned in my previous blog, it may be discouraging to learn the cost of purchasing these barcodes directly from GS1. Don’t worry. There is a solution.

(Now I can actually toot my own horn a bit.)

I originally became “The Barcode Guru” back in 1999 when I started I was fortunate to be the first to figure out a simple way to circumvent GS1’s monopoly without bringing chaos back into the inventory system. We were even featured in both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post as an alternative to GS1. You can read more about our history here.

For now, let me answer your questions about purchasing barcodes.

First of all, it is very important that all barcodes originate from GS1. However, it is not necessary to purchase them directly from GS1, as long as the company you are purchasing your barcodes from originally purchased their barcodes from GS1. For example, at my company, all of the barcodes we sell come directly from GS1. We also know that our barcodes have never been used before. We know when we sell you a barcode, you can take it into 99.9% of all stores in the world and it will work perfectly.

Why only 99.9% you might ask? Well, as you may have suspected, it has to do with Wal-Mart and the other 6 stores who own GS1. With the growing success of, Wal-Mart and its partners added a requirement to anyone wanting to sell products in their stores. They must provide a receipt as proof they purchased their barcodes directly from GS1 and not This way, they can help protect their lucrative barcode business.

So, plainly stated, if you want to sell your products in Wal-Mart and its 6 partners you do actually need to deal directly with GS1. These partners include Target, Kroger’s, Costco, Home Depot, Lowes, and the Federated Group.

However, if you are not intending to sell at these 7 stores anytime in the near future, there is absolutely no need to go to GS1. Instead, you are able to take advantage of the services and savings you will get from

We also give you the option of buying just one barcode at a time, if that is all you need. GS1, in comparison, makes entrepreneurs buy a minimum of 100 barcodes. If you purchase through them, you will have to spend anywhere from a minimum of $750 up to $15,000 for your block of 100 barcodes. This is because GS1 bases what they charge you on what you tell them your future estimated annual revenues are going to be. This also does not include their annual renewal fees which can range from $150 to $3,500! For a small business owner, this price is daunting, especially after using the majority of your money to produce your product. takes that problem away. The barcodes you purchase through us will never expire and we have no annual renewal fees.

Also, just a word of caution, beware of bootleggers! With any business, you will have a few people out there that try to scam you out of your hard-earned money. These thieves are providing invalid barcodes, proving to be an even bigger frustration for entrepreneurs. is a TRUSTED, LEGITIMATE source for your barcodes. We guarantee you will receive a 100% unique and GS-1 authorized barcode.

I hope this “Barcodes Explained” series has helped clarify any questions you had about barcodes and selling your products in stores. Be sure to check out the entire blog series.

Hope your day is prosperous and Happy Barcoding!

If you need more information on Amazon barcodes, please visit our page:

Planning to sell your products on eBay? Visit this page:

For more information on Best Buy barcodes, please visit this page:

To learn more about UPC barcodes for Jet, visit our page:

– Erik Quisling

Erik Quisling is the Founder and CEO of Started in 1999, has been featured in both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and has helped more than 100,000 businesses bring their products to market with barcodes.