Introduction to barcodes for retail products

Barcodes are used on retail products to assist retailers. They are used for scanning at checkout, tracking inventory, etc. They need to meet accepted retail industry standards.
There are 3 types of retail barcodes:
EAN13 – the unique 13-digit barcodes used in most countries outside the United States and Canada – can be used on products worldwide.
EAN8 – a smaller, globally unique barcode intended for very small products – difficult to obtain and only available from GS1. GS1 is a membership organisation. – EAN8 bar codes consist of only 8 digits –This means that there are a limited number of them, so the GS1 guards them carefully. So to get these, you need to provide proof that your product is very small, and wait to see if GS1 agrees. UPC (also called UPC-A) – globally unique 12-digit barcodes most commonly used in the USA and Canada, but can be used on products worldwide.

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