Dymo LabelWriter Region Locked Labels

I recently bought a Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo and was having trouble using non-genuine labels with it.
Turns out: There’s a US and an international version of the Dymo LabelWriters, and the labels aren’t compatible across the two!

Read on to see about my adventure….

Short Version

The International version of the labels for the Dymo LabelWriters have little markers on the back that are read by the printer to determine start/end points of the labels. If you buy non-genuine labels, they will work fine in US labelmakers, but won’t work on the international versions due to not having the marks on the back.

Long Version

I actually had every intention of buying the genuine labels, however the size of the labels that I wanted to use (Book Spine Labels – 30347 – 25mmx38mm) weren’t available in Australia. I checked with a few different suppliers and even contacted Dymo directly:

“Unfortunately we do not sell this particular label in Australia. All our products are market driven and there just isn’t a big enough demand locally for this size.”

(Note, it is listed on the Australian Dymo website, but isn’t available for ordering)

So I figured I’ll just import them from the US, I found a seller on ebay who will ship internationally and selling labelvalue labels, ordered 10 rolls (7500 labels) and called it a day.

Fast forward to when the labels arrive, they seemed like pretty decent quality, loaded them up into the LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo (go big or go home right?) and hit print. One label came out then it complained about being out of labels, the blue light flashed and that was all I could get out of it.

A lot of googling later (and a lot of potential solutions that didn’t help) and I found this post. Basically: The US models of the Dymo label writers use the notches on the side of the labels to determine the edge of the labels, and the international versions use black marks on the back of the labels! (The black marks are known as index or timing marks)

Index/Timing marks on the back of the Genuine Labels

No Index marks, only the holes between the labels

I confirmed this by contacting labelvalue.com and asking them about it, here’s the response I got from them:

“Our labels will not work in non US model due to the way the printers read the markings on the backs of labels to determine when one label starts and one label ends. “

(ps. big thanks to the support from labelvalue.com, they got back to me quick and got to the bottom of the problem really quick!)

So, what can we do about this?

Not much sadly. One of the suggestions on the above forum post was tracing the marks onto the backs of the other labels (time consuming, but I figured if it worked I could make a roller stamp or something). Sadly it didn’t work for me (was worth a shot though right?)

I tried to trick it by drawing the marks on. It didn’t work 🙁

I’ve got 7500 labels that I can’t use because the Dymo have region locked their labels.
Thankfully there’s an Australian size that will work for what we want to do (it’s not ideal, but will have to do).

If anyone knows of any tricks or hacks to get around this, please comment!

Hopefully this’ll save someone from making the same mistake I did.


I have no solution. But it’s not fair a multi-national corporation can lock in their market.
I would be making a big noisy deal about about and maybe some kind un-locked competitor will sponsor you their labeler. Being an ex-Aussie, Monarch springs to mind, but they top end gear, that is better that Dymo. Maybe Zebra or Brother. If that fails, I think it may be illegal in Australia https://www.accc.gov.au/

Hi- we purchased a new Dymo labeler- our old one broke. Shirt story- the old Dymo labels would not work and neither do any generic- same-size-labels! Dymo customer service was not helpful. I have more than 1,000 labels I now can not use. They wouldn’t swap out their own old labels for credit towards the new ones! Not a happy customer!

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