EziBarcodes, currently operating in the UK & NZ, calls itself “New Zealand’s/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 (kindly reposted here with permission from http://barcodesellers.org/ezibarcodesnz):
MAJOR ISSUES (as of 18 February 2019):
1. Falsely declares that they are “New Zealand’s/UK’s longest standing online barcodes retailer” on their “About Us” page.
This is a clear lie. The company Krucial PTY LTD was registered three months ago on 23 November 2018, and their domains were registered only in November 2018 (UK) and January 2019 (NZ).
Other barcode seller companies in Australia, New Zealand & UK have been around for well over ten years (for example Barcodes Ltd, were both registered in 2004).
They will likely be launching in Australia soon falsely claiming the same status.
2. Claims to issue barcode numbers that start with the Country prefix. However, it has no legal authority to issue these prefix barcode numbers.
On both of their Home Pages they state:
All EAN-13 barcode numbers that start with “94” (the New Zealand country prefix) and “50” (the UK country prefix) are owned by GS1. GS1 is the only company that has the authority to issue barcode numbers that start with the specific country prefix – no other barcode seller worldwide has legal authorisation to do this.
They will likely be claiming the same once they launch in Australia, falsely advertising that they sell barcode numbers that start with “93”.
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.
3. Although they claim to issue barcode numbers that start with “94” and “50” they actually issue barcode numbers that start with “07”.
We ordered an EAN-13 barcode from ezibarcodes.co.nz on 18 February 2018, and the barcode number they issued to us began with “07” (the US country prefix) not “94” or “50”.
4. They say they are “Locally owned and operated” on both their NZ & UK websites on the “About Us” page. However, they’re based in Australia not New Zealand or the UK.
Their business Krucial PTY LTD is owned and run from Perth, Australia. They have no New Zealand or UK based office, staff, or contact details.
5. They have made themselves as anonymous as possible – they have extremely little information about themselves, or their company, on their website.
On their “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). We had to search for their domain on the NZ Domain Name Commission website to find the name of the company behind the website (we found that the domain was purchased by Jeremy Stocker on behalf of Krucial PTY LTD in Australia).
6. 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.
7. Falsely claim that their barcode numbers are accepted by any retail outlet worldwide.
On their homepage, they say “your barcodes are 100% guaranteed to work in any store.” Also, On their FAQ page they say:
This statement is false. There are definitely some retailers worldwide (in New Zealand, Australia, the USA etc.) 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.
So, where should I get barcodes for my products?
There are essentially two options for where you can obtain barcodes. The first is to go through GS1. 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 NZ, GS1 Australia and GS1 UK are the only companies that can provide legal country-specific prefix barcodes (with country codes ’50’ for the UK, ’94’ for NZ and ’93’ for Australia).
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. They operate in New Zealand, Australia (barcodesaustralia.com and barcode1.com.au) and the UK (barcode1.co.uk and buybarcodes.co.uk) and through them, you can purchase authentic and unique barcode numbers, images and various other barcode related products and services.
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 prefix (’94’ in NZ, ’93’ in Australia and ’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.