These small machines are used inside a retail store. Their main purpose is to print the price of the product on small previously printed labels. There are several models and brands on the market. They can be classified into two large categories: manual and electric hand labellers. The main difference between them is the power source, the former are simply mechanical ones, operated by sheer strength of the operator, while the electric ones are powered either by batteries or by a cable connected to a power outlet nearby, although normally they are used with batteries to enhance their mobility.

Normally, hand labellers can print one, two or three lines of symbols on the labels, depending on the model. The price of the hand labellers increases directly proportional to the number of lines they can print. Commonly, one line printed is always the price, with the currency symbol to the left, other line can be used to print the date where the product was labelled, and the last one could be used to print a security code over the top of the label.

First hand labellers hit the market in the sixties decade, and although they have been successfully used for several years, some retailers sometimes prefer to use a simpler and more advanced method to tell their customers the price and information of the products they sell. They have barcode readers on every side of gondola shelves, so users can just approach the product to the reader to instantly know its price, expiration date, weight and other useful information. This approach is commonly used in conjunction with labels printed on the shelves to indicate the price of a group of products, rather than using hand labellers to print the price into every single product, which can prove to be a time consuming and manual intensive labour.

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