If you're in the market for a POS scale, there is no shortage of great solutions to choose from. However, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your unique business, industry, and use case with so many options available.
That's where we come in.
In this article, we'll highlight the top-line features and a few manufacturers of some of the industry's very best POS scale options. Use the expert insights in this article to make a formulated and well-researched investment for your growing small business.
5 Best POS Scale Options
We have identified the five top POS scale options for your business, but before we go over those, let’s dive into a bit more detail about POS scales in general. A POS scale is a scale that communicates with your point of sale system to charge products priced by weight. There are many different types and styles of scales, and we’ll discuss the benefits, drawbacks, and best use cases for each below.
How do you know if your business needs a POS scale? If your retail store carries any product sold by weight, you will need a POS scale for your business. Some of the most common uses of POS scales are in produce sections of grocery stores, candy stores, cannabis dispensaries, and butcher shops. Still, many other retail stores can benefit from the perfect POS scale.
If your business carries any products charged based on weight, investing in the right POS scale for your business is vital. Choosing the wrong scale could result in inaccurate measurements of those weight-priced products. This can result in over- or under-charging customers or inaccuracies in your inventory and stocking system.
Related Read: 3 Best Inventory Counting Methods for Small Businesses
POS Nation’s Build and Price tool can help you select the perfect POS hardware for your store, including POS scales. Next, let’s dive into the five top options for POS scales.
1. Integrated Retail Scale
The integrated retail scale is first on our list of great POS scales. When you’re using an integrated retail scale, all you need to do is place the item on the scale at the point of sale. The scale will automatically calculate the weight and import that data into the system.
The main benefit of the integrated retail scale is that it doesn’t require any manual entry or input. Once the item in question is selected and placed on the scale, the system does the work to charge the right price and mark the inventory as sold in your system.
When might an integrated retail scale not be the best option for your business? As this system requires each item to be weighed at the register, this option may not be the best fit for extremely high-volume stores that require rapid check-out.
CAS Retail makes a great integrated retail scale. This scale includes an LED display, auto-span calibration, and interfaces with most cash registers and POS systems.
2. Label Printing Scale
A label printing scale is another excellent option for retail stores charging by weight. Label printing scales measure the weight of a purchase, calculate the price, and translate that information into a printable label.
A benefit of the label printing scale is its efficiency and flexibility. You can place these scales at the register for the associate to use and then scan, or you can place them out on the floor for customers to measure and print themselves. If your store is incredibly high-volume, your associates may appreciate the speed offered by the ability to simply scan a pre-printed label instead of pausing to weigh specific items.
Related Read: Barcode Scanners
The downside to label printing scales is the possibility of error. If the wrong label is attached to an order, you could drastically over- or under-charge a customer for that order.
One excellent label printing scale is available from CAS Retail. This scale allows you to print in all the most popular label formats and boasts a straightforward user interface.
3. On-Counter Scale
An on-counter scale is a classic example of a simple but effective solution. As the name suggests, on-counter scales sit on the counter at your point of sale. The associate weighs items at check-out and then manually inputs the scale’s screen’s weight into the POS system to charge for the item in question.
The simplicity we mentioned before is the key benefit to using an on-counter scale. You don’t need to spend time setting up integrations or fiddling with label settings; you can simply plug in the scale and begin weighing products. If you’re looking for a solution that is ready to go immediately out of the box, an on-counter scale might be a good option.
On-counter scales have downsides, namely, the inefficiency and potential for error from manual entry. If your associate miskeys an entry, you will mischarge your customer and mark the incorrect data in your inventory tracking system in one fell swoop.
Avery Berkel makes a high-quality on-counter scale. It contains an LCD and can weigh items and inventory up to 60 pounds.
4. Floor Scale
What if you’re charging by weight for large items? Businesses charging for items bought in bulk or shipping companies charging shipping by weight might want to explore a floor scale. Floor scales are exactly what they sound like: point of sale scales located on the floor. They come in low-profile or platform designs that can be put on wheels to move around your store.
The main benefit of floor scales is that you can use them for heavy, awkward, and unwieldy items. Instead of wrestling a large box or pallet onto the countertop, your customers and associates can simply set the item on the floor scale to get the weight and price.
A downside of floor scales is that they are only helpful for those large-scale items. If you’re charging for things like produce or bags of candy, a floor scale is likely not the solution for you.
ULine makes an all-weather, low-profile floor scale that would work for warehouses, greenhouses, butcher shops, and more.
5. Mechanical Scales
The final solution we’ll discuss is a legacy solution, but many stores still use them, so it was worth mentioning. We’re referring to mechanical scales. Mechanical scales are scales that operate using a spring. Think of your old bathroom scale or the scales you may have seen in the produce section of your grocery store growing up.
A huge benefit of mechanical scales is that they don’t require a power source. This makes them a good option for businesses like farmers’ market vendors, who don’t always have access to a power source. Another benefit for farmers’ market-style vendors is that mechanical scales are portable. If your business moves locations frequently, you may want to explore a mechanical scale.
The drawbacks of mechanical scales are numerous. First, they require a great deal of manual entry, which, as we discussed earlier, increases the possibility of errors. In short, if you’ll have access to a power source, you may want to explore a solution like the integrated retail scale in favor of a mechanical scale.
The Best POS Scale Option for Your Store
Which POS scale option is best? That depends on your store, your customers, and your specific needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for your point of sale scale. When you select the correct scale for your business, examine the features offered by each scale to ensure that it will perform as desired for your store.
If selecting the right scale feels overwhelming, have no fear! POS Nation offers a simple-to-use Build and Price tool. This tool allows you to select the right POS hardware—including scales—for your store, building out the perfect POS solution for your use case.