Choosing International Barcodes
Explanation of International Barcodes
International Barcodes are either EAN-13 or UPC-A Barcodes that are used internationally in retail stores for pulling up the price of retail products at the checkout. The International Barcodes system is administered by GS1 who ensure that each number only corresponds to one product. GS1 also license barcode numbers to individuals themselves by charging annual membership fees and joining fees for the right to use the barcodes. Various independent bodies also allocate barcode numbers. These numbers come from the same original system as GS1’s numbers as they were initially sold outright by the predecessor of GS1-US (Uniform Code Council), however these numbers are outside of GS1’s control and therefore not subject to any ongoing fees. This means these numbers are much cheaper than other barcode numbers.
What to choose?
More detail on the difference between EAN-13 and UPC-A codes can be seen here. Generally if you are selling in the USA however you should use UPC-A Barcodes, if you are selling predominantly outside of the USA, you should use EAN-13 barcodes.
Resellers can often provide you with either UPC-A or EAN-13 format. As discussed previously these numbers tend to be considerably cheaper and generally work just as well as other numbers. There are a few restrictions on these numbers however, please see barcode acceptance before buying to be sure that there will be no problems for you.
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