How can Barcode resellers exist?
Barcode resellers purchase numbers in bulk that were formerly sold outright by the uniform code council. A court battle in the 1990s showed that these numbers had been sold, and therefore GS1 could have no claim on membership fees and annual fees etc. This means that reseller barcodes are considerably cheaper than other barcodes as there are no ongoing fees.
Can I buy from any reseller?
Like with a lot of things, some resellers are legitimate, whereas others are not. It is important to check that the company is legitimate before purchasing. It is costly to reprint your new barcodes if the first purchase turns out to be illegitimate. Watch out for: A company that isn’t easy to contact, that can’t provide evidence of the ownership chain of the barcodes, hasn’t been established long and sells ‘barcodes’ for a ridiculously low price.