You're astute. Otherwise you wouldn't be contemplating plunking down a large investment in dollars and time to start a consignment business, so with some important information, you should be well prepared to make wise choices for business partners - like your software, hardware, credit-card and labels providers. We can help.
BS and Nonsense
Let's have fun with this. Instead of coming across like we are attempting to disparage our competitors, allow us to lay out the facts (derived from their websites, emails and phone conversations) and leave the judgments to you. Let's have a good laugh at all the silly schemes software vendors employ, and their self-serving belief that we are in such a hurry that we can't know when we're being played. While this page is offered with tongue in cheek, it' to be taken seriously when you run across vendors who are attempting to dupe you for dollars. Let's LOL. Education should be fun!
If a vendor has to deceive me about cost to get my business, then how can I expect to be treated after he has my money?
"Low Startup Cost"
This slogan is proferred by a vendor pushing web-based consignment software. The actual cost of the program is not only sky high, it is the very highest cost on the whole planet, yet they have the nerve to tout a come-on slogan of 'low startup cost'. Well, the 'startup' is $99 ($149 if you have more than 150 consignors). Sounds cheap but whoa - that is the MONTHLY cost, so $99 (or $149) x 12 months x 10 years = $11,880 (or $17,880) with no resale value.
This is a good example of the sort of things we'll be discussing here and by the way, the word for deceiving others for financial gain is "Fraud" (seriously).
This scam would be in first place except it is superseded by the nonsense above.
Listen: 'The primary source of income for most software vendors is not software!' Said another way, "The price you pay for the software is only the tip of the expense iceberg." Once you've chosen 'the wrong software', you're locked in - locked into ever-increasing annual payments for service, new add-on fees for this and that, additional charges for multiple copies of the software ($99 to $395 that has been observed), increases in the annual fees for placing additional copies of the software in use. One day, when you've had enough of the manipulative gouging, you'll still be discouraged to buy the program you should have purchased in the first place, and go through the effort of learning yet another program. Remember how much fun that was the first time around? If you purchased software 'integrated with credit-card processing' that will be even more reason to stay put and take it.
"Service Fees Nonsense"
The primary function of 'annual service fees' is not to provide service to customers so much as an excuse for maintaining a steady flow of funds from your bank account to the vendor's bank account. Isn't the notion of paying for 'annual service' just nonsensical? If there's nothing wrong with the program and you know how to use it, what's the annual payment for? Updates? Weren't you gouged enough up front to pay for updates for a lifetime? Good grief! What makes a software program (written by one person) possibly worth $1400?!!! And IF (I did say "IF"! we were stupid (dull of mind) enough to bite that apple, couldn't we expect the guy to be supporting the software and washing the car once a week?
Software vendors think ahead so here's the smoke they attempt to blow up your skirt or trousers: When asked, the vendor might say that software updates are free. That's the half-truth sales pitch. Now you'd have to know to ask, "What if I don't pay the 'optional fee'. Only then will you be forewarned that 1) you won't get responses to request for help at all, and/or 2) you'll be referred to a forum where you can post your question or issue and wait (how long?) for a response, and/or -- sit down -- this one will knock your socks off: When you have a problem that needs fixing, you'll be denied and left with the issue. Sleezy vendors put it this way in their advertising: "Software updates are FREE! with annual support plans!" Said another way, "If you don't pay the ransom, you'll get your arm twisted until you do."
Personally I can't stop laughing. I must stop and wait another day to expose more. These pricing traps would be simply comical if it weren't for the fact that they are illegal. "Deceiving someone for financial gain fraud - a felony!"