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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

UPC codes

Could anything be more confusing?

After I spent nearly $800 to get a unique company identifier for creating bar codes, I found out that you can buy one-off bar codes for just a little more than 1% of that.  Granted, it comes with a caveat that says not all stores will accept them - Wal-Mart being chief among them, so what - but clearly it's ok with Whole Foods since they referred me to one of these sites in the first place.

I called to cancel my membership with GS1 which they will do for a cool $250 for "administrative fees."  This is supposedly part of the license agreement but I couldn't find this printed anywhere, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can get out of it.  Still, I'd rather be out $250 than $800.  Before canceling, though, I have to be sure that Total Wine will accept these bar codes.

I submitted a new item form to them today and they require a scannable UPC with the form, so I went ahead and purchased 2, one for them and one for WFM.  If Total Wine doesn't accept the bar code - assuming that they do accept my wine bottle bag (unlikely), then I'll have to bite the bullet with GS1.  Otherwise, I'll cancel.

Anyway, what's up with charging $800 to keep a bunch of numbers straight?  Isn't that basic spreadsheet management, and couldn't it simply be automated?  What a racket!

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