Cheap Barcodes

How is it that you don’t charge license fees or joining fees?

The barcodes we sell come from the same original system as GS1 barcode numbers and are still part of their system, however, GS1 has lost control of these numbers entirely, and hence they can be sold without any of the fees GS1 charge.

Please see below for a detailed summary of what occurred for this to happen:

In the 1990s, GS1 was established in most parts of the world. They licensed their 13-digit barcode numbers to their members (and, as discussed previously, charged both membership fees and joining fees). However, there was a separate organisation in the USA – the Uniform Code Council (UCC) – which sold 12-digit barcode numbers to their members for a one-off cost (there were no ongoing license fees). Thus, the UCC was effectively competing with GS1. Furthermore, their 12-digits numbers were effectively a subset of the 13-digit system.

In the late 1990s, the UCC merged with GS1, becoming GS1-US. As part of this change, they decided to start charging annual license fees for all of their members, including those who had paid a one-off fee for barcode numbers in the 1990s. Of course, many of these members weren’t happy with the new annual license fees, and so a group of them ended up in a class-action lawsuit with GS1. The members won in the courts in the early 2000s, resulting in a multimillion-dollar settlement by GS1. A further consequence of this court case is the proof that the original numbers issued by the UCC in the 1990s are outside of GS1s control now, and hence no license fees are required. These are the numbers. They are bought by resellers and onsold. They are ‘new’ numbers in that they have never been used on a retail product and are part of the GS1 system.

What about barcodes advertised online for extremely cheap (i.e. 50c)?

Occasionally we come across companies offering barcodes for 50 Cents (or some unbelievably low price). Usually, these companies aren’t around for long or are very difficult to contact. In many cases, the barcodes they sell are not legitimate retail barcodes. Buying barcodes at these prices is a false economy. You may save some money on barcodes; that doesn’t even compare to the amount it will cost to reprint your product packaging and swap out the barcodes if the barcode does turn out to be non-legitimate.

We can prove that our numbers are legitimate EAN-13 numbers that have never been used legally before (until you). Furthermore, we check all our numbers for illegal use before sale so that at the time of sale, you can be sure no one is illegally using them. There are many other advantages to our barcodes. Please see here for more information on our barcodes.