2. Select a Question to View the Answer
Q. What is a Bar Code?
A. A bar code, also known as a UPC (Universal Product Code), is simply a unique 12-digit number that allows retailers to easily track sales of your product within their inventory system.Q. How Do UPC/EAN Bar Codes Work?
A. When you go to sell your product at a retailer (i.e. Target, 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 bar code number. The retailer then manually enters that information into their inventory management computer. This way, when they scan your bar code at the register, it calls up that form in their system and gives you credit for the sale. In other words, the bar code is simply a link between your product and the product information form you fill out for each store that sells your product.Q. Why Isn’t My Company Name Coming Up When Scanned by My Smartphone?
A. Until you upload your product to Amazon, Google Merchant Center, or a database that your specific smartphone scanner application is using, it will pull directly from GS1’s GEPIR Database. This information is outdated and doesn’t record the current owner of that specific UPC/EAN number.Q. I Can’t Open the Bar Code Package I Have Downloaded.
A. Most computers can open ZIP files. Sometimes computers have freeware called WinZip installed on them that try to trick you into paying but normally you can just click “No Thanks” and continue opening the file. If you are having difficulties opening our package, we highly recommend downloading WinRar “Download Here” Once this is installed you shouldn’t have any issues opening Zip Files.
Q. What is an EAN?
A. EAN originally stood for "European Article Number," though it has since been re-termed "International Article Number." It refers to the bar code system used outside of Canada and the United States. EANs and UPCs are essentially identical to one another except that an EAN contains 13 digits whereas a UPC has only 12. The extra digit makes up part of the country code and refers to where the bar code was registered. The country code has no bearing on where the product itself was manufactured.Q. If I Already Have a UPC do I Need to Purchase an EAN?
A. If you already have a UPC bar code, you can sell your product in most locations that use EAN codes. Some international stores only accept EANs, which means it’s a good idea to check with the retailer in advance. When your purchase your codes from Bar Codes Talk we provide you with both versions.Q. If I Already Have an EAN do I Need to Purchase a UPC?
A. If you already have an EAN bar code and you plan to sell your product outside Canada or the United States, you don’t need anything else.
If you plan to sell your product within Canada or the United States, you should be able to do so with an existing EAN. In 2005, American retailers were scheduled to adjust their systems to recognize EANs as well as UPCs; however, not all retailers complied. To be certain, we recommend contacting the store in advance or just purchasing a new UPC.
Q. Do I Have to Have a Bar Code in Order to Sell My Product in a Store?
A. If the store uses bar codes, (which most do), then yes – your items have to have them too.Q. Will My Bar Code Work in Every Store?
A. Yes, except for a handful of retailers including Walmart, Sam's Club, Kroger Family Grocery Stores, Fred Meyer, Macy's and Bloomingdale's. Many of these stores are on the Board of Governors for GS1 US and mandate that you provide a copy of your GS1 US certificate along with your bar code(s). Bar Codes Talk will give you an Authentic Certificate of Ownership stating that you legally own your numbers; however, we can’t give you a GS1 US certificate.
*While these stores are the most notable, this is not a definitive list and stores can change their internal rules at any time without notice.Q. Do I Have to Have a Bar Code in Order to Sell My Product Online?
A. Only if the online retailer requests it.Q. Will My Bar Code Work with Amazon?
A. Yes! Amazon.com and Amazon.ca accept our UPCs and Amazon.co.uk accepts our EANs.
Q. Will my Bar Code Work in a Country Other Than the United States?
A. Yes. Your bar codes will work anywhere that UPC or EAN bar codes are scanned. This includes most of Canada, Australia, Europe, Asia, Mexico, South America and the Middle East.Q. Will My Bar Code be Unique to Me?
A. Yes. Our bar codes originate from GS1 US and are guaranteed to be one of a kind. You are the only person in the world who can legally use the bar code number(s) you purchase.Q. Do I Need a Separate Bar Code for Every Product?
A. Yes. You also need a different code for every variation of a product (e.g. size, color). For instance, if you sell a shirt that comes in three sizes you need three different bar codes. That way, if one size starts to sell faster than the others, the store can tell what needs to be restocked without having to do a manual inventory count. If a shirt comes in three different colors as well as three different sizes, you’ll need nine separate bar code numbers.Q. Will My Bar Code Work with Any Product?
A. Almost. With the exception of magazines, books and pharmaceuticals, all retail products in the United States use the same type of bar code.Q. What Type of Code do I Need to Sell a Book?
A. Books often require an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). An ISBN and a scannable bar code are separate items. Bookstores always require ISBNs, but if you’re planning on selling your book elsewhere it’s worth your while to determine whether the retailer will accept a UPC or EAN bar code instead.
If you purchase an ISBN and need it converted into a scannable bar code, Bar Codes Talk can do that for you. Contact Us! If your retailer will accept a UPC or EAN bar code, we can supply you with everything you need.
ISBNs must be purchased in your country of residence. If you live in the United States, you can buy them here: http://isbn.org/standards/home/index.aspQ. What Type of Code do I Need to Sell a Magazine?
A. Like books, magazines are sometimes sold with regular UPCs or EANs; however, they often require special codes with 5-digit BIPAD numbers. As BIPADs are significantly more expensive than regular bar codes, it’s worth contacting your retailer in advance to see what they specify.
To apply for a BIPAD go to: www.bipad.com. If your retailer doesn’t require a BIPAD number, Bar Codes Talk can supply bar codes for your magazines!Q. Do I Have to do Anything After I Receive My Bar Code?
A. No. Just be prepared to provide it to your retailer so they can add you to their inventory system.
Q. Will My Bar Codes Ever Expire?
A. No. Once your bar codes are issued to you, they're yours for life. There are no future fees.Q. Will I Have to Pay Renewal Fees?
A. No. All our fees are one time only.Q. Why Are You So Inexpensive Compared to Other Resellers? What's the Catch?
A. No catch! We bought our bar codes in a bulk quantity from GS1 US, so we’re able to sell them to you in whatever denomination you need. Even better, we purchased our bar codes before renewal fees were implemented. Since we don't pay renewal fees – you don’t pay renewal fees!
Basic QuestionsQ. Will My Bar Code Be Scannable?
A. Yes. As long as you don’t alter the digital artwork and you print it at a resolution of 300 dpi or higher, your bar code will be scannable.Q. Can I Print My Bar Code in Anything Other Than Black on White?
A. Yes, but the standard is black and white and many stores require that combination. If you choose to use a different option, it’s important that you always maintain a high degree of contrast between the code and its background. Never use the color red or any type of pastel.Q. I Don't Have a Good Home Printer, But I Need My Bar Codes ASAP. Is There Any Other Option?
A. Yes! In fact, there are two options:
1. Request a RUSH order. We’ll mail your labels via UPS – Next Day Air to get them to you on the double.
2. Send us the contact information for your local commercial printer and we’ll arrange to send your file directly to them. Make sure you remember to tell them its coming!Q. What Size Will My Bar Codes be When I Print Them?
A. 1.5 x 1.0 inches. We recommend printing on labels large enough to allow for ¼ inch margins on the left and right sides.Q. Can I Change the Size of My Bar Codes?
A. Yes. We provide you with jpg, tiff and eps versions of your bar codes. If you need to adjust the size of the image, we strongly recommend that you work with the eps file so that there is no loss of image quality (use Adobe Illustrator or a similar professional layout program).Q. Do You Sell Bar Code Scanners? How About Printers or Printing Software?
A. No. We specialize in supplying the bar codes themselves.
Printing YourselfQ. Will the Digital Bar Code Artwork included in my Bar Code Number Package be scannable?
A. Yes. As long as you don’t alter the digital artwork and you print it at a resolution of 300 dpi or higher, so your bar code will be scannable. We always recommend running a test scan before printing in quantity.Q. Can I print the Digital Bar Code Artwork included in my Bar Code Number Package in anything other than black on White?
A. Yes, however the industry standard is black and white and many stores require that combination. If you choose to use a different option, it’s important that you always maintain a high degree of contrast between the code and its background. Never use the color red or any type of pastel. Remember to verify with the store you plan on selling to before printing.Q. I don't have a good home printer, but I need my bar codes printed ASAP. Is There Any Other Option?
A. Yes! In fact, there are two options:
1. Request a RUSH order. We’ll mail your labels via UPS – Next Day Air to get them to you on the double.
2. Send us the contact information for your local commercial printer and we’ll arrange to send your file directly to them. Make sure you remember to tell them so they can expect it!Q. What size will the Digital Bar Code Artwork included in my Bar Code Number Package be When I Print Them?
A. 1.5 x 1.0 inches. We recommend printing on labels large enough to allow for ¼ inch margins on the left and right sides.Q. Can I Change the Size of the Digital Bar Code Artwork included in my Bar Code Number Package?
A. Yes. We provide you with jpg, tiff and eps versions of your bar codes. If you need to adjust the size of the image, we strongly recommend that you work with the eps file so that there is no loss of image quality (use Adobe Illustrator or a similar professional layout program). Due to the required skills for using these programs, we will be unable to assist you in resizing. We can however create custom bar code artwork for a small fee. Please contact us for more information.Q. Do You Sell Bar Code Scanners?
A. No, We specialize in supplying the bar code numbers and printed labels themselves.Q. Can you recommend printing software or equipment?
A. No, due to the sheer number of software programs and equipment types out there we do not currently recommend any specific product. We currently only specialize in supplying bar code numbers and labels. It is up to you to find programs and equipment that best suit your needs and the needs of your company.
Laser and Thermal Transfer PrintingQ. I need to order labels. How does the process work?
A. Please visit our Labels and Tags section of our website at: http://www.barcodestalk.com/labels-rolls-laser-sheets-and-tags
From there you will be able to chose from an array of different sizes and layouts that allow you to customize how you would like your label to look.
If at any point you do not see an option or layout that you want please don’t hesitate to call our label department at 1-877-263-1343 Ext. 2 and we will gladly work to accommodate your needs.Q.What will you print my labels on?
A. We print bar code labels in a variety of different sizes on three types of stock:
See the downloadable Custom Label Catalog for a complete look at what we offer for custom labels.Q. What are Tags?
A. Tags are labels printed on rolls using a thicker card stock.
Tags are available in two sizes; Tag “A”: 1.5” x .1.375” and Tag “E”: 2.75” x 1.375”
Tag A has its application hole centered on the left side of the label.
Tag E has its application hole centered at the top of the label.
They are ideal for use on clothing apparel and can be affixed to the product by string, plastic tag, or pin.Q. What is the difference between a “Sheet” and a “Roll”?
A. The only differences between adhesive labels on rolls and sheets are the user application process and the print quality.
Rolls, which include tags, are printed using a thermal printing process, while sheets are printed using a laser printing process.
All of our labels are guaranteed to scan; however, sheets will look more crisp than rolls due to the laser printing process.Q. What methods of printing do you use?
A. Thermal Transfer Printing and Laser Printing
Rolls are always printed using a thermal printing process. Sheets are always printed using a laser printing process.Q. I don’t see the layout I want for my label?
A. Contact us!
There are seemingly endless options when designing a layout, far too many to have on our website. We are always willing to accommodate any layout our customer has so please give us a call and we will gladly create a custom template for your label design.Q. How come your prices are so much cheaper than other companies out there?
A. We are a leading competitor of printed labels and have been around for over 10 years. We have a fully integrated and automated system in which allows us to print each order with guaranteed accuracy and speed. This process saves us money, and since we save money, you save money!
Our Custom Labels division is also competitively priced. Although this process is much more complicated and costly, years of working directly with customers has allowed us to speed up the process and come to a cost-effective solution for our customers.Q. What is the price for printed labels?
A. For Direct Thermal and Laser Printing our prices are listed here.
For Custom Labels - Prices vary depending on the size, shape, colors, stock and many other factors of your label.
For an accurate quote, please fill out our Custom Order Quote Submission Form here: http://www.barcodestalk.com/custom-labels#orderformQ. What size label do I need?
A. This is completely up to you. Every label we print with a barcode on it is verified and guaranteed to scan.
Some things to consider:
Our most popular size is the 1.50” x 0.75” label.
For ISBNs and labels being placed on magazines and/or books the most popular size is the 2.00” x 1.00” label.
The size of your product will be a crucial factor in your label size choice.
The smallest label we offer is a 1.00” x 0.50” label that is only available on Laser Sheets. This is most commonly used on small items such as pens.
The largest label we have is a 4.00” x 2.00” label most commonly used on boxes and for shipping container barcode labels.
Q. Why Should I Purchase UPC Bar Codes From Bar Codes Talk Instead of Going Directly to GS1 ?
A. All bar codes must originate from GS1 (formerly the U.C.C.) However, if you purchase them directly from GS1 you have to buy a minimum of 100 bar codes at a time at a minimum charge of $750. Plus they will additionally charge you an annual renewal fee of at least $150.
Our company has already purchased the bar codes in bulk from GS1 and we simply sell them off one at a time. This way, if you only need a small quantity of bar codes, you can get exactly what you need from us at a much lower price. Also, since we joined the GS1 in 1994, which is 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.Q. What's Your Return Policy?
A. We don’t permit returns on our bar codes simply due to the nature of the product. However, we do guarantee that each number we sell will work as advertised.