Important Things You Need to Know About Barcodes


What do you need to know about barcodes? What is the big deal? Initiating technology with barcodes within your business can seem a daunting prospect.  Here at, we are here to answer all your questions and assist you every step of the way.


Do they expire? The barcodes we provide do not expire. Once you pay for them, they are yours forever. They will be registered under your name or your company name which ever you would prefer and will not be used by anyone else, this we can guarantee. We also provide you with a certificate which states that your specific sequence is now your lawful property and it will reflect the name that you have provided with the registration date as well. This certificate can be handed to the retail store once they register your products to show ownership. This may be a requirement of some retail stores due to them being very strict when it comes to ownership and this is mainly to prevent duplications entering their stores and to prevent fraud of ownership.


Must I pay renewal fees? If you purchase from Buy Barcodes South Africa, there are no renewal fees or hidden costs involved. The prices that you see on our website or receive from us via email are all inclusive and as is. You pay once and that is that. However, if you go through the standard GS1 procedure, it will be necessary to pay a signup fee as well as an annual fee to keep your barcodes working.  This is just one of the benefits of working with us is that we offer the most cost effective way of obtaining your very own registered retail barcodes.


UPC and EAN barcodes – what is the difference between these formats? These are both American and are used in America as well as throughout the world. They are both very versatile and are popular with retailers around the world.  The only difference between them is UPC are 12 digits whereas EAN barcodes are 13 digits long. Ours being international and that is why all our EAN barcodes begin with a 0. Both of these formats are used in South Africa; however, most retailers prefer the EAN format due to it being newer. Using these will allow you to sell your products throughout the world. You can purchase both of these with us.


I want to print in colour. Is this possible?  Yes, it is definitely possible. What is important is to make sure that there is a large degree of contrast between the code and the background. That is why we always recommend sticking to the original white background with black lines as this creates the greatest contrast. Although other colours that work if printed correctly are a white background with dark blue lines as well as a red background with black lines. We also recommend always doing a test scan of your barcodes before doing your full print run to ensure that they are easily picked up by the retail scanners, you can do this using a scanner application on your phone or pop into your local supermarket and ask them to test scan for you.

Will I be able to scan my barcodes?  Yes, definitely.  As long as the following conditions are in place. You will need to make sure that the print quality of the code is above 300dpi.  If the quality is too low, they will not scan.  Secondly, you must use the correct dimensions. If they are too small or too big, there is a possibility that it will not scan. As mentioned before, the best idea is to test scan to make sure they scan correctly before doing your full print run. The high resolution images that we include for you in your electronic pack are at the correct size and resolution for printing and scanning however they are quite large so you can resize them if needed but be observant to the requirements and you will be safe.

Are there different kinds for different products?  Most retail products will require either the EAN barcodes or the UPC.  It is only books or magazines and newspapers that operate on a completely different system. They use ISBN and ISSN barcodes that you can acquire through the National Library. The National Library will provide you with an ISBN number which can then be created into barcodes for you to place on your books. We can create the images for you within a day and have them printed and delivered to you via courier anywhere in South Africa within 5 working days of payment.


What is the purpose of the lines on the image?  The lines are actually a font that translates the image into the numbers you see at the bottom. When the scanner scans the code – it brings up these numbers on the sales system which is then linked to information about the specific product. Each line and the spaces between the lines represents a number and this is how the scanner is able to interpret your numbers.


What different types do you get?  The answer to this one is that there are countless different types. These include the most common EAN & UPC, EAN 8, ISBN & ISSN, QR codes, ITF- 14, Code 128, and Code 39, to name a few. QR codes are 2 dimensional modern barcodes that are able to direct you through to a web page.


In conclusion, the world of barcodes is an extremely exciting one and there are many different formats with different uses as well. Feel free to contact us to start your journey, we provide same day quotes and are able to answer any questions you may have, short on time pop us an email and we will send you all the information you require.