If you’re a manufacturer, you might be wondering how you can obtain barcodes for your products or items.
Good news! It isn’t that difficult.
Here are two easy ways you can do so:
1) Lease a code from GS1
GS1 is a leading global organization dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions.
Currently, the GS1 system of standards is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world. (By the way, TSC works with GS1!)
GS1 essentially offers large blocks of codes. To lease one of these codes, you will need to pay fees around $300, then pay yearly renewal fees afterward.
To set up a barcode through GS1 US specifically, follow the following steps:
1) Acquire a GS1 Company Prefix, your unique company identification number.
2) Next, add in a number that identifies your specific product. The combination of your GS1 Company Prefix, product number, and check digit is called a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).
3) Create scannable barcodes using your new GTIN. Also, you will want to determine your barcode type based on where your product will be scanned.
- For products that will be scanned at point-of-sale (POS), GS1 recommends that you use a UPC-A barcode.
- For products sold online, you’ll need to utilize the same GTIN on both your in-store and online products.
- For warehouse and distribution products, you will most likely need to use either GS1-128 barcodes or ITF-14 barcodes.
- GS1-128 barcodes consist of your company’s GTIN and specific product information like the expiration date, product weight, etc.
- ITF-14 barcodes, meanwhile, only consist of your GTIN, and can be easily pre-printed onto boxes and other corrugated material.
For more information about GS1 and how to obtain barcodes through them, visit https://www.gs1us.org/upcs-barcodes-prefixes/barcoding-basics.
2) Buy UPC codes from vendors with surplus codes
This is exactly what it sounds like. Besides GS1, a lot of other companies offer UPC codes for sale. Usually, the codes themselves are not exorbitantly expensive.
If you’re a small- or medium-sized business, this might be a different alternative you will want to consider. GS1 codes are generally tailored to companies who manufacture 1,000+ products with unique UPCs per product or sell their products to major big-box retailers like Walmart.
Have you ever obtained a barcode from GS1 or another vendor? How was your experience? Do you have any other questions about barcodes or how to obtain them? Let us know!