IT help-stock control/point of sale/barcode

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  • IT help-stock control/point of sale/barcode
  • Wife has a small business in its 2nd year of trading. She has quite a lot of ranges from numerous suppliers but only holds small numbers of individual items.

    She sells in a few physical outlets-market stalls/festivals/partys etc as well as on Ebay and a website so stock control is crucial.

    I’ve bought a barcode scanner and have the ability to create/print barcodes to scan things but we need something to be able scan items and update our stock list from a physical sale location. The only problem being that our physical locations rarely have 240v mains power or phone connections.
    We have a laptop with a usb port that will run the barcode scanner reader but the battery dosnt last longer than 1 day and an office based PC, wife has an Iphone.

    I’ve spoken to suppliers at trade shows but they all seem geared for larger sized businesses than ours with ‘normal’ bricks and mortar shops.

    We have a mobile card machine for credit/debit card transactions-its just the actual stock control of things we are struggling with.

    Would an ipad suit us better? is there an app for an Ipad? how long would an Ipad battery last powering a barcode scanner? any other ideas or does anyone work in this industry?

    Thanks in advance


    you could buy some more batteries for the laptop. I don’t think the battery life on an iPad is much longer than 1 day in use, although you can buy extender kits.

    the laptop solution is a ‘bit clunky’ though, boot times etc, we want something that can be scanned quickly then wrapped up and handed to the customer, sometimes its too hectic to be writing a list of sold items and this is were we then run into problems with then selling items on the website/ebay that we dont actually have in stock.

    Im thinking some kind of barcode scanner that can either GSM data back to our desktop/server or hold information till we get back into the office to then update our stocklist.

    Im an engineer-im used to bolting things together-this is all new to me!!!!


    I used a portable jump start car battery/compressor/leisure battery thing to run a car charger for a laptop at a village fete – laptop with lock cable to table leg – ran all day ok


    They aren’t cheap, but there are numerous windows ce based handheld scanners that would do the job.
    I am familiar with the Symbol/ Motorola mc1000, which can hold a stock database and record stock changes
    using .txt files.

    Thanks Darkrider (and to all others who posted), I’ve been googling all afternoon and think I’ve possibly found the solution in an Opticon 2001 or a Motorola CS3000 in that both devices can scan and store barcodes for downloading when back in the office. Both are battery powered and will do apporx a 1000scans on a full battery.

    I just need to figure out what to do with the CSV/txt files now!!!

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