Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about barcodes in Ireland that we receive. Feel free to use the search bar below to assist you. If you have a question not dealt with in this section, please get in touch with us via our contact page and we will get back to you.

1. What is a barcode?

Barcodes, also referred to as UPC-A and EAN-13 codes, are simply unique numbered codes (12 or 13 digits in length) that, when logged with a retailer, allow for the tracking and monitoring of a product within their digital inventories.

2. How are barcodes used?

When you have a product to sell, you will take it to a retailer such as SPAR, Tesco, Dunnes and Supervalu. They will then manually enter your product information into their system. At this stage they will also log your unique EAN-13 or UPC-A code into their inventory. Following this, every time that your barcode gets scanned by a teller, your personal account with that retailer will be credited with a sale. The barcode simply connects the one to the other.

3. Why are barcodes made up of so many lines?

The lines that you see on a barcode are actually a font which translates into the numbers that you will find at the bottom of the barcode. This is why when a barcode image on a product is damaged, the teller just types in the number in order to get the same result.

4. Is a barcode purchased from Barcode Ireland completely unique to me?

Yes, when you buy barcodes from Barcode Ireland you can rest assured that your barcode numbers are fully registered with GS1 and are guaranteed to be unique worldwide. On purchase of your barcode, you are the only person in the world legally able to make use of that barcode. As we are a barcode reseller, the barcodes will reflect a company in the USA when using GS1’s search engine, however you will be the complete, legal owner of the barcodes bought. The reason this happens is that GS1 does not update their search engine to reflect the current, legal owners of “pre-owned” barcodes. We guarantee that our barcode numbers have never been used before and are completely unique to you. However we cannot guarantee that someone will not illegally/fraudlently duplicate/use the barcode numbers you have legally purchased from Barcode Ireland, as has occurred with Amazon. At the time of purchase Barcode Ireland undertakes to ensure that the barcodes issued have not been listed on Amazon before.

5. Are there annual renewal fees?

No, your purchase is once off. Due to our bulk purchasing we are able to offer you a single once-off fee that covers your barcode in perpetuity. In terms of their standard procedure, GS1 would require you to pay them an ongoing annual fee.

6. Will my barcode ever expire?

No. When you buy barcodes from us, the barcode is yours for life and no one will ever be able to register that same barcode number for another product.

7. Will my barcode work outside of Ireland?

Yes, our barcode numbers will work anywhere in the world where the UPC-A or EAN-13 conventions are in place. Essentially, the whole of the modern world makes use of this system in their retail sectors, so unless you plan to sell your product to a group of wild-ants on a deserted Pacific island, you should be good to go.

8. Will my barcode work for any retail product?

Yes, all retail products in Ireland require the use of EAN-13 or UPC-A barcodes. This means that all products from CDs and kettles through to health-products and other goods fall under the EAN-13 and UPC-A system and therefore need barcodes. The only exceptions are books and magazines, which operate on a separate system called ISBN and ISSN.

9. Is there a refund/returns policy for Barcode Ireland?

Yes. Barcode Ireland offers a 100%-money-back-guarantee of purchase if the customer is dissatisfied for any reason. The number would be cancelled worldwide and the refund made.

10. Is there anything that I need to do after I receive a barcode from you?

No, other than to take your barcode number and certificate along with you when you go to register your product with retailers.

11. Will my barcode be scannable?

Yes. As long as you print your barcode at a print quality of above 300dpi and using the correct dimensions as mentioned on our barcode sizing page, it will be able to be scanned. This is of importance when you have your labels/product packaging (if it includes your barcode images) or CD covers printed. To assist you we supply you with a template that helps you choose the correct dimensions for your code.

12. Can I print my barcode in anything other than black and white?

Yes, but it is vital that you always allow for a high degree of contrast between the barcode and the background. You can go ahead and view our sizing, dimension and colour guide for an in-depth look at the worldwide recommended conventions and variations.

13. How many barcode numbers do I need?

You need a barcode for each different size, flavour, colour and variation of the product that you intend to sell. So for instance, if you are selling berry jams in two different sizes and two different flavours, strawberry and blackberry, you will require four separate barcodes. This is so that the retailer can keep track of the exact sales data of each of the four products and react accordingly. Therefore if your smaller jars of the blackberry jam are selling at a faster rate than the others, they can order more of those from you to keep up with demand.

14. What dimensions should I use for my barcode?

If you don’t change the barcode images that we send you and print them at a resolution of at least 300dpi, they should be able to be scanned without any problems. However, for those that want to alter the images please note the following: the standard EAN-13 and UPC-A barcode image that works in Ireland is 37.3mm wide x 25.9mm high. The smallest recommended size is 80% of that standard size (30mm wide). The largest recommended size is 200% of the standard size (74.6mm wide). Width is more important than height because barcode scanners need to be able to easily distinguish between the vertical bars on the image. At Barcode Ireland we recommend doing a test scan of any EAN-13 or UPC-A image before mass producing your product with its barcode attached. To find out more on this issue, please take a look at our Sizing, dimensions and colour guide

15. Are there any stores who won’t accept my barcode?

Not to the best of our knowledge.