Top & Best Barcode reader: Which are the best in 2020?
Imagine your shop at a store that doesn’t have a barcode reader at the checkout. If the customer in front of you buys a lot of products, you will certainly stay in the queue for a long time before being served.
Let’s face it, this is frustrating! And it is also a shot in the foot of the trader who has to write off the product in stock manually with each sale. In addition to being very laborious, it is an error-prone process.
Anyone who owns a business – whether small or large – knows the importance of having an optical reader. The benefits are immediately apparent: streamline customer service and data accuracy.
The good news is that there are numerous manufacturers of barcode scanners. With a wide variety of offers, it is possible to find affordable and quality options. To find out which models are best suited to your needs, keep following this article!
First, the most important
- According to GS1, the agency that issues numbers to all bar codes on the market, approximately five billion bar codes are scanned every day worldwide.
- The advantages of optical readers are numerous: precision in data, agility in processes, and great cost-benefit.
- You can use the barcode reader in different sectors of your commercial establishment, such as the reception of goods, in the warehouse and at the point of sale terminal. However, each situation requires a type of device.
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Best barcode readers: Our favorites
We know that a barcode reader is an indispensable item for certain types of business. Therefore, buying it should not be seen as a cost, but an investment.
Currently, you can’t imagine a trade that doesn’t use a barcode reader. In addition to the practicality and speed in collecting data on a daily basis, the device contributes a lot in the organization of company information, such as inventory control.
In our Buying Guide, you will know what are the advantages and disadvantages of the barcode reader, as well as the price range and the best places to buy them. Come on!
What is a barcode reader?
There is no point in offering great discounts in your commercial establishment if you frustrate the customer in the last step of the purchase. After all, nobody likes to waste time in lines at supermarkets, stores, and the like, right?
To resolve this impasse, the barcode reader enters the scene. The device can, in a matter of seconds, interpret the bar code information and pass it in coded form to a computer. In practice, this means streamlining the operation and increasing the productivity of your cash team.
But this is far from the only advantage of an optical reader, check out all the benefits in the section below.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a barcode reader?
The equipment also guarantees data accuracy. As barcodes are a kind of fingerprint – they are unique and non-transferable – they gather all the information from a single product.
This advantage makes it possible to improve your logistics processes. An example is when you pass an item at the store checkout. The reader automatically writes off the product in its stock. Ultimately, you are more accurate when ordering from suppliers.
Here, technology replaces all those manual processes that are subject to errors, such as incorrect typing.
With so many alternatives that the barcode reader offers, it is possible to think that it is a very complex device to handle it. Mere mistake. The equipment is extremely intuitive.
There is no secret, connect the device to your computer and it will start working. Then, just direct the barcode of a certain product on the reader and see the magic happen: all the information related to the sale item appears on your computer screen.
Amid so many advantages, we can say that you guarantee the satisfaction of your customers because of the speed and precision in service.
On the other hand, we know that a barcode reader will not be enough to manage your entire business. After all, you use the device at point of sale terminals, in stock, in the goods receiving area, and so on.
Accordingly, depending on the size of your trade, you will need to buy two or more devices. In addition to increasing your investment, it is important to note that the most modest models have difficulty reading low-resolution codes and in cylindrical and wet packaging.
What is the difference between 1D and 2D bar codes?
Basically, bar codes are classified into two types: linear or one-dimensional codes (1D) and two-dimensional codes (2D). Used since the 1960s, 1D bar codes are the most common and are very affordable. In general, they are created using vertical and parallel lines.
The storage capacity of linear codes is limited: between 12 and 20 characters. In this way, only the name of the product is registered, as well as it’s brand and price.
In turn, 2D bar codes are born from the need to store more data. In the 1990s, Japanese automakers developed a new model to track vehicles in the production process.
Containing horizontal and vertical information, the two-dimensional codes have a storage capacity of up to 1,000 characters. In this sense, it is possible to include much more detailed information about the product in question, such as name, lot, serial number, price, and so on.
What is the ideal barcode reader for your establishment?
The choice of your barcode reader cannot be limited to the price of the product. It is necessary to take into account other factors, such as format, technology and, of course, the need for your trade.
Want to see an example? Wireless handheld readers are used by operators who are constantly on the move, such as in the reception and warehouse areas of goods. In turn, fixed devices are ideal for supermarket checkout, thanks to their reading speed.
CCD, Laser, or Area Imager: Which technology should I choose a reader with?
Fixed reader. Bluetooth player. CCD reader. Finally, the market has a large offer of optical bar code readers. In practice, it is possible to find the most varied values.
You can find readers from $ 100 to $ 5,000. Very cheap readers can have a very limited operation, it is worth investing in at least one intermediate model.
Where to buy?
Without too many difficulties, you can buy a barcode reader on the internet. On Amazon, for example, you can find the most varied models, from the simplest to the most sophisticated.
Purchase Criteria: Main features to evaluate in a barcode reader
At this point in the championship, you should be bald by knowing the importance of an optical reader for your trade. Although they all work like a hand in the wheel, they have certain peculiarities. For you not to make mistakes when buying, check out what are the main points to pay attention to:
- Specifications suited to your business needs
Check each one in detail, so that you can make the best choice at the time of purchase.
Specifications suited to your business needs
You need to match the product specifications and the needs of your business. If you have a small establishment that sells few items, a more affordable alternative is to have a manual CCD reader. It can only identify large, high-resolution codes.
To make the best decision when buying your barcode reader, it is worth watching the video below and answering his questions:
Area Imager readers are recommended for large businesses that work with a huge variety of products and have an intense flow of people.
That’s because, regardless of the packaging format, they are capable of interpreting large and small bar codes, 1D or 2D, with high resolution or low quality.
There are situations where a more sophisticated barcode reader does not meet the needs of your business. Want to see an example?
If you make any payments from bank slips, a fixed reader will not help you. He cannot identify bank slips.
In order not to be frustrated after the purchase, it is essential to discover the reading capacity of the device you want to buy.
If you work with products in cylindrical or wet packaging, for example, it is recommended to buy equipment with Area Imager technology. That’s because it can interpret bar codes that are of poor quality and partially damaged.
Finally, find out if the device you intend to buy can read 1D and 2D bar codes.
Another important detail that must be noted before purchasing a barcode reader is its connection. The most common models connect to the computer using a USB cable.
There, the configuration process is very simple. Just plug the reader into your computer, open the commercial automation software and you’re done: you’re ready to go.
Although some models have long cables – up to 2 meters in length – with USB models you don’t have much mobility. If you want to get rid of wires, the ideal is to buy a Bluetooth barcode that can be taken to every corner of your business.
One advantage is that you can serve customers wherever you are most relaxed. You don’t have to concentrate them in a single row. This model is also widely used at airports when validating passengers’ tickets.
On the other hand, wireless equipment requires more work when setting up. Not to mention that you need to be aware of your autonomy. Have you ever thought about ending the battery right in the middle of a cashier service?
If you choose a manual model, it is important to pay attention to the design of the barcode reader. As you will spend hours pulling and pulling the reading trigger, it needs to be ergonomic and lightweight.
As for the fixed models, it is worth paying attention to the size. They need to be compact to fit well on your workstation.