Updated: May 9, 2015
Cash Register ReviewsIf you have a business that involves selling things to the public, you either have or need a cash register. Cash registers have evolved over the years from being simple money holding devices to sophisticated computers with electronic check and credit card processing capabilities, bar code scanners, security logins for many checkers, and the ability to store and recognize thousands of product codes and aid in inventory management. The main job of an electronic cash register is to record the sale of goods, adding up the total of the order, calculating sales tax, and providing a permanent printed record of the sale both for the customer and for the vendor for tax, financial, and inventory record keeping. By keeping cash locked in the register cash drawer, clerks are forced to enter each sale into the register in order to accept cash or provide change, and all cash is accounted for. In this guide, we will take a look at some of the most popular cash registers, what the most important features are, see how much cash registers cost, and where to buy them.
Best Cash RegistersSome of the big makers of cash registers include Casio, Samsung, Sharp, TEC, Royal, NCR, and IBM. When you buy a cash register, you need to think about how it will be used and what features you need. How many people will be using it? How many products do you sell? Do you need electronic check acceptance, credit card payment processing, debit card processing? How customized do you want or need it to be? Do you want it to track inventory? Will you be doing barcode scanning? What kind of receipt printing do you need?
Do you want an electronic coin dispenser for change? Do you need a PIN pad for customers entering their debit and ATM card codes? Cash registers can be as simple or as sophisticated as you want - of course you pay for all those fancy features though. While a basic register and cash drawer might set you back $100-$250, while a top of the line system could cost you several thousand dollars for all the equipment. Both the volume of traffic and sales you have, and the number of products you stock, will affect what kind of register you choose. For places like grocery stores with hundreds of customers per hour and thousands of products, bar code scanning and automation is critical -- you don't want to worry about price stickers or trying to remember product codes and prices. For a small mom and pop shop with 20 or 40 main products and a manual inventory system, you can get by with a simple cash drawer style register connected to a credit card terminal, without a lot of fancy extras. As long as you can print receipts, total sales, and keep accurate records, you are good to go. If you sell stuff at fairs or outdoor locations, you may need a battery powered register than runs on C batteries. Browse the best selling cash registers here.
TIP: When shopping for cash registers, you'll see the term PLU - this stand for "price look ups" and measures how many different product codes and prices can be stored in the register. For more information on cash register terminology and features, check out ABCOSolutions.com/cash-register-guide.htm.
Electronic and Computerized Cash RegistersBuying or researching cash registers online is easy. Visit CashRegisterStore.com, where they have been selling cash registers online for 7 years. Located in Florida, only Florida residents pay sales tax on purchases. Casio makes many different models of cash registers, like the Casio TK-6500, TE-2200, TE-3000, and the TE-8500. The TK-6500 runs $700 and has a spill resistant flat keyboard and alpha numeric journal and receipt printers, that can be customized with your business information. You can also use a RAC-9 memory card to copy system information to other registers for updates. Designed for restaurants, this 32lb. register comes with a built-in cash drawer. Many popular POS systems today rely on touchscreens, like the Casio QT-6000 electronic register. This model is extra reliable since it DOES NOT on the Windows operating system, but rather uses its own register software interface. Designed for use in restaurant type settings, the QT-6000 lets servers access a guests check from any terminal to make updates or changes. All kinds of options are available to build a complete system, like printers, credit card interface, etc. It comes with a 12.1" TFT screen, 6 com ports, 10/100 Base T with TCP/IP, flash memory slot, PCMCIA slot. Cost is $2500. You can also buy cheaper cash registers, like the Samsung ER-290. At just $269, it can handle 2 ply carbonless paper to print simultaneous customer receipts and sales journal. It comes with a locking metal cash drawer, but prints only numerical data, no alpha. The basic Sharp XE-A101 can be purchased refurbished for just $150. These small registers work well in small retail booths or kiosks, and can handle 80 PLUs and 8 departments. You can also buy Sharp cash registers direct from Sharp at SharpPlace.com, ranging in price from $99 to $379 (with bar code scanner).
Also visit CashRegistersOnline.com - they sell everything from cash registers to supplies to print rolls and cash register software. They offer Samsung SAM4s, Toshiba, Swintec, Sharp, Royal, and POS equipment. They offer free programming support when you buy a cash register, which is a real bonus, especially for a lot of first time buyers that ultimately have questions about setting up their cash register and getting it to work right. We like the TEC MA-516 Cash Register. At $335 it is a good mid-range machine, with 63 raised keys, large metal cash drawer with removable till, a variety of management reports, and the ability to track to tax tables, provide discounts, handle returns, and food stamps. It can handle 600 PLUs and 40 departments.
Staples and Office Depot also sell some cash register models, like the Royal CCM1000 with integrated credit card terminal for about $629 or the Casio PCR-T275 Thermal Print Cash Register for $299, with support for 100 PLUs and 8 clerks. You can also pick up things like a Hypercom S9 PIN Pad for $179, or a VeriFone Omni 3200SE Credit Card Machine for $449.