POS Systems vs Calculator

Updated: May 25, 2020

Author: Kendra Easton, Marketing Intern at Spirit of '76 Fireworks


My first job was working in a fireworks tent as a high school student. For 3 summers I would spend 3 weeks of break working inside of a hot, sticky fireworks tent. I loved chatting with customers about their big 4th of July plans.


Our tent was more old fashioned. We clocked in using pen and paper, and each product had an orange hand placed priced tag that we then had to manually type into a calculator at check out.


After ringing up the order, we then had to manually add in the tax and send them to the 2nd cash register to pay with cash or card. The system worked well the couple of weeks leading up to July, but the turn of the month the lines got longer and the customers were not too excited to spend that extra time in the hot, sticky tent waiting in line. If the person ringing up the order made a mistake they would have to start all over again, sometimes taking an extra 5 minutes to unload the bag and restart the process. With a line that stretched the length of the tent this meant customers were spending more time waiting in line than they were shopping.

POS Systems, such as Clover and Square, help eliminate long lines and human error.


Using a POS System will cause you to have a bit more work upfront, but trust me, it's better to get your homework done early than to be scrambling at the last second.


Use the barcodes that come pre printed onto your products and manually enter or scan them into your POS System. Once the products are inputted into the system you will be able to scan the products at checkout, keep track of inventory and note your top selling items. These systems also allow you to set up a rewards program for your customers that encourages them to come back to your tent before the end of the season.


Another perk of using a POS system is to have your staff utilize it to clock in and out, allowing for a more accurate time card. With your POS system automatically keeping track of these you will have more time to spend with customers on the floor making sales. Within the Spirit of ‘76 store and tent we utilize Clover.


Clover and Square are both similar in their functions. The main things to look for when

deciding on a POS System are the payment fees, the physical hardware, and startup cost. The Square POS System is unique as it is compatible with iPhones and iPads and

has a physical hardware option making it easier for newer or small businesses. Clover offers more out-of-the-box features at no extra costs.


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