From a large retail outlet to a small family operation or a restaurant, one thing that is essential to an operation is a dependable till. Tills are used in just about every business where currency is exchanged for goods or services. Some tills are specialised and some basic, and there are just about as many different types, with multiple and varied options, as there are types of businesses that need them.
From a simple till with basic functionality to high-tech point-of-sale (POS) systems with touch screens and wait staff tablets, if a business receives cash or credit cards for payment, they need a till. Tills and the supplies needed to keep them operating properly can be expensive if purchased at a traditional bricks-and-mortar retail establishment. One can find good deals as well as selections of tills and related supplies online at eBay, where the many options can be compared easily. Buying tills and supplies on eBay gives buyers the chance to consider their alternatives such as the till manufacturers as well as the ever-important prices. In many cases, customers on eBay can find savings not only on merchandise, but also on shipping and handling.
On eBay, tills can be found under the categories that list relevant products for businesses and offices. This category incorporates subcategories such as 'Retail & Shop Fitting' and 'Cash Registers & Supplies', where tills are listed. Before beginning to shop for a new till, it is very important that the potential buyer is familiar with what a till really is and what types are available on eBay. The buyer can then take that information and compare it to the specific needs and requirements in a till.
A traditional till, also called a cash register, was created as a self-contained mechanical device. The till was later developed further to serve the dual purposes of calculating sales and recording transactions. The early till was more an adding machine than what is thought of when considering a till today. Later, cash drawers were added, along with a 'No Sale' button to record when the till drawer was opened; an important piece of information for business owners. When perusing the listings of cash registers on eBay, one can often distinguish between the traditional till and a more advanced cash register by looking at the pictures provided with the listings.
With the exception of general merchandise and other small businesses, the tills used in today's business environment are complex, computerised machines equipped with barcode scanners as well as credit and debit card readers. Tills can also incorporate POS systems and full automation, allowing customers to check themselves out without the need for a store cashier. The costs of quality tills are also varied and based on the level of technology and installation requirements.
Parts of a Till
Different type tills have various parts and features designed for specific business needs. A grocer needs a system that allows cashiers to scan the barcode on products, speeding up the checkout process. In turn, a restaurant needs a wireless POS system that allows servers and attendants to quickly place orders for the kitchen and accept payments from customers, turning over tables and facilitating more business.
The cash drawer is one of the tough components of the till, for obvious reasons. Most cash drawers are designed to hold not only paper currency, but also credit card slips as well as personal and traveller's checks. Cash drawers are generally made of heavy-duty metal and come with the ability to lock the drawer manually so that even manipulation of keypad commands cannot open the drawer.
The cash drawer is usually located under the till for easy access by the till operator; some POS systems have a centralised cash drawer that is shared by restaurant or pub wait staff. Cash drawers do differ based on the overall design of the till, with some drawers opting for wider, horizontal note trays as opposed to the traditional vertical dividers. The wider horizontal design can accommodate a wider selection of notes and allows for easier access to notes by the till operator. Listings of cash tills on eBay usually include descriptions about the cash drawer and the number of compartments in it.
Keypad or Manual Input
The keypad or manual input of a till is vital to the operation of the machine. Because of the wide variety of till designs and features, there is no one description of a till's keypad or manual input. The keypad can be a set of physical, programmable buttons or a virtual version of the buttons used on a touch screen terminal. Along with buttons set up in a traditional calculator configuration, shortcut keys can be programmed to enter particular product items and divide sales between departments, among many other programming options that enable the business owner to tailor the till's functionality to meet the business' specific needs.
Barcode Scanner and Reader
Now accepted as standard technology, the barcode, barcode scanner, and reader are nevertheless still new technologies in the till industry. A barcode is a machine-readable data label that identifies the product to which it is attached. Barcodes allow business owners to simply program their tills to read the barcodes and assign each a predetermined price so that the till automatically adds the item to the running total. Grocers and other businesses that sell products by weight generally opt for a stationary scanner with scales attached; the scanners weigh the items, assign them prices based on weight, and send the price to the till to be added to the rest of the bill.
Barcode scanners and readers are basically the eyes of the system. In general, there are two that are used often, sometimes in conjunction with each other. First is the reader that is located on the counter between the till operator and the customer; the other is a handheld device that the till operator points at barcodes to read them. The software that administers the functions of the scanner or reader enables the user to adjust prices, change products, and conduct other administrative pricing jobs. Barcode scanners and readers on eBay are often found under the 'Point of Sale (POS) Equipment' subcategory.
Credit Card Terminal
Credit, debit, bank, checking, and other types of cards that use magnetic stripe technology require a magnetic stripe reader to encode and process the financial information written on the stripe. Depending on the design of the till, the credit card terminal may be on the till and can only be accessed by the till operator or as part of a terminal that is accessible by the customer. These machines communicate over telephone lines and the Internet with financial institutions and credit card companies to authorise payment. They also communicate with the till to process or hold a sale until the payment method is verified.
Tills are designed to print paper receipts for customers. They also produce a running total of the receipts for accounting purposes. There are four basic types of receipt printers that use three types of printer paper. Along with ink cartridges, printer paper is one of the more replaced supply items
for use with tills.
Type of Printer
Single-Copy Receipt Printer
A paper receipt is printed for the customer, while a running total is printed on a paper roll
Rolls must be changed periodically; the busier the register, the more often replacement is needed
Dual-Copy Receipt Printer
A paper receipt is printed with a yellow carbon copy; one is for the customer, the other for the business
These printers are generally used by businesses that accept credit and debit cards
Eliminating the need for ink, thermal printers use heat-sensitive paper and heated printer heads to transfer text to paper
Running totals are kept in the till's memory for later printing
Depending on the type of business, if a detailed receipt is needed, such as in automotive repair, a standard computer printer is often used
eBay provides access to wide variety of receipt printers that can be used in conjunction with cash tills. Thermal printers are among the more common types available on the website.
Security Device Deactivator
Depending on the type of security device being used by a business, the till is fitted with a device remover or demagnetiser, normally a pad set on the cashier counter. Devices are either manually removed or swiped across the deactivator pad so that they do not set off security alarms.
Buying Tills and Supplies on eBay
Locating tills and the supplies needed to perform the tasks of the businesses they are being used in is not a difficult thing to do when looking for these items on eBay. To find tills and till supplies on the website, simply perform a keyword search on eBay. Locate the search bar at the top of any eBay page, and enter a search term, such as 'Tills' or 'Till Supplies', into the search window. When the results page opens, select a relevant category, such as 'Business, Office & Industrial', from the category options available on the page. When this page opens, you can narrow the results by selecting one or more of the filter options available on the website. You can use filters such as price, location, type of seller, and item condition, such as used or new.
Before making a purchase on eBay, take the time to read all of the available information on the item provided by the seller. Ensure that you check the seller's preferred method of payment and what shipping charges may apply. You can buy with confidence once you review the information about the seller.
For just about every business, from local thrift stores and fast food joints to major department stores and five-star restaurants, a dependable till that fits the business model is extremely important. It may be a standard till with a cash drawer and few features or a complex POS system with multiple remote access points and touch screen functionality. The important thing is to match the type of system available with the business it is to be used in and then choose from the available systems and models. It is also a good idea to buy a system that can be upgraded as a business grows.
When the time comes to buy a new till for a business, eBay can be a great resource. The website allows potential buyers to compare brands, models, and prices of the different options available. A search on eBay enables a business owner to find great deals on till and supplies that can keep the business operating at top performance.