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Create items by scanning barcodes with Square for Retail

Who is this article for?
This article is for business owners and team members with item creation permissions who are creating items by scanning barcodes with a Square for Retail Free, Plus, or Premium subscription. Learn more about custom permissions and setting up your team with Square for Retail.

About creating items using a GTIN

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

In Square Dashboard and the Square Retail POS app, you can automatically create an item by scanning a GTIN with a compatible barcode scanner or the camera on your iOS device.

Before you begin

To create items by scanning barcodes, you need to have access to your Square Dashboard or the Retail POS app. You also need a compatible barcode scanner or an iOS device with a camera connected to the Retail POS app.

View barcode scanners compatible with Square hardware and learn how to connect a barcode scanner to Square.

To prevent duplication, you’ll receive a notification during the item creation process if the GTIN already exists in your Item library.

Create an item by scanning a barcode

You can easily create items by scanning a UPC/GTIN from Square Dashboard and the Square Retail POS app on iOS devices, Square Terminal, or Square Register.

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 item.
  3. Under the Details section, click Auto create.
  4. Scan the GTIN associated with the item you want to create using a compatible barcode scanner or the built-in camera on your device. You can also search by name or barcode number.
  5. Select the item, then select suggested variations to apply to the item or scan the GTINs associated with the variations you’d like to apply.
  6. Click Add variation(s).
  7. Click Save.

During the item creation process in Square Dashboard, you may see suggestions (highlighted in purple) for Category, Description, Price, and other fields. These suggestions are based on information typically found online that is associated with the GTIN.

Auto create

From the Retail POS app

  1. Open the Retail POS app.
  2. Tap ≡ More > Items > All items.
  3. Tap Create item.
  4. Tap Auto create and scan a barcode using a compatible barcode scanner or the built-in camera on your device. You can also tap Search for items to search by name or GTIN.
  5. Select the item from the Auto create item screen, and tap Continue.
  6. From here, select suggested variations to apply to the item or scan the GTINs associated with the variations you’d like to apply.
  7. Tap Add variation(s).
  8. Tap Save.

During the item creation process in the Retail POS app, you may see description hints (highlighted in green) that provide suggestions for Category names, as well as words and/or phrases to add to the Item Description.

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