Introduction To Barcodes


Barcodes for Retail Products

Barcodes are used on retail products to help retailers; the numbers are globally unique numbers and are protected. You can’t just make up barcode numbers to use (unless you are ONLY selling your products within your own store). Barcode numbers need to be purchased or obtained from a legitimate barcode source. There are no legal requirements for retail barcodes, however they do need to meet accepted retail industry standards.


  • All legal retail barcodes (including ours) originate from the GS1 system.
  • There is NO product information encoded in retail barcodes. 
  • Your retailer has to manually connect your barcode number to your product details within their system. 
  • A different barcode number is needed for each unique product. 
  • The best way to get a barcode onto your product is to incorporate the barcode image into the design of your product packaging.]
  • Barcode numbers say NOTHING about the country of origin of the product or the company.
  • Our barcodes can be scanned by ALL retailers WORLDWIDE.
  • Our barcodes can be used in ALL countries, except possibly China. 
  • Retail barcodes do not need to be registered however you can register them if you want to. If you purchase retail barcodes (EAN or UPC) from our company, you will be able to register your barcode numbers & product details for free on the International Barcodes Database.



Some types of retail barcodes that are regularly used are as follows: –EAN-13UPC Barcode

    1. EAN13 – 13 digit globally unique barcodes used in most countries outside the USA and Canada – can be used on products worldwide.
    2. UPC (also called UPC-A) – 12 digit globally unique barcodes commonly used in the USA and Canada but can be used on products worldwide.

3. QR Code – Static and Dynamic – we can encode any information you like into a QR Code

qr code

4. Books require an ISBN number, which is turned into an ISBN barcode (in EAN13 format).

5. Magazines require an ISSN number, which is turned into an ISSN barcode (in EAN13 format).

ISBN Book Barcode

ISSN Magazine Barcode






Barcodes for Cartons

These barcodes can be used for cartons containing retail products. These cartons are used for shipping and storage.

6. ITF-14 barcodes are the common barcodes for cartons:

    • These are 14-digit numbers based on the barcode number of the retail product inside the carton.
    • These are ONLY for cartons for shipping and storage. If the carton is being sold at retail level, it should have a retail barcode on it (EAN13 or UPC) rather than an ITF-14 barcode (e.g a case of wine can be bought as a single unit by a customer, therefore it would need a retail barcode – EAN13 or UPC).
    • ITF-14 barcodes are larger size than retail barcodes and should have a heavy horizontal line top and bottom.


ITF-14 Carton Barcode