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Random Weight Items


Random weight items are those items that get weighed on scales at the deli, meat or fruit and vegetable sections, and the scale prints a label for the price. For example, you have cheese priced at $23.99/kg. The customer gets a piece weighing 0.25 kg. The item is worth $6.00. The scale will produce a label with a barcode on it. This is placed on the cheese. When this is scanned at the front-end POS, the cheese will be added to the sale at $6.00.

The barcode printed on the label is a special format. It starts with a leading 02 or 20-29. The next few digits is the PLU of the item. (How many digits are used for the PLU will depend on the prefix. A barcode starting with 02 has a 4 digit PLU. A barcode starting with 20 has a 5 digit PLU. See Random Weight Items in Till settings for more details.) More digits contain the actual sale price. A check digit ensures the barcode is valid. The barcode contains the sale price, that is $6.00. It does not contain the weight or the sell price. This means to have accurate stock control you need to set the item up in a particular way.

  1. You need to create an item and give it a four-digit or five-digit PLU (depending upon the prefix to be used) to identify the item.

  2. You need to set the sell price of the item to be the price per kg. In this example, the sell price would be $23.99

When the item is scanned at the POS, the barcode will be decoded. The PLU will be used to find the item. The item will be added to the sale, using the sell price on the item, for example $23.99. The POS will then take the sale value from the barcode and divide it by the sell price to get a quantity, for example $6.00/$23.99 = 0.25. So you can see its important to keep the sell price on the POS in sync with the sell price used at the scale. If you don't keep the sell price in sync, the customer will still be charged the correct sale value but the quantity will be worked out incorrectly which will have an impact on stock accuracy.

Markdown Prices

Sometimes you may need to mark down random weight items. For example, you may have prepackaged meat with random weight barcodes on them and they are about to reach their use by date. Rather than generate new labels (which is not allowed by law in some countries), the manager may put a line through the barcode and write a new price on the item. In this case, you still scan the item at the POS. This will add the item with a sale value (and therefore quantity) based on the barcode. You then do a Change Price to change the item to the new price. For a normal item, the entered value will be the unit sell price. So if you had a quantity of two and you change the sell price to $6.99, the value would become $13.98. Random weight items are treated slightly different. The price you entered is assumed to be the overall value. So if you entered $6.99, it would remain $6.99 regardless of the quantity.

Barcode Formats

The most common price embedded barcode formats are:



02 or 2

Left-most digits of barcode. This "clues" the ECR/PC that the barcode is an embedded barcode.


Represents the "Item Code" or SKU or PLU number of the item. There are five "I" so this means that the Item Code will ALWAYS be 5 digits long and thus will have leading zeros whenever necessary. For example, an Item Code of 2 would be embedded as 00002; 35 would be 00035; and so on. Also note that the Item Code is usually the same as the SKU or PLU number used on the scale/printer and/or the ECR/PC but not always the same. The PLU/SKU number is used on the scale/printer to reference ("call up" or "recall") the item in question and consequently it is always good practice to keep the PLU/SKU numbers the same as the Item Code otherwise you may end up with up to three different "names" or reference numbers for every item; that is (1) the PLU/SKU number at the scale/printer (2) the Item Code in the barcode and (3) the PLU/SKU number at the ECR/PC.


Represents the "Price Checksum" and will vary depending upon the value of the digits between (but not including) the "V" and the "C".


Represents the Total Price of the item. There are four "P" so this means that the Total Price will ALWAYS be 4 digits long and thus will have leading zeros whenever necessary. For example, a Total Price of 0.02 would be embedded as 0002; 3.50 would be 0350; etc. As may be evident, you are limited to a maximum Total Price of 99.99 so if you need a larger Total Price you will have to use another format.


Represents the "Checksum" and will vary depending upon the value of all of the digits to the left of the "C". This digit is mandatory and is sometimes omitted in formats because it is implied.


The "W" character (not shown in format examples) represents the Weight of the item and it usually takes the place of the "P" character. It is discouraged to use Weight Embedded barcodes in a retail store application and suggested for use with large distribution plants that do not label their goods with prices. If a retailer uses a Weight Embedded barcode, then he must make sure that the PLU/SKU database in the scale/printer has the same pricing information as the PLU/SKU database in the ECR/PC; if not kept the same, it is possible that the scale/printer can generate a label that has a different Total Price than the ECR/PC will calculate when it scans the barcode.

Format HHIIIIIPPPDDC for example 2009990012550


Header identifier, must be started w/ 02 or 20.


Item lookup code (SKU in the scale), 09990.


Price to the left decimal, for example 12.


Price to the right decimal, for example 55.



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