Barcode labels are an easy way to level up your business. Whether you're using them to keep track of inventory, get your products ready for mass distribution, or meeting other purchaser requirements, barcode labels are easy to generate and use in your small business. You can even make them on your iPad!
In this article, we'll go through the types of barcode labels and how to print barcode labels from your thermal printer or normal laser or inkjet printer.
Barcode labels are broken into several different styles, also known as the barcode system, which determines what they'll look like and what type of information they'll contain. You'll need to use a barcode generator to generate the correct barcode labels, regardless of the type that you choose. Here are the most common types you can choose from:
UPC codes were designed for retailers who needed a way to track inventory. This is probably the type of code you'll choose. You need to register a UPC with GS1 to begin use.
These are one of the oldest barcode types around, and is probably the one you'll use to create any SKU or product codes. These would be product codes specific to your own inventory.
Commonly used by libraries and book sellers, these 13 digit codes are standardized for books. You probably won't use this one for stickers.
They are 2D barcodes that store a lot of information, like a URL. These are frequently used for advertisements. You may use these from time to time.
Zoho has a free online barcode generator so that you can get started without worrying about learning new computer software.
Printing barcodes is pretty easy after you generate them. You'll just print them like you'd print labels for any other project. A barcode isn't anything fancy - it's just an image.
Pro tip: Use a barcode scanner before printing your barcode labels. Make sure that your barcodes are accurate!
You can use any of your normal printing software to print barcode labels. If you normally use Microsoft Word, go for it. I like to create PNG images and then use my computer's Photos print function to make sure that I have my printer settings correct for page size and printer source.
If you're using a Dymo thermal printer, be sure to use your special Dymo labels. I have a Rollo thermal printer, which means that I can use any normal thermal paper for my labels.
Remember to test a few label prints before you click print on a bulk order. With a regular printer, you'll want to make sure your labels are aligned correctly. On a thermal label printer, you'll want to be sure that you've set up the print correctly - including your paper size. Be sure to watch your printer to avoid any jams.
Price tags aren't anything special, especially compared to barcodes. If you want to be fancy, you can use Code-39 barcode type to print your price tags. If you want a human readable version, just type out the data you need onto the sticker size you want. A price tag ideally should be both human readable and computer readable.
You should only print labels for price tags if your retailer requests it. You should likely put "MSRP" (manufacturer suggested retail price) if you're unsure what the final price will be, or just leave it off all together.