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Best barcode to use for inventory management
1D bar code, 2D bar codes?

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4032346 posted 7:28 pm on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm new to barcodes, and am trying to figure out the best type to use for printing on inventory labels.

I don't need to store much data at all. It doesn't even have to be alphanumeric. And it will probably be under 15 digits.

I'm debating between 1D and 2D. Which is easier to read? I tend to like 2D better because they look "cooler", and maybe the customer will think they look cooler as well.

It also seems that the 2D barcodes can take up less physical space on the label which is a big plus.



WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4032346 posted 3:52 am on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Have only integrated barcodes for one company so no expert. However, 1D is more than adequate for most. Forget 'cool'. Go with need. 2D barcodes can handle much more data, but often used to simply serve different purpose. 1D is associated with retailer needed data, and 2D is associated with manufacturer and distributor needed data. The amount of data may not vary that much. The details do.

I don't need to store much data at all.

Sounds like 1D to me. You also have to consider your end user. Are they armed with scanners that will read both 1D and 2D or only 1D? Most retailers only need the 1D barcode and may not have 2D scanner. To be honest, I don't know if 1D and 2D are automatic these days. Didn't used to be. Someone else can provide the most common scanner capabilities of today.

1D labels are easier to scan if damaged or scuffed. The bars have 'height' so any 'clean' scan will read. 2D, especially the smaller ones are more vulnerable to becoming unscannable.

It also seems that the 2D barcodes can take up less physical space on the label which is a big plus.

Sometimes, yes, sometimes no.

Check out some products and you will see a 1D barcode for the retailer, and perhaps two 2D barcodes that are used in different areas of supply chain. For example, if you are having a product manufactured and distributed, different people need more or different information; thus, multiple barcodes in multiple formats.

My shampoo hass a 1D barcode and two 2D barcodes (both very small - and each unique).

At any rate, it was a very successful project. Prominent 1D barcodes to bring company into new markets. They were getting locked out of a lot of business because their products were not barcoded and retailers disqualified them from consideration.

It was a pretty cool project. I learned a lot and company was able to pitch product to newly open markets. That was all they cared about, so pretty easy to make them happy.

You need to be extremely organized! No f... ups, or probably not so pleasant an experience.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4032346 posted 4:16 am on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the feedback.

To clarify, I will be the end user of these barcodes.

Going to be sending my factories in China a couple barcode printers, and barcode label stock, as well as a PDF generated by me which they will print when I place a large order.

The products will then only be sold through my online store, direct to the customer.

The barcodes will help in receiving inventory, doing routine inventories, and mainly help in making sure the customer gets what they order. Its annoying when someone orders a red and they get a blue by mistake.

I've got a few barcode scanners on the way and I'll begin testing how easy it is to scan various barcode types.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 4032346 posted 12:23 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

There's lots of different coding systems for the data: UPC, EAN and others.

There's different styles of barcode, and there's also the newer square QR codes.

Is the technology moving in any particular (more standardised) direction?

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