Take the Consignment Software Quiz
Q&A about Consignment Software, Vendors, Pricing and Policies
- All programs cost about the same.
Far from it. 1) The first-year outlay can range from free to well over $1,300 - just for the software! 2) Annual service fees can range from zero to $2,339! 3) Hardware markups range from fair to ridiculous. 4) Hardware support can be free or $100+ 'per incident'. 5) 'Shipping' is another expense added on AFTER you've placed your order to pad the price.
Avoiding certain software vendors
will avoid unnecessary expenses.
- Help with setting up and learning the software is included in the annual support fee.
Not at CCE, and Liberty! adds $50 (on top of an already loft $1,395) for assistance with setup. CCE and Liberty specifically exclude 'how-to help' and charge $100 per hour for training. One individual provider of software boasts of 'firing' customers for asking too many questions. (Ask me who.)
- "You get what you pay for".
Nothing more than sales hype nonsense espoused by high-priced vendors with annual service fees... Over paying will not assure better products or service.
- Paying less begets inferior software and/or service.
This can be true. There are lone programmers who work at consignment software on the side, content to earn a second income just as they may be content to pursue something else if selling consignment software doesn't pan out.
- Software updates are free.
One vendor provides free software updates without strings. Otherwise the common strategy is to advertise updates as "FREE! (with paid annual support)". A more accurate spin: "If you don't pay annual support fees, you won't get software updates."
- Computer peeps are necessary.
With good equipment, a good program and good basic skills, you'll have little need for help. It certainly is not necessary, as one peep suggests, to place him on retainer for $80 per month (almost $1,000 per year) just in case he might be needed, or to otherwise pay him $100 per hour! Some insult our intelligence by calling wasted service fees "insurance". It's certainly preferable to know whom to call when help is needed, pay a nominal fee at the time, and otherwise pay nothing at all.
- The real cost of annual service
If $200 is paid for 'annual service' and one 15-minute session is spent with the vendor for this or that, what is the hourly rate for 'annual service'? $800! ($200 for 15 minutes equals a rate of $800/hour.)
- How valuable are 'resale rights'?
The up-front money paid for a software program will either be for 'rental' or 'ownership' of the program (with the right to resell the software).
True-life example: A couple of vendors rent their software 'license' for $995 and restrict reselling the software. A similar program selling for $595 with resale rights might be resold for $300, making the net cost of that software $295 (vs $995), or $700 less.
- Some software programs are a better fit for some stores than others.
That's true for those infrequent occasions when an advanced feature like integration with an online store is needed, but for the most part, all consignment software programs keep records of consignors, their inventory, print price labels, receipts, checks, reports and agreements, scan barcodes, process sales and settlements. There's no need to pay $1,250 up front plus annual services fees when the same end result can be achieved at a fraction of the cost.
- All software vendors and all programs are about the same.
Far from it. Some software 'companies' are only one programmer with some admin help. The fact is prices, policies and 'companies' can be as different as Lady Gaga and Billy Graham.
- A company with longevity provides better software and service.
The passing of time does not assure things were done right (much less better) any more than it assures that things are worse. Of course vendors who have been around longer tout this nonsense. They tend to be the same ones with the highest prices, never-ending fees, hidden fees and unfavorable policies.
You're well on your way to spotting big prices, big fees and big plans for siphoning big bucks from your hard work.
Paying $1,300+ for software + $50 for 'setup' + $125 to $500 per year in 'service fees' + $69 for online data storage + $180 to add back stripped features (layaways, buy outright, sales promotions) + $180 for QuickBooks integration + $205 for credit-card integration + $395 for a home copy + $100 per hour for training + $100 per hour for phone support adds up!
If you don't take the time
To read between the lines
Unfortunate as it is -
You won't be in biz...
for very long.
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