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 membership fees and joining fees, making the whole process very expensive).
The barcodes we sell are part of the same system as GS1’s barcodes. However, GS1 does not control these numbers. Hence we can sell our barcodes without any of the fees that GS1 charge.
History of our barcode numbers
In the 1990s, GS1 was established in most parts of the world. They licensed their 13-digit barcode numbers to their members and charged both membership fees and joining fees. However, there was a separate organisation in the USA, the Uniform Code Council (UCC). The UCC sold 12-digit barcode numbers to their members for a one-off cost without annual 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. 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 proof that the original numbers issued by the UCC in the 1990s are outside of GS1s control now. Hence no license fees are required. Barcode resellers sell these unused numbers. They are ‘new’ numbers in that they have never been used on a retail product and are part of the GS1 system.
What about other cheap barcodes advertised online?
Sometimes we see companies offering barcodes for 50 Cents (or some amazingly low price). These companies don’t tend to be around for long. They 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 is using the same number legally. Buying barcodes at these prices is a 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.
We can prove that our numbers are legitimate and have never been used legally before (until you). Furthermore we check all our numbers for illegal use before we onsell them. There are many other advantages to our barcodes. Please see here for more information on our barcodes.