Choosing International Barcodes
What are international barcodes?
International barcodes are barcodes that can be used internationally for retail products. They are part of a global system that is managed by GS1 which ensures that each number is unique, and therefore that every retail store won’t have any double up numbers. These barcodes come in either EAN-13 (13 digits) format or UPC-A format (12 digits). The UPC-A format barcodes can be turned into 13 digit barcode by adding a leading ‘0’. International barcodes are differentiated from other barcodes in that they have to come from the overall system, internal use barcodes, as well as QR codes etc can contain any information you want (subject to the limitations of the encoding style) – these cannot be used on retail products.
What kind of international barcode to get?
There are a few decisions to be made in regard to what kind of barcode to get. The first option is to decide on either UPC-A format or EAN-13 format. While in theory stores should accept both formats equally, UPC-A format barcodes are far more common in the USA and EAN-13 barcodes are far more common everywhere else. Hence, we recommend that you choose the format based on where you are predominantly selling your product. Please see the differences between EAN-13 and UPC Barcodes for more information on this.
The second option is to decide between reseller barcodes and GS1 barcode. In general reseller barcodes (like ours) are much cheaper as they don’t have any ongoing fees attached to them, and they work just as well as GS1 barcodes. However, there are one or two restrictions on the use of reseller barcodes. Please see barcode acceptance for more details on this.
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