What is BIPAD?

The BIPAD numbering system is unique to the retail magazine business. As illustrated in the block to the right, the BIPAD number is the middle 5 digits of the magazine barcode. It is the permanent identification of the the magazine throughout its retail life. Along with an industry prefix, and issue number, the BIPAD numbers are encoded in the barcodes on magazine covers and used by magazine wholesaler-distributors and magazine retailers to process the publications through their systems. In doing so, they record the sales, count returns, store sales history, determine future distributions, and make payments.
To obtain a BIPAD number complete an application and include payment by selecting the Secure Online/Email Application Form -or- print PDF Application Form above and mail with check.


Please read the information on www.bipad.com very carefully to insure that you do need a BIPAD number and how many you need. We are not able to issue refunds once a number has been assigned since there is no way for us to recover numbers confidently.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) about BIPAD

 How do I obtain a BIPAD number?

For new and independent magazines, BIPAD numbers are available only from and assigned only by BIPAD Inc.

Publishers can obtain a BIPAD number(s) by applying to BIPAD Inc. An application form (in PDF format) is available by clicking here, or by using the navigation button at the top on this page. The application can be mailed to BIPAD Inc., with a check, or faxed, including credit card information. There is also a Secure Online/email format, which may be accessed by clicking here, or by using the navigation button at the top on this page. The online application must be accompanied by a credit card information.

Both the fax and email application routes are secure, dedicated lines.

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 How many BIPAD Numbers do I need?

A different BIPAD number must be used with each magazine title for which separate distribution records are to be maintained by wholesaler-distributors and/or retailers. It is not necessary to obtain a different BIPAD number for each issue.

The BIPAD number never changes. It is the permanent identification of a magazine title for the life of the magazine. The issue identifier changes, of course, with each new issue.

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 How much is the processing fee?
The minimum processing fee for a single BIPAD number is $350. The price schedule for multiple titles is listed below and on the application form.
1 $350 3 $700 5 $1000 11-15 $2250
2 $500 4 $800 6-10 $1500 16-20 $3000
* Multiple number fee rates are not retroactive and are available only at time of original application.

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 What forms of payment are accepted?

To expedite the application, fee should be paid by credit card, certified check, bank or postal money order. The Email or FAX application must be accompanied by a credit card. All checks must be made in US Dollars. We accept MasterCard (MC), VISA, American Express (AMEX). The credit card charge will appear on your statement under the name of HARRINGTON ASSOCIATES.

Please note that, if you pay with a personal or business check, your number assignment may be delayed until your check clears our bank, which could be up to 10 business days.

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 How will I be notified of my BIPAD number assignment?

Once we receive the application and process it, we will notify you, via email if available, of your number(s) assignment. We will include technical information about how the number is encoded in the barcode and printed on the cover of your magazine. You will be notified not later than the end of the next business day, after we receive your application.

Please note that, if you pay with a personal or business check, your number assignment may be delayed until your check clears our bank, which could be up to 10 business days.

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 How do I get my BIPAD number encoded into a machine readable barcode?

Please be advised that BIPAD Inc. manages the BIPAD numbering system, and assigns numbers to applicants. We do not provide the barcodes. Our barcode consultant is PIPS Inc. (Periodical Identification and Processing Systems), the largest supplier of barcodes to the publishing industry. Click here for a link to PIPS website, www.pips.com. You can also reach PIPS at 212-996-6000.
Once you are assigned a BIPAD number, contact PIPS, and they can deliver, electronically, a machine-readable magazine BIPAD-encoded barcode to you, for printing on your magazine cover, also by the end of the next business day. Their charge for a single barcode is under $30.

There are many other barcode providers and most of them can provide magazine distribution BIPAD encoded barcodes as well. In any event, you will need to first obtain a number(s) from BIPAD Inc.

BIPAD Inc. is managed on a contract basis by Harrington Associates, LLC.

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 What do we do when we change the cover price?

When changing cover prices, the company prefix, the first six digits ( 0 74470 in the sample), changes. If you do not have an alternate prefix, please call BIPAD Inc. and we will provide you with one. Remember, the BIPAD number itself never changes! After, you have your new complete 12-digit barcode number, with a new prefix and the same BIPAD, notify your wholesaler-distributors of your new number and the new price. If you are dealing directly with any retailers, you should notify them as well. These notifications should be accomplished before the issue with the new cover price goes on sale.

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The Magazine Barcode and the Position of the BIPAD Number

In a typical magazine barcode (using the above color coded example), the first 6 digits, 0 74470 in the example represent the company prefix. The next 5 digits, 00001, is the BIPAD number. The single digit, 3, is the "check digit," which is computer determined. The shorter section, with the 09 above it, is the issue identifier, add-on portion. In this instance, 09 represents the September issue.

The company prefix and the BIPAD number represent the basic barcode. The company prefix will remain constant, unless there is a price change. BIPAD Inc. will provide applicants with access to 2 "industry" company prefixes, which will be alternated when cover prices change. The BIPAD number never changes. It is the permanent identification of a magazine title for the life of a the magazine. The issue identifier changes, of course, with each new issue.

Publishing and Distribution Resources
Periodical Identification and Processing Systems (PIPS), www.pips.com. The leading supplier of barcodes to the publishing business, and an advisor to BIPAD Inc. Its founder was instrumental in the development of the BIPAD numbering system.
Trade Associations and Organizations:
MPA - The Association of Magazine Media, www.magazine.org. Established in 1919, MPA is the industry association for magazine media companies.
Periodical and Book Association of America (PBAA), www.pbaa.net. Founded in 1965, PBAA is a not-for-profit organization for publishers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, consultants, and industry service providers.
International Periodical Distributors Association (IPDA), www.news.ipda.org. The trade association for national distributors of magazines and books.
PPA, The Voice of Professional Publishers in the United Kingdom, www.ppa.co.uk
National Distributors and Specialty Distributors, U.S. & Canada:
Coast to Coast Newsstand Services, www.ctcmagazines.com
Comag Marketing Group (CMG), www.i-cmg.com
Curtis Circulation Company, www.curtiscirc.com
Disticor Magazine Distribution Services, www.disticor.com
Ingram Periodicals, www.ingramperiodicals.com
Media Solutions, www.mediasolutionsllc.com
Time Inc. Retail, www.timeinc.com/businesses/time-inc-retail
TNG (The News Group), www.tng.com
Circulation, Distribution, Marketing, Advertising Services
Centofante Group, The, www.centofante.com
Circ One, Inc., www.circone.net
Magazine Communications Consultants, www.magazinesales.com
The Magazine Innovation Center, www.mrmagazine.com
Magazine Information Network (MagNet), www.magnetdata.net
National Publisher Services, www.nationalpublisherservices.com
PSCS Consulting, www.pscsconsulting.com
The Precision Media Group, www.bosacks.com
Trofie Productions, www.trofie.com
Wessenden Marketing, publishing services in the United Kingdom, www.wessenden.com

Payment Information

If you are paying by credit card, please include your credit card number on the application, along with the card owner's full name and the expiration date. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express.

If you are paying by check, please enclose your fee payment with a bank draft or money order made out to BIPAD, Inc. Otherwise, company and personal checks must clear our bank, and this can take as long as 10 business days. In the case of a check not clearing a bank, there will also be a $50 bad check penalty.

All checks must be for U.S. dollars.

The BIPAD numbering system is managed for BIPAD, Inc. by

P.O. Box 1332 • Charlestown, RI 02813-1332
Phone 401-213-6830 • Fax 508-819-4926

John Harrington
Eileen Harrington