Barcode scanners are everywhere these days because, often, speed is an important factor in a lot of businesses. Barcode scanners are a great tool to increase check-out speed and data entry. They have so many applications and can help a number of different kinds of businesses. But barcode scanners are not a one size fits all tool. There are five different attributes to consider when you are selecting a barcode scanner to use in your business.
Barcode scanners come in two major styles or body types: Gun and Countertop. A Gun scanner is just what it sounds like: you pick it up, point it at the barcode, and then pull the trigger to scan it. Most Gun scanners come with a stand that can resemble a holster. On the other hand, Countertop scanners should require no handling at all. They sit on a counter, and most will scan a barcode as soon as it passes in front of it. Some will have a button on top to scan a barcode.
Barcode scanners have two options when it comes to their lasers: single- or multi-line. Single-line laser scanners have just one laser shooting out that creates a horizontal line to read a barcode. Most Gun scanners use a single-line laser to read a barcode. Multi-line scanners use several lasers to make a grid with several vertical and horizontal lines. Any one of these lasers can read a barcode. Often, Countertop scanners use multi-line lasers.
There are two ways a barcode scanner can connect to the POS system or database system: either wired directly to the computer or wirelessly to a base. Wired barcode scanners connect to the computer through a USB or serial connection. Most wireless barcode scanners connect to a base through Bluetooth, then that base needs to be connected to the computer through USB. While this is the most common setup for wireless barcode scanners, there are Wi-Fi-enabled barcode scanners that don’t need a base and can connect to a computer directly.
Depending on the style, laser type, and connection used, the price of a barcode scanner can vary greatly. Gun scanners are often cheaper than Countertop scanners. Single-line scanners are cheaper than multi-line scanners. On the low end, a single-line Gun scanner is around $99, while a Countertop multi-line scanner is about $400. There are other features a barcode scanner can have that can jump the price up to $500 plus.
There are a few additional features a barcode scanner can have. Besides barcodes, some scanners can also read QR codes and driver’s licenses. Scanning QR codes are often used for redeeming gift cards. Some bars and nightclubs will want to scan driver’s licenses to help the bouncers detect fakes and prevent underage drinking.
If you need to increase check-out speed or increase speed when entering data into your system, consider choosing a barcode scanner for the job. Total Merchant Supply has a number of barcode scanner options for both retail and hospitality businesses. Stop by our showroom or give us a call at #704-523-6244 to learn which barcode scanner is right for your business.