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Free Consignment Software Guide

Consignment Software Substantial Risk

The 'consignment software industry' is so small that no large provider of software (like Microsoft) will consider developing a program for it. There just aren't millions of potential customers like there is for the Windows operating system, so the allure of big profits just isn't there for large software developers.

As a result, the 'industry' is populated with individuals trying their darndest to appear to be software development companies with lots of employees when in fact most of the vendors are single programmers who have written their own home-grown plans and have someone to answer the phone, and maybe an additional side kick in some capacity. Bottom line is, when something goes ding with the software, there's only one person on the whole planet who can fix it. Seriously, pay $1000 and more for a program with that undisclosed risk and the deception?

It is very fair to say that the nonprofessional marketing strategies of these persons are nothing less than deceiving and predatory, so if you're going to stick your toe into these waters, arm yourself with some insights first so you'll know what pricing traps look like.

Free Consignment Software

When something that could be valuable (like free software to run your business), there's got to be strings attached. One individual offering 'free consignment software' says the program is free but if you want any of his time learning it or supporting ti, you need to pay up, so what's free now again? To get 'free' you have to take the time to swim alone on your own but reach for your credit card if you want help. THis is no different from a vendor offering a program for $300 and providing free support via email. So you make your business dependent upon a person offering a free software program and where will you be next year when he's off to something else?

A legitimate free software program for consignment/resale stores is offered by Best Consignment Shop Software. Granted it's a simple program and does not include support at no cost, but really, what should we expect for nothing? The program keeps track of consignors, their information, sales, disbursements... It prints consignment agreements, price labels (no barcodes), reports, sales receipts and checks. It processes sales and settlements. It's a very good program for a very small store with less than 30 consignors. It's backed by an actual company which is in the business of consignment software and it has provision to upgrading to nominally-priced alternatives (starting at $295) when you have the good fortune of exceeding the 30-customer limit.

Web-Based Programs

For consignment/resale store owners, working from home (or any location with an Internet connection) can be a big plus, but let's ask ourselves, "Is it worth $100 or $200 per month?!"

And let's consider an important current-day fact: Store owners can work from home (or any location with an Internet connection) FOR FREE. All that needs to be done is purchase a consignment-software program for a one-off cost (probably less than $700 which the store owner owns and can resell), run it on the store computer, leave the store computer on (optionally with settings in Windows to shut it down after some point in time), access the store computer using any of the FREE remote-PC-access programs readily available today, and work on the store computer just as though the operator was sitting in front of the shop computer!

It's true: A thing or two could be done with web-based software that can't be done in this fashion, but come on, $1200 per year, $2400 per year for software that you don't own and can't resell.

And please, don't be taken in by sales slogans like "Only $99 to start!" Yo! It's $99 per month every month for as long as you hope to be in business.

Here's a comparison:

  1. Purchase a program that you own for $500 or so. Some time down the road, resell it to someone else starting a store (or purchasing yours) and realize a net cost of $250 or so for the cost of having used consignment software in your business.
  2. Get sucked in by "only $99 to start" and spend $99 every month (or much more if there is more than one person in the shop using the software), but let's just go with $99 per month: After 10 years (You do expect to be in business that long at least, right?) $99 per month times 120 months is an incredibly huge amount of money to pay for a very similar program that is available for $500: $99 x 120 months = $11,880. Now, that's depressing. Just imagine: instead of wasting $99 per month on software, it's spent on advertising or just improving your business, so instead of $11,800 going for 'software' it's invested in your business with a doubling of return over ten years, sooooo... wasting that amount of money on software instead of investing it in your business deprives you to an additional $23,760 in just ten years.

Sick. The person trying to sell you on his $99/month web-based software was smart enough to write the program. He's certainly way smart enough to know that he's feeding you a song and dance.

"Oh but, I can access it on my cell phone or tablet!" Get real. Are you managing a business or wasting money on fads and trinkets?

Consignment Software Support

You can't be expected to know that a half dozen or so individuals offering home-grown software have come and gone in the past decade or so. Today the competition has become much more intense so IF you were to purchase any of the following programs, you are in part making this important facet of your business dependent upon just one person:

It would be more efficient to list just the software programs that are offered by software-development companies (that you can reasonably rely upon to be around in coming years:

  1. Best Consignment Shop Software
  2. Resale World

Before agonizing over having logical choices reduced to just two candidates, consider that most stores are not going to make one of the 3 legs of their 3-legged school a software program that relies solely upon one person. Count on it: When your software goes down (and it will!) whom do you want as a business partner holding up that end of your existence? Some guy that answers the phone when you call 'the company' or a whole host of people backing this all-important aspect of your business?

You were probably thinking that choosing a software program should have been the least of your worries and if you'll cut to the chase, it is: BCSS or Resale World.

  1. RW costs twice as much as BCSS.
  2. RW demands annual service fees. BCSS has none.
  3. Thermal label printer: RW: $500 and $100/hr support after 30 days; BCSS: $350 with free lifetime support
  4. Price labels: RW: 5c each; BCSS: 1c each
  5. Additional software copies: RW: $295; BCSS: $149
  6. RW: Consistent increases in annual service fees; BCSS: no annual fees

So frankly the choice in consignment software has been clear and simple all along: BCSS.

For a more detailed discussion see Consignment Software Reviews.

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