Barcode Scanners

5 Ways to Avoid Common Barcode Scanning Errors


Barcodes have made life so much easier for businesses around the world. You no longer need to manually type in a product’s price or shout it across the room to your coworker. All you need is a barcode scanner and you’re set! While all this technology has given us some conveniences, it’s also created many new opportunities for error. That’s why it’s important to know how to avoid these common scanning errors.

1. Inadequate Training

One of the most common causes of barcode scanning errors is inadequate training. If your employees are not properly trained on how to use the barcode scanner, they will likely make mistakes that can lead to errors.

Make sure that you take the time to train your employees on how to use the scanner properly. This includes showing them how to position the scanner, how to hold it, and how to read the barcodes.

2. Poor Scanner Quality

Barcode scanners come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to choose one that’s right for your needs. If you’re scanning small items, for example, you’ll need a smaller scanner. If you’re scanning large items, you might need an industrial-grade scanner.

You also need to make sure your barcode scanner is properly calibrated. If it’s not, it might not be able to read barcodes correctly. 

Remember that not all scanners are created equal, and cutting corners in this area can lead to massive headaches in the future.

3. Damaged Barcodes

A damaged barcode can cause scanning errors and lead to incorrect product prices or even product returns.

Check the barcode before scanning it. Make sure there are no rips, tears, or smudges that could prevent the scanner from reading it correctly.

Store barcodes in a cool, dry place. Extreme heat or cold can damage barcodes, so it’s important to keep them stored in a temperature-controlled environment.

4. Software Issues

There are a few different software issues that can cause problems with barcode scanning.

One of the most common problems is the way that some barcode scanners handle blank spaces. If a scanner encounters a blank space, it will often stop scanning until the space is removed.

To avoid this problem, make sure that you remove any blank spaces from your barcode before scanning it. You can do this by using a text editor to remove the spaces or by using a barcode scanner that can handle blank spaces.

Incorrect symbology settings causes another common problem. Most barcode scanners come with a default symbology setting that should work for most barcodes.

However, if you are using a specific type of barcode, you may need to change the scanner’s symbology setting to match the type of barcode you are using. For example, if you are using an EAN-13 barcode, you will need to change the scanner’s symbology setting to EAN-13.

If you are not sure what symbology setting to use, consult the documentation for your barcode scanner or contact the manufacturer for help.

5. Dirty Barcode Scanner

If your scanner is not clean, it can prevent the barcode from being read correctly.  Scanners easily acquire dust and debris. Oil from the handler can also cause issues. Make sure to clean your scanner regularly to avoid this issue.

Barcode scanners are an essential part of any business that relies on them for inventory and point-of-sale purposes. However, like any other piece of technology, they are not perfect and can sometimes make mistakes. The suggestions above can help prevent common errors. We hope you found this article useful and your business continues to grow and prosper.