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What Should I Consider When Buying a Cash Register?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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Not matter how small or large your business is, if you deal with the public, at some point you will need to buy a cash register to keep track of customer transactions. Cash registers are available in a wide variety of sizes, designs, and prices. The basic cash register does calculations and offers printouts of the transactions, but a cash register is much more than a luxury calculator. Even the simplest model can store product codes, making it easier to keep track of sales and taxes.

The cheapest cash register model uses C batteries or an AC converter and is small enough to fit in a briefcase. If you need a simple cash register to keep track of sales or if you change business locations frequently, this is the best choice. If you own a larger business, consider investing in a cash register that allows you to enter department and product codes into the machine's memory. This saves time and lowers the chance for human error when dealing with a large volume of daily transactions.

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For even more convenience, look for a heavy-duty cash register with an attached scanner that can read bar codes. This speeds up the checkout process considerably, as very little information has to be entered manually into the machine. Large department stores usually prefer an alphanumeric cash register, with a double-function keypad that allows the user to enter both numbers and letters into the machine. This allows the user to type in product names, text messages, and customized sentences.

Another thing to consider when choosing a cash register is security features. Most large registers come with a locking drawer in which to keep money and checks. If added security is required, look for a cash register with password protection, in which the locking drawer can only be opened when an authorized cashier enters the correct code.

Finally, keep in mind your tax needs. Both thermal print and ribbon print cash registers allow you to keep receipts for tax purposes and personal accounting. Thermal printers are more expensive at first, but since you never need to buy an ink cartridge –- they work with heat rather than ink -- the savings add up in the long run. However, receipts printed with a ribbon last longer and read clearer, so they might be a better idea if you're saving them for tax purposes.

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Nepal2016
Post 4

I think it's funny that you guys remember the old manual cash registers where you had to figure your own change and do everything manually. Nowadays, so many stores are getting rid of cash registers altogether and making us check out our own groceries. The automatic machines scan the item's bar code, total up the prices, take your money, and give you your change.

The technology is cool, and I'm sure it works out well for the store, but somehow I feel like I've been had when I use one of those things.

winslo2004
Post 3

As the owner of a traveling food vendor business, I really depend on my cash register. My days are long and hectic, and I work in a different place pretty much every week.

After trying a bunch of different machines, along with different cash register software, I found one that is portable and has the security features I need. It makes my record keeping a lot easier too, because I can download all of my transactions to my laptop.

parkthekarma
Post 2

@Veruca10 - I know exactly what you're talking about! The little corner store in my neighborhood had one of those when I was growing up, and I lived the look of it and the sound of the gears turning, and then the "Ding!" of the bell when it opened.

I would bet that they couldn't use those machines now even if they wanted to, because they don't automatically figure out the change due to the customer. It seems like very few people can do thinks like that in their head anymore.

Veruca10
Post 1

Am I the only one who remembers the old, brass cash registers with all the push buttons? I always loved those when I was a kid. They just looked to solid and official. I'm sure the new computer cash registers can do a lot more, but it's kind of a shame they don't use the old ones anymore.

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