Frequently Asked Questions

What is a barcode?
A bar code, also known as a UPC (Universal Product Code) or EAN (European Article Number), is simply a unique 12 or 13 digit number that allows retailers to easily track sales of your product within their inventory system.

What is an EAN number?
EAN originally stood for “European Article Number”. EANs and UPCs are essentially identical to one another 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.

If I already have a UPC number do I need to purchase an EAN number?
If you already have a UPC bar code, you can sell your product in most locations that use EAN codes. Some international stores only accept EANs, which means it’s a good idea to check with the retailer in advance.

How do Barcodes work?
When you go to sell your product at a retailer (eg Amazon), that retailer will have you fill out a product information form. That form will ask for the products UPC or EAN Number. The retailer then manually enters that information into their inventory management computer. This way, when they scan your bar code at the tills, it calls up that form in their system and gives you credit for the sale. In other words, the bar code is simply a link between your product and the product information form you fill out for each store that sells your product.

Do I need a barcode?
The use of barcode numbers is not complusary. However if you intend to utalise a retailer that uses the barcode system (such as Amazon), then yes, you will need a barcode.

Do I have to have a barcode in order to sell my product online?
Only if the retailer requests it.

What is the difference between EAN and UPC?
Ean numbers are 13 digits long and can be used throughout Europe and Australia. UPC numbers are 12 digits long and are mainly used in the USA, however they can still be used throughout Europe and Australia.

Will my barcode work in a country other than the UK?
Yes. Our barcodes will work anywhere that uses the EAN or UPC system. This includes Europe, Australia and the USA.

Will my barcode work in every shop?
Yes, excluding a handfull of retailers, including walmart.If in doubt please verify with your retailers.

Will my barcode work with Amazon?
Yes. Most of the barcodes we sell are used to list products on amazon

Will my barcode number be unique to me?
Yes. Our bar codes originate from GS1 US and are guaranteed to be one of a kind. You are the only person in the world who can legally use the bar code number(s) you purchase.

Do I need an EAN or a UPC barcode number?
When you order from GetABarcode you receive both the EAN and UPC number as standard.

Are your barcodes issued by an official body?
Yes. All of our barcodes were issued by the UCC – the Uniform Code Council (now renamed GS1-US). These barcodes were originally issued to a US company. We have purchased a large quantity of these barcode numbers and we are selling them on to people who need a small quantity of barcodes and do not want to pay ongoing annual fees.

Are your barcodes legal for use in the UK?
Yes. They are legal for use in the UK, & anywhere else in the world.

Is there anything that I need to do after I receive the barcode number from you?
Once you receive your barcode number, you simply need to assign it to one of your products. Supply it to your retailers when it is requested by them, so that they can add it to their product database.

Will my barcode ever expire?
In short no. The barcode is yours for life. We maintain a record of all barcodes issued and to whom they were sold. Your barcode will never be re-issued.

Do i have to pay renewal fees?
No. All our fees are one time only

Will my barcode be registered in a national database?
No. There is no where to globally register barcode numbers. Retailers will add your barcode number tp their product database when they start selling your product.

When will i receive my barcodes – how long does it take?
All orders for barcode numbers are sent instantly, once payment is received. The artwork will follow by email a short time afterwards. Printed barcode labels are dispatched within 48 hours and are sent via Royal Mail.

I haven’t received my barcodes – where are they?
Please check your junk email folder. As the artwork is sent as an attachment to the email (a zip file), the emails are sometimes sent to the junk / spam email folders.

Do the EAN numbers you sell start with a 5
No. Our EAN numbers start with 06 or 07. This is because they are based on US format UPC numbers. All of our barcodes were issued by the UCC – the Uniform Code Council (now renamed GS1-US). These barcodes were originally issued to a US company. EAN numbers starting with a 5 can only be issued by, these numbers can not be resold.

Will my company code show on the barcode?
I’m afraid not. They will still show the company to whom they were initially issued.

What payment methods do you accept?
We currently accept payment via Paypal, all major Debit / Credit cards (via SagePay) and also by BitCoin.

How should I print my barcodes?
We recommend using either direct thermal or thermal transfer to print your barcodes.

Do you offer a sample barcode?
We certainly do – please click here to download a sample of the artwork etc that we will send to you.

I cannot access the artwork in the zip file
Windows based PC’s do not normally need any software installing to extract the contents of a zip file. Mac based machines will need software installing. For both operating systems we recommend winrar which is available at

Why isn’t my product coming up when scanned by my smartphone app?
Each app uses one or more existing database, e.g. Amazon or Google shopping etc. Until you upload your product details to the required database the app will come up with “No data found”. The solution to this is fairly simple. Contact the shop, website or 3rd party app maker and ask them how you can upload your data.

I’ve heard that amazon are changing the rules on barcode numbers. Is this true?
It has been clafified with Amazon Seller Support that their GTIN requirements have not changed and that sellers are still allowed to use their own GTIN’s as long as they are legal. Amazon have stated that they will post any changes publicly on their seller central home page. It is believed that recent communications have been aimed at those less than honest sellers whom attempt to defraud Amazon’s open (trust based) system by guessing or stealing GTIN’s on purpose.

Spread the love