An Amazon warehouse barcode scanner was accidentally dropped inside the package I just received.

An Amazon warehouse barcode scanner was accidentally dropped inside the package I just received.

An Amazon warehouse barcode scanner was accidentally dropped inside the package I just received.

We’ve talked to a lot of small businesses over the past 11 years. And showing people how to make barcodes has always been one of the most important things we can do quickly. Check out our Ultimate Barcoding Guide for a more in-depth look at how to start using barcodes in your small business. It has more than what’s in this post.

This article will talk about three big things:

  • Trying to find barcodes
  • Making your own barcodes for internal use
  • Making barcodes that meet GS1 standards so they can be used at other stores

Even though most of our clients haven’t made their own barcodes, they have probably seen them in stores. When a customer takes something off the shelf and brings it to the counter, the clerk scans it and enters the name and price of that item into the computer with a beep. People might think that the information was actually in the barcode itself because this happens often. 

What do people do with barcodes?

A barcode is a set of vertical lines that a computer can read and show as text when the barcode is scanned. The point-of-sale system will recognise that string of numbers and show specific information, like the name and price of the product. It was important to know ahead of time how the barcode related to the item. 

Different kinds of barcodes

Because each one uses a different set of symbols, you won’t always see the same kinds of barcodes. The symbology of a computer determines how many characters it can store and what characters it can show. In the retail business, codes like UPC-A 12 digits and EAN-13 13 digits are often used. Code 128 is often used for tracking codes on packages which may display full 128 ASCII characters.

How to Create Your Own Barcodes

It’s easy to make your own barcodes. It’s also a good choice if you only need barcodes for internal uses, like tracking assets. To make printable barcodes, you’ll need a barcode generator. You can also make your own barcodes in a programme like Microsoft Word by using a barcode font, like our handy inFlow Code 39 font.

How to Use GS1 to Make Barcodes

If your long-term goal is to sell your products in other stores that use different point-of-sale systems, make sure your barcodes are created and registered with GS1. These GS1-registered barcodes are needed by anyone who wants to sell products at big box stores or on Amazon. 

One last thought

Still not sure if you should use GS1 registered barcodes or make your own? The most important thing is whether or not you want to sell your goods somewhere other than your own store. Making your own custom codes is easy and doesn’t cost much. A computer, some software or font packs, a scanner, and a label printer are all you need.

Use in Flow to make barcodes.

After talking to hundreds of clients about barcoding, we’ve learned that making barcodes is one of the most useful things we can teach them. Because of this, we made that feature a part of inFlow Cloud. You can fill in the barcode fields by hand or have inFlow Cloud make barcodes for your products that are unique to them. 


Sophia Amelia is the New York Times Bestselling Author. Writing stories to inspire young minds. Celebrating the power of words & imagination through my books. Join me on my journey to creating stories that will capture your imagination and captivate your heart.

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