A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data relating to the object to which it is attached. Originally barcodes systematically represented data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines, and may be referred to as linear or one-dimensional (1D). Later they evolved into rectangles, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns in two dimensions (2D). Although 2D systems use a variety of symbols, they are generally referred to as barcodes as well. Barcodes originally were scanned by special optical scanners called barcode readers. Later, scanners and interpretive software became available on devices including desktop printers and smartphones.

Barcodes became commercially successful when they were used to automate supermarket checkout systems, a task for which they have become almost universal. Their use has spread to many other tasks that are generically referred to as automatic identification and data capture (AIDC). The very first scanning of the now ubiquitous Universal Product Code (UPC).

Type of Barcodes:

A UPC, which stands for Universal Product Code, is a 12-digit bar code used primarily in Canada and the United States. Retailers add UPCs to each item they sell in order to track their product inventory. UPCs can be used outside of North America, although some international retailers prefer EANs (European Article Number). It’s always best to check with your retailer in advance.

EAN originally stood for "European Article Number," but has since been changed to "International Article Number." The term refers to the bar code used by retailers outside of North America. EANs are added to products so that retailers can track their inventory. An EAN is essentially identical to a UPC except that an EAN contains 13 digits whereas a UPC has only 12. The extra digit makes up part of the country code and refers to where the bar code was registered. The country code has no bearing on where the product itself was manufactured. UPCs can be converted into EANs by simply adding a zero to the start of the number. Many North American retailers accept EANs, but if you know you are going to sell your product in Canada or the United States, it's a safer option to use a UPC.

Benefit of Bar Codes

  • Fast-selling items can be identified quickly and automatically reordered.
  • Slow-selling items can be identified, preventing inventory build-up.
  • The effects of merchandising changes can be monitored, allowing fast-moving, more profitable items to occupy the best space.
  • Historical data can be used to predict seasonal fluctuations very accurately.
  • Items may be repriced on the shelf to reflect both sale prices and price increases.
  • This technology also enables the profiling of individual consumers, typically through a voluntary registration of discount cards. While pitched as a benefit to the consumer, this practice is considered to be potentially dangerous by privacy advocates.
  • When a manufacturer packs a box for shipment, a Unique Identifying Number (UID) can be assigned to the box.
  • A database can link the UID to relevant information about the box; such as order number, items packed, quantity packed, destination, etc.
  • The information can be transmitted through a communication system such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) so the retailer has the information about a shipment before it arrives.
  • Shipments that are sent to a Distribution Center (DC) are tracked before forwarding. When the shipment reaches its final destination, the UID gets scanned, so the store knows the shipment's source, contents, and cost.

Q: How do I know your UPC and EAN barcodes are authentic?

Our company provide an Authentic Certificate of Ownership with every UPC and EAN bar code sold, thus verifying the legal transfer of ownership to the client. Our business sells only 100% authentic and certified UPC and EAN barcode numbers.