Point of Sale (POS) Systems: When to Buy and When to Rent

As a business with goods to sell, you likely need a POS (Point of Sale) to help process payments. But that’s not all a POS system can do for you, it can also keep track of customer data, manage inventory, provide detailed reporting, and more. How often you are utilizing the POS though, might determine whether you should rent or buy, as the systems can get quite expensive. 

Hardware and software are equal parts of a POS system. For instance, your POS might include a variety of hardware and equipment, such as a receipt printer, card reader, cash drawer, touch screen, barcode scanner, and other devices that facilitate customer checkout. Moreover, POS software can run applications that provide sales and expenditure reports, track consumer purchases, and support customer loyalty programs. Businesses that desire a range of features and functionality from their POS system can choose from among the several packages that many POS providers provide.

If you are a business that doesn’t primarily rely on in-person sales, but does so only occasionally while at an event or tradeshow, or even if you are a temporary pop-up shop, renting might be the most cost-effective. But if you are a company that makes sales daily such as a coffee shop, or clothing store, buying is likely the better choice. Even though there are advantages on both sides of the coin, going over the fundamentals is the best place to start. In light of this, consider the following factors when deciding whether to buy or rent your next POS system.

Square POS System

The Advantages of Renting a POS System

The quick return on investment that your business will see is one of the main advantages of renting a POS system. You can enjoy the same advantages as a company that has paid full price for the technology by paying less. A POS system rental also has the following additional advantages:

  • Up-To-Date Technology – As with any type of technology, especially hardware, the latest and greatest is always right around the corner. When purchasing a POS system, you get the latest technology that is available at the time, but you run the risk that newer, more dependable hardware is coming out shortly after purchase. And unless you have a contract with your POS provider that allows for free upgrades (rare), you will have to pay out of pocket to once again have the best available. When you rent, you ensure that you can get the latest models without the financial commitment of buying it. You simply return it at the end of the rental, and the next time you need to rent you can make sure the company you are renting from has the latest and greatest. eTech Rentals provides customers with top of the line POS systems for their events, and frequently updates the systems. 
  • Access to Unlimited Tech Support – In the event that you need continuous customer assistance for your system, you get it when renting. If you purchase your POS solution, you might be responsible for some of the troubleshooting and receive less customer support if something goes wrong. Or some POS companies even charge in tiers which determines how much in-person customer support you get. When renting a POS system from eTech Rentals, we are always available to help at no additional charge to you. 
  • No Lengthy, Expensive Contacts – When electing to rent a POS system short-term, like what eTech Rentals offers, you don’t have to worry about signing a long-term contact with a POS company that you end up regretting. Companies like LightSpeed, Toast, Arryved, and Epos, all require yearly contracts. Yearly contracts can be great for locking in rates, but your business is often times on the hook even if you aren’t satisfied with the products. 
Point of sale system by TOAST

POS system by toast

The Advantage of Buying a POS System 

What are the arguments for buying a POS system now that we have looked at some of the benefits of renting one? For businesses who seek extensive customization and control over their sales and monitoring systems, there are still advantages even though the reasons may not be as numerous as renting.

  • Owning Gives You Total Control – Rental agreements aren’t necessarily constrictive, (eTech Rentals agreements are very flexible)  but there’s no denying that owning your own hardware gives your company the freedom to design the POS infrastructure however you see fit. This covers using both native and third-party applications, as well as acquiring and using third-party hardware accessories.
  • Long-Term Savings – We’ve already discussed that purchasing hardware out right can be quite expensive, especially up-front. And it can get even more expensive if you are frequently looking to upgrade to the latest technology. But if you are the type that’s OK with having hardware for a very long time, even if it’s slightly outdated, then you will eventually recoup your money. However, this only makes sense if it will be used nearly every day. Otherwise, it’s highly unlikely you would even spend more renting for periodical use, then buying outright. 
  • No Contract – Although purchasing your POS system may entail a greater investment, it also allows your business complete control over the decision of when to update to a new system. A contract that comes with renting a POS system could restrict your alternatives.

Making a Decision 

When deciding between buying or leasing, it’s critical to consider which benefits and drawbacks are most significant to your company. You should keep in mind that investing in buying POS solutions will always result in long-term financial savings, for those who will be using the systems very frequently. But, renting is increasingly a preferred alternative for companies that require greater flexibility and agility in their IT choices. Whatever you choose, make sure to complete your homework and identify the best option for your company, obviously at the best price. 

For those that are interested in short-term POS rentals, eTech Rentals is the place to go. For your event or pop-up store transaction needs, eTech Rentals offers a variety of POS hardware rental options and a variety of accessories. We have everything you need to process payments and print receipts at your upcoming festival or concert, including one-stop Square terminal solutions, Verifone, and Android POS. 

Reach out today for a quote. 

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