Check Out These 5 Great Rental-Friendly POS Systems
Whether you run a party rental shop, 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 systems we consider the best software for rental businesses.
Read more below to learn why we chose these options.
Table of Contents
Why You Need A POS System For Your Rental Business
Obviously, when we’re talking about rental businesses, we’re covering a broad range of operations. But whether you’re running a small, seasonal shop with just a few items that you rent out, or a larger, multi-location business with a large number products and thousands of transactions per day, rental point of sale software can make your life easier in a number of ways. Here are just a few of the rental industries that could benefit from a good POS system:
- Cars and trucks
- Party and wedding equipment
- Audio/visual equipment
- Computers and technology
- Power tools
- Gardening equipment
- Recreational vacation equipment
If you’re running a large business, like a rental car franchise or moving supply store, you have complex needs for waivers, insurance, and so forth, and you’ll need strong customer management to store important information on your renters. Point of sale systems have all of these areas covered with either built-in software or through third-party integrations.
Businesses like party supply stores and gardening equipment rentals will need robust inventory management systems to keep track of all of the products they have to offer. A scheduling system can also be useful for both customers and employees. Again, good rental POS software can handle this for you.
If you’re running a smaller operation, like a bike or sports equipment rental shop, your needs are likely less complex. That said, you can still benefit from a point of sale system’s ease of use. Having the ability to take all forms of payments is incredibly convenient. A cloud-based system that allows you to run things remotely and take payments from anywhere can help make sure you’re never missing a sale.
The Best POS Software For Rental Businesses
It may seem like a challenge to find a point of sale system that meets all the specific needs of business that operates on a rental model. There are so many options available now, so how do you know which one is best for your small business? Rest easy. We’ve done a lot of research on the subject, and Lightspeed, Square for Retail, Clover, Shopify, and Quickbooks POS are some of the best point of sale systems for rental businesses. All of these solutions offer software that is easy to use and can handle complex inventory and scheduling needs.
1. Lightspeed Retail
Best for… Any sized business looking for a scaleable system with a deep feature set.
Lightspeed Retail is a high-quality POS with some useful features for rental businesses. This cloud POS system starts at $69/mo for one register and has a variety of tiers to choose from. Lightspeed has one of the most robust feature sets in an iPad POS, from advanced purchase order management to integrated eCommerce.
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.
- Deep reporting
- Excellent eCommerce
- Highly scalable
- Complex backend
Best for… Small to mid-sized businesses that could use intuitive hardware and a variety of apps
Clover is an extremely versatile POS system that is incredibly intuitive and can be had for an affordable rate. Its Lite plan starts at just $9.95/month and there are higher tiers for businesses with more advanced needs. The nice thing about Clover is that it is highly customizable and you can set up the system to your specifications using apps through its store.
Clover also has a variety of convenient hardware options, ranging from handheld payment processors to complete POS stations. It has strong inventory and customer management plus built-in loyalty functionality. And, as mentioned, it also has a vast app store that you can browse and find software to help your business. This includes some convenient apps for rental businesses with features that can help you customize agreement forms and set up rental time limits and scheduling.
- Highly intuitive
- Excellent app store
- Low cost to start
- Customer service
- Pricey hardware
Square For Retail
Best for… Businesses looking for extremely easy to use software and an all-in-one system.
Even if you’re brand new to the point of sale world, you’re probably familiar with Square. The processing and point of sale company is highly prevalent in the small business world largely because they do a lot of things right. Square has its free app, which is convenient for smaller operations just needing the basics. Square for Retail is a step up from that, offering advanced inventory, reporting, and customer management among other perks like 24/7 customer service, while Square Appointments can handle complex scheduling issues.
With Square, you can be up and selling (or renting) in a matter of minutes. Its intuitive interface can help you track and scroll through customer information quickly. With Square Appointments, you can set up and block out rental times and get real-time updates on what inventory you have in hand. Square also has built-in credit card processing and competitive rates. Excellent hardware options range from a simple card reader to a proprietary mobile processor and a full POS station.
- Highly intuitive
- Scaleable, convenient hardware
- Low cost
- Built-in processing
- Fund holds
Best for… Small to mid-sized businesses looking for a low-cost entry point and figuring to have a strong online presence.
Shopify is best known for its eCommerce platform but it also offers a strong POS system that has made significant upgrades in recent years. It has a Lite plan starting at just $9/month and its Basic plan starts at $29/month. Shopify has excellent customer management, allowing you to create profiles and sync customer info and spending habits to your online store. It also has a very strong gift card integration and smart inventory features on its advanced tiers.
Like Square and Clover, Shopify offers an app store. Within that marketplace are a number of integrations that are very useful for rental store establishments. There are multiple scheduling apps that can help both employees and customers, plus multiple delivery and shipping integrations if you plan to use that functionality in your business.
- eCommerce integration
- App store
- Gift card functionality
- Offline mode functionality
- Confusing pricing
5. Paradise POS
Best for… Smaller businesses looking for rental-specific software.
Paradise POS is one of the few systems that has features specifically catering to rental businesses. It operates on a quote system, but you can roughly expect to pay about $50/month for the software. It comes with an intuitive interface for iOS and strong inventory management and employee management, allowing you to easily track your workers’ hours and shifts. It also customizes and scales its POS to meet your needs, making sure you’re not paying for unnecessary features.
Paradise POS prides itself on giving customers a simple checkout process through its rental POS. It’s also built to be used on the go with its cloud-based software being accessible from anywhere, allowing you to take payments and track your inventory from anywhere with internet access. It features simple but convenient reports to analyze your sales and has intuitive modifiers to help with upselling.
- Specific rental features
- Simple interface
- Pricing can vary
- Other features not overly deep
5 Must-Have Features In A POS For Rental Equipment
Depending on what you’re renting, your business will likely have some very specific needs. If you’re still having trouble honing in on just what rental point of sale system is best for you, here are a few features you might want to look for:
- Strong Inventory Management: Any solid point of sale system is going to have at least functional inventory management, but you may want to look for a POS that either has built-in advanced inventory or an upgrade that’s not overly expensive. The ability to track a wide variety of products and keep tabs on what’s in stock in real-time is crucial in most rental establishments.
- Scheduling Apps: Being in the rental industry means you need to be exceptionally organized. While good old pen and paper scheduling can still be effective, having a point of sale system do the heavy lifting for you can save countless hours and prevent mix-ups. Some POS systems, like Square Appointments, are built with complex scheduling functionality while others integrate with scheduling programs, either of which can be a huge timesaver.
- Mobility: A major trend in the POS world in the past few years has been hardware mobility. Whether it’s tableside ordering at restaurants or handheld tablets that allow employees to roam around and assist customers, many businesses are opting for this convenience. It can be especially useful in the rental industry. When things get busy or when customers are wandering the store in search of items, having a device you can bring to them can save time.
- Pre-Authorizations: This is a feature that comes with many point of sale systems, although sometimes as an add-on or at a higher subscription tier. In the rental industry, pre-authorizing potential customers can help get them through the checkout process quickly and smoothly when it comes to making a purchase.
- eCommerce Platform: Having a strong web presence is crucial in many industries and the rental business is no exception. If your point of sale system comes with an eCommerce platform that is simple to set up and easy for customers to use, it can dramatically increase your business.
What's The Best Rental POS For My Business?
Even if you haven’t officially decided on a point of sale system for your rental business by now, hopefully this has given you a good idea of what options are out there and what features you can expect to find. Ease of use, affordability, strong inventory management, and a healthy set of integrations should all be things you’re looking for to keep your rental business humming.
The point of sale industry is competitive and you shouldn’t have to skimp on any essential feature that you might need or overpay for a product you’re not completely satisfied with. So prioritize your top must-haves in a point of sale system and shop around until you’ve come up with the right fit. Also don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or reach out if you have additional questions!
In Summary: The Best POS Software For Rental Businesses
- Lightspeed POS: Best for any sized business looking for a scaleable system with a deep feature set.
- Clover POS: Best for small to mid-sized businesses that could use intuitive hardware and a variety of apps.
- Square For Retail: Best for businesses looking for extremely easy to use software and an all-in-one system.
- Shopify POS: Best for small to mid-sized businesses looking for a low-cost entry point and figuring to have a strong online presence.
- Paradise POS: Best for smaller businesses looking for rental-specific software.