How many UPC Barcodes do I need?
Barcodes Explained (Part 3)
This question is perhaps the easiest of all to answer (though it will require that you have at least 3rd grade math skills).
It should now be clear that barcodes are a simple and convenient way for retailers to keep track of their inventory. With a computerized barcode inventory system, retailers no longer have to pay someone to perform tedious manual shelf counts of all of their products. It is as simple as doing a quick search on their computer to find out their inventory needs. This is why it is so important that each different product has a different barcode. So, to answer the question of how many barcodes do you need, I will give you a couple of quick examples. (FYI, in these examples you could substitute the words flavors, styles, or colors and they would work just the same.)
Example 1: If you sell a plain red t-shirt that comes in 3 different sizes you would need to buy 3 barcodes. This way, if one of the sizes is selling faster than the others, the store will be able to tell instantly through their computerized inventory system which one needs to be replenished.
Example 2: If you sell 2 different styles of t-shirts (a plain red and a plain blue t-shirt) and each color comes in 3 different sizes, you would need to buy 6 different barcodes (2 x 3 = 6).
Example 3: You have just recorded your first CD and you had 1,000 copies of your CD printed up. You would only need one barcode. You always keep the same barcode on the same product, no matter what type of product it is. However, each additional new CD you record in the future will also need its own unique barcode.
I hope this brief explanation answers your question. If you still have other common questions about barcodes or simply want to know more about the history of barcodes, please see my other blogs on this subject.
Hope your day is prosperous and Happy Barcoding!
– Erik Quisling
Erik Quisling is the Founder and CEO of Buyabarcode.com. Started in 1999, Buyabarcode.com 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.