Barcode Guide

Save Money: Barcode Errors Are Costly!

Once a magazine is printed, the two largest costs of distribution (aside from promotions) are shipping and improper barcoding. Avoid these costly errors by ensuring the barcode and issue name/number printed on the cover match, and the correct price appears on the front cover.

Remember if the price of an issue changes, the barcode must also change—and it is much cheaper to change in advance. Also note, it is not possible to use the same UPC for issues that come out in the same calendar year.

Image of a barcode

Manufacturer’s Code  Bipad Check Digit   UPC
Identifies your primary distributor  your title authenticity of the barcode the issue, either by issue number, season or month
When to Change whenever there is a price change only if you leave your original distributor calculated by the barcode generator each issue in a calendar year
Conditions usually supplied by your distributor, who owns the actual number but generally lets a title use it for free this number stays with your title, but If you do stand-alone issues with a sales schedule that overlaps your regular title, they should have their own bipads you cannot use the same UPC twice in a calendar year, and the UPC you choose MUST match something printed on your cover (season, month, issue number)

Have a magazine but no barcode? Read: Speaking in Code: Obtaining Barcodes and UPCs for You and Your Magazine by Gavin Babstock.

If you need barcodes or advice on barcodes please email Chris Chambers, Manager, Retail Accounts at cchambers@magazinescanada.ca.