Vend POS Review: Pricing, Features, Alternatives

Vend POS is a great option for growing retailers, but its price point may be out of reach for smaller businesses.

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Vend is one of the best point-of-sale systems for growing brick-and-mortar retail businesses with robust inventory management features, multi-store functionality and thorough reporting. It includes unlimited products and users, is compatible with a variety of hardware options and provides 24/7 customer support.

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However, Vend does not offer its own payment processing service and its pricing may be inaccessible for smaller businesses. It’s designed to accommodate retailers, so restaurants and service-based businesses will likely want to consider alternatives.

Nerdy tip: Vend was acquired by Lightspeed in 2021 and rebranded to “Vend by Lightspeed,” but you may see it still referred to as Vend or Vend POS.

Pros

Cons

  • Strong inventory management, multi-store and reporting tools.

  • Unlimited products and users.

  • No additional transaction fees.

  • Compatible with Windows and Mac computers, and iPads.

  • 24/7 customer support.

  • Payment processing through third-party providers.

  • No free POS software; pricing starts at $99 per month.

  • Mobile POS system for iPads only.

  • Not ideal for restaurants or service-based businesses.

Deciding factors

Software cost

Starts at $119 per month (or $99 per month if paid annually) for one location and one register.

Hardware cost

$600 for a starter iOS hardware kit with receipt printer, cash drawer and barcode scanner, available through Vend’s partner; iPad not included. Credit card terminals are provided by third-party payment processor.

Payment processing cost

Varies based on the payment processor you use. Vend does not charge transaction fees.

Contract length

Contract length varies and early termination is not generally an option.

Live support

24/7 customer support available via email, live chat and phone. Onboarding and training packages are an additional cost if you need hands-on support.

Ease of use

Vend’s dashboard is straightforward and easy to navigate. Online customer reviews suggest that the system is simple to set up and use, although the system can be buggy at times.

How does Vend POS work?

Vend is a cloud-based POS system that allows you to sell your products, take orders from customers, integrate hardware devices, accept payments and sync data across multiple locations and registers. To get started, you can book a personalized consultation with a sales representative or sign up for a 14-day free trial.

If you sign up for a free trial, you’ll be able to create a Vend account — no credit card required — and either view a demo store or start building your own store after answering some questions about your business.

When creating your Vend account, you’ll be able to:

  • Set up your business locations and registers.

  • Add users and set their access levels.

  • Link your third-party payment processor and payment terminal.

  • Add and customize your product catalog.

  • Choose and set up your POS hardware.

Once you’ve completed these tasks, you’ll be ready to start selling and taking customer orders. If you created your Vend POS account using the 14-day free trial, you’ll need to activate your account first. Although Vend doesn’t offer a mobile POS app for smartphones, you can use it through Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox on your device.

Vend POS plans and features

Vend offers three versions of its POS software: Lite, Pro and Enterprise.

Lite plan features

Lite is the lowest priced plan at $119 per month (or discounted to $99 per month if paid annually) and offers the following:

Locations: Limited to a single location. Additional locations require a plan upgrade to Pro.

Registers: One register per location is included and extra registers can be added.

Turnover: Monthly turnover limit of $20,000. An upgrade to the Pro plan is required when you exceed this amount three times in a 12-month period.

Transaction fees: Vend doesn’t charge transaction fees, but you will pay fees to your selected payment processor.

Inventory management: Manage your inventory, add an unlimited number of products and customize your catalog.

Customer support: Receive access to 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat or email.

Reporting and analytics: Basic reports including sales summaries, register closures and inventory levels are included. Advanced reporting included with Pro and Enterprise plans.

Cloud backup: Store and account information is automatically backed up to the cloud. You can also export your data at any time.

Integrated payments: Integrates with most payment processors and accepts credit cards, contactless payments, mobile payments, gift cards, layaway and buy-now-pay-later.

Unlimited products and users: No limit on the products that can be uploaded or the number of users with access to the system. Permissions can be configured based on role.

Pro plan features

The Pro plan is $159 per month (or discounted to $129 per month if paid annually). It offers the core features available with Lite as well as the following enhancements and additional services:

Locations: One or more locations.

Turnover: No limits on monthly turnover.

Reporting and analytics: Access advanced reporting capabilities and build your own reports. Use custom report filters for sales, customers and product performance.

Promotions and gift cards: Discounting tools to help you set up promotions, plus the ability to issue gift cards.

Apps and e-commerce channels: Integrates with numerous apps including accounting systems QuickBooks, Xero and MYOB, and e-commerce platforms BigCommerce, WooCommerce and Shopify.

Multi-outlets retail management: Oversee more than one location and manage your entire catalog, customers and operations from your single VendHQ account.

API access: Gain access to the application programming interface, or API, to create custom solutions for your business.

Enterprise

The price of the Enterprise plan is available by quote. It includes all the features of the Pro plan, plus:

Dedicated account manager: Get a dedicated account manager for help with setting up, using and running Vend. Receive product training for you and your team.

Premium API access: Gain access to Vend Workflows (premium APIs that allow you to customize your point-of-sale).

Customized onboarding: Receive custom launch services for multi-store operations along with training for your team.

How much does Vend POS cost?

The total cost of the Vend POS system will be based on the software plan, hardware options and third-party payment processor you choose. Here’s what you need to know about pricing:

Software costs

Vend’s subscription plans are priced on a monthly or annual basis; if you opt for an annual plan, you receive a discounted rate.

The Lite and Pro plans start with one location and one register. If you want to add another location or another register, you’ll need to pay additional fees.

Vend POS plan

Cost

Cost per additional location

Cost per additional register

Lite

$119 per month, billed monthly or $99 per month, billed annually.

Not applicable. Plan accommodates only one location.

$59 per month billed monthly, or $49 per month billed annually.

Pro

$159 per month billed monthly, or $129 per month billed annually.

$159 per month billed monthly, or $129 per month billed annually.

$59 per month billed monthly, or $49 per month billed annually.

Enterprise

Quoted-based.

Quoted-based.

Quoted-based.

It’s important to note that the Lite plan has a monthly turnover, or sales, limit of $20,000. If you exceed this limit three times within a 12-month period, Vend will require you to upgrade to the Pro plan. The Pro and Enterprise plans do not have any turnover limits.

Payment processing costs

Vend does not offer its own payment processing service. You’ll need to find and choose a compatible payment provider, or you may be able to use your existing provider (if you have one). Therefore, your payment processing costs will depend entirely on the payment provider you work with.

Lightspeed Payments for Vend may be an option to consider. Vend also works with providers such as Square, PayPal, Worldpay and Chase. According to the company’s website, some of its payment partners offer exclusive processing rates to point-of-sale customers.

Regardless of the third-party processor you choose, Vend will not charge transaction fees on top of the rates that you pay your provider.

Hardware costs

You can use Vend POS with an iPad, Windows computer or Mac computer you already own. You can also run the POS on Microsoft tablets, smartphones or using any internet browser. However, Vend’s mobile app only works with iPad devices.

Vend offers some hardware for purchase through its partnership with POS Portal, although you can buy compatible devices from third-party sellers as well. Here are the prices of some hardware bundles and accessories:

  • Motorola barcode scanner: $120.75.

  • Star Micronics cash drawer: $125.

  • Epson thermal receipt printer: $230.

  • Starter hardware kit for iOS with receipt printer, cash drawer and barcode scanner: $600.

You’ll receive your credit card processing hardware — card readers, Bluetooth readers, hand-held terminals or other devices — directly from the payment provider you work with.

Benefits of Vend POS

Retail sales features

With Vend, you can create and customize your product catalog, add an unlimited number of products with all plans and sync data through the cloud across locations and sales channels.

The platform also offers automated tools for inventory management, allowing you to track your stock, adjust levels and fill orders. Unlike other competitors that rely on external scanners, Vend offers a free scanner app that can be downloaded on any mobile device, iOS or Android. The Scanner app uses the camera from your device to read barcodes and data matrix codes and gives you the ability to conduct inventory counts and product lookups quickly and easily, regardless of your location.

Hardware compatibility

Vend is compatible with a wide variety of hardware solutions, including Windows computers, Mac computers, iPads and Microsoft Surface Pros, making it easy to run this POS system on a device you may already own. Some other platforms are not as flexible and make you choose between Android or iOS operating system.

You can purchase hardware accessories to use with Vend from third-party sources or through Vend’s partner, POS Portal. A list of recommended compatible devices on Vend's website. The company's POS iPad app lets you take advantage of the mobile inventory scanner and customer display apps.

Customer support and online resources

All of the Vend POS plans include 24/7 customer support through phone, live chat and email. With the Enterprise plan, you also receive customized onboarding and a dedicated account manager to provide ongoing support and training for you and your team. The platform also provides online support resources, including a help center, videos, training webinars, guides, e-books and reports.

There’s also a 14-day free trial of its POS software, as well as a free online demo.

Drawbacks of Vend POS

Expensive software costs

Compared with POS alternatives, Vend has a high starting cost at $119 per month, or $99 per month if billed annually. And if you want to add another register, it will cost an extra $59 per month — or $49 per month, if billed annually. The entry-level plan also has some notable limitations, including a $20,000 turnover limit per month and no access to promotions and gift cards, e-commerce channels, third-party apps, multi-store management or APIs.

Some retailers, such as smaller businesses and those just starting out, may not be able to afford this price point, and might instead consider a competitor with a free software option, like Square.

Payment processing not included

Vend doesn’t offer its own payment processing service, so you’ll need to find a third-party provider to accept customer credit card payments or use Lightspeed Payments for Vend which is offered by its parent company. Although this may be beneficial for businesses that already have a relationship with a payment provider, those that don’t will have to go through the process of finding a compatible provider, getting credit card terminals and integrating with the Vend system.

If you want to get your POS system set up as quickly as possible, you might consider an option with its own payment processing instead — like Square or Shopify.

Alternatives to Vend POS

Square POS

Square POS

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Pricing:

  • Software: $0 per month.

  • Hardware: Free Square Reader for magstripe included when you sign up for an account. Additional hardware costs vary.

  • Payment processing: 2.6% plus 10 cents per transaction for in-person payments; 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction for online payments.

Pros:

Square is a versatile POS system that can be a great option for retailers, restaurants and service-based businesses. The POS software is free and integrated payment processing is included.

The platform has strong inventory management tools, a highly customizable checkout and a range of reporting options. You can also integrate the POS with a variety of third-party apps or add on other products and services it offers, such as an online store, payroll software and a loyalty program.

Cons:

Although Square can meet the needs of a wide variety of businesses at a low price point, there are more specialized POS systems available for retail businesses and restaurants. The platform also requires that you pay additional fees for add-ons like loyalty and marketing, which are included within the software costs of other systems, such as Shopify POS. Moreover, while it's great for iOS and Android devices, it is not compatible with Windows desktops and tablets.

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Lightspeed Retail POS

Pricing:

  • Software: Starting at $69 per month, billed annually, and $29 per month for each additional register.

  • Hardware: Quote-based. Contact Lightspeed sales department for more information.

  • Payment processing: 2.6% plus 10 cents per transaction for card-present payments; 2.6% plus 30 cents per transaction for card-not-present payments.

Pros: 

Lightspeed, the parent company of Vend, also offers a POS system for retail, restaurant and golf businesses. Its POS offers strong inventory management features, 24/7 customer support and a range of third-party integration options. Unlike Vend, it includes integrated payment processing, offering flat-rate pricing through Lightspeed Payments with all plans.

The platform also starts at a lower price point — $69 per month, billed annually — and includes one-on-one onboarding, a dedicated account manager and additional free training within that price. Plus, if you upgrade to a higher-tier plan, you can receive access to accounting integrations, e-commerce features and omnichannel loyalty programs.

Cons:

Like Vend, Lightspeed POS still may be expensive for smaller businesses or those just starting out — especially considering alternatives like Toast and Square offer free POS software solutions. Similarly, access to accounting integrations or e-commerce tools require you to upgrade to the Standard plan priced at $119 per month, billed annually. Loyalty programs and the analytics core platform are available with the Advanced plan, which is $199 per month, billed annually. The platform doesn’t provide online pricing information for its hardware.