I talked about my pricing robots in my last Toolbox Tip on The Pricing Kit. A valuable time-saver, you won’t regret adding one to your tool arsenal. My pricing bots are thermal printers that only require thermal labels (they come by the roll) and the occasional recharging. An app on my phone runs the bot via bluetooth connection.

One of the best things to happen to my business in recent years has been my D11 Niimbot. {That’s an affiliate link. Affiliate links help me defray costs of my website. The item is the same price for you; I just earn a tiny percentage if you use my link.}

Mom found it on Amazon and we really like it for its ease of use and for how much faster it makes tagging a large number of items. Creek operates it with ease, using her own phone to login and print labels for me while we are on the road. She prints the labels and attaches them to our tags for me. Our tags are playing cards cut into 1/4ths for the small printer and halves for the large printer. Especially since we take a lot of “smalls” and lumber items to KC, the D11 has paid for itself over and over in time savings because we can print seventeen tags or a hundred with the push of a button.

My large printer is the B21 Niimbot.

It’s the cutest retro model…it resembles an old check printer. The labels are much larger for this one…they’re about 1.5″ tall and 2″ wide, so they do a great job of showing my logo as well as displaying the item description and price more clearly, which is especially useful for items that hang up high on the wall or perch up on the top shelf.

Both Niimbots are small handheld cordless bluetooth devices that use heat to print labels on thermal paper. The paper is slick and sticks well to most things, but I put the labels on cut-up playing cards and tie the cards to my products so that they can be torn off independently of my branding card. The price tag is torn off at the register and the branding tag goes home with the customer, still tied to the item. The labels don’t tear. They’re made of tough stuff! They come in different sizes, and there’s even a jewelry tag for the D11 that is also great for tagging slender items…it will NOT tear loose. It has to be removed with scissors.

These labels also ended our fight with losing so many tags off of items. Regular paper labels dry out and peel off, and moisture is hard on them too, making ink run or the paper wrinkles and flakes off. These tags are pretty resilient, even exposed to heat and water. The playing cards are tough as well and stand up to alot of abuse between being tied on and torn off at the register.

The D11 labels are about 1/2″ tall and range in length from 1″ to 2″. Watch what you’re getting when you order…see if you can find a bulk pack and save several dollars. Here is a 6-pack of 2 different lengths for $40. If you’re not careful, you could order a single roll for $11! If you feel like it’s too expensive, I’m going to give you a reality check here…for the time this saves you on the tagging end, you can afford the cost of the labels. That 6-pack has 3 rolls of 130 and 3 rolls of 160. That’s 870 labels for $40, which comes to four and a half cents/label, which is SUPER CHEAP. The B21 labels are $12 for a roll of 230, which is 5.2 cents each.

Just don’t get upset when you order that 3-pack in the picture and it turns out you’re only getting one roll. Which brings up a valid point…hover over the photos of the item to be clear about what you’re getting, check the description on the item, and read reviews. Make sure you’re getting a decent deal.

Pricing still takes time; we tie on the price tag with a branding tag to every item. But printing out 25 labels in less than 15 seconds versus taking 20 minutes on hand writing them is a huge win in my book! They look pretty profesh too. No messy hand-written printing and my logo is right there on the tag as well as my vendor number, which I use everywhere I stock retail. Continuity is important, especially for me, since I have a huge variety of items that tend to not be alike. I stock everything from barn wood to China service at my space in KC, and having a similar tag on each item is key. My tags are always on a piece of a playing card with a thermal label, and they’re always attached with a kraft paper logo tag using a piece of sisal twine.

Tools that save me time are my favorites. The pricing bots are no exception!

Other cool uses that we’ve found for our Niimbots…

Mom has her veryown D11. She labeled all the project boxes in her fabric workroom, and she uses it to label files in her office at the county courthouse. She takes it with her on solo trips to KC in case she needs it up there.

We used them at the studio on the jars that we have in the front window. I bet we have a hundred jars on display. I’d say about half are Mom’s and half are mine. All of Mom’s jars have a tiny D11 label stuck on the bottom with her initials. I think we even got twice the use…ran her initials on each end of the tags, then cut them in half. 

Aunt Sandy got herself herveryown D11 and she uses it to label kitchen items and to label project boxes in her sewing room.

You can use them to label plastic plant tags for your greenhouse operation, bc they’re waterproof, and they’re just the right width for a plant tag.

Use the B21 to label large storage totes in your garage. You’ll be able to see the bigger labels from down on the floor.

I hope you’ll find a useful place for a thermal printer in your business. It WILL make life easier!

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