Generally speaking, RFID tags are such devices that pass information through a reader. RFID tags can be classified into two categories namely, active tags and passive tags. Passive tags have no power source and use the energy supplied from the reader. On the other hand active tags have an internal battery that acts as a power source. Also, the frequency levels of both tags are different. Passive tags use low frequency (125 – 134 KHz), high frequency (13.56 MHz), and ultra-high frequency (865 – 960 MHz), whereas active tags use only two frequencies, 915 MHz and 433 MHz.
Depending upon such differences between the two types of tags the RFID tags cost may vary right from being as little as 50 cents to an amount of $50 or more. Passive tags are cheaper than active tags since they are simple and don’t use an internal power source. Active tags with a battery cost more, and also the cost can add if more sophisticated sensors used in the active tag.
Also, depending upon the applications as well, the RFID tags cost may vary. With the wide range of applications passive tags are economical. Some examples include, file tracking, smart labels that are applied to cases comes at a low price depending upon the total volume. Whereas, the two majorly used active tags are transponders and beacons. Oil and gas industry uses beacons, and transponders are used in toll booths. The prices vary since transponders are battery efficient and hence economical compared to beacons.
However, apart from general factors like features and applications RFID tags cost also depends on the return on investment or ROI. While some tags are more costly than the average costs of RFID technology, the return on investment on the tags maybe much more. For example, railroad companies that use the RFID tags on rail cars. The tags are reprogrammed again and again numerous times, and in turn the tags are written and read thousands of times. This ultimately leads to less than one cent of the overall cost. Thus, an important factor in the RFID tags cost is ROI as well. To recapitulate the aforementioned points RFID tags cost vary depending upon the applications and the type of tags.