Consignment Software: Money-Saving Tips
Consignment Software Tips
There are lots of consignment-software programs and plenty of sales hype which unfortunately includes plenty of deceptive advertising. Cut through it in the time it takes to read these 8 paragraphs...
Fancy websites and business names are masquerades hiding the fact that most consignment-software programs were written by and can only be fixed by one person. Your software will break. It will need updates, if only to keep it current with changes in technology (primarily Windows). That person claiming his software to be 'worth' $1,000 has to be around next year when 'he' is needed. Build your business on that foundation? Ask how many people are involved in the 'company' and expect hum and haw from the like of Wilson at Consignpro and Casey at 'the computer peeps'.
All programs pretty much do the same thing: track inventory, print price labels, process sales and settlements, print checks and produce Reports. What more do you need? That $395 program does it all.
Web-based software exists for the benefit of the software provider who of course is thrilled with a steady stream of monthly income from those who sign up. If mobility is needed, install software that belongs to you on a laptop, or install the software on a desktop at the shop, leave the shop computer on, and use a free remote-pc program (LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, Team Viewer) to access the shop computer from anywhere (like web-based). The cost of web-based is enormous over time and when payment stops, the software stops. Lastly, do you really want the responsibility of putting your clients' personal information on the 'web' on a server' that you know nothing about hosted by an unknown hosting company and sold to you by someone you've never met and hardly know?
Web-based software and software that installs on your computer but requires payment for support does not belong to you 'for lifetime use'. The software will be deactivated upon nonpayment.
Heads up! Software developers with 'annual support plans' have them in place for a reason. There are plans in place to force payment of those 'optional support fees', namely that (essential) software updates will be withheld and service (in any form) will be denied. When the masquerade includes, "Oh, our support plan is totally optional!" ask for the consequences of not paying the fee because if you don't know to ask, the gotchas will be revealed after the money-back period has expired.
Don't fall for leases and monthly payments. Do the math. How much is the total paying for the first 12 months. Add in all other costs, including prepayment for support. Leases and monthly payments may be 'forever' so how long do you intend to be in business? 10 years? Multiply the monthly amount by 120. Now how much does that 'low monthly payment' add up to over time? What other costs will there be? Copies of the software will be needed for additional stations, as high as $395. Conpro will charge full price to start another store. Conpro and Resaleworld increase the support fee with the addition of multiple software copies. Software vendors stand to make more money after the sale than from the sale of software largely because they are successful at masquerading post-purchase price traps..
Still tempted to fall for the offering of that individual programmer? Consider his history. It's an indication of how you can expect to be treated as a customer. Wilson at Conpro bragged in a public forum about firing customers when they ask too many questions. He actually told one customer that he discontinued her service and required that she purchase the software again ($995 at the time) before he would continue to help her. In another brazen move, Wilson targeted a group of customers who managed to avoid paying the annual support fee, offering them a 'free software update'. Not surprisingly the 'update' included a kill switch which disabled their software and he refused to remove the planted bug until customers agreed to pay more. These facts are etched in WWW records. Want to test for honesty? Show an interest in the 'lease program' then ask for how long the payments are to be made. If he thinks you don't know any better, he'll say 'for as long as you use the software'. When someone pressed as to why she should pay more by lease than she would pay outright to purchase, he changed it to, 'Ok, 2 years'. Just write 'consignpro' off your list of considerations.
The complaints heard most often about 'consignment software' are difficulty of use and lack of support. This whole decision process can be made quite simple by choosing Best Consignment Shop Software - one payment for lifetime use. Low prices not padded with prepayment for support. No forced (or optional) monthly or annual support fees. Free live demo included as well as a detailed illustrated user's guide and training videos. Pay for help as needed and if help is never needed money will not have passed from your bank account to a software developer for absolutely no reason whatsoever. You own the software for lifetime use. It can't be resold, transferred, lent, donated or otherwise made available to another, but that's a small concession for saving a few thousand dollars over time.