Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of barcode FAQs. If you can’t find an answer to your question, please contact us.
1. Work out how many products you have in your range. For example, if you sell coffee and have three types of beans, each in two sizes, you will need six barcodes.
2. Order at the orange button on our website.
3. You will receive the barcode by email in 5 minutes. Add the barcode image to the packaging design or have it printed on labels.
However, it is important to note that both EAN and UPC barcodes can be used worldwide because almost every barcode scanner can decode barcodes in either format. This means that if you want to export your products to the USA, you won’t need to get them re-barcoded with UPC barcodes. Our company can issue barcodes in the American UPC format (instead of our standard EAN-13 format) if you request this.
Alternatively, we print barcode labels, which you can manually stick onto your products.
Products are using our barcodes in Foodstuffs NZ stores. However, Foodstuffs NZ has been changing their requirements. Hence, we advise contacting Foodstuffs and checking their requirements before purchasing barcodes.
Many of our customers hope to get their products into major retail chains but realise that they have a low chance of success and may take many years. Hence, they start with our barcodes, realising they MIGHT need to switch to GS1 barcodes if they somehow manage to get an order from a large retail chain – and that order should be large enough to justify the additional expense of GS1’s costly joining fee and annual fees.
IMPORTANT – Please see our Barcode Acceptance page for the latest information.
NOTE: If you are exporting your products to the USA, a couple of stores in the USA (Kroger’s and Walmart) probably won’t accept our barcodes (you will probably have to join GS1 and get your product barcodes from them instead). To our knowledge, every other store in New Zealand, Australia and worldwide will accept our barcodes.
NOTE – there are millions of different stores worldwide, so it would be impossible for any company to guarantee their barcodes are accepted in all stores. We aim to serve our customers by informing them of any restrictions that we know of regarding the use of our barcode numbers – we want our barcodes to work for you. Hence, we provide information that is as accurate as possible but take no responsibility for specific store requirements. If you are unsure, ask your retailers about any specific barcoding requirements they have before purchasing barcodes.
If you decide to join a Global Standards Body (GS1) and get your barcodes from them, you can come back to our company to get the barcode images. GS1 does not supply the barcode images, only the 12- or 13-digit long barcode number itself.
In the early 2000s, UCC decided to make some changes. They retained ownership of all new manufacturer ID numbers (barcodes) they issued and claimed that all previous barcodes they had issued to manufacturers were still technically their property. UCC made all new businesses join them as a ‘member’ and pay annual ‘membership’ fees for a license to use their barcode numbers. UCC also tried to make the previous manufacturers pay annual ‘membership’ fees for a license to continue using the barcode numbers issued to them a decade before.
Some of these manufacturers took the UCC to court to challenge the legality of the new annual fee requirement. These manufacturers succeeded and received a settlement of almost $4,000,000 (USD). Under the settlement, any company that had paid a ‘membership’ fee to UCC before August 28, 2002, was entitled to free ongoing membership of UCC and could continue to use the company prefix assigned to them.
The barcode numbers we issue to our customers come from the numbers assigned to one of these companies. They are unused numbers. For this reason, we do not have to pay annual fees for a ‘license’ to use the barcodes we sell, and this benefit is passed on to our customers. We will never charge our customers any ongoing future fees for the use of their barcodes. All of our barcodes are available for a one-off price.[/EXPAND]
[expand text="Can you send me sample barcode artwork?"]There are some sample barcode image zip files in the link on the side of this page. You can download these and try them out. If you have trouble downloading these images, email us for some sample images.
Both versions are designed for international use and can, therefore, in theory, be used throughout the world. However, UPC-A Barcodes are far more common in the USA. EAN-13 Barcodes are far more common everywhere else. This means that some retailers may be unfamiliar with one format or have their system set up not to accept 13-digit or 12-digit numbers. Regardless of this, either format is functional.
As shown in the image below, the actual bars of the UPC-A format barcode and the EAN-13 format barcode (with a leading ‘0’) are identical. This means that they will scan in the same way regardless of which country they are in. If a retailer’s system does not allow 13-digit numbers, the leading ‘0’ can be ignored when typing the number into the system, and the barcode will work in the same way as if it were a UPC-A format barcode. Similarly, if 13 digits are required, a ‘0’ can be added to the beginning of the UPC-A barcode to turn it into an EAN-13. Either way, the barcode is globally unique and legal for use internationally.
Where to find different things on our site: