Many of our customers want to understand more about Barcodes and how they work. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive:

1. What is an EAN barcode and how does it work? An EAN barcode is essentially a 13-digit number represented by the image of varying widths of black bars on a white surface. The image is scanned by a barcode scanner at the point of sale each time the product is purchased at the store. The scanner then pulls up the information that is assigned to that particular barcode number – such as the company name, product information and most importantly, price. Each sale can then be recorded, which helps with keeping accurate inventory data – making it easy for the retailers to notify you when need to manufacture more products to be sold. 

2. Does Barcode Solutions put my product information in my barcode symbol? No. The barcodes we sell are considered blank and we do not insert the product information into the code. Your retailers, upon taking your barcodes and products to them, will register your barcode number and product information onto their individual retail system. 

3. How many codes do I need? Each product variation – i.e. flavour, colour, size, etc. – will need its own unique barcode number. For example, if you sell lamp shades – a cream lamp shade and a black lamp shade, each coming in sizes small, medium and large – you will then require 6 barcodes in total to represent each of your product lines in South Africa.  Product one: Cream lamp shade small Product two: Cream lamp shade medium Product three: Cream lamp shade large Product four: Black lamp shade small Product five: Black lamp shade medium Product six: Black lamp shade large

4. Do I require a tax identification number or business registration number in order to purchase barcodes from you? No, you do not need to provide us with a tax identification number or business registration number in order to purchase barcodes. 

5. Do you offer a discount for charitable organisations? If sufficient proof that you are a non-profit South African charity is supplied, we will be able to negotiate a discount for charitable organisations. 

6. How do I purchase from Barcode Solutions? Purchasing from Barcode Solutions is a straight forward process. We simply need the company or individual name that the barcodes are going to be registered to, as well as your proof of payment and your acceptance of our terms and conditions. You can provide us with all of the above information via email or telephone. And once we have received everything, we email you your barcode pack. 

7. Do I need to pay annual renewal fees and a registration fee for my barcodes? No, you do not!

8. Are my codes valid for use in all stores? Our codes are currently accepted by most stores around the world, however, please remember that barcodes are a rapidly evolving technology, with retailers changing their systems from time to time (something which we have no control over). As such, even though our customers are usually extremely happy with their purchase, please note that we do not guarantee retailer acceptance in any one store, and recommend that you always check to make sure that your barcodes are working correctly with your retailers, prior to printing your product packaging.

For Spar – they usually prefer the UPC codes that we supply you with. For Food Lover’s Market – please contact our customers support team (who will issue you with codes specific to Food Lovers Market’s barcode system). For Pick n’ Pay and others – please note that some stores may request full Gs1-membership, however in many instances you codes can be manually inserted into their system (please speak to them in advance of printing).

9. In what format do I receive my barcodes? You will receive your barcode numbers in both the 13-digit EAN format, as well as the 12-digit UPC format. We do advise our customers to check with their intended retailers beforehand on which format they prefer to use on their systems. 

10. How can I get help with putting my barcode on my product? Once purchased, Barcode Solutions South Africa sends you the high resolution images of your barcodes which you can then simply forward onto your design team or onto whoever is doing your product packaging design. Alternatively, if your packaging design is already printed and you have not included your barcode image, we can print your barcode as label stickers to paste onto your products. 

11. Can I print my labels in anything other than black and white? It is possible to print your barcode images as colours other than black and white; however the contrast between the bars and background needs to be high in order for the image to remain scannable. It is important of course that you keep the print resolution high enough as well – this goes for printing barcodes in general regardless of colour. 

12. What dimensions should my barcode be? In general, we advise our customers to make sure that the barcode image is no smaller than 30x20mm in order to remain scannable. The minimum recommended size is 80% smaller than the original size of the barcode that we send to customers as part of our barcode pack. Keep in mind that the width is much more important than the height and should not be manipulated too extensively as the width interferes with the distance between bars. 

14. Does purchasing a barcode through Barcode Solutions mean that I am a member of Gs1? No, although our codes are all registered GS1-barcodes, please note that you will not be a personal member of Gs1, nor will you or your company appear on their database. Our codes are sourced from our supplier in the USA, and only the original registrar will appear on the database. In our experience, there are only a few retailers worldwide that require personal Gs1-membership, should you wish to stock one of these stores in the future, you will need to join up, however, for most customers this is not necessary. 

15. My business is outside of South Africa, can I still purchase from Barcode Solutions? Yes you can. Not only are the registered barcodes you buy from us accepted at the majority of retail stores in South Africa, they are accepted at the majority of retail stores across the world too. And because our business is based entirely online, we are able to assist you wherever you are located. 

16. Can I speak to someone who can help me? Yes. We at Barcode Solutions are standing by, ready to take your calls and answer any barcode questions you have. Please call us between 8am and 6pm weekdays on 0115681726 for help.