The company that “creates” the bar codes for coupons is called GS1. They have been working on creating a new system and this includes putting the “Databar Barcode” on coupons.
Here’s how it’s changed….
You can see that any coupons that were released before 2008 had 2 UPC bar codes on them (as seen in image above).
In the coupons released after 2008, you can see in the image above, the barcode is smaller and there is now a Databar Barcode.
Now, coupons more and more are starting to look like the one above with just a Databar Barcode and this has a lot of you concerned.
What is the “Databar Barcode” you ask?
Well, this Barcode contains a lot more information which was created to make your checkout go more smoothly and quickly. Encoded in these codes are things like the expiration date, weight of the products accepted, exact products, quantity and any other information that the manufacturer would like to put in the coupon.
Therefor, the cashiers don’t have to spend as much time reading the coupon, making sure it’s being used in the correct items, not expired etc. In return, it’s going to help make sure WE as couponers are doing things correctly and not fraudulently using coupons (whether it’s on purpose or by accident).
How does this affect us when using our coupons?
Unfortunately, some retailers have not updated their scanning equipment which is causing a “beep” when your Databar barcode is scanned. We are all just waiting for the computer systems to be updated soon so we no longer have any bumps when checking out. You may also want to learn more about it on the GS1 website here AND print out some information to show the cashier when using these coupons.