Barcodes – What they are and how Enform can help.

Need Barcodes to Sell your Products Online?

If you’ve decided to take the next big step in your business plans and sell your products online, say, through Amazon, you will first need barcodes to identify your products. Companies looking to branch out into the Internet through online retailers would be wise to get barcodes. Amazon for one, requires that all major resellers should have barcodes for their products and brand.

Barcodes are seemingly random geometric patterns, coming usually in vertical lines, used to track and scan products or property. First used to keep track of railroad cars, barcodes first took off in popularity when they were used in commodity products in supermarkets and general retail stores. A more recent type of barcode is the QR code, which has gained traction in a time when virtually everyone has a smartphone.

barcodes help assistance

Barcode Types and How to Acquire Them

Two of the most common types of barcodes are Universal Product Code (UPC) and International Standard Book Number (ISBN). To get barcodes, businesses must first apply at the GS1 (Global Standards One), which assigns retailers their own ID number, which in turn appears in the first part of their 12-digit barcode (UPC).

Big companies usually require unique barcodes for each product they sell, even for the same products that come in different sizes. As such, businesses will have to add even more numbers to their GS1-issued ID codes as a means of identifying each and every one of their products. Different variations of the UPC can be used to produce unique barcodes that can serve as identifiers to products; these barcodes are then encoded into the product’s labels or design to allow the register to scan them.

QR code QRcode help barcode

example of a QR code

Barcode Types and How to Acquire Them

Two of the most common types of barcodes are Universal Product Code (UPC) and International Standard Book Number (ISBN). To get barcodes, businesses must first apply at the GS1 (Global Standards One), which assigns retailers their own ID number, which in turn appears in the first part of their 12-digit barcode (UPC).

Big companies usually require unique barcodes for each product they sell, even for the same products that come in different sizes. As such, businesses will have to add even more numbers to their GS1-issued ID codes as a means of identifying each and every one of their products. Different variations of the UPC can be used to produce unique barcodes that can serve as identifiers to products; these barcodes are then encoded into the product’s labels or design to allow the register to scan them.

How Much?

However, getting a barcode from the GS1 doesn’t come cheap. Membership in GS1 US for instance, requires applicants to cough up  $750, and then there’s the annual membership fee of $150. Do note that these fees will depend on the quantity of the products you’re selling, as well as your yearly revenue. (For a comprehensive look at GS1’s fee structure in Australia, click this link.)

GS1 barcode register help

Alternative Option

The good news is that small businesses don’t have to shell out close to a thousand dollars or more just to sell their wares, whether in their own stores or online. Many Internet-based companies actually resell UPC codes for far less than GS1’s fees—think less than $100. For small companies, this is a perfect setup, even if it comes with drawbacks.

For starters, buying your UPC code from an Internet company means that you’re not using your own ID codes—you’re using theirs. That means that your products’ 12-digit UPC codes will have that company’s numbers at the beginning of the UPC.

Of course, this shouldn’t be a problem if all you’re trying to do is sell a small line of products online. If you’re planning to sell with an online retailer, just make sure to read the fine print and see if they’re fine with your 3rd party barcodes.

However, you can expect to run into a spot of trouble if you want to sell products through major retailers, as they generally want companies to sell their wares stamped with their own identification numbers.

How We Can Help

Enform can provide you with assistance in getting your own barcodes to sell your products online. We not only make sure your products can be found on the Internet, we can even take steps to ensure that you will be featured on search engines like Google.