When your barcode or scanner is not scanning you can follow the steps below to troubleshoot it.
- First, let's make sure the barcode scanner is working properly
For this you'll need an open text document where your keyboard can enter text and a retail barcode that you know to be scannable. The text doc can notepad on windows, Notes on mac or just a blank Gmail message, anywhere you can type. Place the cursor in the message so it's ready to receive the scanner output.
Next, verify your scanner is plugged into the computer (and turned on if it has an off switch). If it is a bluetooth scanner you'll need to pair it with the computer according to the manufacturer's instructions. USB Scanners do not usually require any special drivers as they are recognized automatically as a keyboard.
The best source for verified barcodes is usually store-bought product packaging you might have around. These are generally UPC-A barcodes that every scanner should be able to read. If you have any doubt that the store-bought barcode is scannable you can test it with another scanner or get a few items to test with. The chance of finding multiple retail items with barcodes that do not scan is super low.
Scan the barcode and see if it gets typed out in the email. The cursor should jump to the next line after the barcode value is typed out. Scanning multiple times should put one barcode on each line.
If it types out the barcode and moves to the next line, congratulations, your scanner is working properly. Retry scanning the barcode you were having trouble with before. If nothing happens, or the response from the scanner is the same as when you scan the back of your hand, then the barcode is likely the culprit. The most common issues and resolutions are listed below:
- The barcode has too many characters and is not readable.
There is no "hard limit" to the length of a barcode so the quality of the printing and the scanner determine the maximum length. Usually, barcodes with 25-30 characters or less have no issue unless there is a problem with the printing.
- The printing is not sharp so only short barcodes are readable.
It could be that the printer has a physical issue but most often the cause is that the printer resolution is not set to the "native resolution" of the printer. The pdf manual for your printer will likely let you know what it should be set to. Often the native resolution is 72 dpi for Zebra thermal printers, and printing is blurry when they are set to the max dpi of 300 or any other resolution.
- The printing format is cropping off the ends of the barcode making it unreadable.
You can likely adjust the packing slip template to remedy this. In many cases, shorter barcodes will not get cropped but longer barcodes will. Verify that the complete barcode is visible on the packing slip
- The barcode format is not compatible with the scanner.
This is super rare but it could be the case if you have ruled out everything else.
- The data encoded in the barcode is not compatible with the barcode format.
The characters supported vary from format to format. If unexpected characters are included it could create a barcode that is not readable.
If the scanner beeps to indicate it recognized a barcode but no output is typed out, it often indicates a connection issue or a scanner configuration issue. Most often this is seen with a Bluetooth scanner that is not properly connected. If it is a USB scanner, try another USB port and if possible, another computer. If there is still no response the scanner may be defective or may need to be reprogrammed according to the manufacturer's instructions.
If it types out the barcode but does not move to the next line, and subsequent scans add the barcode to the same line, you'll need to download the scanner's manual and follow the steps to enable the sending of a carriage return after the barcode. Most scanners do this by default, but if not, it's usually quick to enable this feature with the manufacturer's instructions.
Once you've verified the scanner and the barcode are working, it's time to move on to troubleshooting in GroovePacker.
Order number barcodes
If the problem is an order number barcode on a packing slip let's start by verifying the order number barcode by scanning it into an email as mentioned above or any text document. When you scan the order number barcode from the packing slip it should type out the order number exactly as it appears on the imported order in GroovePacker. If instead, you see something like the following: ^#AB8FE1E then you have the "Scan to view" barcode rather than the order number barcode. This article explains the difference. If the correct order number is typed out when you scan the barcode then we should check that the order has been imported. Open the orders section in GroovePacker and scan the barcode into the search bar. If the order does not display and the order number in the search field matches exactly what you have for the order number in the order manager or store then the order did not import. Please see this article for troubleshooting import issues.
If the problem is a product barcode not being recognized during packing let's find the product in GroovePacker and take a closer look. Open the products section and search for the product using it's SKU or name. When you see it in the list, click on the product name to open the product's details. Verify that the correct barcode is saved in the barcodes field.
Next, click the "add" link beside the barcode. Scan the product barcode that was not recognized in scan and pack. If the barcode is added and saved then it must not be an exact match of what was saved before. Now that the correct barcode is saved the product should scan properly.
If the barcode was not added, close the product and scan the barcode again with the cursor in the product's search field. Verify that the same product is displayed. If a different product record is shown then there are two similar product records that should likely be aliased together. If the exact same product is displayed when you search by the barcode then the product barcode is correct. Please verify that this is the same product that was giving trouble in scan and pack by opening the order in the orders section and checking. If so please contact support and let them know the Order number of the order you tried as well as the SKU of the item displaying this issue.