10 Essential Steps For Product Barcoding - Let’s Find Out!

17.01.2024

07:50

10 Essential Steps For Product Barcoding - Let’s Find Out!

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Barcodes are everywhere. They are on the products we buy, the packages we receive, and the tickets we use. Essentially, they are a key part of modern business, especially If you are selling products online, you need to know how to barcode them properly. For product management, inventory tracking, and listing on platforms like Amazon and eBay, you are in need of unique barcodes.

But how do you get started with barcoding your products? What are the different types of barcodes, and how do you choose the right one for your product? Where can you purchase barcodes, and how do you print them on your products?

In this guide, I'll answer all the common questions you may have about product barcoding. In fact, I'll walk you through the 10 essential steps for product barcoding, from choosing the right barcode type (such as UPC, EAN, or ISBN) to setting up a barcode label system.
 

Step 1: Understand Barcode Type
 

Well, you have goods to sell on an online marketing platform; now, firstly you need to understand what type of barcode is right for your specific firm. Is it UPC, EAN, or ISBN? The right barcode streamlines inventory management, data tracking, scanning process, ordering process, and marketing processes.

  • UPC (Universal Product Code):UPC, is basically a standard barcode for retail products in the United States and Canada. It has 12 digits and can encode a manufacturer's identification number and a product number. It is also known as GTIN-12 (Global Trade Item Number).
  • EAN (European Article Number): In the overall Europe, EAN is used as an international retail barcode system. It has 13 digits and can encode a country code, a manufacturer's identification number, and a product number. It is also known as GTIN-13.
  • ISBN (International Standard Book Number): For books and other goods publications, you need an ISBN barcode. Like EAN, it also has 13 digits and can encode a prefix, a group identifier, a publisher identifier, an item identifier, and a check digit. It is also termed as a GTIN-13.
     

Step 2: Barcode Purchasing For Particular Platforms
 

After successfully understanding what kind of barcode you need to sell goods in online marketplaces, you need to consider the platforms that you want to sell your products on.

Amazon

When it comes to selling goods on Amazon, then you must should understand the Amazon specific guidelines about product barcoding. Amazon only accepts UPC, EAN, ISBN, and JAN barcodes. Amazon also has its own barcode system called FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit), which is used for products that are fulfilled by Amazon (FBA). Amazon is a huge platform, and it does this to make the product tracking, identification, and inventory management process easier for sellers.

eBay

eBay encourages sellers to use barcodes. Like Amazon, eBay accepts UPC, EAN, ISBN, and GS1 DataBar barcodes. eBay also has its own barcode system called eBay Product ID (ePID), which is used for products that are part of the eBay catalog.
 

Step 3: Choosing the Right Barcode
 

Different barcode types have different features and functions, and they may suit different sales channels better. The right barcode type for product barcoding depends upon several important factors, including the product category, product origin, product information, and even your product size. If you plan to start selling on platforms like Amazon, then you must purchase EAN or UPC barcodes for product management, inventory tracking, and listing purposes. 

So, when choosing barcode types, you should consider the nature of your sales channels and select the ones that best fit your needs. This strategic choice of barcode types can greatly affect the effectiveness of your product barcoding and the success of your sales across different channels.
 

Step 4: Purchasing A Barcode
 

Now, at this stage, you are totally aware of barcode type and sales channels. So, you need to purchase the right number of barcodes and the right platform from where you can buy them. You have two options: one is through a reseller, and the other is directly from the GS1 global organization.
 

Buy From GS1
 

GS1 is the global organization that develops and maintains barcode standards. You can buy barcodes from GS1 by applying for a GS1 company prefix, which is a unique identification number that is assigned to your company.

The GS1 company prefix is the basis for creating unique numbers to identify your products or services, called GS1 identification keys. For example, if you want to use UPC or EAN barcodes, you need to combine your GS1 company prefix with a product number and a check digit to create a GTIN (Global Trade Item Number).

Buy from A reseller

A reseller is a third-party company that sells barcodes that are already registered with GS1. They sell totally legitimate and unique barcodes that are GS1 registered and at cheap prices. Besides, you don't have to wait for a prefix. Plus, you won't get charged additional or any kind of hidden tax, and all the barcodes, Whether UPC, EAN, or ISBN, they never expire. I would highly recommend you purchase your EAN or UPC barcodes from www.barcodestock.com. It's a great and legal platform from where you can buy barcodes even in bulk quantities.
 

Step 5: Using a Barcode Generator
 

A Barcode generator can create a barcode image that you can print on your product packaging or label. A GTIN barcode generator can be helpful for businesses that need customized barcode solutions or manage a wide range of products. All you need to do is enter the barcode number in human-readable characters below the barcode symbol, if applicable. After that, choose the barcode format that matches the barcode type. You can customize the barcode size, the barcode color, the barcode orientation, and the barcode resolution, too. Finally, generate the barcode image. Don't forget to check the barcode image meets the barcode quality, the barcode legibility, and the barcode alignment.
 

Step 6: The Number Of Barcodes To Buy
 

This depends upon the number of products, the variation of products, and the number of channels you want to sell your products. Like if you have a perfume that you want to sell on Amazon and eBay, then you need one EAN or UPC code, and if you have different sizes, say 20 ml perfume and 50 ml perfume, then you need an additional 2 codes. So, this is how the barcode requirement for different products varies depending upon their types.
 

Step 7: Integrating Barcodes with Your Products
 

To ensure your products are easily traceable and identifiable, it's good to seamlessly integrate barcodes with your product packaging or labels. This integration not only enhances operational efficiency but also improves the customer experience at the point of sale. In this process, professional printing services play a crucial role. Through high-quality printing equipment, they ensure that the barcodes are clearly printed, smudge-free, and properly sized to avoid scanning issues.
 

Step 8: Linking Barcodes to Your Inventory System
 

Effectively linking barcodes to your inventory system is a strategic move towards accurate tracking and stock management. Once you create a streamlined process for monitoring sales, managing stock replenishment, and analyzing product performance, you add a new layer of efficiency to your business. With every scan of the barcode, important data is captured and analyzed, providing insights into the product's journey through the supply chain.
 

Step 9: Tracking and Managing Your Barcode Inventory
 

Keeping track of your barcodes is just as important as managing your physical inventory. Barcodes should be clearly visible during the entire supply chain process, from warehouse storage to point-of-sale transactions. Regular quality tests for linear symbols should be conducted to ensure that they remain scannable against different backgrounds, orientations, and lighting conditions.
 

Step 10: Regular Updates and Compliance
 

Staying updated with barcode print quality test specifications and ensuring compliance are integral steps to barcode implementation. If the barcode is obscured or damaged, it may not be scanned at the retail point of sale, causing disruptions in the supply chain. Thus, having a solid barcode implementation plan, which includes a process for dealing with returnable assets and a strategy for maintaining the quality of barcodes, is indispensable.
 

Conclusion — Final Verdict!
 

By following these 10 essential steps of product barcoding and maintaining a high level of attention to detail, you can ensure that your products are easily identifiable and trackable, enhancing not just your profit margins but also your reputation in the market.

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