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Retail Scales & Shop Scales

Retail scales are essential if you buy or sell goods by weight. Our EC-approved retail scales provide accurate and efficient weighing and pricing results, and are perfect for market stalls, farm shops and pop-up shops. Sealed keypads ensure retail scales last longer in demanding environments. Choose pillar models for a more prominent weight and price display for the customer. All models calculate weight, price per g/kg and total price. 

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What is a retail scale?

Retail scales are digital weighing scales used to calculate a price based on weight. Most retail scales have a front and rear display for the user and customer, and offer internal memory for PLUs (price look-ups) allowing quick recall of the price of your most popular products based on the product's weight.

In many countries, it is a government requirement for a retail scale to be trade approved. In the UK and across the European Community, it is a legal requirement for anyone selling goods by weight to ensure the weighing scales they are using are trade approved. Trade approved scales are often labelled as trade stamped, trade approved, CE stamped, verified, class III approved or OIML approved.

Are there penalties for not using a retail scale that is trade approved?

It depends on the local law. In many countries it is illegal for anyone selling goods by weight to use a non-approved scale. From a legal point of view you could get inspected and lose your scale or be forbidden from using it, resulting in a loss of money and an inability to continue doing business. In addition, you may be fined, and sometimes even be jailed.

Aside from legal reasons, your customers may mistrust you, believing you could be trying to cheat them out of their money. Word of mouth could spread that you are not using compliant scales, causing people to avoid your business.

Take a look at our range of trade approved scales.

What retail scale features help improve business operations?

While technically any trade-approved scale can be used for commercial businesses, retail scales are intended by design to help make operations more efficient. 

Retail and price computing scales offer three different displays as opposed to a regular trade approved scale's one display. These three displays are for weight, price per unit and total price for your customer to pay. Having all three pieces of information side by side helps keep transactions running smoothly, especially because the secondary display on the rear or pillar is visible to your customer. If the customer has questions or concerns they can identify and point them out immediately when there's full pricing transparency.

Retail scales also offer dedicated buttons on the full numeric keypad to help you access individual steps of the process, such as a button to set up PLUs and a separate button to recall them. 

How do PLUs work?

As we mentioned above, Product Lookups, or PLUs, are a memory system within your retail scale. Depending on how many products you sell by weight, it can be practically impossible for you and any employees to remember the price per unit for each one, especially if you have a new worker. PLUs allow you to enter in the price per unit of each product in advance, then assign that information a reference number. 

When it comes time for your customer to purchase a product, you only need to enter in the reference number to recall the correct information. Then simply weigh and get paid. should you need to change the price of an item, once it's in your scale, there's no need to worry about forgetting the new price and messing up the transaction. Your scale does the work for you!

We recognise it can be just as difficult to remember a variety of reference numbers, so we recommend keeping an extensive list nearby and memorising your top ten or so.  

What are some businesses that would benefit from a retail scale?

Retail scales are excellent additions to any business that offers an extensive product range that is sold by weight. These businesses include farmer's markets and butcher shops, as well as sweet shops and fishmongers. When you're weighing products all day long, you want it to be as easy and quick as possible so your customers aren't standing in line for too long. Retail scales improve efficiency and help guarantee that you're getting compensated appropriately for your products and your customers are getting what they've paid for. 

The M symbol has changed

Trade approved mark - green M has changed to black

The M-mark and sticker that identifies scales as being verified as 'use for trade' has been changed from green to black. Some older stickers may also show a black M on a green background.

Buy retail scales from Inscale Scales

Our range of shop scales and retail scales offer a quick, simple weighing experience for use in stores, zero waste shops, markets and food wholesalers. These products are tried and trusted by businesses all across the UK to deliver accurate results for both users and customers alike. Our retail scales are trade approved and so conform to UK law to be legally used to sell products based on weight.

It's important to no note that to ensure your trade approved retail weighing scale is correct or fit for purpose, your weighing scale must have a sticker with the letter "M" in black on it, a pale blue sticker with an identification number of the verifier (the person who has tested the accuracy) and a CE mark. Also ensure that all seals on the balance are intact.

Related Blogs:

A Guide to Trade Approvals: What is a Trade Approved Scale?

How To Buy Shop Scales

How To Use Retail Scales