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Every Software Vendor's Dream: Forever Payments (from you)

"Low-ball come-on prices are the tip of the priceberg. See what's under the surface before jumping in. What you don't know will cost plenty later."

Software Marketing 'Tactics'

For decades people selling stuff have pushed the deception envelope out further and further. It's common place these days and widely accepted that deception (lie by omission) is an integral part of 'advertising' but don't you just hate it every time you get victimized?

Here's how deception is used to cover up after-purchase costs:

One software vendor looking to garner (at least) $6,000 from every store owner over time plays up the 'starting cost': "No large up-front expenditure. Just $99 to get started!"

I actually know of a fledgling shopkeeper who bought into this silliness saying she didn't want to go into debt to buy a computer and a one-payment software program and chose instead to enroll in the $99 plan because the 'cost' was less. Why not buy a computer and the software ($900) and pay $99 until it's paid off in 9 months?

Selling Strategy

Providers of software are very well aware that all of us are loathed to have to switch software programs down the road, essentially losing the money paid for software and having to climb another learning curve so they attempt to introduce their programs into our business with as little pain as possible, knowing price traps lay in wait after stores commit.

You may not be thinking of opening a second location just yet but maybe you'll be wildy successful so know now what it's going to cost to use the same software at other locations.

Similarly, do you know the what the cost will be if you add users or wish to 'upgrade' to get features that weren't included in the $99 come-on plan?

It's not surprising that pre-sale rhetoric doesn't include a mention as to whether the software vendor has the right to increase the monthly stipend once you're entrenched.

Here's a hidden gem: Are you required to use the credit-card processor suggested by the software vendor? If so it's likely that the vendor is getting a kick back on every one of your sales and you might be paying a higher rate because of it - an additional expense hidden by the lack of disclosure.

This idea of 'software as a service' is nothing more than an excuse to create a flow of funds from consignment stores to software companies. There's still one very good software program available for a one-off cost, Best Consignment Shop Software, with no monthly or annual fees.

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