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Cheap Product Labels = Expensive Billbacks

The hidden costs of cutting corners on product label supplies.

Many organizations will choose cheap and basic thermal transfer labels for their products. Printing these requires a label and a ribbon, and they’re purchased by the tens of thousands. 

But you get what you pay for. With cheap labels, over time, the inner core begins to flake apart. This cardboard flaking gets under the printhead and burns out the elements. Burned out elements on the printhead prevent heat from transferring, resulting in dead spots on the label. 

Having dead spots on a barcode means that when the product is sent to the big retailers, it’s rejected because of an unreadable label. your label has been rejected and a billback has ben sent

The printhead will need replacement, the black lines on the label will have gaps, and the products will fail inspection.

The resulting charge from the retailer to return the product to its supplier, the “billback,” often costs companies thousands of dollars per month --- and is a major line item on the profit and loss statement.  printhead example

But luckily, avoiding these costly printing errors is easy to do, by spending around three cents more per label.


Save with durable and high quality labels from Zebra. 

Zebra labels will not have a flaky core, they will not cause printhead issues, and they will pass inspection each and every time. 

zebra labels 2

Zebra cores are coated, so as they go through the printer, they don’t wear off on the spindle. Cheaper labels with cheap cardboard cores on the other hand, will wear off as the printer pulls the label through. 

You’ll be fine with low cost alternatives if you only need a handful of labels here and there, but if you’re printing these thousands of times a month, your cardboard cores will turn to dust. 

So make billbacks because of faulty labels a thing of the past. Pay a little more now in labels and save yourself a lot of hassle in the future. 

Zebra labels are fully tested and ready for any environment:

  • on cardboard boxes
  • on metals 
  • in harsh weather and outdoor environments
  • even in chemical baths. 

Everything is pre-tested for its function.


Choose the team at Symbology for high quality barcode labels --- on time and in stock. One client saved over $18,000 per month in billbacks by upgrading their labels.