WARNING: EziBarcodes UK

Note: this post is re-posted here with permission from http://barcodesellers.org/ (originally posted on 18 February 2019 on http://barcodesellers.org/ezibarcodes-uk-www-ezibarcodes-co-uk).

Ezibarcodes.co.uk calls itself “the UK’s most trusted online barcodes retailer” (on its homepage) however it is incredibly untrustworthy – there are many examples of false advertising on its website. Some examples are below.

1. Falsely labels itself “the United Kingdoms longest standing online barcodes retailer” on its “About Us” page. 

This is a clear lie. The company Krucial PTY LTD was registered three months ago on 23 November 2018, and the domain www.ezibarcodes.co.uk was registered only one month ago on 27 January 2019.

Many other barcode seller companies in the UK have been around for a lot longer than this (for example barcode1.co.uk has been around for more than ten years).

UPDATE 19 MARCH: They have changed their statement to say “UK’s leading online barcodes retailer”, which is still questionable given that they have only recently launched and have offered no facts to prove this.

2. It issues barcode numbers that start with “50” (the UK Country prefix). However, it has no legal authority to issue these “50” barcode numbers.

On their Home Page they state:

All EAN-13 barcode numbers that start with “50” (the UK country prefix) are owned by GS1 UK. GS1 UK is the only company that has the authority to issue barcode numbers that start with “50” – no other barcode seller in the UK or worldwide has legal authorisation to sell or issue these numbers.

On their FAQ page they state: The statement “If you would like your company prefix to be different, just let us know and we will happily modify the country prefix for any barcodes you purchase” is very strange. To do this is illegal – the country prefix of a barcode number cannot be modified, it is fixed. The only barcode numbers that are allowed to be sold by companies that are not GS1 are ones that start with the US country prefix (usually 06 or 07) – all non-US country prefix barcode numbers are owned by the GS1 organisation in that specific country, and cannot legally be issued by EziBarcodes or any other barcode seller.

UPDATE 19 MARCH: The above statements have been removed, and they now state that barcode numbers issued are prefixed by “07”. This may have been changed following complaints about the legality of country-specific barcodes being issued outside of GS1 which is impossible and illegal.

3. They claim they are “Locally owned and operated” on their “About Us” page. However, they appear to be based in Australia (not the UK).

On their “About US” page (https://www.ezibarcodes.co.uk/about) they say: Although they say they are “locally owned and operated” there is nothing on their website to show that they are UK based – they do not have a UK registered company name, UK phone number, or UK office address on their website.

Ezibarcodes UK is run by an Australian company based in Perth called Krucial PTY LTD (although they don’t mention this anywhere on their website).

UPDATE 19 MARCH: This statement has been removed and replaced with “EziBarcodes is a tech startup based out of Perth, Western Australia.” This was most likely changed as they had been caught out in a false statement.

4. They have made themselves as anonymous as possible – they have extremely little information about themselves, or their company, on their website.

On the www.ezibarcodes.co.uk “About Us” page they refer to themselves “EziBarcodes” only. They don’t provide their company name, company address, business number, business registration details, or the name of their director (or the names of any staff members).

5. They have very little contact information on their website.

There is no email address, phone number, or physical address on their website. The only way to contact them is via the Contact Form on their “Contact” page.

6. They falsely claim that their barcode numbers are accepted by any retail outlet worldwide.

On the ezibarcodes.co.uk homepage they say:

Also, on their FAQ page they say:

This statement is false. There are definitely some retailers worldwide that will refuse to accept barcodes from EziBarcodes because their company policy is only to accept barcodes that are purchased directly from GS1 (examples of retailers with this policy are Wal-Mart in the USA, and the Super Retail Group in New Zealand and Australia).

There are other retailers that will only accept barcodes if they come with Barcode Verification Reports and/or a manufacturers GLN number (e.g. ASDA, Tesco, Homebase in the UK). EziBarcodes only provide EAN-13 barcode numbers and images – they don’t provide GLN numbers or verification reports.

UPDATE 19 MARCH: This has been changed to state that their barcodes are accepted in “most” stores and that there are “some exceptions”. Clearly, they have been caught out in another false statement and had to change their claims.


What are UK barcodes?

UK barcodes are barcodes that can be used for retail in the United Kingdom. This generally means EAN-13 barcodes which are a 13 digit barcode that is most common on products in the UK, however it could also mean UPC-A barcodes (which are 12 digit barcodes more common in the USA and Canada), or ITF-14 carton codes (which are commonly used for the Cartons of 6 or 12 of a product)

What is the difference between UPC and EAN-13 Barcodes?

Both EAN-13 barcodes and UPC barcodes can theoretically be used anywhere in the world. However, EAN-13 barcodes are far more common in the UK and internationally whereas UPC barcodes are more common in the USA.

Where can I get barcodes for my products?

There are essentially two options for where you can obtain barcodes. The first is to go through GS1-UK. This is a global organisation that rents barcodes out to you and charges both a joining fee and annual membership fee. This means that they are both expensive in the short term and cost continually on an annual basis. GS1 UK is the only company that can provide legal ’50 barcodes (the UK country code).

Luckily there are alternatives to GS1 which come in the form of barcode resellers. These have barcodes that are part of the GS1 system and work internationally in the same way. However, they are outside of GS1’s control and can, therefore, be sold for a one-off cost. This makes them a much more affordable option for small to medium size business owners.

Barcodes through members of the International Barcodes Network tend to be good options for a reliable barcode reseller. They have been in the business for ten years and sold in over 100 countries to 10’s of thousands of customers. There are a couple of options for this network in the UK. You could check out barcode1.co.uk or buybarcodes.co.uk.

What to watch out for with barcode resellers?

As with most things, there are trustworthy barcode resellers and non-trustworthy ones. There are a few things to watch out for that should tip you off to the fact that they can’t be trusted.

Watch out for:

  • Sites that say they can sell you barcodes with your country code ’50’ in the UK.
  • Sites that are difficult to contact or only have an email address available.
  • Sites that are too cheap. If they are selling barcodes too cheap, they probably can’t ensure that they are unique and will likely cut and run if you have issues later. If you are printing something on thousands of products, then you want to make sure it is as good as possible.

Take a look at the Barcode Sellers Website here. This has more information on what to look out for as well as specific warnings on the worst of these sites.