Access Resale-Consignment-Shop Computers Remotely
Web-based consignment software is expensive and inherently risky. The ongoing monthly fee is not necessary to 'work from home or anywhere'.
'Cloud software' is also risky. There are no meaningful guarantees about data safety, and data security risk is so high that reporting agencies will not allow some businesses (like pawn shops) to use web-based software.
There are basically two choices:
- Keep your customers' private information on your computer where you know it's safe and protected.
- Subscribe to some online software and upload your customers' information to server offered by the software vendor (neither of which you really know nothing about) and hope that those false assurances of data safety actually have some merit.
The unnecessary costs and high risks can be avoided by using software that is installed on your computer. That's the only way to assure that outsiders cannot access your customers' information.
Remotely Access Your Shop's Computer
Some shop owners just want to 'check in', or retrieve information, or add inventory, but they can also do much more 'remotely': process sales, make/change software settings, send messages (like chat and email) and run reports.
To perform all of those functions (and a few more) it is entirely unnecessary to pay month after month for a 'web-based consignment software program'.
There are several free programs for accessing your store's computer from literally, anywhere in the world. Just search Google for 'remote PC software' and look for free software like Team Viewer, AMMYY and GoToMyPC.
With those programs, it's possible to leave the shop computer running with one of those programs open, go to any computer connected to the Internet (even wireless) and use the same program to log into (access) the shop computer. (The shop computer can also be turned off when work is finished, or it can be programmed to shut down automatically in case you didn't log in as planned.)
- Purchase an inexpensive program like Best Consignment Shop Software for a one-time payment (and no trailing fees).
- Install the program on the shop computer (with an Internet connection).
- Run one of the free remote-access programs on the shop computer.
- Take the username and password for the remote software to any computer connected to the Internet.
- Log onto the shop computer from the remote computer.
- Operate the shop computer just as though you were at the shop sitting in front of the computer.
- Turn the shop computer off when finished.
Granted, some functions (like printing labels or checks) would require a physical presence. If someone is not in attendance at the shop, these ancillary tasks can be performed when you are at the shop.
An alternative is to use web-based software costing $1,200 every year - $1,800 for more than 150 consignors, and once locked into such a program, you're unlikely to switch to another program and you will be vulnerable to future price increases.
Significant Financial Loss
How long do you hope to remain in business? Let's say 10 years, so is there any significant benefit of web-based software that is worth ($1800 x 10 =) $18,000??!! That is the minimum (with 150 consignors) not including price increases once you're locked in. Compare that to spending $600 once for BCSS Diamond, reselling it later on for $300 with a net cost of $300 to do pretty much the same thing - manage your consignment business.
Don't Be Mislead
This is an ad appearing in Google for the $1,800/year program:
"Lowest Startup Costs" is in reference to just the first monthly payment. There's nothing 'lowest' about paying $1,800 every year for just software.
"Free Tech Support" - 'What if' the pricing schedule read, "$900 per year for the software plus $900 per year for tech support"? Same thing so are we to be fooled about true cost by 'Free tech support'?
At $1,800 per year, clearly there's nothing about this software offering that is 'free', yet on the home page there's "No Contracts (so what?), No large up-front fees, Cancel anytime, Free customer support, Free data backups, Free updates'. Don't be taken in by 'free'.
Who is 'the company'? At one time there was disclosure that the program was created by (and supported by) only one person. What happens to support for the software if 'he' is no longer around?
Should you be concerned about data security? After all, data is stored on a computer under the control of someone unknown at an unknown location with unknown security measures. If hackers can get into computers at Neiman-Marcus, Target the U.S. government, then assurances ("We guarantee that your data will be safe.") by someone with far fewer security measures don't mean much. In contrast, no one can hack into your data if you control the data and keep your computer disconnected from the Internet.
Any 'guarantees' are only as good as the company's financial ability to back guarantees. If a company is owned by an individual without substantial assets, then guarantees are meaningless, particularly if the person is operating under an LLC (Limited Liability Company) where his assets are not subject to law suits.
In order to use a web-based program, at least 4 things must occur: Your Internet connection has to be working, the Internet itself has to be 'up', the program and the computer it is running on has to be operational and the Internet connection to the host computer has to be up.
Clearly software running from the local hard drive runs (much) faster than software that has to be accessed over the Internet. It's possible that wireless, dialup, satellite, ADSL and slow DSL connections would make running a shop on web-based software unbearably slow despite the incredibly-high cost.
Safer Mobility at Incredible Savings
Need to work from home, an auction, an estate sale or flea market? Buy a one-time off program like BCSS, install it on a laptop and work at the shop or from anywhere without an Internet connection, without the risk of losing your data or being down because some link in the web-based dependency chain is broken. Have complete control over your data, knowing it's safe and secure. Achieve mobility at a very reasonable cost.
- If necessary, a mouse, keyboard and/or a second monitor can be attached to a laptop for greater convenience.
- Taking the laptop home each night disconnects it from the Internet and can't be hacked or infected with a virus.
- Taking the laptop home prevents theft from break in at the store (which happens surprisingly often).
- Using a laptop avoids the expense of having to purchase a second copy of the software to install on another computer - which also involves the cumbersome task of switching the data back and forth between laptop and computer.
- A laptop can be connected to other computers at the shop allowing use of the shop-based program simultaneously.
Not placing your business in the hands of a stranger maintains control and gives security and peace of mind. You're protected from hackers and viruses.
All the hoopla about 'no contracts' and 'low-start up costs', free this and that is nothing more than cover up of a very expensive and risky way to run your business. A vendor pushing this form of software should be required to give equal and appropriate disclosure of the risks involved, including who he is and what his ability is to meet his guarantees.
When you select a consignment software, you are in essence taking on a business partner. Surely all of us feel more comfortable entering into a relationship with a company that is forthright and honest up front about what we can expect in the future.