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Buyers Guide: Cash Registers

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Cash Registers

Buying a Cash Register

Are you thinking of updating your old cash register or buying a new one for your business? With so many types of businesses and an even bigger number of products to choose from, it's important that you make the right choice.

What sort of business you run and the features you require on your cash register can greatly influence the model and type of cash register you choose. For example, if you need only basic sales and GST reporting, a single roll cash register is a cost-effective choice. However if you are looking for something that performs more complicated transactions or something that prints your companies logo, you might want to look into investing in a higher end machine.

Once you've decided what type of cash register you need, you now need to choose one; But which one? With so many brands and prices on the market these days it can be hard, even if you have an idea of what you need. Larger businesses may need a complete POS solution, that includes multiple touch screens, software, receipt printers and other accessories. On the other hand a smaller business may require only one basic cash register to process sales. A lot depends on the type and size of your business.

What about the differences between the up market reputable brand and the lower priced generic brand? Often the main differences are the special features. Almost all cash registers do the same job when it comes to processing sales. However if you requires a special feature, you will most likely end up paying slightly more for it.

Single Roll Cash Registers

Basic cash registers have single rolls, which print very basic details on the receipt. They will only show a price against a department number. These types of single roll cash registers are ideal for keeping a journal or printing out a customer receipt, not both. If you chose the receipt printing option the details on the receipt are limited.

Twin/Dual Roll Cash Registers

If you want to be able to print a receipt and journal, then you are better off purchasing a machine with a dual roll printer. This will enable you to keep a record for yourself and also give a receipt to your customer.

Thermal Printing Cash Registers

A lot of the newer model Cash Registers have a thermal printer. Thermal printers are quick, quiet and reliable. The printer produces a printed image by heating coated thermal paper. When the paper passes over the thermal print head the coating turns black in the areas where it is heated, producing an image. Thermal rolls are much easier to fit, as usually the roll will just drop in to the printer compartment and there is no messy ink rollers to change.

Electronic Journal

An electronic Journal keeps a record of sales data on the cash registers memory. As most cash registers carry a limited amount of memory, the data should be printed regularly in order to maintain accurate records and to free up memory. On dual roll cash registers, you can print a customer receipt and journal copy at the same time. Single roll cash registers on the other hand only print on or the other.

Departments (or Groups)

Departments can be used to produce a sales breakdown to show you how much has been sold to a particular department or group. PLU's or bar codes can be linked to departments or groups: For example in a bar groups would be draught beers, spirits etc or in a restaurant: starters, mains courses and sweets.


PLU stands for Price Look-Up Unit, and is a unique reference code for a product. This product would consists of a Description, price and would be linked to a Department\Group.

Barcodes and Scanning

A bar code scanner can be connected to a cash register so that when a code is scanned, it is found in the cash register's memory and the associated price and description are displayed on the screen and printed.

As you can see above, there is lots of options to choose from when deciding on a Cash Register. If you need any assistance or are unsure on what model would best suit your business please feel free to contact one of our experts.

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