As you should know by now, all barcodes across the world are governed by a central body called GS1. Effectively GS1 issues unique barcode numbers and ensures that duplicates don’t appear in stores. GS1 used to be known as the UCC (Uniform Code Council).
Prior to 2002 if you wanted to buy barcodes from the UCC you ended up with unique barcode numbers that were yours for life. There were no renewal fees!
In 2002, the UCC updated their policies with regards to the issuing of barcode numbers by adding annual renewal fees to all barcodes (whether new or old). As you can imagine, having to suddenly start paying yearly fees for the thousands of barcodes that you own and have been using for years is not a lot of fun!
Some companies that were affected by this change in policy decided to sue the UCC. The companies won the court case with the outcome being that on 28 August 2002, a settlement was reached in Washington State, USA. For barcodes issued prior to 28 August 2002, the terms and conditions upon which their barcode numbers were bought became null and void. The companies did not have to start paying annual renewal fees and what’s more – the companies were now the sole owners of the barcode numbers.
This created an interesting situation in which it became legal for companies to resell barcodes that they had bought prior to 28 August 2002 and hence the “barcode reseller” was born.
Barcode resellers are companies that have purchased large quantities of unused barcode numbers from entity’s that bought barcodes prior to 2002. GS1 sells barcode numbers in blocks of 1, 10, 100, 1000, 10 000 etc. This meant that some companies had hundreds or tens of thousands of unused barcode numbers that they could now sell to barcode resellers. Of course companies also go out of business, which is another case where they would sell off large quantities of unused barcode numbers.
SA Barcodes is South Africa’s top barcode reseller. Because of our unique position in the market we are able to resell unique, unused, GS1-issued barcode numbers to small to medium sized businesses. Our barcodes are not subject to annual renewal fees and our prices are extremely competitive! Nowhere else in South Africa will you be able to buy a single barcode for R275.