What Are Thermal Price Labels?
'Direct Thermal' uses heat to turn thermochromic paper (the thermal label or tag) black in the specific areas where heat is applied by the print head (forming numbers, letters and characters). There are special printers which can print two colors (black and red), but they are more costly and not commonly used with consignment software.
Printing terminology can be confusing: A 'thermal printer' can be a receipt printer or direct-thermal printer or a thermal-transfer printer (which uses similar thermal technology employing heat-sensitive ribbons instead of heat-sensitive paper). Our consignment software supports direct-thermal.
Label printers do not print receipts and receipt printers do not print labels..
Adhesive labels commonly used in resale stores measure from 2.25" x .5' in a barbell-jewelry label to a 4" x 4" shipping label. The most common size is 2.25" x 1.25" (which some stores stick onto their designer hang tags). Cost is about $8 for a roll of 2100 labels (when purchased in quantity). At less than 1/2 cent each, thermal labels are less costly than sheet labels or specialty labels like Dymo labels.
Non-adhesive labels of course are 'non-sticky' and are typically called 'hang tags' because they have a hole in one end for 'hanging' on items like furniture, clothing and accessories. A hanging device (like a plastic loop, ring or string) is passed through the hole and attached to items - usually with a tagging gun.
Best Consignment Software can print on a 2-part tear-off tag which has a 'stub' on one end (with Item ID, Description and Price) and a tear-off section with the barcode (optional), Item ID, Category, Description, Details, Price, Store Name, In Date and Discount Prices.
Barcodes on price labels are optional and can be printed on all tags supported by Best Consignment Software. When barcodes are printed, there is of course less room for other information, so smaller tags cannot include as much information as larger tags. For example, there isn't enough room for Store Name on sizes 2.25" x .5" and 2" x 1".
WR Display (Winnipeg (800-665-8447) and Calgary (800-561-1204)) provides a limited number of label options for use in Canada.
Consignment Software and Thermal Label Printers
Label printers can have 2" or 4" 'mouths'. With our consignment software, a 2" printer can print 6 sizes and types of horizontal labels/tags. With our consignment software and a 4" printer, 16 varieties and sizes of thermal labels (with optional bar codes) range from a 2.25 x .5 jewelry label to a 2-part tear-off hang tag to 4 x 4 adhesive label.
The printer looks for a gap between 'sticky' labels to know where one label ends and the next begins. Tags have a black line on the backside for the same purpose.
BCSS consignment software works with Zebra (2824, 2844, G-series), TSC (244, 245, 247 and DA210) and Dymo (LabelWriter 450 - not recommended but usable.
Some used/refurbished printers and Zebra printers are compatible but they are neither recommended or supported, however, support for any hardware is available from Richard Ripps, 646-529-9450, Richr@realizetechnology.net
How Much Do Thermal Labels Cost?
Price labels and tags can be printed with our consignment software using a standard laser-style (ink) printer and 8.5 x 11 paper stock. The choices of labels are limited to two adhesive labels (Avery #5160 2 5/8 x 1 and #8460 1.75 x .5) and one 4 x 1 hang tag.
Of course an ink printer is cheap, but the ink cartridges have little ink in them and are expensive, so sheet-label printing is not economical for printing a few hundred labels or more per month. Moreover the cost of the labels is higher than the cost of thermal labels.
The trade off with thermal labels is the cost of the printer ($300+) but there are no ink cartridges and depending upon the label and quantity purchased, thermal labels can be 1 cent, more or less. It's much easier to print one or a thousand labels with thermal printers.
The labels look more professional and there are no hassles with out-of-ink runs, paper jams, smears and all else that comes with sheet-label printing.