How to Easily Buy Barcodes

By Erik Quisling

Buying a barcode should be a fairly simple and hassle-free process. If you are considering purchasing a barcode, the first step is to determine whether you require a unique retail barcode. This is most often the case if you have a retail product, as the majority of retail stores require products in their stores to have barcodes on the packaging. Some online barcode sellers may also require barcodes for logistical purposes. It is best to contact your retailers before proceeding to purchase barcodes. 


You should next determine if you need a UPC barcode or an EAN barcode. Generally, UPC barcodes are used in the United States and EAN barcodes are used in most other countries. This means if you are mainly selling in the United States, you should get a UPC barcode and if you are mainly selling outside the US, you should purchase an EAN barcode. After you determine the type of barcode you need, you will need to find a trustworthy and reputable barcode seller which supplies the ones you require.


How Many Barcodes Do You Need?

Your next step will be determining how many barcodes you need. Purchasing barcodes via online seller like gives you the flexibility to buy any amount you need, although buying in bulk will save you more money per barcode. You will need one barcode for each individual product and additional barcodes for product variations, such as color and size. As an example of determining the quantity of barcodes needed, let's say you are selling a sweater in two colors (red and green) and two sizes (small and large). Each combination of color and size requires a unique barcode, which means that you would need to purchase four barcodes in this case. This way, if one of the colors or sizes is selling faster than other ones, you can simply look on your computer to see what variation needs to be restocked without having to do a manual shelf count.


Once you purchase your barcodes from an online seller, they will promptly send the barcode image to you, along with the UPC or EAN number. From there, you can begin using your barcode and incorporate it into your product packaging.

– 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.
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