EAN-13 GS1 HONG KONG BARCODE
Free Hong Kong barcodes: How to get them. How to get a free barcode is a recurring question on the internet and in this article we are going to explain how to obtain it and whether its use can help you or not.
To start, let me tell you that this article is not the fruit of artificial intelligence, but rather it is an original article written by a coding expert with more than 40 years of experience in the sector.
The barcode is a language. This language encodes alphanumeric characters in the form of bars and spaces in such a way that they can be read by a laser reader and entered into a computer without possible error and without human intervention. Without having to type the alphanumeric characters one by one.
It is something similar to the Morse language.
Types of barcodes
There are many types of barcodes. There are barcodes created to expressly fulfill a function, such as PostNet for postal mail, and many others created specifically, tailored for a specific sector.
Let's assume that most readers of this article are interested in putting a barcode on a product that they have either manufactured or imported for distribution.
Let's also assume that the majority of readers of this article want the barcode to not cost them money. And that is possible but taking into account what is going to be done with the product.
A car license plate is a code
In this blog we have written many times that the commercial barcode EAN-13 behaves like a car license plate.
When you purchase a car, the traffic authorities give it a license plate, a plate, that identifies that car throughout the world.
Most of the time the license plate contains letters and numbers arranged uniquely for that car. When we look at that license plate it doesn't mean anything to us, the numbers and letters mean nothing to us.
But in the traffic authorities system, all the information about the car and its owner has been assigned to that combination of letters and numbers in such a way that when an agent enters the license plate into their system, all the information about the car and its owner appears.
Obviously you can buy a machine that makes car license plates, but none of us would think of saving the procedure and making our own license plate when we buy a car. The idea could be very expensive for us.
Making a barcode is free
Likewise, the generation of barcodes is free. There are many websites where you can obtain the graph, the barcode, simply by entering the alphanumeric characters and downloading the file in JPEG format.
The best is THIS one.
You can, without any problem, enter the 12 digits of an EAN13 commercial barcode and the website will generate the 13-digit barcode in graphic format so that you can download and print it.
Now, you will be making up the numbering or copying it from another article. You can download and print the barcode obtained in this way and place it on the label of your product, but don't think about uploading it to a platform like Amazon or sending it to a big or medium store.
You can use this free barcode to place it on your product and take promotional or advertising photos.
You can use it privately, for yourself, not public.
But a commercial barcode is NOT free
The EAN-13 commercial barcode numbering is managed by a private association called GS1, which has branches in all countries of the world. In Hong Kong, GS1 is called GS1 HK and its operation is too reminiscent of a monopoly given that on its board of directors it has the majority of the directors of large companies.
This means that to obtain an EAN-13 barcode to put on your product and send it to the market you will have to pay. In one way or another, GS1 will charge for the numbering, either directly admitting you as a member (with which you will have to pay lifetime annuities) or opting for an alternative, always official.
Your barcode will have to start with 84, have a number that comes from GS1 and is registered or else in many places your product will give an error to be read and you will be forced to remove it for relabeling it, which will cost you a lot of time and money.
Joining GS1 is expensive and a bit cumbersome since they ask for official tax documents, which in theory are confidential and should not be given to an unofficial private association. But they ask you to calculate the fee based on your benefits.
Beware of cheap codes that start with 0
You will also have found many websites on the Internet that sell commercial barcodes at reasonable prices. You have to know that these codes come from old 12-digit North American UPC codes and that they transform them into 13-digit EAN-13 by simply placing a zero in front.
With these codes you can't go much further than with the ones you invent yourself, as we explained above. Barcodes that begin with 0 and not 489 will give you the same service as if you obtained the code yourself by entering any number.
You can use them for marketing purposes, place them on your product to obtain images of it, or simply make a product mockup. But don't even think about putting it in your product to send it to the market. It may work for you at the first place you send your product, but sooner or later they will reject it.
Hong Kong Barcodes
We, at Hong Kong Barcodes, help you by providing you with commercial, official, HK EAN-13 barcodes, coming from GS1 with all the guarantees, with prefix 489, by packages, to take advantage of the quantity discount, generated in 3 graphic formats EPS, PDF and JPEG, and also in Excel.
In this image we explain the barcodes that you will need if you want to put a product on the market. As we have explained to you, it will not be free but it will cost you much less than what the association with GS1 HK would cost you.
Basically you are going to need two types of barcodes; the first, the individual product code EAN-13, and the second the packaging code or DUN-14, with which you will have to label the boxes where you transport and distribute several units of the same product. The DUN-14 numbering is obtained from the EAN-13 numbering of the product inside.