Do I need a barcode?
Virtually all retailers both on and offline depend on barcodes for managing their pricing, ordering, sales figures and inventory systems. Since first being implemented in 1974 a unique barcode number has become a commonplace requirement for retailers all over the globe. To ensure that your product can reach the widest market available it is highly recommended that you purchase a barcode for your product.
How many barcodes do I need?
A UPC/EAN-13 number is required for each unique product that you sell. Variations of a product also require a unique barcode to meet specifications of retailers. For example, if you sell clothing in different sizes and colours then a separate barcode would be required for each variation i.e. Small, Medium, Large, Red, Blue, Green etc would all require a unique code.
How do barcodes work?
When you supply a product to a retailer, you will be required to complete a product information form which links your product and company details to the unique barcode number. The retailer will transfer this information into their sales/inventory system allowing your product to be scanned at point-of-sale and to be monitored by stock tracking software.
Will all retail stores accept my barcode?
All barcodes sold by Oz Barcodes are guaranteed to be unique, originate with the UCC (now known as GS1) and will be accepted by a vast majority of retail stores within Australia and throughout the world. We always encourage you to contact retailers you intend to supply and enquire about their barcode policies before making a purchase with us. You can obtain a vendor agreement or application from most retailers upon request.
While the barcodes we supply are accepted by most retailers in Australia there are a couple of retailers who’s policy requires direct GS1 membership from vendors. Meaning they will only accept barcodes issued to you directly from GS1. Particularly:
1. Woolworths – Woolworths’ vendor agreement states: “The Vendor must be a member of GS1” and “A new Vendor must supply Woolworths with a letter from GS1 confirming they are a current member.”
2. Super Retail Group (Super Cheap Auto, BCF, A-Mart & Rebel Sports) require proof of GS1 membership.
Other retailers such as Coles, IGA, Foodworks, Metcash and others accept our barcodes but may require a barcode verification report (testing the barcode on the product packaging). You can arrange a verification report from SKU Vantage or GS1 even if you have obtained numbers though a third party such as us.
Customers using our barcodes have supplied their products to Coles Supermarkets, IGA, Super IGA, Foodworks, Dan Murphy’s, PetBarn and many other independent retailers.
*We’re aware that Woolworths have sometimes accepted third party barcodes and no longer require verification reports to come directly from GS1. While third party barcodes would technically work in their system, the aforementioned advice is based upon Woolworths’ vendor agreement policies.
Will the barcodes supplied by Oz Barcodes work on Amazon?
Yes, for general, private seller or white label listings the barcodes we supply are suitable for Amazon including the newly launched Amazon Australia (amazon.com.au). This includes FBA. According to Amazon Seller Support barcodes can be purchased from “any external or third party supplier and use them to list your products, however the barcode must be valid”. They submit the following sites for validation to ensure the barcodes work. The numbers we supply pass this validation and we’ve supplied tens of thousands of codes to Amazon sellers who have listed their items successfully.
Please note however if your product is Trademarked and you intend to use the Brand Registry (https://brandservices.amazon.com.au/) there are a few methods Amazon uses to verify your brand. One potential method for this is cross checking against the GEPIR database. While our codes originate with the UCC (now known as GS1) we do not place your company details on the GEPIR database, you can only do this if you sign up to GS1 directly and pay the annual fees to maintain your codes.
Why buy barcodes from Oz Barcodes?
Purchasing barcodes directly from GS1 Australia is prohibitively expensive for the majority of small business owners and independent traders. GS1 Australia requires the payment of initial membership fees plus ongoing yearly subscription charges that total hundreds of dollars – even when obtaining just a single barcode.
Our barcodes originate with the UCC (now known at GS1) and carry no additional fees, subscription charges or hidden costs of any kind.
Will my barcode be unique to my product?
Yes, your barcode is globally unique and linked to your product only. All codes provided by Oz Barcodes originate from GS1 (formerly UCC) are guaranteed to be unique and are supplied with a certificate of authenticity.
Can I reuse my barcode when I discontinue a product?
If you have already assigned codes in the past we strongly advise against re-using them, even if you no longer sell the product. Until recently GS1 did have procedures for re-using codes once a product was out of circulation, however with marketplaces going online this is becoming impossible to implement. As of December 2018 GS1 are changing their guidelines. For more information please visit gs1us.org/what-we-do/standards/gtin-no-reuse
What type of Barcodes are used for Books & Magazines?
Books and magazines use the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) format. This is a subset of numbers specifically reserved for printed publications.
The EAN-13 and UPC-A numbers supplied by Oz Barcodes are suitable for all retail items except Books, Magazines and Pharmaceuticals. To obtain an ISBN for your publication visit Thorpe Bowker. If you require a barcode image for your ISBN you can request one via our Barcode Image service. See our support article for more information about ISBN numbers.
Is any information stored in my barcode?
No. The barcode is simply a globally unique number that is recorded in a retailers sales/inventory system and assigned to your product.
Will my barcode ever expire?
No, once you’ve purchased your EAN/UPC numbers from us they belong to you and the product you assign them to for life.
Can I purchase ITF 14 “Carton Codes” from Oz Barcodes?
Yes, we offer ITF-14 Carton Code images for your existing EAN/UPC numbers or in conjunction with any purchase from us. For more information on Carton Codes, or for a quote on your specific order, please contact us.
Do you charge annual fees?
When you purchase from GS1 you are required to pay annual fees to maintain your codes. If you’re simply trying to get barcodes for a small number of items the costs associated with registering directly with GS1 will add up over time. Oz Barcodes have purchased large quantities of EAN/UPC numbers in bulk and charge a one time fee. You retain sole ownership of the numbers issued to you and they do not incur annual fees of any kind.
If I purchase barcodes from Oz Barcodes will my company details be listed on GS1’s GEPIR?
No, no third party supplier can do this. Once codes issued by the UCC/GS1 are on-sold GS1 no longer manages these numbers. They therefore do not update their records beyond the original holder. Oz Barcodes ensures that the codes we sell are globally unique and not assigned to a product prior to being issued to our customers. It is also up to product owners to manage thier numbers and avoid duplicate assignments. Additionally GS1 does not register your individual barcodes or product data on GEPIR. GS1 will only place company details on GEPIR for their current members.
There are popular alternatives to the GEPIR database such as Datakick and Open Product Data where you can register your product and barcode information free of charge.
Can I resize my barcode?
Yes you can. Our barcodes images are supplied at 100% GS1 specification size SC2 (37.29mm x 25.93mm) in EPS, JPEG and TIFF formats. GS1 advises a minimum of 80% of the standard size so if you can help it we suggest sticking to the recommended 80% – 200% magnification range. However, there are many products in the supply chain that break with this guideline. For example a pen, with a barcode label affixed along the side.
Please note if you reduce your codes more than the recommended amount you may run into scanning issues in future depending on the scanner. The more truncated or smaller the code is the less likely it can scan correctly the first time. Should you decide to reduce below the 80% guideline it’s recommended to use the 2540 DPI EPS and the highest resolution printing option available to you. The 2540 DPI EPS file supplied with every order can be size adjusted by you or your graphic designer without loss of image quality.
What font is used for barcodes?
The font below the vertical bars known as the “human readable font” is keyed in at point of sale if a barcode does not scan correctly. The industry standard font commonly seen is OCRB however any legible font can be used for this purpose. We include the open source industry standard OCRB human readable font with every order, which embeds in the EPS version. While this particular font is not critical for scanning, or mandated, it makes for a more professional appearance on your product.
What other products or services do you offer?
Besides EAN/UPC numbers, Oz Barcodes can also provide you with Code 128-‘Subset A’ numbers and images. We also sell numbers and images in the newer GS1 Data Bar format. QR Codes for a wide variety of applications across a range of products are available for purchase. To discuss your specific needs, please contact us.