Tag / Label Troubleshooting FAQs
Common issues and frequently asked questions about SKU and Barcode labels
Mario avatar
Written by Mario
Updated over a week ago

This article is meant for troubleshooting common issues that arise during the label printing process. If you would like a guide to printing labels, click the button below:

First, we should clarify our terms, as different businesses use the terms, SKU, Barcode, and visible barcode differently. 

When talking about printing price tags/labels, you are referring to a VISIBLE barcode. Sometimes this can be a UPC. In Thrive Inventory by Shopventory, you can create a visible barcode using either the SKU or Barcode fields. 

As long as the number in the Thrive Inventory field adheres to a format such as UPC or EAN-13, it can be converted to a visual barcode.


"The paper size I need is not available on my computer"

This is usually because your machine doesn’t have that information in its “drivers”. Drivers are like how-to manuals for your computer and can easily be installed.

Below we have links to the official pages where you can find and download drivers for the label style you need:

Driver Links:

"I can’t print labels from my Clover device"

Clover currently does not allow files to be downloaded onto their hardware, so Thrive is prevented from serving PDF files to your device for label printing. 

For now, labels can only be printed from a non-Clover device

Overall, desktop computers are best for printing labels

"The size/scale is off"

If the sizing looks to be off, that can be due to scaling issues. You can try some of the steps below to adjust the sizing:

  • Do not open the PDF with your web browser. Use a different app (Preview, Adobe, etc) to view the PDF. That can often allow for different settings or sizes to be selected.

  • Double-check the Print Settings

  • Try setting custom scaling to 100%

  • If your barcode label is tough to read/scan (especially the smaller labels), try changing the print quality from Text-only to Barcodes and Graphics.

"Avery Labels skewed a few millimeters off when printing multiple pages"

This is a known printer issue. When printing multiple pages of Avery labels, the second (and any more than the first) page may print a few millimeters higher than the first page. 

If you configure the printer to skip the first page and just print the second page and onward, it does print correctly.

This issue tends to affect older and home printers. 

"Why does Thrive tell me there are 'No variants to choose from?'"

This message pops up when you have selected a product that doesn't exist at the selected location. Try selecting a different location when printing that label, or update the Location settings for that specific product.

"Why can’t I make up my own SKU/Barcode?"

The visible barcode that we see on products is generated by a specific algorithm. 

A number must be in a recognized industry format in order to be represented as a visual barcode on a tag/label. Learn more 

We offer SKU generation as a feature in Thrive Inventory. Our system does the work for you!

"Why do some of the SKUs/barcodes I made up work and some do not?"

A random combination of 12 numbers may just happen to be in an accepted SKU format. Just like if you combine 3 or 4 random letters, some of those will happen to form words.

You just happened to make up a SKU/barcode that follows the algorithm required by the label option you selected.


"What if I just changed the last digit?"

As mentioned in the previous question, visible barcodes are generated according to a mathematical algorithm. 

Simply changing the last digit may not follow the equation required. This would be why the SKU/barcodes could be invalidated.

Examples of Formats Thrive supports

UPC-A - 12 digits Universal Product Code

  • All Thrive-generated SKUs are in a 12-digit format. Learn more

  • This is the standard for the vast majority of products sold in the US.

  • 170803376593 - Good

  • 084114108128 - Good 

  • 07300307017 - Good

  • 135792468012 - Bad

  • 123456789102 - Bad

  • 034562986540 - Bad

EAN-8 (aka GTIN-8) EAN 8 is the short form of EAN-13 

  • 12345670 - Good

  • 65465158 - Good

  • 10203002 - Good

  • 12345678 - Bad

  • Hyphen NOT valid

  • 7 89 10 15 2 - Bad

  • Spaces NOT valid

  • SKU12345 - Bad

  • Letters NOT valid

EAN-13 - 13 digits European Article Numbering barcode

In the US, this is the ISBN found in books. Note: The ISBN is 13 characters when you include the hyphens. 

  • 0-688-12316-3 - Good

  • 0123456789012 - Good

  • 0234567891084 - Good

  • 1234567890123 - Bad

  • 0135792468023 - Bad

Code 128 - 5 alphanumerical characters max

  • ABC12 - Good

  • 123AB - Good

  • H20BL - Good

  • ABC-12 - Bad

  • Hyphen NOT valid

  • 123 AB 

  • Spaces NOT valid

  • H20/BL

  • Forward slashes are NOT valid

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