How can I get cheap barcodes?

The best way to get cheap barcodes is to purchase from a barcode reseller, rather than GS1 who charge registration fees and annual membership fees, making the whole process expensive. Say you sell your products for 5-10 years and you pay every year, that is a lot of money.

Our barcodes are part of the same system as GS1’s barcodes, however GS1 have no control of these numbers, and hence they can be sold without any of the fees that GS1 charge. All of our barcodes are sold for a one-off cost and you own the numbers.

Here is the history on our barcode numbers:

In the 1990’s 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). The UCC was effectively competing with GS1. 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. Many of these members weren’t happy with the new annual license fees, and so a group of them ended up in class action law suit with GS1.

The members won in the courts in 2002, resulting in a multi-million 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 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.

This Settlement provides that companies who became members of UCC before August 28, 2002, are not obligated to pay membership renewal fees to UCC to maintain membership as a condition for their use of Company Prefixes issued to them by UCC, or as a condition for Basic Membership Benefits as defined in the Class Settlement Agreement. Class members who have paid a renewal fee to UCC are entitled to compensation from a $3,895,000 settlement fund. The settlement also provides that the “licensing agreement,” which accompanied UCC renewal fee invoices, is null and void as to those who became members in UCC before August 28, 2002.

What about very cheap barcodes?

Sometimes we see companies offering barcodes for some very cheap price. These companies don’t tend to be around for long, or are very difficult to contact, and get any information about their barcodes. It is difficult to say whether their numbers are legitimate. In many cases the barcodes they sell are not legitimate retail barcodes which can lead to legal problems later if someone if using the same number legally. Buying barcodes at these prices is false economy, you may save a bit of cash upfront, however, that doesn’t even compare to the amount it will cost to reprint your product packaging and swap out the barcodes if the barcodes turn out to be illegitimate. It is best to check if they have any staff who know about barcodes.

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.