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How Much Does a Point of Sale Computer System Cost?
Learn about the POS computers available
Written by Eric Fleming
If you've shopped in a store recently, it's very likely that you've seen a point of sale computer system. A POS computer is the hardware that has replaced the once-ubiquitous cash register. The computer runs the point of sale software that allows businesses to not only speed up transactions, but also to handle all other aspects of the business from payroll to inventory.
What does a POS computer consist of?
As a customer, the part of the point of sale system you see most often is the display. After that, you have the data entry device (which can be a touch screen), keyboard and mouse, scanner, credit card readers, and check readers. Finally, there is the software that runs on the computer and allows you to process your transactions.
Are there special requirements for running a POS computer system?
The POS computer itself has no special requirements to act as the brains of a complete POS system. In looking at different computers, the one thing you may notice is that not all of them look like computers you're probably used to seeing in your home or office. While standard home desktop computers are aligned vertically, most (if not all) POS computers are aligned horizontally, very often with the monitor sitting on top. This saves space and gives a neater impression to customers.
The other main difference between standard retail computers and point of sale computers is that some POS systems are built so that the computer and monitor are packed into a single unit. This saves even more space, provides a very streamlined appearance, and is often customized based on what type of establishment they'll be used in. In these cases, the hardware and software are sold as a single unit.
How much does a POS computer cost?
This will vary greatly depending on whether you're purchasing the computer on its own, or as part of a turnkey solution where all components are packaged together. If you're looking at just the computer, keyboard, and mouse, you'll likely spend $500 to $1,500. Once you add a touch-screen monitor, your costs will increase by at least $500. Other accessories will add to your costs, but in general, the total will usually range between $1,500 and $3,000. It depends primarily on which features you feel are important.
This is also fairly consistent with the price of a ready-to-go turnkey solution. However, turnkey hardware which include a point of sale computer, monitor, cash drawer, input devices, and more should be guaranteed to work together. Purchasing a POS computer on its own leaves you open to the possibility that your accessories may not be compatible.
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