Of course every person out there is competing for your attention and your money. Some of them are honest. Most of them are not.
The advertisements at the top of Google search results for consignment software vary, but here's an example of misleading statements (er, fraud):
- The reference to 'Best Consignment Software' suggests an affiliation with Best Consignment Shop Software. Not true.
- "Unbiased" - Completely false. It requires close examination of subpages to discover that the operators will only recommend the software programs that have agreed to pay to have their programs recommended (which is why they won't recommended the lowest-priced software with no annual fees: Best Consignment Shop Software).
- "Gain More Robust Features" - complete utter advertising sensationalism falling under the 'say-anything-to-draw-attention' strategy. Most programs have the same or similar features.
- "We'll Match You to the Right System" - People working this angle know very little about each software program and even less about your business. Bottom line is they're going to sick 5 peddlers on you and charge each one of them a fee for referring you to them. Best Consignment Shop Software refuses to play the game so you can bet the best software at the best price isn't going to be recommended to you.
- "100% User-Generated" - Many unfavorable reviews of software and vendors have been submitted to the site in question and they've all been rejected.
Bait and switch: "Start for Free!" Every vendor provides a 'free look' (demo) of their product. Every one of them is so completely aware of your frustration and anxiety in simply attempting to sift through the nonsense to find a decent program and a reasonable cost, so the hope is that you'll get started in the demo, throw your hands up and settle on what happens to be in front of you when anxiety boils over. In other words, 'you're stuck' and like this vendor, the 'start for free' slogan gets you stuck in a program with never-ending monthly fees.
Other Misleading Notions
With the exception of Resaleworld and Best Consignment Shop Software, every program has been written by one programmer, maybe two. Websites, Facebook pages and every means possible are employed to give the (false) impression that the purveyors of the deceptions are big multi-national businesses, giving the illusion of long-term reliability when in fact, when the programmer is gone, so will be support for the software. No one in his or her right mind would pay $1300 just for the software knowing that support for the software may be gone at any moment.
Now, when you press liars about the truth, you're only going to get more lies. All that needs to be asked is, "Did you write this program?" and if the person who wrote the program is also answering your phone calls/sales questions, you can surely bet you're in the presence of an Internet con artist.
Vendors will hum and haw or just flat out lie when asked about their 'annual support fees'. If they have them, you can bet there are strategies in place to force you to pay them. If you're told that the annual or monthly fee is optional, ask of the consequences. Mostly you'll be denied service in all forms, or you'll be restricted to support via email, and/or when there is a problem needing a software update, it's then that you'll discover that "free updates with paid annual support" really means "No annual fee = no free updates".
"Stooge" is such an ugly word but it defines exactly who these peddlers of software hope you will be for them. Some of them have been practicing their 'skills' for years, seeing what works, mimicking competitors, floating fees and trial policies, fine tuning the art of deceiving potential customers about the real costs of doing business with them. This caveat is not at all harsh. Rather, it's the ultimate truth and the best thing for anyone to do is to demo software at a suitable price point and ignore all the arm waving by those who with obvious plans for taking a big chunk of your profits 'forever'.
Clearly software vendors and 'review sites' have been getting away with blatant dishonesty. Here's a thought: Ask any vendor to put in an email a disclosure of every possible fee and every policy that relates to the software. Do you own it? If so, what are the restrictions? How often have you increased your support fees? By how much? How many new fees have you invented over the past years? Do you 'fire' your customers for asking too many questions? What's my cost if I want to buy another copy of the software? What's the cost of the software if I open a second store? What are your support hours? How much are your 'emergency fees' for support outside your support hours?