How Much Does an RFID Tag Cost?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsHow Much Does an RFID Tag Cost?
RFID Journal Staff asked 10 years ago

What factors determine the price?

—Name withheld


That really depends, as there are many different types of RFID tags. Active tags have a battery so they can broadcast a signal, and they usually come in a hard plastic case so they can withstand punishment. These tags cost $50 apiece or more. If you add temperature sensors or other types of sensors, the price can increase to more than $100 each. On the other end of the spectrum, a passive inlay can cost about 7 cents in large volumes of 1 million or more.

Even in the passive tag market, there are many variations that affect price. You can buy a tag embedded in a thermal transfer bar-code label, or one designed to be embedded in a plastic container, or used on metal or attached to steel pipes. Each different form factor comes with a different price.

I would say that focusing on price is a mistake, however, as that is not what matters. The more important factor is the value of the benefits delivered, minus the system's cost (in other words, the return on investment). If a tag costs $100 but saves you $1,000, it is worth the investment. If each tag costs a penny but delivers no value, then it is probably not worth investing.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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