Barcodes for Magazines Sold in the USA and/or Canada

The Challenge of Barcoding Magazines
  Simply Barcodes understands the unique challenges facing those needing to barcode a magazine. With so many options available, where do you go, and who is legitimate? Customers often share with us that barcoding magazines seems so complicated. Do they need a UPC and a supplemental code? What are the guidelines for the supplemental code?
  The magazine industry requires the ability to differentiate among the issues of a given year’s magazine. This is accomplished by adding a 2-digit Supplemental Code to the right of the standard UPC code. Consider this example:
12-digit standard UPC barcode
Periodical or issue supplemental which identifies the issue of a given year
COSTS: $89 for the official UPC code
  $5 to $25 for each Issue Supplemental Code
  $25 to add text above your graphic (optional)
  Order Now! or call us at +1-404-869-0701 or 1-877-872-2060 (toll-free)
How are Barcodes for Magazines different?
  The requirements for a barcode for magazines differ slightly from the standard UPC barcoding for other retail products. The reason for this deviation is that the magazine industry requires the ability to differentiate the various issues of a given year’s magazine. You meet this requirement by using a periodical code in addition to your UPC code.
Do I really need a Barcode on my Magazine?
  Yes, most stores have electronic point of sale (ePOS) systems that enable them to keep track of their sales and stocks and to reorder magazines by scanning the barcode.

Most retailers refuse to accept magazines that are not barcoded. In addition, many distributors make use of barcodes in their warehouse systems.
How do Barcodes for Magazines work?
The 12-digit barcode on the left is the standard UPC barcode. This 12-digit UPC code identifies the sale of one title by one publisher.
What differs from one issue of the magazine to another is the barcode on the right. This barcode is referred to as the periodical (bar)code or issue supplemental and identifies the issue of a given year. For example:
  Magazines published quarterly feature issue codes 01, 02, 03, and finally 04.
The following year, the magazine starts over with 01.
  Monthly magazines require issue codes 01 through 12.
  Weekly magazines require issue codes 01 through 53.
  When scanned at the register of your retailer, your magazine title is identified with your company once your 12-digit UPC code scans. Additionally, the 2-digit supplemental code identifies the particular issue being purchased.

Therefore when purchasing barcodes for magazines, you only need one UPC barcode to identify your magazine and as many issue supplemental codes as you have issues per year. (Yes, you can re-use the code from this year’s January issue [Supplemental “01”] for next year’s January issue.)
How do I purchase Barcodes for Magazines?
For assistance, please call us at +1-404-869-0701 or 1-877-872-2060.

Services Description Cost Ordering Instructions
Barcode Package for Magazines UPC and Periodical Codes Varies based on # of issues per year
Supplemental Codes only Use this option if you already have your UPC and only need to order additional periodical codes. $5 to $25 each
  We only require that you provide contact and billing information. You are not required to provide product information.
  Your retailer collects your product information, which they associate with your barcode at the Point of Sale.
  Note: We also accept PayPal, checks or money orders. If using one of these payment methods, please download and complete an Order Form and include it with your payment.
PayPal Checks/Money Orders

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Simply Barcodes
1170 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 1200
Atlanta, GA 30309
What do I get when I order my Barcode for Magazines?
1stUpon completion of your order, you receive an email confirmation of your UPC barcode and/or periodical code for magazine purchase.
2ndSimply Barcodes assigns your official UPC numbers from our database of official codes issued by the UCC (now called GS1).
3rdWe generate the digital barcode images.
4thWe email your UPC and/or periodical barcodes to you as an attachment.
In what format are my Barcodes for Magazines created?

When placing your order for the barcodes for your magazine, you have the option to select from 4 different graphics formats (EPS, PNG, JPEG, or AI) so that your graphic artist, printing company, or manufacturing facility can work with your barcode graphic in their preferred software. (Your choice of 1 format is included in the price but you may purchase as many as all 4 formats.)
EPS Format - This layered, vector EPS file is the preferred format of most graphic designers due to its quality and versatility, particularly for resizing. EPS is an "exchange" format, not necessarily associated with one specific graphics program. An exchange format is one intended for multiple applications to be able to open.
PNG Format - This raster PNG file works well for graphic artists who need a transparent background. This format supports lossless data compression. However, this format is not suitable for significant resizing.
JPEG Format - This uncompressed, high-quality JPEG file is the most common file format. All computers can open a JPEG. However, it is not suitable for resizing.
AI or Adobe Illustrator - This layered, vector AI file, generated in Adobe Illustrator, is the preferred format of most graphic designers due to its quality and versatility, particularly for resizing. AI is an application-native file format for Adobe Illustrator. An application-native format is intended for use by the creating application.
When do I get my Barcodes for Magazines?
  The turn-around time is often within an hour.
All orders received before 4 p.m. Eastern Time on business days are completed the same day. Orders placed after 4 p.m. will be processed next business day. If you require RUSH completion, please call 1-877-872-2060 (toll-free) or +1-404-869-0701 (international) to make arrangements.
How do I get my Barcode on my Magazine?
  Providing the barcode image to your graphic artist and including it in the design of your packaging prior to printing is the easiest and most economical way of getting your barcode on your magazine.

If your magazine has already been printed, you will need barcode labels. If you would like to order pre-printed barcode labels, please select this option when ordering your UPC code. If you have already completed your order, then click label printing to order labels. All orders received before 2 p.m. EST on business days are completed the same day and shipped for free within the continental U.S.
What if I am selling to The Kroger Co., Macys, Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Sears Brands, LLC or other stores that require GS1 membership?
  In the case of these few retailers, you will have no choice but to lease your UPC numbers directly from GS1. These stores require that you have your own GS1 membership.

However, once you have obtained your prefix number from GS1, you can still return to us to have your barcode images created professionally using the GS1 numbers.


  •   “I am happy with my experience with Simply Barcodes. I own a digital printing shop and I was impressed with the ease of the process. All we had to do was order and that same day we were able to put the barcode in the packaging artwork. I did not have any problems.”

    Ysabelle Roy
    Port-au-Prince, Petion Ville, Haiti
  •   “It was so easy to get the barcode. The process was very simple. I received my barcode within one hour. In a matter of minutes we were able to use the barcode. I am happy with my experience with you.”

    Michel Moore
    Candiac, QC, Canada
  •   “We purchased codes from you previously and we expect to purchase another 10 codes from you within a year. Thanks for a great service.”

    Judy Jui
    Judy's Magic Mixes
    Ontario, Canada
  •   “The process was quick and we received our barcodes the same day. We are very happy with your service.”

    Ann Alari
    Nemcom International OU
    Surrey, Great Britain
  •   “We were really pleased with the fast and careful service that we were provided by Simply Barcodes, who in record-setting time, delivered our EAN barcodes. Very thankful for your efficiency and professionalism!”

    Erendira Sanchez
    Forbes Mexico
    Mexico City, Mexico
  •   “It was a simple and easy process. I received my barcodes quickly. The service is efficient and friendly.”

    Fiona Silk
    Mind Candy
    London, Great Britain