Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sharp vs. SAM4s Cash Registers

I often get this question, which is better Sharp Cash Registers or SAM4s Cash Registers? And the answer really depends on the features you are looking for. Hands down if you are looking for a good cash register that is easy to use and program for retail or restaurant operation look no further then the SAM4s ER-650 or ER-650R cash register. For the price you won't find a better value and a great work horse of a cash register. If you are looking for a entry level machine with an impact printer that is built like a tank then check out the Sharp ER-A320 cash register. The A320 is a down and dirty touch cash register with 10 departments.

What I have found is that both Sharp and Sam4s cash registers are very even in terms of quality and features. However Sharp seems to be a little more expensive in the higher end cash registers and often they require more expensive options then SAM4s.

Most SAM4s and Sharp Cash Registers can have integrated credit card, gift card, barcode scanning and computer interface

So bottem line is that it is hard to go wrong with either brand. Just make sure you don't under buy for the features you are looking for.

Microsoft's RMS Software

Microsoft offers a high end POS software called RMS, which stands for Retail Management Software. RMS differs from Microsoft's POS software in a couple different ways. RMS was designed for multi-unit chains and has an option for consolidated control called RMS HQ software. RMS also offers in-house Gift Card where MS POS does not.

RMS sells for about double what MS POS sells for. The MS RMS can also work with a wide range of POS hardware. The Microsoft Retail Mangement System can have integrated credit card and gift card operations.

The CRG's have a couple RMS complete bundles available with hardware from HP. One MS RMS Store Ops bundle includes a touch screen the other RMS POS Bundle features a standard 15" LCD monitor. Both include a 3 year on-site warranty.

Microsoft's POS Software

Microsoft makes a software called POS (point of sale). It is a very nice retail point of sale system for mom and pop retail stores. It does complete inventory control for those looking for more then just a cash register.

The MS POS system works well even if you don't want inventory control but are looking for a Bar Code Scanning system. Just use POS and forget about inventory. MS POS can also integrate your credit card payments.

The Microsoft POS system can work with a touch screen or standard monitor. Many people prefer MS POS with a touch screen. There are hundreds of configurations that can be used as far as hardware.

The CRG's have complete bundles for sale using MS POS software and HP POS Hardware. These bundles come pre-loaded with the software and include a 3 year on-site warranty from HP! Great deal for the person that is willing to invest some time rather then use a local full service FULL PRICE pos company.

Check out the MS POS System Bundles here.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bar Code Scanning Cash Register

Are you looking for a great cost effective Bar Code Scanning Cash Register Package? If so look no further then the SAM4s ER-285 Scanning Bundle from CRG. The bundle includes the powerful but small and simple SAM4s ER-285M Cash Register, a Metrologic Scanner with cable, and software to program the cash register. The Sam4s ER-285M register can accommodate 10K UPCs and has optional Credit Card Interface available as well.

While the keyboard on the ER 285M is small the abilities to hold UPCs in huge. Equipped with a thermal printer and 5 bill 5 coin drawer the ER-285M is unlike any other small cash register I have seen on the market.

Interface Credit Card with a Cash Register

Interfacing Credit Card Terminals to a Cash Register is not only possible it is becoming a standard process. There are many reasons to Integrate Credit Card Payments to your Cash Register.

  • Integrated Credit Card Payments reduces cashier fraud at the Cash Register
  • By interfacing the Credit Card transactions to your Cash Register you eliminate the need to re-enter or double enter the sales amount, which greatly reduces errors.
  • Faster Transactions
  • Less equipment on your counter
  • Very Cost Effective
  • High Speed or dial up (or both)
  • Integrated Gift Card Programs as well

There is only one company in the world that makes Credit Card terminals that interface to Cash Registers that I know of. So forget about interfacing your existing Verifone or Hypercom terminal to your cash register. The terminals that interface are from Datacap Systems. Datacap makes several terminals that Interface to Cash Registers from the No Load Twin Tran, The IPTran, The 162ML and 162SL terminals. All of the Datacap terminals require a cash register to operate and will not work as standalones. Every Datacap product uses the printer and 10 Key keypad of the cash register. Depending on which Cash Register you choose to interface the Datacap you will be able to process Credit Cards, Debit Cards with Pin, Check Cards, Gift Cards, and EBT.

Datacap products are only available via Cash Register / POS Dealers and are not available from most merchant services providors. Prices range from $600.00 to $1500.00 depending on which make and model and features required. Some cash registers can share a single Datacap product, which will help lower your start up cost. So as an example lets say you have 4 Sam4s ER-7000 Cash Registers you want to integrate credit cards with. You could use on Twin Tran for all 4 machines via the Cash Registers IRC feature and then add an inexpensive magnetic card reader to each register. So you would be able to process credit card at all 4 registers for a cost of $1716.00 total which is only $429.00 per cash register. That is less then the cost of 4 standalone credit card terminals in most cases and don't forget all the fraud and errors you will stop by integrating your credit card payments. There is also a processing company Mercury Payment Systems that will lease/rent you a Twin Tran for only $12.50 per month (with lifetime warranty) and you only have to buy the magnetic card readers. So using Mercury for the same aformentioned 4 register system your start up cost would only be $516.00 for 4 readers and $12.50 per month. Mercury also offers integrated Gift Card as well as Credit Card.

The bottom line on Integrated Credit Card Cash Registers is that it works very well these days and is very cost effective. You can increase your bottom line by stopping the fraud and errors

Friday, May 02, 2008

Cash Register Keyboard Covers

Protect your Cash Register with a keyboard cover to avoid costly repairs in case of a spill. Or if you Cash Register is a restaurant style machine with a flat keyboard you can often times replace the rubber overlay when it becomes worn or discolored. Here are a couple links for Keyboard Covers

For SAM4s and Samsung Cash Register Keyboard Covers

For Sharp Cash Register Keyboard Covers

Keyboard Covers For Samsung Cash Registers

Sharp Cash Register Keyboard Covers

Cash Register With Free Software

There are several Commercial Cash Registers available with Free Polling and Programming software. What is Polling and Programming Software you ask? Well Polling means that you can take reports from your cash register on your computer. So you Poll it! Programming is just what it sounds like, you can program the cash register with the software on your computer.

More often then not it is more trouble then it is worth to connect and use UNLESS you have lots of PLU's or UPC to program into the machine. In that case the software can save you hours of time programming. And one of the packgages allows you to import items which again can save you hours and hours!

Check out the following cash Registers that Integrate to a PC for Free

SAM4s ER-265 Cash Register with FREE Software

SAM4s ER-285 Cash Register with FREE Software

SAM4s ER-390 Cash Register with FREE Software

Sharp ER-A242 Cash Register With Free Software

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sharp UP-700 Cash Register

The Sharp UP-700 is a powerful cash register. The UP-700 is a restaurant cash register. The machines uses one touch buttons, window buttons, and forced choice items. Opertates like a touch screen except you choose the item by # rather then touch it on the screen.

The UP-700 has many options. Like Integrated Credit Card, Kitchen Printer, Coin Changer, PC Interface, Kitchen Video, Scale, DVR, and maybe more!

Cash Register Supplies

The CRG's have many popular ink ribbons and paper available. Some are very hard to find like The IR-90/91 Ink Roller and the ERC-18 Ink Ribbon. Other items include the hard to find 44mm Thermal Cash Register Paper

Cash Register with Integrated Credit Card

Many cash registers can Integrate Credit Card Payments with the use of a Datacap Product like the Twin Tran or the 162SL. We like to use the SAM4s or Sharp Cash Register when Interfacing to Credit Card. Most of the SAM4s and Sharp Cash Register Line Up can have Integrated Credit Card Payments.

One company offers the hardware at little to no cost when you process through them. And they offer a Free Gift Card program as well.

SAM4s ER-650 Cash Register

I really like the SAM4s ER-650 Cash Register and ER-650R Cash Register. The ER-650 is designed for restaurants the ER-650R for retail stores.

You will not find an easier cash register to program then the ER-650 or ER-650R register. The reason is the LCD display that makes programming and reporting on this machine menu driven. I have programmed this machine many times without opening a book. Just turn the key and follow the directions!

Lots of options also make this a popular machine. The ER-650 or ER-650R can have Barcode Scanning, Integrated Credit Card, Scale, PC Interface, Coin Changer, Kitchen Printer, Kitchen Video, and DVR interface. However this machine only comes with 2 serial ports and none can be added. So keep that in mind when looking at options.

A couple knocks on this model is that they can not share a kitchen printer, or credit card interface. So if you have three machines in your store and need Itegrated Credit Card you can indeed do that but you need three Datacaps (1 per machine) as with larger SAM4s registers can share 1 Datacap.

By the way the SAM4s ER-650 and ER-650R is the same as the Samsung ER-650 and ER-650R. Samung never made the machines just sold them. They were always made by SAM4s who now market directly.

Sharp ER-A320 Register

The Sharp ER-A320 is one of the best selling and best performing cash registers I have seen in years. Very heavy duty with a Drum Impact Printer, and a metal cash drawer (plastic insert). They are a tank. So if you want a bond printer and don't care about alpha print and can live with under 15 departments the Sharp ER-A320 Cashregister is a great machine.

Sharp Cash Register vs SAM4s Cash Registers

I get asked all the time which is better, Sharp Cash Registers or SAM4s Cash Registers. We there is not an easy answer. SAM4s has more features in most cases in both the Low and High end registers. Sharp cash register have great register features as well but often cost a bit more. One knock on Sharp is that the options cost far more then options for SAM4s do. However Sharp allows their registers to be sold anywhere anytime. SAM4s only allows certain models to be sold by anywhere and make you buy the bigger models from local dealers only!

SAM4s ER-5200M Review

The SAM4s ER-5200M Cash Register is an awesome cash register. Features a large keyboard with levels, thermal printer, and great options. One of the best options is the ability to Integrate Credit Card Payments with the Cash Register.

The ER-5200M uses the Datacap credit card interfacing terminals to Integrate the Cash Register and Credit Card Transactions. The SAM4s ER-5200M with the Datacap Integrated Credit Card Terminal is sold at the CRG's