You've probably seen QR codes popping up all over the place lately, including ads, fliers, business cards.
The QR code is a barcode, and people with smart phones and iPads and such can scan them with a barcode application to reveal a special message or link to a website or other information.
It looks like this:
And it's a pretty cool thing.
And as with every pretty cool thing that comes around, the scammers follow. In this case it's people who try to sell QR codes for $20, $50 or even more. Or people who offer free QR code with a purchase.
Here's a tip: You can generate your very own QR code for free. If you're on Facebook, head over to LS1 member Custom Landing Pages. Right there on their welcome page there is a quick QR code generator. Just plug in website, message, phone number or whatever you want the code to link to, and it will pop up right there. All absolutely free. You can save it and plaster all over your promotional materials. If you're not on Facebook, simply search for "QR code generator" on Google, and you'll get hundreds of websites that let you do this. One we used to recently is http://goqr.me/.
Now ... want to get fancy and have a custom design, like this?
You can do that on your own, too, but that requires photo and design software, as well as lots of creativity and talent! The example above was created for Louis Vuitton, by a Japanese company.
For something like that, we definitely recommend hiring a pro! (But if you want to try on your own, here's a how-to blog).
For a basic QR code, DEFINITELY do it yourself! It takes 30 seconds. And you can use the money you saved to go buy yourself something cute from a local shop!