Consignment Software Questions to Ask
These days websites and the telephone are tools of those who have learned how to use them, not to disclose fees and adverse policies, but to hide them, making it necessary for you to dig through website subpages for the truths (scattered here and there) and know not only which questions to ask but what the truthful answers are.
"Know Thine Enemy". The people hoping to separate you from a good chuck of your money have 15-20 years of practice in the art of deception. They've heard the same questions and have observed the effectiveness of their answers thousands upon thousands of times. Be aware (beware) that you are entering a field of battle in which you will be asking those questions for the first time, keeping in mind that responses to your responses have been honed and rehearsed to yield the best results - not for you, but for the vendor pushing his wares. They are well skilled in the art of deception and they are no friend of yours.
Here's an example of how gullible vendors believe shoppers to be: "You get what you pay for!" implies that buying a lower-priced program will burden you with a lesser program and inferior service. The purveyors of this nonsense are clearly visible with their $1,000+ price tags (just for the software!), annual fees and websites that are designed to obscure cost rather than display all costs (and adverse policies) prominently. This group includes any vendor in Florida.
The same high-priced over-valued folks in Florida make it a marketing practice of disparaging lower-priced competitors while covering up their long histories of their unhappy customers. The fact is every company will have a small percentage of dissatisfied clients. How can you expect to be treated? Reading through this one page will lend valuable clues.
Ask: Do you have annual or monthly support fees?
"We do have ongoing fees, but they are optional. It's possible to use our software and never pay another dime." Here's a perfect example of how the truth gets buried in a half truth: You have to know to ask of the consequences of going along with the 'optional' guise, so you ask, "What happens if I don't pay the 'optional' fee?" Now we get to the truth that should have been disclosed without having to press for it:
- Service in all forms will be denied. You might have the opportunity to post a question in a forum and wait (wait... wait) for a response.
- When a need arises for help, you will be forced then to pay the annual fee (perhaps retroactively to the date the option was given to opt into the 'support plan'.
- Software 'updates' are bug fixes and minor software improvements - which will be withheld if the annual fee is not paid. Don't be fooled. Every customer of every software program will need a bug fixed and will need help now and then. Those practiced at the art of deception are fully well aware of this long before you came along so perhaps the picture is becoming more clear.
You should ask, "How often has your annual fee been increased in the past, and by how much?" Also, "Do you increase the annual fee if more copies of your software are put into use?" The answers to these questions are "Yes and by a lot!"
Ask, "If I open a second location, will I have to pay full price for the software?"
- "Is training included in your annual fee?" Flatly, "No."
- Is there a time limit as to the number of hours granted with the annual fee?" "Yes."
A software vendor in Miami, Florida openly boasted about 'firing' customers "when they cost you more than they earn you" (direct quote). The same vendor canceled one shop owner's service agreement and told her that she would have to purchase the program again ($999 at the time) to continue to receive support.
- "Do you provide support for other things like Windows, networking, hardware?" "Yes. $100 to $150 per hour"
- If you refer me to a 3rd party, how much will I be charged with help for computer-related things?" "$100 to $150 per hour"
Before going further (because there is much more), you might ask yourself how you feel about being manipulated. What chance do you have of being treated fairly by a 'company' that believes it must lie to you to gain you as a customer, who takes advantage of new shop owners who are trustworthy, overwhelmed with details, responsibilities and demands on their time?
Ask: Are you a 'company' of 1?
If you're talking to the person who wrote the program, you're talking to a company of 1. Yes, there might be a secretary or wife helping out and 'he' may refer to himself as 'we' as part of the illusion of grandiose multiplicity, but the fact remains that future support for the software lies (pun intended) with him and when he's gone, so will be the money you paid for the program and the time you spent learning it. 'He' has no control over death, disability or moving on to something else, leaving 'his' software customers abandoned.
'He' is right about one thing: Most shop owners will not spend $1300 (just for the software) if they knew the risk that lies beneath his masquerade.
Ask: How long have you been in business?
Sears and J.C. Penny have been around forever and they are failing. Shoppers wrongly assume that a long history assures a long future. Nonsense. Pre 2010 was a boon for consignment which saw several 'programmers' rush to the market with their home-grown programs, hoping to cash in. Vendors who have been in business longer only possess the advantage of having had a longer time to perfect schemes for fooling potential customers, including the claim that their longer history indicates longevity, a good reputation and reliability.
End-User License Agreement
Every time you install a software program, there's a presentation of terms and conditions and you are required to agree to those terms and conditions before proceeding with the installation. This is a perfect place for scam artists to tuck away those unfavorable provisions that they hold in reserve to whip out one day and beat you with. You're going to claim that you didn't know/wasn't told and 'he' is then going to point to the EULA and say 'Yes I did disclose this thing you're not liking. Here it is hidden in the EULA where I knew you wouldn't see it!' The terms of the EULA prevail in arguments so ask for a copy and go so far as to ask which provisions are aimed in favor of the perpetrator and against you.
The afore-mentioned Internet shyster bashes a competitor for having a 'nondisparagement clause' while including the same thing in his EULA and with much harsher terms.
Best Consignment Shop Software
You can bypass the hidden fees and adverse policies by going directly to Best Consignment Shop Software. You'll get full disclosure pre sale and a live demo - to make sure the program meets your needs before you buy.