Computer Software Features
BCSS is several programs rolled into one software: consignment, resale (buy outright), retail and floor-space rental. Within those types of businesses there's inventory, customer and employee management, POS (point of sale), settlement and payment processing, printing, accounting and reporting.
In 2001 we examined the layouts of competing programs to improve upon usability with the thought in mind that an intuitive build would increase comprehension and reduce learning/training time.
With that in mind all common tasks and essential pieces of information were brought to the surface of the user interface so in switching from clients to inventory to sales all information and tasks would be within a key press or mouse click.
Over time 'batch processes' were added to group functions for faster processing:
- The Percentage Tool can change the consignor percent for 1) all client records or 2) all unsold or unsettled items a) for all or b) for one consignor. This 'tool' has been a great time saver for many a shop owner.
- Inventory for consignment, buy outright and retail can be batch entered, edited, deleted or moved to storage.
- Settlements can be processed individually or in batch.
- Multiple checks can be printed.
- Data can be imported from spreadsheets to save time on data entry.
- Data can be exported for use in other programs for mass emailing.
A default Consignor % is set in Program Setup and is applied to each sale for every consignor:
- For each client a different percent can be assigned when creating or editing a client record.
- Each inventory item can have a unique Consignor %.
- Each inventory category can have a designated percentage.
A default Discount Schedule can be applied automatically or discounts may be applied in a variety of ways:
- There can be more than one Discount Schedule.
- Periodic aged discounts can be granted manually.
- Each category of inventory can have a schedule assigned.
- Sales Promotion: One or more categories can be discounted by percent or dollar amount during a stipulated period of time.
- Prices can be manually adjusted at POS.
- Any item or invoice (at point of sale) can be discounted by % or $ amount.
Buy outright (aka 'Resale) is the purchasing (and reselling) of merchandise from individuals:
- Items may be entered singularly or in batch.
- Things entered in spreadsheets can be imported.
- An agreement may be printed for sellers' signatures verifying items purchased, legal ownership and prices paid.
- Price labels and tags can be printed with the selling price (only).
- The program will compute profit/loss for each item.
- Reports can be created for any period of time, per category, for buy-outright items only, per client, etc.
Retail differs from buy outright in that merchandise is purchased 'B2B' (business to business) so purchases are made from wholesalers, manufacturers, suppliers, craftsmen, importers, etc.
Floor Space Rental
A variety of business use the Diamond edition of BCSS to manage the renting of floor space:
- Antique and shopping malls manage units of floor space.
- Trade shows, events and exhibitions rent display units.
- Flea and farmers markets track booths.
The program keeps track of dealers (renters), the amounts of rent, dates due as well as those waiting for specific rental units.
Mall or market managers have the options or printing price labels and tags for vendor products and processing sales for vendors.
With the Virtual edition of the software occupants can view their account information and add inventory online.
For every rent period a report is available for renters whose sales were short of covering rent.
Sales Tax can be varied in several ways:
- Two default tax rates can be set where state and local taxes are to be collected.
- A different rate can be set for each category or each item.
- An entire invoice can be made non-taxable.
- Resellers with valid tax IDs can purchase tax free.
Any credit-card processor may be used including Square and PayPal. The program is not integrated with any processing service. The sales clerk only needs to select the method of payment and process the card transaction completely independent of the software.
Multiple invoices can be opened at the same time, allowing a shopper to put a sale on hold and come back to complete the sale later on.
Hardware for Labeling and POS
Price labels and hang tags can be printed with any edition of the program using a standard black/white ink printer and sheet stock. With Diamond and Virtual editions labels and tags can be printed from rolls of thermal labels using a thermal label printer.
At POS stores can use a common scanner to scan barcodes on price tags, populating the 'line item' with information about the items being purchased, including the owners of the merchandise. (Scanners can also be used to locate items in inventory.)
Cash drawers (with locks and keys) connect to receipt printers and pop open when a receipt prints. Stores selling used merchandise often have no-return policies making the printing of receipts unnecessary so with BCSS, a drawer can be connected directly to the computer (with a special adapter replacing the printer) and will only open for non-credit-card transactions (like cash, check, store credit, etc). In the absence of a receipt printer, receipts can be printed from within the program using an ink printer.
Receipt printers print receipts on 3-inch-wide thermal roll paper (available for most office-supply stores).
POS-X is a hardware manufacturer supplying drawers and receipt printers to be used with BCSS. Other drawers and receipt printers (Epson, Star) are known to work with the program but are not recommended or supported.
Web-Based (Cloud) Alternatives
Need mobility? Get it for free:
- Install Best Consignment Shop Software on a laptop computer and take it with you.
- Place the program on a shop computer and use any free remote-pc software to access the shop PC. Shut it down when you're done.
Buying software for 'mobility' comes at a high price, not only monetarily with never-ending monthly fees but in control and security:
- Web-based software is not controlled by the end user. It is installed on a computer whose location and owner are basically unknown.
- Cloud software adds dependencies upon your Internet connection, the Internet itself and the web host's Internet connection.
- Connections to the WWW invite viral infections. If the computer is not connected to the Internet, there is no risk.
- Clients' data is placed 'out there' on the web and vulnerable despite any guarantees to the contrary.
- There are plans in place to increase the amount of money flowing from stores to software companies based upon usage: the number of users, the amount of activity, the extent of features and the number of locations. The strategy should be very clear.
- Web software users have reported that those in control of their data have refused to release their data when requested, regardless of the fact that the data belongs to the store owner.
Installing software on your computer keeps you in control of risk, the data and cost. Most stores operate quite efficiently with the Deluxe edition of Best Consignment Shop Software at $395 with no trailing fees. Compare that to a minimum of $100 per month every month for 10 years: $12,000.
What Is Consignment Software?
Consignment software is a specialized computer program for businesses engaged in selling merchandise for others (for a share of the sales proceeds). The main features are:
- Designation of a percentage share of sales proceeds for each consignor
- Discounting aged inventory (automatically or manually) by item or category
- Printing discounts schedules on price labels
- Crediting each consignor and the shop with their respective shares of sales proceeds
- Removing sold items from inventory
- Preparing settlement documents for future processing
- Paying consignors by cash, check, store credit, PayPal
- Granting a % bonus to consignors settling for store credit
Better software programs also allow for 'batch processing' - the performing of tasks in groups to save time administering to tasks. (See advantages.)