Every barcode is machine readable (used by the scanners) and human readable (used by humans) as highlighted below. We will use the term "machine readable" and "human readable" in this article.
We strongly encourage our sellers to purchase a standard barcode scanner in order to be able to spot any possible difference between the machine readable and human readable value.
The most popular barcode on products sold by RedMart are EAN-13 (13 digits, used Internationally) and UPC-A (12 digits, used mainly in the US). The below picture shows how to identify an EAN-13 and an UPC-A.
Below are the several different types of barcode that we have had issues with and what you should know about them.
EAN-13 Barcodes with a Leading 0 (13-digit)
Below is an examples of EAN-13 barcodes with a leading 0 in the human readable. While the human readable shows 13 digits (0609722892070 and 097776299416), the machine readable is encoded with only 12 digits without the leading 0.
We have tried scanning many such barcodes with 3 different types of devices and the results are consistent: they all give 12-digit barcode without the leading 0 (609722892070 and 97776299416). When this happens, the solution is to remove the leading 0 from the barcode in Partner Portal and make sure the the remaining digits are consistent with what printed on the physical barcode.
In order to know if you have this issue, you should try to scan the item with a normal scanner and assess if what is printed contains the leading 0 or not.
EAN-13 Barcodes NOT with a Leading 0 (13-digit)
EAN-13 barcodes that NOT start with a 0 are legitimate barcodes with consistent 13 digit human readable and machine readable. Below the examples.
Note: for any barcodes that are NOT "EAN-13 Barcodes with a Leading 0", just use the human readable as the right barcode in Partner Portal.
UPC-A Barcode (12-digit)
UPC-A barcodes consist of 12 numeric digits. There are always a digit at the beginning and a digit at the end that is slightly smaller and separated in the human readable. This is the area where sellers might be confused and ignore the beginning or ending digit. The right barcode to enter to the system is the entire 12 digits.
GS1 Barcode (many-digit)
GS1 barcode is a little bit more complicated. Below are some examples.
Let's use the above barcode as an example to illustrate the issue. The human readable says "01073127204500141517081710T19962", and that's exactly what any barcode scanner would read out. For them, you should just use the human readable as the right barcode in Partner Portal.
However GS1 barcode is a mixture of the product's actual EAN barcode (07312720450014), best before date (170817), and batch code (T19962).
If you have GS1 Barcode, there are two options:
Configure the actual EAN barcode (07312720450014 in this example) into Partner Portal but print an additional barcode sticker (with the actual EAN barcode of 07312720450014) and paste it on the product itself.
Code 128 / EAN 128 barcode
All devices can successfully recognise such Code 128 barcodes. However, we should be careful about adding six character barcodes as they are most likely meant for internal use in the supply chain and not for global trading. Therefore, duplication is possible from another, different product.
Other Common Issues with Barcodes
- In the below barcode, it has 0s at both the beginning and at the end. So the right barcode configuration in the system should be "097889851250". However, sometimes Sellers might not recognise the 0 at the end and omits it in the Partner Portal barcode setting. If this is the case, please add the final 0 to your barcode in Partner Portal.
- In the below barcodes, both have an 8 at the beginning. So the right barcode configuration in the system should be "8881304270090". However, sometimes Sellers might not recognise the 8 at the beginning and omits it in the Partner Portal barcode setting. If this is the case, please add the initial 8 to your barcode in Partner Portal.
- The below 13-digit barcode is NOT following any standard and is a actually a barcode made up by one seller. The barcode itself is not properly designed and printed: while the human readable says "8908001945578", the machine readable actually scans as "A8908001945578A". To fix this issue, the seller should either change the barcode of this product on Partner Portal to "A8908001945578A" or the seller should generate a new barcode for this item with machine readable to be "8908001945578", in order to be consistent with the human readable.
The barcode printed on the product is simply different from you have listed in Partner Portal (there are a lot of digits so human mistakes sometimes happens)
The barcode in Partner Portal has been renamed adding a -0. This means that most likely there is another item with the same barcode and your item has been disabled. In this case, kindly ask clarification to your Category Manager.
The barcode is printed on a reflective surface that doesn't allow the scanner to pick up the numbers. If this is the case, try to re-print the barcode on a non-reflective surface.
The barcode is too small to be read by the scanner. If this is the case, try to re-print the barcode in a larger size.
If you have any issue with the barcodes printed on your products that cannot be re-conducted to any of the above, please email your request to Partner Support at email@example.com specifying:
- Your store name and RPC(s) affected
- attached a clear picture of the physical barcode