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What type of Barcode Labels do I need?

Barcode Labels – If you sell products, chances are you’ll need to use barcodes. Barcodes are essential to the product labeling process, and retailers usually require that you use them. But with so many different types of barcodes out there, how do you know which one is right for your product?

There are four main types of barcodes: UPC, EAN, Code 128, and QR codes. Here’s a quick overview of each type of barcode and when you should use it:


UPC (Universal Product Code) barcodes are the most common type, and they are used in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. You’ll need a UPC code if you plan on selling your product in any of these countries.

To get your UPC barcode labels in the United States, you first need to register through GS1 US to get a UPC Company Prefix. This will be assigned to you and is used in front of your product number to create your UPC. GS1 US lets you obtain your unique identifier, but you’ll need to figure out how to print out your labels in bulk.

There are many ways to do this, including online label printing companies and desktop label printers. Companies like AccuGraphiX provide services to create barcode labels for you after you’ve obtained the GS1 US information. However, be sure to get your unique identifier information from the right agency for your respective country.

Types of Applications for UPCs

UPC codes can be used for a variety of applications, including:

  • Retail product labeling
  • Tracking inventory
  • Identifying products for point-of-sale (POS) systems

UPCs are everywhere and can be found on just about every product, from food and beverages to cosmetics and electronics. Without UPCs, retailers would have difficulty keeping track of inventory and could not accurately process sales transactions.


EAN (European Article Number) barcodes are used in Europe and other parts of the world. You’ll need an EAN code if you plan to sell your product outside North America. Aside from Europe, other countries that use the EAN system include Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil.

Types of Applications for EAN codes

Like UPC codes, EAN codes can be used for a variety of applications, including:

  • Retail product labeling
  • Tracking inventory
  • Identifying products for point-of-sale (POS) systems

Are EAN and UPCs virtually the same thing?

EAN and UPCs are very similar, but some key differences exist. The most notable difference is that EAN codes are 13 digits long, while UPCs are only 12 digits long. However, both UPCs and EANs can be used for the same applications.

CODE 128

Code 128 barcodes are used for products that require more information than what can be encoded in a UPC or EAN code. For example, if your product has a lot of variations (e.g., different sizes, colors, etc.), you’ll need a Code 128 barcode.

These barcodes are also used for shipping labels, as they can encode more information than UPC or EAN codes (e.g., addresses, tracking information, etc.). Examples of when it would be appropriate to use a CODE 128 bar code would include:

  • Shipping label
  • Blood bag label
  • Asset tag

As you can see, there are many uses and situations where a company could use a CODE 128 barcode. These labels help provide additional context and can help tidy up the logistical organization.


The QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can store more information than traditional one-dimensional barcodes. The QR codes are commonly used to encode URLs, so they’re often

used on marketing materials (e.g., business cards, flyers, etc.) to provide a quick and easy way for people to visit your website.

QR codes were invented in 1994 by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave as a way to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. However, QR codes didn’t gain widespread popularity until 2010, when they were used to encode URLs for marketing campaigns by major brands like Coca-Cola, Ford, and Pepsi.

Nowadays, QR codes are used for a variety of applications beyond marketing, including:

As you can see, QR codes have a variety of uses. While they are commonly used for marketing purposes, their applications go beyond that. If you need to encode more information than what can be stored in a traditional barcode, a QR code might be the right solution for you.

The type of barcode you’ll need depends on where you plan on selling your product and how much information needs to be encoded. By choosing the right kind of barcode label for your product, you can ensure that your product is properly labeled and can be scanned by retailers without any problems.

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