Tutorial about how barcodes work

What is the difference between a UPC and EAN
Can I combine UPC and EAN on my packaging?

We provide both EAN and UPC Barcodes.

An EAN-13 barcode (originally “European Article Number”, but now renamed “International Article Number” ) is a 13 digit (12 + check digit) barcoding standard which is a superset of the original 12-digit Universal Product Code (UPC/EAN) system developed in the United States.

If you are  NOT selling your product(s)  in the United States or Canada and strictly out of these countries, you should use the EAN barcode. A UPC — or Universal Product Code — can be read in all countries that have adopted the EAN code plus the United States and Canada.

UPC stands for Universal Product Code., It’s a 12 digit number that is associated with your product.

Every product needs either an EAN or a  UPC barcode and, we make it easy.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Be sure you read our Terms and Conditions before you purchase:

What do I get when I buy from Nationwide Barcode?
You receive both UPC and EAN numbers and the associated graphic files. You also receive a list (excel) of all of your numbers and a certificate of authenticity.

What kind of graphic files do I get?
We send both JPG and EPS. You order a barcode or a number of barcodes from Nationwide Barcode.  We send two different files for each UPC/EAN number you order, an EPS file, and a JPG file. EPS stands for encapsulated postscript…these files can only be opened by programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Coral Draw and other high end graphic programs. The JPG file can be opened by everything else…word, paint, pretty much any design program that you have.

What do I do with my barcodes?
After you order the barcode you automatically receive your barcode numbers, graphics, and Certificate of Authenticity, which is also a transfer of ownership of the UPC or EAN numbers. We assign the UPC and EAN barcodes to you. Then, you assign the UPC/EAN barcode to your product.

There is no hidden data built into a barcode, there is no pricing information, there is no product information. The bars represent only the number.

You need to determine which unique barcode goes with each product that you have.
You need to affix a copy of the barcode to each product. There are only two ways that you can do this. You can print up a label (or buy labels from us or someone else) or, you can include the graphic on the packaging for your product.

Once you affix the barcode to the product, you will need to communicate to the retailer what the product is and what number you have assigned to the product. There is no download of data from a database. The process is that you teach the retailer.

This is usually done by creating a sheet that describes your product. These product sheets should contain the following information:

1) Name of Product
2) Description of Product (Size, Weight, etc.)
3) Manufacturer Information
4) Selling Price
5) UPC/EAN Code

The retailer is going to enter all of this information into their Point Of Sale back-end, This is their computer system that is attached to their electronic cash register system.
Some retailers have you enter this information online (CD Baby, Amazon, Barnes and Noble)

When a customer wants to purchase the item, they take it to the check stand and the clerk scans the item using a barcode reader. When the item is scanned, two things happen:

1) Product Information comes up on the Point of Sale System and is printed on the invoice or receipt
2) The unit purchased is removed from inventory.

Nationwide Barcode is the best place to buy a UPC/EAN code

How do I know that you are legitimate?
We are listed with the BBB and have an A rating. We have been featured on American Business First and we have been verified and validated by George Laurer. He is the inventor of the UPC/EAN barcode and he deems us one of the legitimate guys.

What is a Bar Code?
A bar code, also known as a Universal Product Code is a unique 12-digit code that allows wholesalers and retailers to track the sales of your product. This allows them to manage inventory and to sell your products at their Point of Sales Systems (cash registers)

How does a Bar Code work?
When you sell your products to a wholesaler or retailer (Amazon, Target, Borders Books, Autozone, etc.), they will have you fill out a product information sheet. One of the things that you put on that sheet, is your company and product information including the UPC/EAN code number. Then, the wholesaler or retailer enters this information in their information systems computer. This computer ties into the registers at the front of the store. The cashier scans your item and the information comes up. Every time an item is scanned and sold, it deducts the number of items sold from their inventory.

How many Bar Codes do I need?
You need as many barcodes as you have products or variations of products. If you are selling shoes, you would need one for each style, color, and size. If you are selling soft drinks, you would need one for the 12 oz. can, the 12 oz. bottle, the six or twelve-packs, and the liters of each flavor. Every variation needs a unique barcode.

Do I get a UCC membership number? Do I have a GS1 prefix?
If you need a UCC membership number/GS1 Prefix, you need to go directly to the GS1. The term UCC number originates from the original name of the GS1, which was the Uniform Code Council. Each prefix that we own comes with a UCC/GS1 membership number that we own. Since we are subdividing prefixes that continue to own, we are selling turn-key 12-digit UPCs for use with most retailers. You do not have a prefix or a UCC/GS1 membership number.

Do I get a GLN?
We own the GLN (Global Location Number) for each of our prefixes.  The GLN is basically the same as the UCC/Membership number. If you need a GLN, you will need to go to the GS1.

Will my Bar Code work at every store?
Yes… except for Krogers, Walmart, JC Penney’s and Macy’s. These retailers require that you provide certificates directly from GS1. We have heard that Lowes, Home Depot and Walgreen’s also asks for the barcode certificate but will optionally input the UPC number of each product. It is your responsibility to ask your retailers if they will accept UPC or an EAN number from a company that subdivides barcodes.

Will my Bar Codes work for Amazon?
Be sure to read our tutorial regarding Amazon.

Why doesn’t my product show up on my Smart Phone?
Until you upload your product information to Amazon, Google Merchant or another database that ties in directly to these Barcode Scanning Applications, your information will not appear.
The default for Red Laser is to pull from the GS1s database showing the prefix holder’s name. You can add your product info to the Red Laser and Shop Savvy Database.

Will my Bar Code work for every product?
All products in the United States use the 12-digit UPC barcode, except for books and pharmaceuticals. Books require ISBN barcodes. ISBN barcodes are only available from www.isbn.org. Magazines can use either ISBN or UPC/EAN codes.

What countries will these Bar Codes work in?
UPC bar codes work everywhere that either UPC or EAN bar codes are scanned which includes the United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, the UK, Asia, South America, and the Middle East.

What do all those bars on a Bar Code mean?
Is there data encrypted within the Bar Code?
No. The bar code bars represent only the number below. There is no other information contained within the bar code. All information is supplied to you to the wholesaler or retailer.
Will this bar code be a one-of-a-kind barcode only for my product?
Yes. We guarantee it and will supply you with a certificate of authenticity.

Will my Bar Code ever expire? Do I need to pay a renewal fee?
No, your bar code will never expire. We only charge a one-time fee. Since we never have to pay renewal fees, neither do you.

Will my Bar Code be scannable?
Yes. We provide a high-resolution graphic that you can insert into your packaging graphics.

Why should I buy from you?
All barcodes originate from GS1 (The UCC) They sell subscriptions for $750.00 and limited use barcodes for $75.00 (plus renewal fees). We provide GS1 originated, one-of-a-kind barcodes at a much lower cost. Our barcode prefixes predate 2002, prior to GS1 (formerly UCC) charging renewal fees and adding constraints regarding the resale of barcodes. Due to a class-action lawsuit against the GS1 in 2002, all prefixes that we own are grandfathered according to this lawsuit.

We are selling you subsets from an array of these prefixes which we maintain ownership of. We are not selling you a prefix and we do not guarantee that the prefix number will be the same when making a future purchase. These UPCs are perfect for the majority of retailers.

What kind of files do you send me?
We send both high-resolution JPG (600 dpi) and Vector EPS (Encapsulated Postscript)
The JPG file will open in any graphics program, the EPS is a scalable vector file that is used by all graphic arts and printing companies

I need labels! What do I do?
Contact our friends at Pacific Barcode: www.pacificbarcode.com. They will take care of you.

If you have more questions that we haven’t answered… Call us. We are a real business, with real people who can answer your questions and walk you through the entire process.