Software Caveats

Opinions are heavily biased. A little homework will save a lot of time and money.

Consignment Software Mistakes to Avoid


The vendors paying the most for advertising offer the most expensive programs because they are essentially passing their cost of advertising on to those who purchase their software and pay their annual support fees:

The vendors pushing you the hardest to buy their offerings are usually the vendors with the highest prices, offering ridiculous arguments like "pay more, get more". Complete nonsense. All programs perform the basic functions of recording information, processing sales and settlement and producing reports.

'Web-based software' might sound faddish but consider that your customers' personal information will be placed somewhere on the Internet on a server by a person that you know absolutely nothing about. Oh sure, you'll get the pacifier that the server is 'secure' but Hillary was claiming the same thing after she was easily hacked. Why take the risk when any program can do most of what web-based can do?

Need to work remotely? from home? from an auction? on vacation? You can do it for free by leaving the shop computer on and using any of the free remote-pc programs to access it and run it just as though you were sitting there in front of it. "Remote-PC access" has been around for years. Those selling web-based programs won't explain this option to you in their sales pitches.

Perhaps the biggest risk of all is getting locked into an expensive software program (with annual support fees) only to have the person who wrote the program 'disappear' along with support for the software. Be sure every effort will have been made by these individual programmers to mask the fact that the software depends upon him alone for support longevity (as in 'consignpro').

If a vendor has an 'annual support fee' and tries to tell you that it's "optional" then why is it there in the first place? Some people are going to pay fees that aren't required? It's outright fraud to claim that fees are optional then impose consequences for not paying the fees. Consequences include 1) denial of support in all forms and 2) withholding of (essential) software updates in attempts to get paid for those 'optional charges'.

After the challenges of opening your first store, you may not be considering opening a second or third or fourth, but now's the time to find out how much Greedy Gus is going to charge you for his software - for copies to be used in your current store on multiple computers and for copies to be used in additional stores. The same people who play games with 'optional annual support fees' also charge full price for each additional store.

One Miami vendor in particular boasted in a consignment forum about 'firing' users when, in his opinion, they asked too many questions. Another in Orlando excludes training from the annual support fee and charges $100 per hour for training.

If you are told that you are required to use the credit-card processing that the vendor 'recommends' it's because the vendor is getting a kickback from the credit-card processor which in turn may cause you to pay more. A software program should allow you to use any credit-card processing service.


Fees and overcharges exist because vendors have ways of forcing their software users to pay them, otherwise they wouldn't exist. How long do you expect to be in business? Any bank looking at your business plan will want to know your total IT cost for that period of time.


Your shop is open on weekends and maybe during some holidays. Will your vendor be available on the days when you're making the most sales? A way to find out, before making your software purchase, is to call the support number on a Saturday and find out.

Computer Help

As you might suspect software vendors aren't on the hook to fix computer problems, including those with Windows, viruses, slow performance, improper use etc so to whom are they going to refer you? 'The Computer Peeps' has teamed up with the highest-priced vendors in hopes of getting your IT business - $100 per hour, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST and higher rates before and after his banking hours. The peeps, btw, is just one peep - not a company as the illusion of plurality suggests.