Barcode Myths: Fact or Myth?Fact or Myth

Working in the barcode industry for over sixteen years, we have encountered many myths and misconceptions. Understanding the facts about barcodes is crucial for UK business owners. This article debunks the top 10 barcode myths we frequently hear.

Myth 1: Barcodes Contain Product Information

Fact: Barcodes do not hold product details. Instead, they link to a number (GTIN) used by inventory or sales systems to retrieve product information.

Myth 2: Barcodes Can Expire

Fact: Barcodes themselves do not expire. However, if you lease your barcodes and you don’t pay the annual fee, rights to them can be lost. Purchasing barcodes outright from companies like ourselves avoids renewal fees and saves you time and money.

Myth 3: Barcode Numbers Indicate Product Origin

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Fact: Barcodes do not reveal where a product was made. Social media myths claim otherwise, but product origins should be verified through “Made in” labels, never through barcode numbers (GTINs).

Myth 4: Barcodes Must Be Purchased from GS1

Fact: While GS1 is a well-known supplier, businesses are not obligated to buy from them. Other sources, like Barcode1 UK, offer legal barcodes at lower prices without renewal fees.

Myth 5: GS1 Is a Government Organisation

Fact: GS1 is a non-profit organization, not a government entity. Despite its non-profit status, GS1 can be expensive due to joining and annual fees. Alternative providers can save these costs.

Myth 6: Online Sellers Don’t Need Barcodes

Fact: Barcodes are essential even for online-only sellers. Major platforms like Shopify, Amazon and eBay require barcodes for products, ensuring accurate inventory management.

Myth 7: Reusing Barcodes on New Products Is Acceptable

Fact: Reusing barcodes from discontinued products on a new product can cause confusion. Large retailers prohibit this to maintain inventory accuracy. It’s best to purchase new barcodes for new products to avoid costly mistakes.

Myth 8: Reversing Barcode Colours Is Fine

Fact: Barcodes rely on contrast. Black bars on a white background are optimal. Reversing colours can prevent barcodes from scanning properly. Watch our short video explainer about colour.

Myth 9: Failing Verifier Grade Barcodes Will Scan Properly

Fact: A failing verifier grade indicates scanning issues with some devices. Ensuring barcodes meet ISO specifications can help mitigate these problems.

Myth 10: Scanner Issues Are Never the Scanner’s Fault

Fact: Scanning issues can be due to either the barcode or the scanner. Different scanners have varying tolerance levels. Adhering to ISO specifications can reduce scanning problems.

By debunking these myths, UK business owners can make informed decisions about barcodes, ensuring smoother operations and avoiding unnecessary costs and complications.

For more information, visit our verification page and discover how our solutions can support your business needs.