What is a barcode?

A barcode is a unique code that identifies a specific product. It includes a particular set of numbers, as well as a unique pattern of stripes – or "bars". This pattern enables computers and optical readers, like the ones you see at the checkout counters of retail stores, to recognize the code. The list of numbers, on the other hand, can be used for typing into a search engine, such as Barcode Live, to find info on that specific product.

Are there different kinds of barcodes?

Yes! Different countries and regions use different barcode formats. The U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand use barcodes that are called Universal Product Codes (UPCs), and most other countries use the UPC format, too. On the other hand, many retailers in Europe and other areas use a barcode format called International Article Number (EAN, since it used to be called European Article Number). Books often use their own special type of barcode format, called the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

Where do you get your barcode information?

Our barcode and product data comes straight from a worldwide network of more than 1,500 retailers and regular users just like you. On a daily basis, companies and individual users send us new and updated barcodes with product data.

How do I add my barcode and product information?

Visit our Add Barcode page to add your product or edit the product information if it already exists.

If a barcode is not found on your site, does that mean it isn't real?

Not necessarily. Although our database contains info on millions of barcodes and products, that doesn't mean we have every single barcode used anywhere in the world. If your search doesn't return information on a certain barcode, it simply means we don't have it yet. Unfortunately, if you can't find any information in our database about a particular barcode, that means we don't know anything about that particular item.