100% Legal, Official & Unique Barcodes

UPC Barcodes for Magazines

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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 for a magazine. Consider this example:
12-digit standard UPC barcode
Periodical or issue supplemental which identifies the issue of a given year
UPC & Magazine Barcode Examples
COSTS: $89 for the official UPC code
  $25 to add text above your graphic (optional)
  Order Magazine Barcodes Now! or call us at +1 404-869-0701 or 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. Sample UPC & ISSN Barcode Image
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 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 of you already have your UPC and only need to order additional periodical codes. $3.75(or less) 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 checks, money orders, and wire transfers. If you wish to use one of those payment methods, please print and complete this form.

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 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.

Apart from Magazine Barcodes we also offer UPC Codes, EAN Codes, Barcodes for Amazon, ISBN Barcodes, Magazine Barcodes, Barcodes for Produce, Barcodes for Greeting Cards, Music Barcodes, GTIN Codes, SCC-14 Codes, SSCC-18 Codes, QR Codes, Data Matrix Barcodes, Coupon Barcodes, UPN Barcodes, Code 128 Barcodes, Code 39 Barcodes, and many other barcode types. We also provide Label Printing, Barcode Graphic Creation and Other Barcoding Services.

Call 877-872-2060 (toll-free) or +1 404-869-0701 (international) or live chat with our Experts for more information regarding our barcoding services. Our multilingual customer service team welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your unique situation.

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  •   “I was surprised at how fast and responsive the customer service was – I’m impressed that I was immediately transferred through to a real person. Simply Barcodes was willing to work with me on my request, and that makes a huge difference. Very helpful – thanks so much!”

    Diana Lee
    Harvard Business School
    Boston, MA, USA
  •   "Working with Simply Barcodes has been just like working with a small local business. You are friendly, personable and always appreciative of my business. I’ve never met our representative personally but feel like I’ve known him forever. Thanks guys!"

    Jason McMahon
    Substream Music Press
    Delaware, OH, USA
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    Erendira Sanchez
    Forbes Mexico
    Mexico City, Mexico
  •   "Working with Simply Barcodes was simply amazing. Other companies were telling us it wouldtake 6-8 weeks to get a barcode on our monthly publication (a time frame we could not afford), but Simply Barcodes was fast, friendly and very knowledgeable. We got what we needed the same day! In the future we’ll definitely be using their services for all future products."

    Kathryn Robinson
    Associate Editor -
    Floridian View Magazine VP of Marketing & Destination Development
    Vanguard Omni Media Group
    Daytona Beach Shores, FL
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    FDS Media LLC
    Cherry Valley, IL