EPOS Systems for Market Stalls
If you’re a market stall selling anything from cupcakes to birthday cards to second-hand books, this page is for you.
Perhaps you’re an established seller looking for a till which can sell items by weight; perhaps you just want a simple payment system you can operate out of your smartphone. Either way, don’t miss out on the ever-increasing share of your customers who’ll want to pay by card – it’s easy to get started!
An EPOS system is comprised of software, payments, and hardware. We’ll start by explaining your software and payment options, and move on to hardware last.
What are my EPOS options for market stalls?
In nearly all cases, the best EPOS for market stands is free.
The software is free; but these apps come with a payment processing arrangement. We’d expect that you would pay 1.75% on payment processing and you will also have to buy their card reader for between £9-£50.
Their card reader should work right out of the box. (You’ll have to put in your bank details first ;)). These card readers are recognisable as the newer smaller card readers which you can sometimes see in coffee shops and market stands.
Check out the best mobile card readers available in the UK.
What are the advantages to Free POS?
1) They are quick and easy to set up. Simply download their app from the App Store, connect your hardware, and you’re ready to roll. (Remember to use one of our links to get your discounted hardware)
2) You’re not tied into a long-term contract – you can stop processing whenever you like.
3) Unlike with traditional payment processors, you’ll need to buy a card reader – but this is likely to work out a lot cheaper than the card reader rental fees levied by processors.
4) A great option if you don’t know what you need and you don’t want to make any big decisions.
5) Flexibility – feel free to upgrade to a different EPOS system to suit your growing business, but continue using free pos for payment processing only. Check out our Freepos guide to figure out which EPOS you can integrate with when you’re using FreePOS solely for this.
6) If you have a lower average transaction size or you are a smaller merchant, they are likely to be cheaper. (Get payment processing quotes).
What can Free POS do for Front-of-House?
1) Process cash and card payments.
2) Create a product library and organise products in folders; so that when they’re tapped by you, their price cues on the card reader, ready for the customer to pay.
3) The apps can download to iOS and Android devices; smartphone or tablet. Their “back offices” have web logins which can be accessed from any device.
4) Depending on the brand, it will allow you to discount items or return items easily. iZettle lets you set up SMS and email receipts, with a resend option.
5) You can send an order ticket through to a kitchen with FreePOS.
What can’t they do?
Free pos won’t let you manage tables, split bills between different parties, override course defaults such as “can I have this starter as a main”. It isn’t set up for price scheduling such as happy hours or sales.
1) Selling items by weight. For market stalls, you’ll need specialist hardware and EPOS – a set of scales that will let you weigh the product and key the weight into your EPOS system. You’ll also need to be able to create items with weight-based units (i.e. Double Gloucester cheese is £3.50 per 100g). iZettle Go and Square let you set up product price per unit, kg, hour or any other custom unit. When you sell an item by weight, you select the item from your library and then you can enter the weight manually or connect your EPOS to a bluetooth weighing scale. Watch Loyverse’s How To Sell Items by Weight video.
2) Selling liquids and alcohol. If you’re a pop-up bar, you’ll need to create items with pint units, and you may wish to have an age-check reminder when selling alcoholic drinks. Whilst iZettle doesn’t let you sell tobacco, iZettle and Square allow you to sell alcohol face to face with customers, as long as you stick to the UK age restriction rules. PayPal requires pre-approval for this.
3) Adding modifiers easily. Like EPOS for cafes, your EPOS will need to handle on the fly additions or edits to products. Want to swap whole milk for soy? And add an extra 30p charge? Freepos will generally let you do this from inside the app.
4) Creating composite items. Composite items are made up of multiple components. For example, if you’re a burger stand, you may need to programme your EPOS to sell by combinations of toppings, type of patty etc. Unlike the other basic Freepos, Loyverse lets you select a composite item option, and then calculate the composite item cost based on the quantity and cost of all the components.
The payment rates for FreePOS are quite competitive for “small business” sector that they’re targeting. To work out what’s coming out of your pocket, you’d need to know the cost of the software you would choose, in addition to the amount you’re projected to spend per month on payment processing with a traditional processor. Compare those two rates together to 1.75% of all card transactions in one month and see which works out cheaper. If you need help with the numbers, we can help over a five-minute call.
To generalise; the smaller you are, the fewer card payments you process, the smaller the average value of a single transaction, and the cheaper FreePOS is likely to be.
You can also cut down on hardware costs, as FreePOS can be downloaded onto your smartphone.
|Payment processing rates per transaction|
|1.75%||1.69%||1.75%||From 2.75% per transaction, but if you sell over £1500 a month you’ll be charged a lower rate of 1.75%.||Not a payment processor – configure your Loyverse POS to work with your preferred merchant service provider for non-integrated payments, or select one of their integrated payment partners.|
What are my hardware options?
Ideally, you’ll want to choose a streamlined EPOS set up that works for the limited space market stalls may have. The Freepos systems will have apps that can download onto an iPad, iPhone, or Android phone. Check out our respective pages for iZettle, Square, SumUp, PayPal Here and Loyverse for detailed links to the hardware you need.
A device. This could be an android or iOS smartphone or tablet that can download an app. Remember: these are cloud-based systems and require internet access in order to work. We’ll discuss the best way to keep connected when you’re out in the market without a router in a moment.
A Receipt Printer. If you’re happy to go without, you technically don’t need this. It’s a legal requirement to provide receipts if your business is VAT registered; however, iZettle has email receipts available so that you can keep your hardware (and environmental) costs down and send receipts to people that request it.
You’ll need to pick a receipt printer that links to your device via USB and bluetooth, rather than Ethernet which connects directly to a router. StoreKit stocks the Star TSP654IIBI Bluetooth Printer, Star TSP143IIIU USB iOS Printer, compatible with iZettle, and Star TSP143II ECO USB Printer.
Card reader. Free pos systems need a specific card reader in order to work – but you’ll purchase the card reader outright and it’s yours. So, if you decide to stop processing on their software, you won’t be charged monthly for having the reader.
Stand. The Square Stand is not an option for Android devices, it is only available for iPad.
Accessing the internet
Market stalls will need to process payments without the requirement for a local network connection, instead relying on your device’s mobile 3G, 4G or GPRS internet connection. Your card reader includes an internal rechargeable battery so you can take payments on the go. If your iPad has a SIM card, it works just like a phone would in terms of calls or cellular data.
Powering and linking my device
The new iZettle 2 reader and Square reader connect to your tablet or phone via Low Energy Bluetooth, and charges via USB cable (approximately 1‒2 hours for iZettle and 2-3 hours for Square). Most Freepos software can be used with a variety of iOS and Android devices. Remember you’ll need to connect your card reader and device via Bluetooth first. Though on the pricey side, the new Sum Up 3G card reader comes with a built-in SIM card.
It’s important to see if your chosen EPOS brand has a customer support service so that if you encounter hiccups, you won’t be forced to shut up your market stall for too long.
If you’re ready to choose, click the above button to get a free discounted card reader. Otherwise, navigate up to find the other choices – via the FreePOS page.
If you’re still not sure, try calling us via the button below. We’re happy to answer any question you might have – at all! We partner with all the leading software on the market, so we can give you our honest opinion about the best software for you and it won’t affect your price.