Consignment Price Labels

"Sheet and Thermal Price Labels
What they are and how to use them"

Consignment Price Labels

A price label or hang tag is a piece of paper that is attached to an item for sale containing hand-written or printed information about the item, like Item ID, Description, Price and a barcode. Consignment labels can also include unique information like a discount schedule, Date In and a disposal code for aged inventory. A good consignment-software program provides flexibility in determining what information will appear on labels and tags.

Consignment/Resale stores often use tags with colored borders as a way of knowing how long an item has been in the store and when to dispose of items that have exceeded the consignment period (typically 90 days). For example, green tags might be used for the month of June so at the end of August, any item with a green tag can be pulled from the floor and 'disposed of' (returned to the consignor, donated to charity, destroyed or transferred to shop owner or the 'House Account').

Sticky labels and non-adhesive hang tags can be on 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper (sheet labels) and can be printed with a simple LaserJet, bubblejet or inkjet black/white printer. (LaserJet is preferable for consistent and correct feeding of the sheets, accurate print position and quality). Adhesive labels are peeled from the sheet. Hang tags are perforated and are torn from the sheet along the perforation. They also have a hole in one end for 'hanging' on items.

Labels and tags can be on rolls of thermal paper - 'thermal' because there is no ink as heat is used to burn print onto the paper. (It is necessary to use thermal paper to achieve good lasting print.)

Label Styles and Sizes

Sheet labels are more limited in style and size. The 'style' is usually rectangular and the most common adhesive-label size is the Avery #5160 address label measuring 2 5/8" x 1".

Thermal labels range from small jewelry (dumbbell, barbell, rat-tail) styles to large 4" x 4" shipping labels. There are 2-part labels with a stub on one end (that stays with the item) when the other end (the tear-off section) is torn off. Tear-off labels are particularly useful for large items that can't be brought to checkout. Thermal adhesive labels can be 'removable' in that the adhesive is less 'sticky', allowing for easy label removal.

Label Cost

You can bet that labels offered through middle men like a software vendor will cost (substantially) more. This is one time when 'convenience' is not worth the added cost. Sheet labels are available from office-supply stores. Search Google for 'thermal price labels' for plenty of offers direct from label distributors.

Depending upon the size and style of label or tag and the quantity purchased, the cost difference between one sheet label and one thermal label is around 2c just for the label. Adding ink cost to sheet-label printing increases the difference to something like 4c so stores like clothing shops printing thousands of labels should find it less costly over time to invest in a thermal-label printer ($300-$400).

As a basis for comparison, one software vendor in Orlando offers a thermal label printer way over-priced at $500 plus shipping (which is very arbitrary and tacked on to the end of the order). Support for the printer is limited to 30 days and any help with the printer afterward is $100 per hour! The same vendor offers a 'tag plan' padded with middle-man profits.

Finally, some stores find it acceptable to print labels on sheets of paper and cut them out. It's also possible to order labels with a logo preprinted.

Software for Printing Price Labels

Many a store didn't make it past the first year because the store owner over spent on hardware, software and service. Citing the same software vendor in Orlando, their 'package deal'(software, thermal label printer, barcode scanner and 1000 tags) is $1,825 withi shipping and 6.5% sales tax. Keeping in mind that support for the printer is an additional $100 per hour - the same system (with no shipping or sales tax and 5,000 labels) is available from BCSS for half the cost. Moreover, the $1800 requires $203 per year in 'support fees' where BCSS has none. If the $203 isn't paid software updates will be withheld as a means of forcing the payment of the support fee and 'training' is not included. If five computers are in use the annual fee increases to $611!

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