Decoding BarcodesLucinda Winston
Barcodes can give an item a more legitimate feel, and tend to make it appear more mainstream. Many companies find this to be a desirable outcome, and want to include barcodes on their custom clothing labels, either by ordering them, or attaching them as stickers, later on. If you aren’t entirely clear on what is a barcode’s function, however, here is a short guide to help you decode those numbers and lines:
- The most common barcode in use in the United States is the UPC-A barcode, or GTIN, which stands for Universal Product Code and Global Trade Item Number, respectively. These barcodes are comprised of a 12-digit number.
- The first few digits in this number, also called the block ID, are specific to your company and help your computer and other systems identify that the garment originated at your store. These digits are unique to your company, meaning they will not be found at the beginning of any other barcode.
- Next, the middle numbers identify the item and help the computer pull up the exact price, and track how fast and when the items are sold. These are particularly useful for inventory and paperwork.
- Finally, the last digit is called a check digit, and is created by a mathematical calculation of the first eleven digits of your barcode.
With all of this being said, you want to make sure you have a company experienced in creating barcodes that will create yours for your name labels or sewing labels. If you try to create them, you may accidentally create a code that belongs to another company, or which simply doesn’t work.