Top 5 Questions to Consider Before Purchasing a Scale Online

Of course we provide scales to a lot of customers throughout central North Carolina. But we also provide scales and weighing equipment to many customers throughout the United States as well. So we know and understand many of the challenges that consumers deal with when they are looking to purchase a scale online.

With sites like ebay, amazon and lots of scale websites… customers have many options to choose from. But when it comes to buying scales online, it can really pay to take your time and do your homework before making an impulse buying decision.

Naturally the top factor that many customers consider is price. But the problem with that is many times manufacturers (mostly from overseas) can literally cut every corner possible to make something cheaper, and cheaper, and cheaper. We have seen this happen with certain items. 

Are you looking to purchase a scale?  If so, we suggest you contact our sales department first!  Let us know what you’re looking to do and what your budget is and we can try to assist. Ok, here are the top five questions to ask yourself before purchasing a scale online. 

What is the Weighing Application?  

What are you looking to use the scale for?  That’s another way to word it. Sometimes it can be straightforward choosing a scale. For example, you’re selling strawberries at the farmers market and therefore you need a legal for trade price computing scale. 

farmers market scale

However, there are many times where customers think they know what scale to purchase and then they talk to us for a few minutes and voila they now have a completely different scale choice. And, believe it or not, many times it’s either the same price or a little less expensive.

Anytime this subject is brought up I always think back to a customer who contacted us and thought he had to purchase a stainless steel floor scale which cost several thousand dollars. Turns out, in his particular application, all he needed was a painted steel scale with stainless steel components which was thousands of dollars less!

We deal with scales and weighing equipment daily. We are entrenched in the scale business!  We know the products. We know which scale indicators are the best. We know which scale platforms are the best. We know which scales are generally the most reliable. We know which scale equipment is the most cost effective. We know these things because we’ve seen these products out in the field for ten or twenty years!  The big mega websites don’t have that experience. All they know are sku’s and part numbers. Best of all, our advice is no charge. All you need to do is contact us.  (919) 776-7737  

What is the Scale Environment?

Anytime you are looking to purchase a weight scale, you need to determine what environment the scale will be located in. This is very important especially if the scale will be in either a hazardous area or a washdown area. So, be sure to know where the scale will be utilized before making the purchase.

Doran 2200CW stainless steel checkweigher

Scale Specs?  Capacity x Readability?  Platform Size?  Power Choices?

One of the most important considerations when purchasing an electronic scale is the maximum amount of weight you can place on the scale. This is also known as the maximum capacity. Likewise, the readability is very important as well. These two numbers are connected. In most industrial style large capacity scales, the scales can only display 5000 graduations. So a scale would typically be rated for 5000 x 1 lb. For example, if you are in the market for a 10,000 lb capacity scale for weighing pallets, the maximum capacity will be 10,000 lb and the readability will likely be 2 lb.  

Another very important factor when picking out a scale to buy is the scale platform size. You need to look at the items you are looking to weigh and make sure they will fit on the scale platform. 

When it comes to powering your scale, most scales are powered by standard 110 VAC power. However, a good number of scales either come standard or offer as an accessory a rechargeable battery option.

One more specification to consider is the display. Do you want a black display with bright red or yellow numbers?  Or, do you want a scale display with gray background and black digits? This can vary depending on preference and also where you will be using the scale. For example are you using the scale in a warehouse or outside in the sun?

Scale Certification Choices?

A lot of scales that you see online don’t include any approvals. However, if you are planning to buy or sell based on the weight you see on your scale, then it is either required or highly recommended that you use a scale system that is NTEP approved. Items that are NTEP certified have a CoC# stamped somewhere on the enclosure. You can also look them up in the NCWM database. Be sure to check with your state weights and measures regarding your local legal for trade weighing requirements.

Now, if you’re dealing with washdown and food prep scenarios then you might need to look at scales that feature NSF certification. NSF engages in the rigorous testing, auditing, and certification of an array of products and services. The NSF mark serves as an emblem of assurance, signifying to consumers, retailers, and regulatory bodies that our certified products meet or exceed requisite standards.

sources for the best counting scale

Do You Need Any Other Features like Printers or Sending Data to the Computer?

One often overlooked feature of scales is the ability to connect them to either a label printer or a computer. However, this often takes a little bit of planning and/or additional thought and programming, in most cases it can be done. However, this works best when it’s brought up during the initial quoting process. 

Well there you have it, the top five questions to consider before purchasing a scale online. It’s actually more than five questions but oh well…. Hopefully these questions have helped you think about your particular weighing application. Remember we are just a phone call or RFQ form away. Remember, we understand the idea of just ordering the scale online and being done with your buying task…  But do yourself a favor and consult with the scale experts at Central Carolina Scale. You’ll likely come out ahead by spending a little time with our weighing equipment experts and maybe even save a little money.