The Add-5 barcode appends extra information to EAN-13, UPC-A, or UPC-E barcodes. It typically appears just to the right of the original barcode and is separated by a small space to differentiate the two codes. Similar to the Add-2 format, Add-5 codes are designed to communicate specific information in a small space using just five digits. There is no check digit in an Add-5 barcode.
Add-5 codes bear a strong resemblance to their parent UPC or EAN barcodes with a familiar pattern of varying-width bars and spaces. These barcodes cannot be used on their own. If they don’t appear in conjunction with valid EAN-13, UPC-A, or UPC-E codes, Add-5 formats are effectively unreadable. It’s also worth noting that since these codes lack check digit values they’re less secure than other barcode types. As a result, they’re typically limited in scope and application to ensure critical data isn’t compromised..
Common Use Cases
The most common use cases of Add-5 barcodes are for books, magazines, and other publications. For UPC variants, the Add-5 code is often used to designate issue or volume number, while EAN-13 attachments are used to specify price. The first digit of the EAN-13 Add-5 indicates the currency: 0 and 1 represent British pounds, 3 is Australian dollars, 4 is the New Zealand dollar, 5 is USD, and 6 is Canadian dollars. The next four digits represent the price multiplied by 100.
For example, an Add-5 code of 54495 means that the currency is USD and the price is $44.95. If the last four digits of an Add-5 code are 9999, this indicates a price that is equal to — or higher than — $99.99 in the specified currency.