All Categories

What is the Cost of an RFID System?

  • Akansha Sharma
  • May 17, 2024
  • RFID
How much will a RFID system cost for your business

Many businesses still have been using barcodes for their inventory control, asset management, etc. but the system is mired with human errors and involves lots of manpower and labor costs. Replacing this old system with RFID technology as early as possible can give businesses an edge over others. It can reduce human involvement and increase efficiency. With the RFID system in place, businesses can use the human capital towards better customer experience which is essentially the need of the hour in industries like retail and healthcare. 

However, the implementation of an RFID system involves thorough planning and significant costs which does actually depend on the size of the operations. 

The cost of installing RFID technology depends upon the following factors:

1. Start-up (near-term) cost, and

2. Recurring (Long-term) cost. 

Start-up (near-term) costs in RFID System Implementation

 The start-up cost is mainly the cost involved in getting an RFID system up and running.

Here is what you need to start with RFID:

1.RFID Hardware: You need RFID Readers, RFID Printers, antennas, cables, etc.

2. RFID Tags: You might need reusable or single-use RFID tags.

3. Software: Custom software development and/or initial licensing. 

4. Services: Installation, testing or tuning, and training. 

Recurring (Long-term) costs

 Recurring cost is what you spend for the installed RFID system to keep running. It might cost you on a monthly or yearly basis.

 A few examples of recurring costs could include: 

1. Software - Annual maintenance fees.

2. Consumable Supplies - RFID tags (if they can’t be reused), printer ribbon, etc.

3. Support Contract - For additional support for a defined period for the system.


RFID System Costs based on your needs

Apart from the above-mentioned facts, the total cost to use an RFID system basically depends on your needs, how many tags you need, how many RFID Readers, antennas, etc. What frequency or range you need in an RFID system, for your business to work properly, is also an important factor to consider. Another factor that drives the cost is the brand and make of RFID tags, RFID readers, etc. Investing in a good brand of products could be a smart choice. Prominent brands like Avery Dennison, Impinj, Zebra, Chainway, etc. are leading RFID manufacturers and offer a wide range of premium quality RFID supplies to choose from.  

Most businesses use Passive RFID systems which last long and need low maintenance. Many UHF Passive RFID tags(RAIN RFID) and UHF RFID Readers are used in this system to track and keep records of the inventory, and stock-out, prevent counterfeiting, and reduce human error in day-to-day business operations.

If you need more range for tracking (over 15m) and real-time location information of assets, Active UHF RFID is what you need. Active RFID system uses active RFID tags which are powered by batteries and act as beacon/transponders.  

RFID Hardware Costs

Now that we know about the various kinds of costs associated with RFID implementation, the short-term costs and the long-term costs as well as costs associated with your particular needs, let me paint a clearer picture for you, starting with hardware costs.

Let’s take an example of a small retail store thinking of implementing RFID technology for store and inventory management. Let’s assume it has 100,000 items that need to be monitored.

The RFID Tag Costs

For the retail store, you’ll need UHF RFID labels that cost around 4-5 cents (5-6 INR) per tag when purchased in bulk. You can buy 100,000 UHF RFID tags and cost-effectively tag each item.

If you’d prefer RFID hard tags, which are mostly used on crates, pallets, and bins, each tag will cost you around 30 cents and upwards (INR 35 and upwards in India). 

The RFID Reader Costs

Now coming to RFID readers, which you’ll need to track assets, in/out of the store/inventory.

You’ll need a few Fixed RFID readers that will be implemented at POS (point of sale), and entry and exit gates, along with a security alarm system.

Additionally, you shall need at least 2-3 handheld RFID readers or handheld SLEDs (you can attach a smartphone with a SLED Reader). These will help you look for an item inside the store or inventory pretty quickly, at will, and will be useful while taking the inventory cycle count.

The RFID fixed RFID readers are available in different brands and technical specifications.

The Impinj R700 fixed RFID reader operates over the frequency range (FCC: 902 – 928 MHz ETSI: 865 – 868 MHz, 915 – 921 MHz) and comes with dual-core 1 GHz processor and 1 GB Flash, 1 GB RAM memory, and four ports, will cost around USD 1200 USD (around 1 lac INR) and upwards.

Then there are Zebra FX9600 and FX7500 fixed RFID readers which are known for their efficiency and high performance in industrial and commercial setups alike. Zebra FX9600 will cost around USD 780 (65k INR) in India. 

You’ll also need handheld RFID readers and you can go with Zebra MC3300 RFID series mobile computer handheld, Zebra RFD40 UHF RFID sled, Chainway C72 handheld UHF RFID reader, or C61 range Handheld UHF RFID reader as well. The C72 RFID Handheld Reader will cost you approx 650 USD (54k INR) in India and the Zebra RFD40 standard SLED will cost you around 720 USD (60k INR) in India when you purchase them from

RFID Antenna Costs

If you’re not using integrated fixed readers at entry and exit points, you’ll need RFID antennas at the gates. Various long-range UHF circular and linear polarized antennas are available that can be used for this purpose. You can purchase the 9dBi UHF circular polarized or linear polarized antennas which are quite useful for all sorts of applications. These are built nicely and suitable for indoor and outdoor use cases as well.

The 9dBi antenna will cost you around USD 100 and more in India.  you can also get the Zebra AN480 wide band RFID antenna that costs around 180 USD (15k INR). Apart from that, you’ll need cables and mounting brackets as well.

RFID Printer Costs

 RFID tags need to be printed on specially designed RFID printers which can print customized logos, QR Codes, serial no., etc. on the RFID tags. Some businesses prefer pre-printed RFID labels, but large-scale businesses can opt for an industrial RFID printer such as the Zebra ZT411 RFID Printer which can be purchased at the cost of around USD 3600 (3 lakh INR). 

The Zebra ZT411 is a high-performing RFID printer with 203/300/600 dpi, 4.03 inch/6 inch printing. It can also encode RFID tags, which is often necessary in an industrial setting where you need to encode a large amount of RFID tags quickly. 

RFID Software Costs

Once you have hardware costs planned for implementing your RFID system, you’ll need to know RFID software costs because you’ll need to store all the scanned data in your computer system, and customized software will help you make sense of that data. You’ll need ERP and other software system integrations that will allow you to use this data in various ways, from POS to inventory control. You would also require an android application for the RFID handheld scanner, desktop software for RFID printing and encoding, and a desktop application for the RFID gate system as applicable.

The software cost varies greatly from place to place and it will depend upon your needs in terms of the scale of the operations and database, server, and maintenance needs. 

Recurring Costs: RFID System Cost for Services  

As mentioned in the beginning, implementing an RFID system in business settings also invites some recurring cost which is basically for any kind of customization required in tags, printing, and the software system itself. Like all software systems, RFID systems also need to be updated and aligned with the varying needs of the business, and for that, we offer AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract) to all our clients looking to implement our RFID solutions. The AMC costs depend upon the overall scale of the business and the kind of RFID system being installed. However, it is fair to assume that AMC charges are nominal to the overall RFID system cost and offer great benefits in terms of running the software system over an extended period with timely maintenance and support. 

RFID system Cost with Raspberry Pi 4

To keep the cost of an RFID system to minimum, a Raspberry Pi microprocessor can be used along with a small RFID reader and a small screen. Raspberry Pi, a system-on-a-chip (SoC) and an embedded computer, also known as a single board computer (SBC) comes with a CPU, GPU, memory, HDMI ports and USB port for power. 

To Run an RFID system on Raspberry Pi, you need Raspberry OS, Raspberry Pi microprocessor and an RC522 RFID reader. Thus, the use of Raspberry Pi is a simple, cost-effective exercise where you can set up and use an RFID system at significantly lower cost. 


EnCstore is a leading supplier of RFID and other AIDC supplies and we have a dedicated team of RFID solution experts that can analyze your business operations and consult you on your RFID hardware and software needs. You can get in touch with us by using the contact details on our ‘contact us’ page and we’ll happily help you out. 


To conclude, installing an RFID system is the need of the hour for business automation and staying relevant in the industry. Implementing an RFID system to automate day-to-day business is a complicated and highly technical process and you’ll need experienced professionals who can provide you guidance and help. The Cost of an RFID system varies depending on your needs and business size, however, it’d be fair to say that for a medium-sized business, an upfront cost of USD 10000 should taken into account while planning RFID implementation as explained above. At, we’ll happily help you out with all your RFID implementation needs. You can also explore for various kinds of RFID readers, RFID tags, printers, and RFID antennas for your RFID system. 

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Jan 10, 2023

Get Free RFID System Consultation.

Scan the QR code
Click to chat here