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Use GTINs with Square

Who is this article for?
This article is for business owners and team members with item creation permissions who are creating items with GTINs in Square Dashboard, Square Point of Sale, and the Square Retail POS app. Learn more about Square Staff and custom permissions.

About GTINs

You can manually add GTINs to item variations from Square Point of Sale, the Square Retail POS app, and Square Dashboard.

A Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is the source of truth and used to identify trade items and products throughout the supply chain, primarily within barcodes. GTIN is a term used to describe multiple families of product identification numbers such as:

  • Universal Product Identifiers (UPC-E, UPC-A, GTIN-12): A 12-digit number used primarily in North America.

  • GTIN-8 (EAN/UCC-8): An 8-digit number commonly used outside of North America.

  • European Article Number (EAN-13 or International Article Number, EAN/UCC-13): A 13-digit number commonly used outside of North America.

  • GTIN-14 (EAN/UCC-14 or ITF-14): A 14-digit number used to identify trade items at various packaging levels.

  • International Standard Book Number (ISBN, GTIN-13): A 13-digit number used to identify hardcover, paperback, and electronic books, as coordinated by the ISBN Agency. The ISBN system was introduced in 1970 as a 10-digit number and was updated in 2007 to 13-digits. 

  • Japanese Article Number (JAN), compatible with EAN/GTIN-13: Japanese Article Number (JAN) is another name for an EAN (GTIN-13) barcode. The first two digits will act as the country code and must be 49 or 45. Just like a UPC, a JAN can be shortened to 8-digits, also known as a short version.

Data associated with a GTIN typically includes all of the details required to catalog a physical good including item name, image, description, brand, etc.

The primary difference between UPC-A and UPC-E is the size of the barcode (e.g. how much space the barcode will take up). 

  • UPC-E is also referred to as a 0-Suppressed UPC because the UPC-E compresses a normal 12 digit UPC-A number into a six digit code. This is done by suppressing the number system digit, with trailing zeros in the manufacturers code and leading zeros in the product number. The seventh digit is a calculated check digit using the first 6 digits of the code. 

  • UPC-E can be uncompressed back into a standard UPC-A 12 digit number. Only UPC-A numbers beginning with “0” have the capability to be compressed into a UPC-E and any manufacturing code starting with a number other than “0” cannot be zero-suppressed.

Manufacturers and brands register their product information to databases such as Gs1 to ensure that retail businesses have access to complete and accurate information about products for sale. Learn more about GTINs.

Before you begin

To use GTINs, you need access to Square Point of Sale, the Square Retail POS app, or Square Dashboard.

Once a GTIN is associated with an item, you can add the item to your customer’s cart by scanning the barcode with a compatible barcode scanner or your iOS device’s camera. Learn how to add items to a cart by scanning a GTIN.

Reusing the same GTIN across multiple item variations is strongly discouraged, as each variation should have its own unique GTIN. Unique GTINs will ensure seamless inventory scanning, scanning for checkout, and listing a product for sale in online sales channels such as Google Shopping.

Manually add a GTIN

Once a GTIN has been associated with an item or item variation, you can take the same actions on the associated items that you normally would — including monitoring the item’s progress through reporting, tracking and adjusting inventory, and creating/printing labels with a GTIN barcode.

From Square Dashboard

  1. Sign in to your Square Dashboard and click Items & orders > Items > Item library.
  2. Select an existing item or click Create an item.
  3. Under Variations, enter the GTIN information into the applicable sections.
  4. Enter all remaining item details and click Save.

From Square Point of Sale and the Retail POS app

You can add GTINs from the Square POS and Retail POS apps on your mobile device, Square Terminal and Square Register.

  1. Open the Retail POS app.
  2. Tap ≡ More > Items > All items.
  3. Select an existing item or tap Create an item.
  4. Under Price and inventory, enter the GTIN.
  5. Enter all remaining item details and tap Save.

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