Emailing Consignment Data Files

From time to time it may be necessary to send your consignment software data files to yourself or to tech support.

You might wish to send files to yourself to use them on another computer (if the software program allows that).

The data files may be need to be sent to the software's support team for adjustments that update the database with changes in the program or technology.

Many consignment store owners use free email programs for their businesses, like Ymail, MSN, Hotmail and Gmail. Often the drawbacks of free services are the limitation on the size of the files that can be transmitted, and the failure of the email programs to complete the transmissions successfully without data corruption. If one or two attempts to send large files using these services fails, it's time to stop using such services for commercial purposes.

An alternative is to establish an email account with the ISP (Internet Service Provider) - the company that connects your computer to the Internet. Email accounts are often included with Internet services. These accounts are much more reliable than free email offerings and can be as easy to use.

An ISP email account won't be the solution to sending large files if the provider limits the speed of the Internet connection or 'throttles' the connection (slowing a large transmission until it 'times out' or fails to complete). Subscribing to a high-priced plan might increase transmission speed but sometimes just letting the ISP know that you know that they are limiting your access to bandwidth is enough to get their feet off of the brakes. It might also be a practice of an ISP to grant access to too many subscribers on one 'node'. Finally, you might also notice that sending files (and accessing the Internet) is slower during rainy weather.

The most dependable way of sending large files over the iWaves is to use one of the several free online services like WeTransfer which allows sending a file up to 2GB in size. The process is easy: Add the file from your computer. Enter the recipient's email and yours. Add a note if you like and Send. The program will display the progress of the send and notify the recipient and you (at the email addresses provided) of the success or failure of the transmission. The recipient's notification will include a link that can be clicked to access and download the sent file.

If you would like to work from home, the easiest way to do that is to use any of the 'free remote PC access' programs available. (Search Google for that phrase.) Leave the shop computer on, running the remote-PC software. Go home (or to any computer with an iNet connect, access the shop computer from there, and run it just as though we were sitting in front of it.

Another way to work from home is to have a copy of the consignment software installed on a home computer, transmit your shop computer's data file to your email address, go home, download the files from your email program, install the data files on the home computer, complete your work, send the new data files to your email program, go to the shop, restore the new data files and work at the shop. Phew. Remote access sounds a whole lot better.

As a side note, it is entirely unnecessary to pay $1200 per year or more for 'web-based software' to work from home. It is true that a feature or two may be missing, but the question to ask is, "Are those added abilities worth $12,000 over a ten-year period?"