Not All Barcode Labels Are Created Equal: Why Quality Matters

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Posted Oct 3, 2018, 8:21:31 PM by DecisionPoint Team & filed under

When choosing barcode labels, many businesses look for the cheapest option. But focusing on the up-front cost comes with a long-term price. Cheaper means lower quality, which often leads to poor print quality, adhesive failures, scanning issues, and other headaches.

The smarter approach is to balance your up-front label costs with the long-term value of quality. Using quality labels minimizes the hidden costs of having to reprint labels, burn through printheads to compensate for printing issues, and lose time and money because barcodes aren’t scanning.

To avoid these issues, it’s important to understand the materials that go into a proper label and why their quality matters. Multiple items must combine to ensure fast, efficient and clearly readable printing with minimal supplies usage and printhead wear. 

The Anatomy of a Label

 Here are the components of a label and the role that each one plays:


  • The release liner and silicone coating are especially critical if you’re using a label applicator to apply the label after being printed from a print engine.
  • A standard adhesive sticks well to most items, but some surfaces need a more aggressive adhesive. A label’s adhesive is critical in extreme temperatures, on rough surfaces, and on certain surface types.
  • The facestock of a direct thermal material differs from supplier to supplier and specifically in the sensitivity which affects the darkness setting you use on your printer.
  • The topcoat provides additional protection to the label.

Why Quality, Pre-Tested Label Materials Matter

Pre-tested, consistent label materials ensure print quality and reduce the need to re-print labels due to poor readability and scanability. It also ensures the clarity and accuracy of barcodes, prices and other business-critical information on your labels.

Using high-quality labels and printing supplies also helps you minimize printer servicing and repair costs by using materials designed specifically for the demands of your application and that maximize the availability and productivity of your printers.

Why Zebra Labels Are the Right Choice

 At DecisionPoint, our professional labeling experts recommend using labels, ribbons and printing supplies from Zebra Technologies. Zebra pre-tests all of its labels and supplies, uses consistent materials in its manufacturing process, and has ISO 9001:2008 certified processes in place to ensure the highest label quality and print performance.

Quality Assurance



Zebra’s research and development team pre-tests all materials on Zebra printers, putting labels through stringent tests and analysis.

  • Pre-testing on Zebra Printers
  • Assessment of printhead wear
  • Verification of adhesive strength specifications
  • Pre-tests for different environmental factors
    • Indoor/outdoor
    • Low/high temperatures
    • Abrasion
    • Chemical

Unsurpassed Selection

Zebra offers more than 1,000 combinations of labels, tags, receipts, wristbands, and ribbons, including over 500 stock products. There is simply no match for Zebra’s product offering and quality on the market today.

Testable Samples

 Zebra’s samples program allows you to check the quality and application of labels before you buy them.

  • Pre-Printed Strips allow you to check label adhesive, thickness, color, and durability.
  • Sample Packs showcase available products and introduce new solutions.
  • SAM Rolls provide small rolls of labels so you can test printing and durability.
  • ZipShip Rolls are used to test label applications and are available in the most popular sizes.

Guaranteed Printhead Protection

If you own Zebra printers and agree to use genuine Zebra supplies exclusively, Zebra will cover the cost of a printhead if it ever wears out prematurely.

Making the Switch to Quality Labels

To learn more about Zebra labels and get samples, rolls and pricing, contact our team at DecisionPoint for assistance. Call 949-465-0065 or email us now.

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