"If you plan on being in business for just one year, then ignore the policies, provisions and costs that lie beyond your first anniversary."
Many software vendors have caught onto the idea of selling 'software as a service' meaning that you'll pay more over time for 'service' than you did up front for the software.
Monthly Rental Programs
The worst of the bunch are those offering 'free software' when the free version is nothing more than a very limited version of the paid versions which cost $100 per month and more. Now listen: If these folks said to you, "We will sell you the software for $300 and charge you $1200 to $1800 per year for support", you'd have a fit! Yet it appears some are foolish enough to buy the malarkey that paying $1800 EVERY year somehow means not paying for support. Moreover, once locked into these monthly pay-as-you-go, quit-anytime ruses, those who bought in will be subjected to future prices increases, and no, those locked in will not be willing to buy the program and learn the program they should have selected in the first place.
There is no equity ownership in monthly rentals. You'll never own and will never get any of your money back.
Perhaps worse yet, choosing this route means that you would be willing to put all of your customers' information online on a server (computer) that you know nothing about managed by a person you never met who makes meaningless guarantees via a penniless LLC about data safety and security. Oh, right, 'his' computer can't get hacked but computers owned and operated by Home Depot, Target and the US Govt can. Do you want your reputation and financial future resting upon the shoulders of one man whose only objective is to get a big share of your shop's income?
Liars and Con Artists
Actually, liars and con artists might be worse, but they're out to get less money, so that measure of larceny puts them in second place. When asked about their 'annual support fees' this group of shysters will be quick to add "Yes, but... the annual support fee is optional!" - without offering the consequences of not paying the annual fee which are 1) denial of support in all or most forms of support (phone, remote-PC, email, chat) and 2) denial of essential software updates - 'essential' because updates are the way any program is kept in good working order, if nothing more than to keep up with technological compatibility. As with the first bunch, these annual fees keep increasing every year, and providers like Resaleworld and Consignpro (company of 1) find other excuses to increase the annual fee, like doubling the annual fee (and more) when additional computers are put into use:
This means that adding just one more computer in the shop (for adding inventory, printing price labels and all that administrative stuff) will cost twice as much in annual support PLUS you'll have to buy another computer of the software ($295).
"Yes, pay attention to fees after the first year. If you can't find them (they are buried) ask me. I know where to dig."
You know that consignment software priced at $1300 (plus $50 for training plus $79 for training videos plus $100 for the first-year support plus $69 for a 'database tuneup' plus $876 per year to list 1000 items online plus big hardware markups plus shipping? You know, the guy who refers to himself as 'the creator' and 'CEO' and claims to be highly rated at 'Software Advice' without mentioning that the rating is paid? Yes, that one, same guy who has a BBB A+ 'Accredited Business' emblem on his website that the BBB knows nothing about - that guy! His program and his service aren't any better if not inferior to other programs offered by honest vendors at a fraction of the cost and no annual or monthly fees. This is the same guy who will tell you that you can resell the software when you're done with it while failing to mention that the ONLY person who could buy the software is someone buying your store who will continue to use the same business name, location, address and phone number. Can't find him? Here's a hint:
If you're thinking, "Hey, isn't this the same guy who offered an alleged free update to a group of his customers who elected not the pay the 'optional' annual support fee over time - who planted a bug in the update to disable the software then bribed people to remove the bug - isn't this the same guy?" - You would be correct.
Same guy who openly bragged in a public forum that he fires customers (yes, those who pay $1300+++) when he determines they ask too many questions or ask for too much help - and keeps their money. One of his customers was told by him that she would have to pay another $1000 (this was before the price increase) to continue to have support for the software.
Who will support the software in the future? We're talking about investing $1,000 and more in software and equipment, not knowing anything about the person other than the BS he puts on his website. Ask yourself: "Would I pay $1300 plus all the add-on costs for a software program written by one person. That's a huge amount of money. Don't I get a big software development company standing behind the product to go along with that very hefty price tag?" Answer: "No you don't. The same person who wrote the program is the sales rep and the support guy. When he's gone, so will be support for the software." Now, you would think that because this is a ultra-high unacceptable risk that the home page would include a distinct warning, something like "I wrote this program for my mother. I am the only person who is capable of fixing it when it breaks, and it will break. Buy at your own risk. You will not be able to get your money back after the money-back period. You will have to buy and learn another program." No, you won't see any such thing. Instead you'll get exactly the opposite: testimonials from people who were and still are completely unaware of this risk, reference to having stuck it successfully to others since 1996, and a very dubious claim about being America's favorite software. Most 'Americans' detest false advertising and big surprises after purchase. Oh, and the 'interest-free financing for 6 months'? Just laughable.
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