What is the meaning of GTIN, EAN 13, and UPC A?

GTIN means Global Trade Item Number and is just the official name for ‘barcode’. Barcodes or GTINs are globally unique numbers that are assigned to retail products or used in warehousing. When a barcode is assgned to a product it can be tracked from the warehouse, through wholesalers and eventually scanned at POS in retail outlets. The barcoding system allows companies to keep track of their stock as it moves through the supply chain. They are also necessary when stocking a product in almost all retail outlets and online retailers such as Amazon and FlipKart. The two most widely accepted formats of retail barcodes in the world are the EAN-13 (International Article Number) and UPC-A (Universal Product Code). If you are looking for a barcode for your retail product, then it is likely you will need one of these two formats.

Why would I require a barcode for my products?

In today’s retail market, barcodes are a must for any business looking to stock their product in physical stores, or on Amazon, Filpkart and other online retailers. Retail outlets and online retailers use barcoding systems to manage pricing, sales figures, inventory levels, to track their stock through warehouses, and at POS. Having a globally unique barcode placed on your product is necessary to ensure that your product will be ready for the marketplace.

How many barcodes should I get?

The amount of EAN/UPC barcode numbers you require corresponds directly to the amount of products and product variations you have in your inventory. For example, if you have a clothing line, you would require a unique barcode for each clothing type, style, size and colour variation you have in your inventory.

How does barcoding work?

Retailers will require you to complete a product information form linking your product and company details to the barcode number each time you introduce a new product. The retailer will transfer this information into their sales & inventory system allowing your product to be scanned at POS. Each new retailer will require you to go through this process when you introduce your product to their store.

Amazon, Flipkart and other online retailers require you to enter a unique barcode number into the product ID field when listing your product online. Amazon’s website guides you through their registration process and entering your products barcode number is usually the first step. This is how Amazon ensures your product is not already listed.

Are barcodes issued by India Barcodes accepted by all Indian retail outlets and stores?

The UCC (now known as GS1) originally issued all of the stock that India Barcodes sells and therefore we guarantee that the codes are genuine and unique. Our customers have success stocking their products in retail outlets in India and worldwide as well as Amazon and FlipKart. However, we strongly suggest that you make contact with the retailers you are looking to supply with your products first, to check about their individual barcoding policies before making any barcode purchases.

Why purchase from India Barcodes?

When purchasing barcodes you have a few options, basically you can go directly to GS1 who charge up front membership fees as well as annual subscription costs which begin at around 40,000 INR per year (their cheapest rate). After this, GS1 will supply you with the numbers only, it is up to you to contract a third party business to generate your code images. This process can be too expensive for most small businesses as well as a needless endeavour. If you have purchased barcodes from GS1 and require image generation India Barcodes can generate the corresponding images in any format required complete with the OCRB human readable font.

The UCC (now known as GS1) originally issued all of our stock. We guarantee that the codes we supply are globally unique and are yours for life with no need for annual renewal fees. You will also notice some other competing businesses online. The level of service, customer support, quality of image generation and price varies between them all.

Will a barcode from India Barcodes be guaranteed unique?

Of course, this is the guarantee that drives our business. The UCC (now known as GS1) originally issued all of our barcodes. The codes we supply have never been assigned to a product. We run thorough checks on all of our stock before we sell it to our customers, ensuring that the barcodes are genuine and globally unique. Each package comes with a certificate to guarantee the barcodes’ authenticity and you as their official owner, for life.

Can a barcode store information?

Barcodes themselves do not hold information, they are simply a unique number that is recorded in a retailer’s sales/inventory system and assigned to your product. Basically, the barcode is a unique number and holds no informational value until the product is assigned manually via yourself or the retailer store. This is the same for barcodes purchased from any retailer (including GS1 India).

Once I have purchased my barcode from India Barcodes, can it possibly expire?

Never. When purchasing barcodes from India Barcodes, they are yours for life and will never expire. This is because the numbers we supply originate with the Uniform Code Council (now GS1) and pre-date the introduction of GS1’s subscription model. Once purchased you are the legal owner fo the barcode for life.

Will I have to pay an annual fee if I buy from India Barcodes?

India Barcodes have acquired large numbers of GTINs and only charge you a one off fee. You will always retain ownership of barcodes you have purchased and they never acrue annual charges or fees in any form.

If you purchase GTINs from the Indian branch of GS1 you’re agreeing to payment of annual subscription fees. So if you only intend to acquire codes for just a few products the associated expenses when registering barcodes with GS1 India will grow over time.

The only organisation that charges an annual fee for barcodes is GS1 India. We advise caution if you come across a barcode retailer other than GS1 that charges a subscription fee.

Can I recycle a barcode when a product line is discontinued?

Due to the increasing use and popularity of the online marketplace barcode re-use is becoming impossible. We strongly suggest that you do not re-use a barcode, even if your product line has been discontinued the product is no longer in circulation. GS1 recently changed their barcode re-use policy to reflect this. To read more please go to gs1us.org/what-we-do/standards/gtin-no-reuse

Will India Barcodes register my product or company information on the GEPIR database?

No barcode re-seller can register your product on the GS1 GEPIR database. GS1 no longer manages the numbers sold before their subscription model and therefore do not update their databases to reflect the current legal owners of these codes. A common misconception is that the GEPIR database links barcode numbers to products, however this is untrue. The GEPIR database only gives information about a company and plays no role in linking your product to your barcode in stores.

India barcodes manages the distribution of our stock to ensure that the codes are never issued in duplicate and have never been assigned to products previously. You as the customer also have a responsibility to keep track of your codes to ensure that they are not assigned to multiple products.

We suggest listing your product details for free on some of the following online databases. Linking your product details to their codes on these databases can help increase your brand awareness online. This is a cost free alternative to GEPIR that also holds product data.


How can I obtain a barcode for my products?

To obtain genuine, unique GTINs for your products, simply click through to our purchase barcodes page and choose the quantity of barcodes that suits your needs. Or if the number of codes required isn’t listed, contact one of our friendly staff at [email protected] to arrange a special order just for you.

Need more information?

Vist our detalied support pages or submit a question via our contact page.

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