Top POS Systems For Rental Businesses
Whether you run a video rental store (yes, they still have those), a surf shop, or a tuxedo rental boutique, as a rental business owner, you need a point-of-sale system that processes rentals, not just sales. (I guess you could be cute and call it a “point of rental” system, but to keep things simple, let’s just use the standard term, “POS.”) A rental business POS lets you track and manage rental activity from the same register where you take payments. Rental-friendly cloud POS systems give businesses capabilities like rental inventory management, rental tickets and quotes, and online rental bookings. Examples of rental business types that can benefit from web-based rental POS software include:
- Auto rentals
- Tool and equipment rentals
- Party and event rentals
- Bicycle rentals
Unfortunately, not all cloud POS systems offer rental capabilities. Read on to learn which POS’s we consider the best software for rental businesses, followed by some runners-up that you might also want to try out … or not.
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Lightspeed Retail (see our review) is another high-quality POS with some useful features for rental businesses. This cloud POS system is a bit pricier than iConnect, starting at $89/mo ($76/mo if billed annually) for one register. Nevertheless, Lightspeed has one of the most advanced feature sets we’ve seen in an iPad POS, from advanced purchase order management to integrated eCommerce.
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Lightspeed Retail integrates with Rental Shop Manager (RSM), a software program that handles all aspects of running a rental business, including rental tickets, customer management, online rental bookings, and more. Or, if you run a bike rental shop, you might prefer to use Lightspeed’s Bike Rental Manager (BRM) integration, which has all the functions of RSM, but specific to bicycle rentals.
Even without using either of these add-ons, you can still manage rentals in Lightspeed Retail and create rentals as non-inventory items and create rental quotes in this POS.
Learn more about this POS for rental businesses by reading our Lightspeed Retail review.
iConnect (see our review) is a rock-solid cloud POS for any business that involves rentals or appointments. iConnect’s latest offering is the EMV-enabled iConnect Register (iCR), an all-in-one POS bundle with iConnect software pre-installed on a specially configured Android tablet—you can also run iConnect on an iPad, PC or Mac computer (via a web browser), or your own Android tablet setup. iConnect is scaleable for any business size, all the way up to franchise-level, and the most affordable plan sets you back only $50/month for a single register setup.
Some of iConnect’s rental-business-related features include built-in booking software (including online bookings), rental activity reports, CRM functionality, a QuickBooks integration, and advanced inventory management. Some rental businesses might also make use of iConnect’s kiosk feature, which allows customers to browse a catalog of your products unattended (and also scan items).
iConnect is an affordable, easy-to-use, rental business POS that has excellent rental-specific features. To learn more about iConnect, check out our iConnect POS review.
We can’t necessarily endorse these POS’s as being best-in-class, but they do offer rental capabilities, which means you might want to at least check them out to see if they could work for you.
Sure, Intuit’s QuickBooks POS (see our review) has its shortcomings—just little things like, ya know, terrible customer support and sudden account freezes. However, this POS, offered in both desktop and cloud (iPad) versions, does have rental options, so we’d be remiss to leave it off our list.
Here is a description from Intuit on how to rent or lease items to your customers using QuickBooks POS. To process rental equipment transactions in QB POS, simply add the rental items as non-inventory items. It’s more of a workaround than a dedicated rental business feature, but hey, it works, and if you’re a dedicated QuickBooks user already, you might appreciate using a POS that integrates seamlessly with your QB accounting. Learn more about the locally installed (desktop) version of QuickBooks POS.
Note: The newer cloud version of QB POS has the same rental function as the desktop version. We can’t speak to the overall quality of the cloud version, seeing as we are still waiting for a demo, but if it’s similar to Revel Systems (as it should be, since it’s “powered by Revel”), then it probably runs pretty smoothly.
pcAmerica (see our review), owned by Heartland Commerce, is not our favorite POS system (well, far from it), but this POS does offer some features specifically for rental businesses. pcAmerica’s Cash Register Express (CRE) is a locally installed POS system, which means no Internet is required, and you just pay a one-time price to purchase the software, as opposed to a monthly service charge. You can install the software on a compatible Windows desktop computer or tablet PC.
To manage rentals in CRE, simply choose whether you want to sell an item or rent it, and charge the customer based on the number of days rented—you can add extra charges later if the item is returned late. In the system, you can also see which items are rented out and by whom, view in-store rental inventory, look up customer rental histories, and contact late renters.
Unfortunately, pcAmerica is not the most stable or reliable system, and customer support is also lacking in quality. Learn more about this POS in our pcAmerica review.
EZRentOut is online equipment rental software with POS capabilities. We haven’t tried out this niche program, but it looks like a pretty promising software product, at least for its rental management capabilities. EZRentOut integrates with Authorize.Net, PayPal, and Stripe for payments, as well as QuickBooks and Xero for accounting. You can run this software from a web browser or a mobile device via the Apple or Android app. See a full list of features here and sign up for a 15-day free trial if you want to test it out.
Which Is the Best POS for Your Rental Business?
Alrighty, so I went over a total of five POS’s, and they vary kind of a lot in terms of both quality and features. Here’s a quick recap of each of the rental POS systems I discussed:
iConnect — 5-star cloud POS for rental businesses; runs on Apple/Android devices or web browser
Lightspeed Retail — 4.5-star cloud POS with rental features; iPad only
QuickBooks POS — 3-star desktop POS with some rental features (cloud version not yet rated)
pcAmerica (Cash Register Express) — 2.5-star locally installed POS for rental businesses
EZRentOut — Rental-specific cloud POS (not rated); runs on Apple, Android, or web browser
Need some more help finding the right POS for your rental biz? Not a problem! All of these POS’s offer a demo or free trial, which you can access from their respective websites. If you want additional information about any of these POS systems for rental businesses or are interested in exploring other POS options, we can help you with those things.