Keeping track of your products and assets manually is a chore. Why not barcode them? The technology to create them is accessible via the Web and there are tons of free apps for smartphone users that can serve as scanners.
For the business owner who needs to get inventory organized and barcoded, this list of barcode generators is for you. Below are eleven free and low-cost tools to create either barcodes or QR codes.
QR codes are more of a marketing tactic. You have probably seen these codes in direct mail packages, in emails or on storefront windows and doors. A QR code can suffice for certain types of inventory control, but most companies prefer barcodes for inventory management.
All of these barcode generators are free unless otherwise noted. Plus there is a useful book listed at the end of the article.
11 Barcode Generators
One of the easiest online barcode creators that I found. As you can see above, you just select the style you need or want and the software creates it.
OnlineLabels has both a barcode and a QR code creator. They also have a nifty Nutrition Label creator. I’m thinking of making my own low-fat potato chip label so I won’t feel guilty anymore…
They have a simple online tool, but also sell the fonts in their downloadable software package.
They sell a range of barcoding equipment and label makers, but also offer barcode and QR code generators online.
TEC-IT lets you download its online tool code snippet to place on your own website. They also sell a full barcode software suite for Windows, Mac, and SAP.
Wasp Barcode (above) offers a free online barcode generator, in addition to a full arsenal of barcode technology, to help you create codes. They even email them to you after you fill out the form.
The generator is hosted at SourceForge and is highly rated and only available as downloaded software. No online tool.
Well-rated on CNET as a top download. They have a 15-day free trial, but it is $60 to purchase a one-time license.
Smartphone Ready QR Codes for Marketing
For those who want to create smartphone-ready QR codes for marketing and sales purposes, the three online generators below are solid.
Kaywa is a free online QR code generator. However, they also have a robust paid plan because it has deeper analytics that it can perform.
ZXing Project is one of my favorites because they let you put all sorts of custom data into the QR code.
QR Stuff is a rich site with all sorts of options to make customizing your QR code painless. As you can see above, lots of options.
Bonus: A Book on Barcodes
Matt Kostanecki, marketing guy at inFlow Inventory software, wrote an excellent, detailed book on the topic of barcodes. If you need to create a barcode system, you’ll want to check out this affordable barcode book for small businesses. For Amazon Prime members, it’s currently free on Amazon.
With all of these free and low-cost barcode generators, there is no reason to keep doing it manually. Even if you don’t use them at the point of sale, it will help you during annual and quarterly inventory counts.
If you are considering a barcode solution, are you planning to use a smartphone as the scanner or will you purchase a stand-alone scanner?