The best POS systems for small businesses in 2022

We review the top POS systems to help you decide what type of EPOS system is best for your business.

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Looking for the best POS system? According to our research, Lightspeed and EPOS Now are well suited to a range of different businesses, offering valuable features such as inventory management.

Below, we list the top POS systems any UK small business should consider, and include their typical setup and equipment costs and transaction fee structures. But, the important thing is to understand how these costs can vary depending on the needs and size of your business. There's no sense paying over the odds, so we recommend getting tailored POS costs for your business by selecting the features you need through our bespoke cost quote tool.

0 out of 0
Provider
Best for
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
Pricing from
Features

Lightspeed

EPOS Now

Takepayments Plus

Zettle

Square

Nobly POS

Shopify

The Good Till Co

Touchbistro

iiko

AirPOS

Hospitality businesses that want an all-in-one sale system with excellent customer support and integrations.

Small businesses looking to scale

Customer service

Businesses that want the flexibility of no lock-in contracts

Best value for small businesses who want to start selling for free

Remote businesses needing to operate offline

Excellent sales features and unifying online and in-store sales

Businesses wanting additional sales features and a highly customisable POS system

Restaurants looking to get online quickly

Businesses that want accurate sales forecasts

Independent retailers that want the flexibility of a free trial

Not yet rated

£26 per month – Essentials plan

£25 per month

£25 per month

Zettle Go app – free

£29 – card reader

£189 – store kit

 

£0 monthly cost

£16 – Square Reader

Provides personalised quotes after assessing business needs

$29 per month – Basic Shopify

£29 per month

$69 per month

£49 per month

£39.99 per month

  • Over 250 integrations
  • Customer loyalty features
  • 24/7 support
  • Inventory tracking
  • 24/7 customer phone support
  • Customer loyalty features
  • Realtime reporting
  • Easy inventory management
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Free point of sale app
  • Easy-to-read sales reports
  • Zettle reader easily integrates with other POS systems
  • Powerful customer management software
  • Real time in-depth reports
  • Pay team members with team management
  • Real-time overview of inventory levels
  • Fully functional without WiFi
  • Accounting integrations
  • Customisable checkout
  • Custom staff permissions
  • Unified reporting from your website and POS system data
  • Inventory management
  • Shift clock in/out feature
  • Works offline
  • Staff management software
  • Upselling tools to increase sales
  • In-depth reporting features
  • End-to-end automation including purchasing
  • AI-driven sales forecasting
  • Real-time inventory
  • 14-day free trial
  • Free customer support, 7 days per week
  • Multi-channel inventory management

What's the best POS system?

After thorough research and in-depth product analysis, it is clear to us that the best POS system for small businesses is dependant on the type of industry your business operates in:

  • For hospitality businesses, including restaurants, bars, and nightclubs – the Lightspeed Restaurant POS system is the outright winner. And with over 250 integration partners, a fully functioning offline mode, and excellent 24/7 customer phone support it's easy to see why.
  • For retail businesses, including supermarkets, florists, and homeware stores – the EPOS Now complete POS system is the top provider. With in-depth business reporting, barcoding, stock management, and hardware all included in one affordable package.

If you're looking for the easiest way to find the best POS system for your small business, you can always shop around through Startups.co.uk. We've designed our Cost Comparison Tool to help you find the right providers for your needs based on your answers to a few simple questions. Our custom-built comparison tool has helped over a thousand businesses find the right POS provider for them, so we're certain it can help you too.

Point Of Sale systems are fundamental to any small business's operations, and with so many providers offering different products and services, all with various features and price tags –  picking the right one for your business is crucial.

While the process of shopping around for the right solution for your store, restaurant, bar, or market stall might feel overwhelming, thankfully, help is at hand. Read on for our deep-dive comparison of the best retail, hospitality, and mobile EPOS systems in the UK.

A deep-dive into the best POS systems for small businesses

1. Lightspeed

Lightspeed Lightspeed is ideal for hospitality businesses that want an all-in-one sale system with excellent customer support and integrations.
  • Pricing from £29 per month
  • Over 250 integrations
  • Customer loyalty features
  • 24/7 customer support
Summary Lightspeed offers a range of monthly subscriptions for its restaurant POS, which is an all-in-one complete system. It is a mobile hospitality EPOS system, which utilises cloud technology. Orders can be taken tableside and are sent directly from the waiting staff to the kitchen. This means that staff no longer have to wait for an open terminal to complete the order, cutting down the time between customers ordering and receiving their food. In addition to its software, Lightspeed can also provide hardware, which is available as a kit or individually so that it can be customised to your needs. Lightspeed’s hardware components range from printers to scanners and cash drawers. It offers 24/7 customer support and over 250 integrations with other software. This is a POS system that looks to help businesses future-proof themselves. You can visit Lightspeed to learn more about how they aim to help businesses be “future-ready”, even in uncertain times for the hospitality industry.
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Best for: Customer support and integrations

Pricing from: £29 per month

Lightspeed offers a range of monthly subscriptions for its restaurant POS, which is an all-in-one complete system. It is a mobile hospitality EPOS system, which utilises cloud technology.

Orders can be taken tableside and are sent directly from the waiting staff to the kitchen. This means that staff no longer have to wait for an open terminal to complete the order, cutting down the time between customers ordering and receiving their food.

In addition to its software, Lightspeed can also provide hardware, which is available as a kit or individually so that it can be customised to your needs. Lightspeed’s hardware components range from printers to scanners and cash drawers. It offers 24/7 customer support and over 250 integrations with other software.

This is a POS system that looks to help businesses future-proof themselves. Lightspeed aims to help businesses even in uncertain times for the hospitality industry.

Pricing

Lightspeed offers retail and hospitality POS systems, each with varying industry-specific features to help your business grow. The plans on both systems cost different prices, which we've summarised below:

Lightspeed Retail POS:

  • Lean = $69 per month
  • Standard = $119 per month 
  • Advanced = $199 per month

Lightspeed Hospitality POS:

  • Essentials = $39 per month 
  • Plus = $119 per month 
  • Pro = $289 per month

Lightspeed came top in our ranking of the best hospitality POS systems, but check out the full rundown to discover our top picks for restaurants, pubs, cafes and more.


2. EPOS Now

EPOS Now EPOS Now is the ideal POS system for small businesses planning to scale.
  • Pricing from £25 per month
  • Inventory tracking
  • 24/7 customer phone support
  • Customer loyalty features
Summary You won't find a better retail POS provider than EPOS Now. The retail solution offered comes as a package with everything you need, including the terminal, receipt printer, secure cash drawer, installation, configuration and training. Notably, it comes with the specific EPOS Now retail software. This is undoubtedly the best POS software option for small businesses that’s available for the retail market. You get a customisable dashboard with insightful reporting, which integrates to a back-office management system. The system offers barcoding and stock management. A booking system is also available. As is 24/7 customer phone support and excellent customer loyalty features via the EPOS Loyalty add-on.
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Best for: EPOS Now is the ideal POS system for small businesses planning to scale

Pricing from: £25 per month

EPOS Now is the ideal POS solution for retail businesses wanting in-depth, real-time reporting on staff, customers, sales, margin and stock​. Businesses can revel in the system's capacity to integrate with over 100 apps, including accounting software, CRM tools and most importantly, ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce.

Other features include 24/7 customer phone support at no extra charge, multiple store capabilities and a 1-on-1 super smooth onboarding process. EPOS Now proudly sits on the small business retail POS system throne.

Pricing

EPOS Now offers a package deal as standard which costs either £25 per month or a one-off £399 upfront payment. The package includes:

  • HD Touch screen POS system
  • EPOS software
  • Secure cash drawer and high-speed printer
  • Personalised onboarding and product training

Read our in-depth EPOS Now review.


3. Takepayments Plus

Takepayments Plus takepaymentsplus is a great fit for growing retail SMEs that want to take control of their sales with a simple, streamlined and mobile POS system.
  • Pricing £25 per month
  • Realtime reporting
  • Easy inventory management
  • Dedicated account manager
Summary Billed as "the card machine that does more", takepaymentsplus is a mobile POS system that combines a 4G SIM-enabled card reader with bespoke software to allow SMEs to not just take payments but really take control of their sales. With takepaymentsplus, you'll get real time insight into what and isn't selling, and be able to track sales by time of day, employee and category. The easy software also means you can add new category/product buttons in seconds and makes inventory management a doddle. You can also expect exemplary customer service, with a dedicated account manager and the sort of genuinely helpful assistance that gets you a 4.8 rating on Trustpilot from over 22,000 reviews. And you get all this for a flat fee of £25 per month.
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Best for: Retail businesses that want excellent customer service

Pricing: £25 a month

Takepayments Plus calls itself “the card machine that does more” and is a great fit for retailers that want to really take control of their sales but don't need a full-blown POS system.

Everything is handled through a card reader that's equipped with a 4G SIM so you can take payments (almost) anywhere and lets you track sales by time of day, employee and category, add new category/product buttons in seconds, easily manage inventory levels, and produce detailed sales reports that can be quickly integrated with your accounting software.

As well as its impressive features and transparent pricing (see below), Takepayments Plus also boasts Takepayments' trademark commitment to customer service. Your business will get a dedicated account manager and you only need to take a quick look at Trustpilot to see just how serious Takepayments is about supporting its customers – rave review after rave review is reflected in its very impressive 4.8 rating from over 22,000 reviews.

Pricing

Takepayments Plus has a refreshingly straightforward approach to pricing.

You simply pay a flat fee of £25 a month that covers the hire of the card machine, the SIM card and the use of the software.

To learn loads more about Takepayments, check out our in-depth takepayments review.


4. Zettle

Zettle Zettle Go is best for businesses that want the flexibility of no lock-in contracts.
  • Pricing from Free
  • Free POS app
  • Easy-to-read sales reports
  • Zettle reader easily integrates with other POS systems
Summary Zettle Go is fairly basic EPOS software – but that’s what makes it so great. This fancy-free software offers business owners exactly what they need to get going, from making transactions to managing stock. It’s intuitive to use, simple to set up, and best of all, it’s free. It’s also really easy to track and add stock, whether that’s notebooks or blueberry muffins. It’ll even flag up when you’re running low on something. You can also provide Zettle gift cards to help you with cash flow by keeping money in the business.
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Best for: Businesses that want the flexibility of no lock-in contracts

Pricing from: Free

Zettle Go is fairly basic EPOS software – but that’s what makes it so great. This fancy-free software offers business owners exactly what they need to get going, from making transactions to managing stock.

It’s intuitive to use, simple to set up, and best of all, it’s free. But as business blossoms, you may find that you need more from your POS software.

Pricing

Zettle has a clear pricing breakdown on its website, but we’ve popped the information below for good measure.

Zettle Go package:

  • Zettle Go software = free
  • Zettle card reader = £29 
  • Zettle store kit = £189

Read our in-depth Zettle review.

Feel a bit bewildered? Want a simple way to single out the best POS system for your small business? Thankfully, we developed our free, easy-to-use comparison tool to save you hours of time researching different providers.

Once you've taken a few minutes to answer some simple questions, it'll pair you with the right provider for your business needs. You'll soon receive quotes and more information – and there's zero obligation on your part.

5. Square

Square Square POS is the best value system for small businesses who want to start selling for free
  • Pricing from Free
  • Powerful customer management software
  • Real time in-depth reports
  • Pay team members with team management
Summary Square's POS system is highly regarded as one of the best and cheapest POS providers for small businesses in the UK. For starters, its software is completely free - with no setup fees or monthly payments. You only need the Square card reader to get started, which will set you back just £16. Square is also incredibly adaptable and easily scalable with software specifically designed for retail (Square POS for Retail) and hospitality (Square POS for Restaurants).
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Best for: Square POS is the best value system for small businesses who want to start selling for free

Pricing from: Free

Square has packed a lot into its Square Point of Sale software. Plus, there’s potential to integrate several free extensions – including sophisticated inventory and team management – as well as third party apps.

The software is really easy and intuitive to use, which means you don’t need to waste valuable business hours training new staff members.

You can also link your in-store software to your ecommerce store, meaning all of your sales data will appear in one place, giving you a bird’s eye view of your business performance.

Pricing

Square’s pricing is incredibly transparent. Its software is free – unless you opt for the paid version of Square for Restaurants – and it charges a set fee for both present and card-not-present transactions.

There’s a page dedicated to pricing on its website, but we’ve given you the lowdown on how much certain Square packages could cost your business below.

Square POS basic package:

  • Square POS app = free
  • Square card reader = £16

Read our in-depth Square review here.


6. Nobly POS

Nobly POS Nobly POS is best for remote businesses needing to operate offline
  • Pricing from Provides personalised quotes after assessing business needs
  • Real-time overview of inventory levels
  • Fully functional without WiFi
  • Accounting integrations
Summary Nobly isn't necessarily the biggest name in POS systems, but it's a great provider for small businesses. Its incredible reporting features are on par with the technology used by big players in the POS game. Nobly also boasts over 30 easy-to-read reports that allow you to make informed, data-driven decisions, as well as an efficient back-end stock monitoring system and a personalised loyalty scheme feature to reward your most loyal customers.
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Best for: Nobly POS is best for remote businesses needing to operate offline

Pricing from: Provides personalised quotes after assessing business needs

Nobly POS offers an iPad based system, with prices offered on a quote basis. Its system is more focused towards the hospitality sector.

Nobly’s POS back office logs all sales and stock information, and then presents business owners with the data, letting them make informed decisions about menu changes and stock updates.

Working off an iPad, staff will find it easy to get to grips with the system, as it’s already running on hardware they are likely accustomed to. It also includes an inbuilt customer loyalty scheme.

One of Nobly’s main selling points is its ability to work offline, making it great for remote businesses on the move, such as food trucks, or establishments with unreliable wifi.

Customers can decide which hardware they will need for their business — usually depending on their size — and Nobly will provide. These can include iPads, tills, receipt printers and card machines.

Pricing

  • Nobly provides personalised quotes after assessing business needs

Read our in-depth Nobly POS review.

Check out the video below to see how Nobly POS works: 


7. Shopify

Shopify Shopify POS is best for its excellent sales features and unifying online and in-store sales
  • Pricing from $29 per month
  • Customisable checkout
  • Custom staff permissions
  • Unified reporting from your website and POS system data
Summary Shopify is relatively new in the POS system space compared to its competitors, but that doesn't make it any less of a stellar POS provider for small businesses. Its reporting capabilities are brilliant, allowing you to unify sales reports and analytics from your website with your physical store sales - making performance insight that much easier. It has an abundance of handy, easy-to-use sales features, including customisable POS terminals so you can keep your most-used apps, discounts and products centre-stage. Other great features include advanced inventory management and custom staff permissions. And the best part is, you can test out Shopify POS on a 14-day free trial to ensure you're confident it will work for your business.
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Best for: Shopify POS is best for its excellent sales features and unifying online and in-store sales

Pricing from: $29 per month

Shopify is relatively new in the POS system space, but that doesn't make it any less of a stellar POS provider for small businesses.

Unlike some of its competitors, Shopify's POS app can be used on any Android or iOS smartphone or tablet – saving you the cost and stress of having to buy or update any existing hardware.

Its reporting capabilities are brilliant, allowing you to unify sales reports and analytics from your website with your physical store sales – making performance insight that much easier.

It has an abundance of handy, easy-to-use sales features, including customisable POS terminals so you can keep your most-used apps, discounts and products centre-stage.

Other great features include advanced inventory management and custom staff permissions. And the best part is, you can test out Shopify POS on a 14-day free trial to ensure you're confident it will work for your business.

Pricing

The great thing about Shopify POS is that you can try it free for 14-days before you buy, after that there are three monthly plans, summarised below:

  • Basic (best for new businesses with occasional in person sales) – $29 per month 
  • Shopify (best for expanding businesses selling both in-store and online) – $79 per month 
  • Advanced (best for larger businesses that require advanced reporting) – $299 per month

Find out more about integrating your physical store and your online store by reading our in-depth Shopify review.

Like the sound of these small business point of sale systems but still not sure whether they're right for you? Our expert team has over 20 years' helping small businesses and is ready to help! In 2020 alone, over a thousand small businesses found their perfect POS system through our quiz – and your business could be next. Use our custom-built POS comparison tool to find your best options in minutes.

8. The Good Till Co

The Good Till Co Businesses wanting additional sales features and a highly customisable POS system
  • Pricing from £29 per month
  • Inventory management
  • Shift clock in/out feature
  • Works offline
Summary The Good Till Co offers a reputable, tailor-made iPad hospitality POS software. Your POS package is completely tailor-made and highly customisable, giving you the freedom to add or remove features as you see fit. The inventory management aspect of the software is great for keeping track of light stock, as well as managing waste. It also offers clock in/out features to monitor staff schedules. Goodtill also provides an online support portal, as well as email and phone support and best of all - it operates without wi-fi for those remote businesses on the go.
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Best for: The Good Till Co is best for businesses wanting additional sales features and a highly customisable POS system

Pricing from: £29 per month

Acquired by tech giants SumUp in 2020, the Good Till Co is a reputable POS systems company that offers an online ordering system as well as POS.

Your POS package is completely tailor-made and highly customisable, giving you the freedom to add or remove features as you see fit. Including the hospitality add-on, which gives you access to table management, table transfers and customer bill splitting features.

The inventory management aspect of the software is great for keeping track of light stock, as well as managing waste. It also offers clock in/out features to monitor staff schedules. Goodtill also provides an online support portal, as well as email and phone support and best of all – it operates without wi-fi for those remote businesses on the go.

It's important to mention that Good Till's POS software only operates with iPads.

Pricing

  • Standard plan – £29 per month
  • Optional modules (including hospitality) – £9+ per month

9. Touchbistro

Touchbistro Touchbistro POS is great for restaurants looking to get online quickly
  • Pricing from £52 per month
  • Staff management software
  • Upselling tools to increase sales
  • In-depth reporting features
Summary TouchBistro is a fairly expensive POS system. But, as the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for’. TouchBistro’s restaurant POS software is rammed full of features to help you run and manage your business, including sophisticated tableside ordering, in-depth back end reporting, and the ability to integrate with plenty of third-party apps. For restaurants, staff can process orders in just two taps, giving them more time to make customers feel welcome. At the table, menu prompts enable servers to upsell on the spot, or inform customers of any allergy information. There are also great built-in loyalty features, including targeted marketing material based on a customer's favourite dishes.
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Best for: Touchbistro POS is best for restaurants looking to get online quickly

Pricing from: £52 per month

TouchBistro is a restaurant POS system which has been refined by need. It combines speed and agility, with industry-specific features like tableside ordering and table management to help you run your business effectively.

The nature of the system is such that your staff can be as mobile as they need to be on a restaurant floor, able to relay information, and send orders, without errors. It’s even possible for your waiting staff to entice customers with images and menu displays.

Unlike some POS systems that struggle with the intricacies of restaurant businesses, the TouchBistro system is flexible and customisable, allowing you to match the floorplan to your own venue and customise receipts with your own branding.

As well as the interface of TouchBistro, the behind-the-scenes side of the system is useful too. You can use TouchBistro to manage inventory and staff schedules.

Pricing

  • POS system – $69 per month

10. iiko

iiko iiko is ideal for businesses that want accurate sales forecasts
  • Pricing from £49 per month
  • End-to-end automation including purchasing
  • AI-driven sales forecasting
  • Real-time inventory
Summary iiko offers EPOS software aimed at food and beverage businesses. Its systems offer all-in-one front of house features, allowing you to manage table, counter and delivery services, for example. Real time data is available for inventory management and its sales forecasting function uses AI technology, offering 95-99% precision. The iiko system also provides automated purchasing, suggesting products that need to be bought to meet consumer demand. Customer support is available, but primarily online via instant messaging.
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Best for: iiko POS is best for businesses that want accurate sales forecasts

Pricing from: £49 per month

iiko offers EPOS software aimed at food and beverage businesses. Its systems offer all-in-one front of house features, allowing you to manage table, counter and delivery services, for example.

Real time data is available for inventory management and its sales forecasting function uses AI technology, offering 95-99% precision.

The iiko system also provides automated purchasing, suggesting products that need to be bought to meet consumer demand.

Keep in mind that customer support is available, but primarily online via instant messaging.

Pricing

  • Basic (for startups) – £49 per month
  • Professional (for SMEs) – £69 per month 
  • Enterprise (large businesses) – £99 per month

You've read this far, but perhaps you're still undecided on which POS system is right for your business? We've developed our POS comparison tool as a quick and easy way for you to find the POS system you need.

It'll ask you some basic questions that'll enable us to find out things like what kind of business you run and whether you'd be open to an iPad-based POS system, and then you'll receive POS quotes and more information – basically, we'll do the comparison leg-work for you!

11. AirPOS

AirPOS AirPOS is the ideal POS system for independent retailers that want the flexibility of a free trial
  • Pricing from £39.99 per month
  • 14-day free trial
  • Free customer support, 7 days per week
  • Multi-channel inventory management
Summary AirPOS, although last in our list of POS systems, offers an all-round great product for micro businesses and independent retailers. It is one of the only other POS providers to offer a 14-day free trial, and there are no fixed term contracts when you sign up - offering businesses greater flexibility to cancel if circumstances change. Its simple, easy-to-use back office feature is a great addition, as is its integration with other software including accounting provider Xero and payment processor Worldpay. AirPOS works on any platform, which is great for businesses with both Android and Apple operating systems. Customer loyalty programmes also come as standard, as does simple but effective business reporting and industry leading, free customer support seven days per week (with an average response time of less than three minutes).
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Best for: AirPOS is the best POS system for independent retailers that want the flexibility of a free trial

Pricing from: £39.99 per month

AirPOS, although last in our list of POS systems, offers an all-round great product for micro businesses and independent retailers.

It is one of the only other POS providers to offer a 14-day free trial, and there are no fixed term contracts when you sign up – offering businesses greater flexibility to cancel if circumstances change.

Its simple, easy-to-use back office feature is a great addition. As is its integration capabilities with other software including accounting provider Xero and payment processors Zettle, Sumup and Worldpay.

AirPOS works on any platform, which is great for businesses with both Android and Apple operating systems.

Customer loyalty programmes come as standard, as does simple but effective business reporting. Best of all, AirPOS provides industry leading, free customer support seven days per week (with an average response time of less than three minutes).

Pricing

  • POS System – £39.99 per month

Next steps: Choosing the best POS system for your small business

From our in-depth reviews, it is clear that the best POS system for small businesses is Lightspeed for hospitality businesses, and EPOS Now for retail businesses.

Lightspeed boasts over 250 integrations partners, a fully functioning offline mode and excellent customer service. Whilst EPOS Now provides incredible business reporting, barcoding, stock management and hardware all included in one affordable package.

Square is best for those businesses wanting the cheapest plan possible, whilst Shopify is best for its sales features.

Regardless of our opinion, you should always compare POS system providers before signing on the dotted line. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a contract with a service that doesn’t fulfil the needs of your business, even if it is, generally speaking, a great product.

This is where our custom-built comparison tool comes in. We've partnered with some of the best POS providers to help you get the best service for your business, including the likes of Lightspeed, Zettle and Square.

Simply provide us with a few basic details, and providers will be in touch with bespoke personalised quotes for you to compare, along with further details about why the service they offer would best suit the needs of your business.

Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website.

Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Conde Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism.

Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.

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