Barcoding With The Jewelry Shopkeeper:
Note: The Jewelry Shopkeeper does not require barcoding -- you can do
point-of-sale and physical inventory using the standard dot-matrix
printer tags. However, barcoding can greatly speed-up physical inventory
and inventory transfers and can provide an extra degree of accuracy for
To print jewelry price tags with barcodes on them, you need a
specialized printer. You cannot use barcodes that are pre-printed by
your manufacturer -- if you want to use barcoding, you have to print the
barcoded tags yourself.
If you already use Jewelry Shopkeeper and have non-barcode tags you do NOT
have to change anything in your inventory list -- you simply need to
reprint your tags with a new barcode printer. You can even - phase-in
the new tags over time since both old and new tags will be valid.
Regular dot matrix, ink jet and laser printers are NOT suitable. You must
use certain supported thermal transfer printers (NOT regular direct thermal
printers) such as Datamax, Citizen, Zebra or FastMark 402 printers.
Many Jewelry Shopkeeper users have the Citizen CLP-6002 printer which
has proven to be quite reliable; we currently recommend this printer as
your first choice. (This printer was previously called the C-Itoh S4
printer if you have one by that name it's identical.)
The newer Citizen CLP-621 is lower-cost smaller version of the 6002
and also has three connectors: Parallel, Serial and USB. This is new but
The lower-cost Datamax E4203 is not as sturdy, but is quite popular and
new ones have three connectors: Parallel, Serial and USB.
From Zebra supported models are the Z4000, 600 and 105s. A more recent
addition to the list is the FastMark 402 carried by Kassoy. Kassoy says
that it's the most reliable low-price barcode printer.
A newly supported printer (from mid 2007) is the ZipTape 1300.
This is a lowish price printer and we have found it to behave well
(Contact Jessica Feldman at Discount Jewelry Tags firstname.lastname@example.org )
Zebra recently bought the Eltron company which made low-price tag
printers. Typically the former Eltron models begin with TLP. While
they are supported if you already own one, we don't currently recommend
that you buy a new one for Shopkeeper. If you get a Zebra printer
you should get one with Zebra language - typically they have a
Z in the model number.
These printers will support a wide range of tags such as ring tags,
earring tags, watch tags, gift tags and string tags. We recommend only printers
that have both parallen and USB conectors. If you have an old copy of Shopkeeper
(earlier than version 9.7) or an old copy of Windows (earlier than WindowsXP)
Then you have to use the parallel port.
None of these printers can be used for anything other than printing tags -- e.g.
they cannot print receipts, reports or mailing labels.
Some of the other benefits of this type of printer are that you can re-
arrange the layout of the tag, deciding what pieces of information you
want to print and where. You can fit more information on a price tag
with this type of printer than with a dot-matrix printer. The tags used
are made of polyester and are very strong. The writing on the tags is
resin melted onto the tag and can withstand without smearing most
handling, ultrasonic and steam cleaning.
To read barcodes, you need a laser barcode reader. The barcode reader
has to be a good quality one that can read a high density barcode,
because the barcode has to be printed very small to fit on the price
The most common reader is a Metrologic Voyager. There are several
submodels - you want to choose one with a USB connector, that operates
in Keyboard emulation mode and that has a hands-free stand.
Most barcode readers can read various different types (symbologies) of
barcode. The Jewelry Shopkeeper prints the barcode on the price tags
with the Interleaved 2 of 5 (I 2of5) symbology, so it is important that
the reader be configured to read I 2 of 5. Also, the stock numbers that
the Jewelry Shopkeeper prints are all eight digits long. In order to
prevent the barcode reader reading only a part of a stock number, it is
a good idea to configure the reader to only indicate a valid 'read' if
the full eight digits are scanned. Some barcode readers send extra
information to the computer before and after the barcode. You need to
configure your reader to NOT send either a prefix or a suffix.
The barcode reader can be used to read barcodes at Point of Sale and
also to take physical inventory.
To take physical inventory, you can either bring merchandise to the
computer a tray at a time and scan the barcode at the computer or you
hook a portable data collector to your belt and walk around the store
scanning merchandise in place but the portable data collector is not
required. If you have a portable data collector, you usually can
temporarily disconnect the barcode reader from the computer and connect
it to the portable data collector. Sometimes the portable data collector
units have their own barcode reader built-in.
If you use the portable data collector, you have to be able to easily
download it's memory into an ASCII file on the computer. This is
something that you will have to be able to do yourself -- not using the
Jewelry Shopkeeper. The ASCII file should contain a single column of
stock numbers with one stock number per row. Some data collectors can
download their memory into an ASCII file by plugging into the keyboard
port while you have a text editor open. Other data collectors have to be
connected to a serial port and you have to run a special program to
download the memory to an ASCII file. Either way, the Jewelry Shopkeeper
doesn't know and doesn't need to know how the ASCII file is created. An
ASCII file can also be called a text file.
Approximate prices for barcode printers are $500->$1500. If they are not
easily available locally, Zebra, Datamax and Citizen printers and tags
can be obtained through Kassoy (516) 942-8517. Arch Crown sells Datamax
Zebra & Citizen printers and price tags and readers -- (973) 731-6300.
We suggest you get the tags, printer and ribbon from either Arch Crown
or Kassoy (even if they're a bit cheaper elsewhere.) Jewelry tag
printing can be fiddly and this is a case where the availability of
their support is worthwhile.
Barcode readers (not data collectors) are priced approximately $400 to
$900 including the "wedge". Portable data collectors are priced
approximately in the range $400 to $1400. You can use more than one data
collector if you want to speed up physical inventory by having more than
one person scan barcodes simultaneously. 128K of data collector memory
should suffice, but of course, more memory wouldn't hurt.
If you can't locate a dealer for some of this equipment, call Kassoy or
Arch Crown or another supplier of barcode equipment. Another dealer of
Barcode and POS equipment: BDW (800) 888-2239 Contact Lisa Kramer
For the Ziptape ZT1300 (Contact Jessica Feldman at Discount Jewelry Tags