How does a barcode work?

A barcode is basically an inventory tracking tool used by retailers.  When you go to sell your product at a retailer (e.g. Best Buy, Costco, or Amazon.com), that retailer will have you fill out a product information form. On that form is where you will put your company and product details, as well as your 12-digit UPC barcode number. The retailer then manually enters that information into their inventory management computer. This way, when they scan your barcode at the register, it calls up that form in their system. In other words, the barcode is simply a link between your product and the product information form you fill out for each store that sells your product.

How Many Barcodes Do I Need?

A barcode is simply an inventory tracking tool that retailers use in their computer systems. For example, if you sell a t-shirt that comes in one color and 3 different sizes you would need to buy 3 barcodes. If the t-shirt comes in 2 sizes and 3 colors you would need 6 barcodes. This way, if one of the sizes is selling faster than the others, the store will be able to tell instantly which one needs to be replenished without having to do a manual shelf count. This same formula applies for all styles, colors, flavors, sizes or any other variation of your product. They all need their own unique barcode.

How does information get linked to my barcode?

There is no information stored or encrypted in a barcode. When you go to sell your product at a store, that store will have you fill out a basic product information form. On that form is where you will put your company and product details as well as your 12-digit UPC barcode number. The store then manually enters that information into their inventory management computer. This way, when they scan your barcode at the register, it calls up that form in their system. In other words, the barcode is simply a link between your product and the product information form you fill out for each store that sells your product.

Will the barcodes work for Amazon and their new requirements?

Yes, the barcodes work for Amazon. There is a great deal of misinformation about UPC barcodes and Amazon’s requirements in various Seller Forums. To be very clear, the barcodes we sell will work perfectly fine on Amazon. Cross-checking with the GS1 database is not something Amazon automatically does. This only occurs if you select an advanced option AFTER you list your products that says “Create My Own Brand.”  If you select that option, they offer cross-checking the GS1 database as one of 4 possible ways to verify your brand ownership. For some reason, Amazon has chosen to use misleading language on their website and it is causing a lot of unnecessary concerns.  If you simply do not check the advanced option of “Create My Own Brand” you will not have any issues whatsoever.

Will my barcodes work for any retail product?

Yes, all retail products in the United States (except for magazines and books) require what is called a UPC barcode. Whether you need a barcode for your t-shirt, CD, toaster, or whatever, our barcodes will work for you.

Will I ever have to pay renewal fees for my barcode?

No.  All of our barcode fees are one-time only and you never have to pay any renewal fees or future fees of any kind. Because we joined GS1 / U.C.C. in 1999, before they started charging renewal fees (August, 2002), we don’t have to pay renewal fees. Therefore, you don’t have to pay renewal fees.

Will my barcodes ever expire?

No, your barcodes will never expire. Once the barcodes are issued to you, they will never be issued to anyone else and they are yours for life.

Will a barcode I purchase on this web site be unique to me?

Yes. The barcode you purchase from this web site originates from GS1 and is guaranteed to be unique. You are the only person in the world who can legally use that barcode number.

Will my barcodes work outside the United States?

Yes, the barcodes will work anywhere that barcodes are scanned – which is most of the modern world. This includes Canada, Australia, the UK, Europe, Asia, Mexico, South America, the Middle East, and anywhere else that they use barcodes.

Why should I purchase barcodes from Buyabarcode.com?

Recommended by both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, Buyabarcode.com is the most trusted source to buy legitimate UPC Barcodes. Buyabarcode.com is also proud to be the main referral choice of Amazon.com, Whole Foods Markets, and many other leading retailers.

What are EAN barcodes?

The EAN barcode system is used outside of the U.S. and Canada and is 13 digits long. It is based upon the 12-digit UPC system with the simple addition of a single number that signifies a country code. The great thing about having a 12-digit UPC barcode is that it will work in any country in the world. Therefore, if you have a UPC barcode you do not need an EAN barcode.

I’m a returning customer but don’t have my login information. How can I access my account?

You can contact our customer service at 888-446-2633 to access the site as a returning customer. You will be asked to provide a barcode number you previously purchased. We will then give you a one-time special code so that you can use to obtain your returning customer benefits and create a new profile. Once your new profile is created, you will then be able to associate all your previously-purchased and new barcodes to a single, easy-to-manage account.

Can I print my barcode in anything other than black on white?

Yes, just be sure that you maintain a high contrast between your barcode color and the background color.

Are there any stores where my barcodes will not work?

The barcodes work at every store in the world except for 6 stores - Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, WalMart, Federated Group and Kroger’s. This is due to the fact that these 6 stores collectively own and operate GS1 (the place where all barcodes originate from.) In the application process for these six stores only, they require a copy of your GS1 receipt with your own company’s name on it. Unfortunately neither we, nor any other reseller of barcodes, can provide you with this document. If you intend to sell your product at either Walmart or Kroger’s, you must purchase your barcodes directly from GS1/UCC to get this document. The barcodes will work at any other stores in the world but these six stores.

Where can I get a barcode for my book or magazine?

Books use a special type of barcode based upon the book’s ISBN number, which is issued by the Library of Congress. These can be purchased at http://www.bowker.com. Magazines also require a special barcode with a Bipad number encrypted in it. These can be purchased at http://www.bipad.com.