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The two-minute guide to using barcodes

by Matthew Kostanecki | Last Updated: July 30th, 2021 | Barcoding | 24 comments

If you sell products, you may want to take advantage of their barcodes to let you take orders and receive goods faster and more accurately. If you’re selling a product, just scan what you’re selling, then print out an invoice and have your inventory automatically adjusted.

It’s much easier and cheaper to get this going than most people think. All you need besides your computer is a barcode scanner and some compatible software. Turns out, we’ll be able to help you with both!

The Brite Barcode Scanner

The Brite USB barcode scanner comes in your choice of 7 different colors and simply just works! It’ll scan almost all 1D barcodes such as UPCs, EANs, Code 3 of 9, Code 128 and much more. Simply plug it in and you’re good to go!

brite barcode scanners

It also comes with a full 60 day money back guarantee and full no hassle 1 year warranty. You’ll love using it in your business!

Visit to check them out now (on sale for a limited time). 

How about inventory software?

You also have various options for the software. If you run a retail store, a point of sale (POS) system may suit your needs. You can also buy add-ons that add barcode capability to Quickbooks. Or inFlow Inventory is a complete small business system that lets you manage inventory and take orders using barcodes. It even has a Free Edition you can download and use with no time limits.

Matthew Kostanecki

Matthew Kostanecki

Matthew Kostanecki is speaker, author, and active contributor to the small business community. He leads the marketing and business development for inFlow Inventory.


  1. Mike

    Symbol barcode scanners are designed to maximize productivity. From ruggedized, industrial-class scanning in warehouse environments, to speeding your customers through the checkout isle at a retail location, there is a Symbol scanner that will suit your need. Symbol scanners have best-in-class features and perform under almost any conditions. Durable, reliable and affordable, Symbol scanners have it all.

  2. zuberi

    what do i need to start a barcode business?

  3. inFlow Inventory

    You can buy a scanner from the online stores in this blog post, and use inFlow software to help you keep track of your stock.

  4. Michael

    i used to get my barcodes. I paid 50$ for a barcode with lifetime right of usage and i even got a second for free.

  5. inFlow Inventory

    Thanks Michael; that’s a great tip that I’m sure will help people!

  6. Rod

    I am having trouble finding a good program for inventory tracking. I want to be able to use my new barcode scanner (USB) with a simple inventory control program (possibly free). I tried inFlow but was a little overwhelmed. I am brand new to barcoding. I want to be able to scan an item and have the database (inventory control program) to subtract from whatever total quantity. Please help, thank you.


  7. taye mamaru

    i read the message u sent to me bit i can not find any point that could be the answer for my question.i were interested to get this soft ware having my own account by free since i can not afford any payment u know this is why since i am from ethiopia. so please try your best to help me have a free inflow soft ware with my own account.i hope u will do this soon
    thank you in advance
    I am taye from Ethiopia,Bahir Dar

  8. Julie

    I have a series of 49 bar code numbers that I have been shown how to input into Corel to convert to the bar code. I do not understand how the code is programmed to have the information about the product and price. Where does that stage occur?

    – Julie

  9. P

    Dont even spend $150 i bought a usb barcode scanner on ebay new from Hong Kong for $40 shipped and it works great with inflow and my computer! It was plug and play and saves me tons of time.

  10. inFlow Inventory

    (Sorry for the extremely slow responses!)
    @Taye: You can try our Free Edition at

    @Julie: Usually, this information isn’t kept within the barcode itself. You would use some software (e.g. inFlow) that recognizes the product from the barcode, and then retrieves the rest of the product information, including the price.

    @P: That’s quite a bargain! Thanks for sharing

  11. Don

    Do you have any solutions for companies that have not implemented barcoding, but need to conduct periodic tagged physical inventory counts? A challenge many companies face with this type of inventory count is that they are using the manila tags with carbon copies (some are carbonless) and require a great deal of handwriting.

  12. Wheecelem

    Hi. I needed to drop you a fast be aware to specific my thanks. Ive been following your weblog for a month or so and have picked up a ton of fine information and loved the method youve structured your site. I am making an attempt to run my very personal blog nonetheless I think its too common and I need to concentrate on quite a lot of smaller topics. Being all issues to all people isn’t all that its cracked as much as be


  13. Julia

    Hi. I have a barcode printer and a scanner. I printed out some lables and tried to scan, but inflow is not picking up the information. How do I connect the scanner so it will work witn inflow?

    Please help

  14. inFlow Inventory

    Hi Julia,

    Sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with the scanner. If you can open a new notepad, scan the barcode and have the numbers show up then you should be able to use the scanner with inFlow. If you don’t see any numbers appear the scanner is likely not properly installed and you may want to contact the manufacturer.

    For more information on Barcodes and inFlow please see our article here: Support

    And let us know if you have any further questions or concerns!

  15. Raghuraj

    Hi. I have scanned aproduct and got code No.308570010, format-code_128. How do I know the details of the product?. Pl mail me.

  16. inFlow Inventory

    I’m sorry Raghuraj but the scanner (unless it is very sophisticated and has access to a vast database of items) will not be able to give you the details of the product. You will have to save the barcode to the product record so that the system knows which product your scanning. Hope that helps!

  17. Saurabh

    I want to use Barcode in Godown for Identifying Inventory…etc. So what all things will i need and what will be the investment. The Books has a Barcode so is it necessary to have a printer?

  18. Jim

    Thank you for the very informative article on bar coding, I am just getting started and want to avoid mistakes.

    Thank You


  19. maria

    how are barcodes used?

  20. James Baxter

    I am looking to do a service, so when a person walks in the door, I am looking to get his/her ID that should go to a computer. Then to print out a bar code for a package, if left. Then when service is done on more the one machine. I am looking at having a barcode on each machine, (so I know who did the work) so when done. The item goes back to the same package/person. Also I am looking at each person on the floor, with a barcode or name, as I know who did the work.

    So when the package is shipped. Then to use the same package,
    I hope I can make cents

    • Thomas Wong

      Hi James, I think inFlow Cloud could help you with this.

      When a customer walks in, you could create a new purchase order for them.
      If you want to track who dropped the item off, make sure to assign the vendor name as the customer name. Otherwise a generic vendor name like “Drop off” will do the trick.

      If they’re leaving a new product with you, you could create it on the spot and assign a purchase price of $0.00.
      inFlow can create a new barcode for it right on the spot, and you can print the label right then, too.

      When the work has been done on the item, you can create a sales order, specify the customer, and sell the item back to them at a price of $0.00 on a sales order.
      And since you make your money based on the services provided, so you’d add service items onto that sales order. This ensures that inFlow tracks that you made no money off the item itself, just the services rendered.

      If you ever want to look up what kind of service was done on that item, you’d simply need to look it up in the system using the barcode. inFlow keeps a complete record of which orders an item was involved in.

      I hope that helps!


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