What Is a Pawn Software Program/System?
Pawn software (or a 'program') is a computer application ('app') that installs on a PC or laptop and is used by pawn shops around the world to manage their businesses including client management, pawn and buy outright, reporting and POS (Point of Sale). PPSS provides software for Australia, Belize, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Las Vegas, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, South Africa, The Philippines and The United Kingdom (UK).
Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software is a one-time payment with no annual or monthly prepaid support fees.
Prices of other programs are significantly higher and monthly or annual payments for 'support' are required. (Starting with the 2nd year there is a small annual software maintenance of $175 (not to be confused with 'customer support'.)
Other programs that reside on websites are 'web based' in that they are installed on a remote computer and the shop must have an Internet connection and a web browser to access the program. A (high) endless ever-increasing monthly payment is required.
The monthly payment increases? Yes. Just ask those who have been using a web-based program for a prolonged period of time. The cost of most things go up over time but with pawn software, developers are keenly aware that pawn-shop owners (and employees) are very reluctant to mess with converting and having to learn (and purchase!) a different program, i.e., they are 'locked in', spawning the temptation to gouge end users with frequent and large increases in the cost of operating the software.
Cheapest Pawn Software
The 'cheapest' software costs the least up front and over time.
Most software vendors use their websites to hype their products while knowingly and willingly avoid disclosing cost. Assuredly failure to disclose prices and fees warns that the software is expensive way beyond reasonable cost and most pawn owners' budgets.
For most software offerings the initial outlay is only the tip of the priceberg and will only be a fraction of the total cost over the time you expect to be in business. Here again, never in other vendors' sales hype or pre-purchase information will there ever be in all caps and bold lettering (or in words otherwise expressed), "WARNING! WE NOT ONLY RESERVE THE RIGHT TO INCREASE YOUR COST IN THE FUTURE BUT CAN LITERALLY GUARANTEE THAT ONCE YOU'RE LOCKED INTO THE SOFTWARE, WE WILL ESCALATE THE COST WAY BEYOND THE PRICE QUOTED PRE SALE". The practice of failing to fully disclose open-ended cost is an act of fraud (deceiving for financial gain). Assuming that potential buyers know 'cost always increase' falls way short of being honest about established business practices clearly intended to exploit client relationships.
Even where prices are posted on some pawn-software websites, there can be additional costs after the initial purchase of the software. Some of the add-ons are reasonable if additional features or usage are needed. Others are just price pits covered with branches and leaves for pawn-shop owners to fall into.
While it may not be in your plan at the moment, the day may come when you decide to sell your business. It will be more attractive if the new owner won't be saddled with a huge monthly or annual expense for software, or be forced to convert to a different program and have existing employees learn a new system.
Also possibly not on the table is the prospect of multiple stores. How much is it going to cost to add copies or users of the software at other locations.
Budget-minded shop owners will find the best bargain for competitive and reasonably-priced software and hardware in Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software - marked down to moderate pricing with comparatively low-cost for software maintenance (updates).
Pawn Manager Software
Using software to manage a pawn shop operation has many advantages:
- Most importantly programs for managing pawns keep track of all information related to pawns: pawners' identification and contact information, the items pawned, dates in and due, the periods or durations of the loans, fees (if any) and interest, and transaction or ticket numbers.
- More complete programs will also have provisions for buy outright (resale), check cashing, payday and title loans, layaways, rentals and military-lending compliance regulations.
- Apps generally print a variety of documents: pawn tickets, buy-outright agreements, price labels and hang tags, sales receipts, police reports, checks and reports for pawns, pawners, inventory, sales and disbursements.
- Typically programs use information (recorded in program setup) to avoid repetitious reentry of default information like shop information, date and currency formats, storage locations for pictures and documents, police/LEADS usernames and passwords, printers, label and tags settings, sales tax, pawn fees and interest, loan periods, legal terminology and shop terms (to be printed on documents).
- Management software can include conveniences like automatic notification of pawns coming due, the printing of pawn-due alerts, and allowance of editing any record's content for specific conditions and exceptions to default values.
- More advanced features include electronic gun logs and ATF requirements, fingerprint, signature and driver-license scanning (for populating a new-client record), picture taking and web-cam support.
- Some programs may only use preprinted forms and loan agreements. In all states (except Florida) Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software prints all documents on plain paper using an ink printer, saving considerably on paper cost.
- With PPSS employees can be locked out of or granted access to any part of the program. They can be prevented from voiding sales or granting discounts at POS. Each employee can have his or her own cash tray (till) which can be audited in real time. Commissions can be awarded, tracked and paid.
- A unique feature of Pawnbroker Software is an optional consignment module which allows managers to add to inventory at no cost - an attractive feature for new shops needing to stock shelves with merchandise. The system keeps track of items' owners, desired selling prices, lengths of times to hold items, the percentage to be paid to the consignor and consignee and what to do unsold items.
Pawn Software Price
"Price' often gets conflated with 'cost' which are two very different things. The former commonly refers to the up-front cost of getting started while the latter is a sum of all funds paid to a software developer over the span of software use.
Pawn-software pricing can invite misleading advertising. The temptation is to mask (very) high long-term cost with focus on low bait-and-switch start-up price quotes. "Get started for only $99!" might masquerade the real $xx,xxx cost of taking the bait and heading down the road in the wrong direction. Any program that is 'web based' will include perpetual payments and the risk that once locked into the program, payments over time will surely increase.
Price manipulation can be avoided by asking questions up front and getting responses in written word (email) by an identified person authorized to make representations on behalf of the software developer. It's best to get these statements under the name of the owner of the software company. A great question to ask, to cut through the sales hype is "Based upon current pricing structure, how much will I pay to use this software over the next 10 years?" Also, "How much does it cost to use the software on multiple computers or at additional store locations?"
Software developers have ongoing costs in supporting software so it's reasonable to expect that some nominal amount would need to be paid each year for 'software updates' (or 'patches') which deliver bug fixes and minor feature improvements.
Finally, rethink just what is necessary for the software to do. The software provider with advanced features might cost $10,000 over time where a program providing essentials might cost less than $1,000.
How Does Pawn Software Work?
A computer program (software) for pawn shops records information related to pawners, their pawned items and the particulars related to the business of granting collateralized loans.
- Information related to pawners may include any information the store owner and regulators may require: full name, complete address, phone number, employer information, height, weight, eye, hair and skin color, DMDC Certificate ID, Identifying marks (scars, tattoos), pictures, licensed firearms dealer numbers, and usually 2 types of identification.
- Pawned-item information may be an item ID, description, make and model, serial #, category, a barcode and pictures.
- Transactional information is about the loaned money: amount, date of loan, due date for repayment, interest and fees, interest rate.
Software uses (manipulates) input to process pawns, compute finance charges, account balances, due and late dates. It takes and store pictures (of clients and inventory), produces reports for the shop owner and regulating authorities, and prints price labels and pawn tickets.
In addition to pawns some programs provide for management and processing of check cashing, payday loans, buy-outright (resale), retail (buying from other businesses and reselling), layaways and consignment.
Within the software itself there may be functions or tools for batch processing or otherwise automating routine repetitive tasks like editing inventory, assigning inventory categories and sending payment-due reminders.
Features might also include data management (backup, restore, import).
Software that installs on the shop computer does not require the Internet. It's far less costly because there's just one payment to own the software and any recurring charge of maintenance is minimal.
'Web-based software' does depend upon the Internet. The shop does not own the software but merely rents it. The never-ending monthly payment adds up to a significant cost over time.
Expert Advice on Web-Based Pawn Software
Pawn-shop owners aren't expected to know about Windows, computers, servers, Internet outages, hackers and the inherent risks of making a pawn shop dependent upon 3rd parties, so why not entertain some professional advice about all of those things beforehand?
First of all, check with state and local authorities. Some jurisdictions might prohibit a pawn shop from becoming dependent upon a 'cloud platform' over concerns about information loss or exposure. Putting client data 'out there' on another's computer (the software provider's server) that you may know nothing about (other than unfounded assurances proffered by the software vendor keen on getting your business) might be unacceptable to those who govern over your business. Moreover any shop owner who goes this route has a moral if not legal obligation to tell every client that his/her information is literally being put at risk of loss or hacking.
How Can I Use Software to Run a Pawn Shop?
Software performs a wide variety of functions, chief among them organization, automation, correct computation of values and some help in deterring employee theft.
Keeping things organized in any business is essential for efficient operation. We don't want employees wasting time hunting for things, especially if it means keeping customers waiting. Software can be used to categorize (organize) inventory into useful groups. 'Saws' might a category and within that category there may be sub categories like jigsaw, circular, table - then inventory reports can be run: "How may chain saws do we have in store?".
Separating inventory into categories makes it possible to treat each category individually for things like taxation, tax exempt, tax-free, tax above some dollar amount. A handy feature is using multiple label printers and designating which printer to use given a category. (Use printer #1 when printing barbell jewelry labels for all items in the categories 'jewelry', 'watches', 'rings'. Use printer #2 for 2x1 non-adhesive hang tags for trigger guards on all guns categorized under handguns, rifles, shotguns, etc.
Categorized items can be tagged with 'locations' as to where they are stored (bin #6, top shelf, warehouse 12-2) making finding items quick and efficient. Conversely, within software, items may be found by running a report based upon categories but more commonly items are found by search Item ID or Description.
A stalwart feature of software is organizing pawn and buy outright by ticket #, date created, date due and so forth. Managing by grouping makes retrieval of information efficient. "How many pawns did we process this month?" "Which pawns are coming due this week?" "How much have we paid out today in buy outright purchases?"
Organization of a business is nearly second to the time save by automating repetitive tasks. How many things are done on a daily basis that are merely repeats of the same actions and tasks?
- Add a new client record.
- Print out a pawn or buy outright agreement.
- Compute due dates, applicable interest, backup, price labels and hang tags, receipts, invoices
- Process sales and credit-card activity.
- Send reminder notices of pawns coming due.
- Count inventory: Do it by hand? Takes days. Do it with a computer? Takes seconds.
- How did the store do today? this week? this month? Tabulate that manually and it will take hours and will often be incorrect. Use a computer to produce the same results in seconds and more often than not the end results will be accurate to the penny.
- Got employees? How are you going to know if they are stealing from you? Cameras will let you observe but do you have time to watch hours of video looking for evidence? With software employees start with an amount of money at the beginning of the day, process transactions, end with an amount at the end of the day. Software will let you know if they match.
- Software can also allow you to prevent employees from voiding sales and pocketing the money. The common occurrence is to process a cash sale, take the money from the customer, void the same and keep the net. Software can prevent voids.
- Another way employees steal from employers is to grant discounts at POS and pocket the difference between the sale price and the discounted price. Software can allow you to prevent employees from granting discounts and require that a supervisor authorize such.
- How long would it take by long hand to tally up the month's totals, determine profit and know that the end result is dependable? Store owners currently using software for such things might rather close the doors than have to be burdened with this monumental task.
All of these things are automated with the implementation of software - a program installed on the computer and specifically designed for use by pawn-shop owners and employees to speed things up, keep things organized, eliminate errors and make the business of processing loans, buying merchandise outright and processing sales quick, efficient and accurate.
What Are the Risks of Web-Based Software?
- Running a business on the Internet makes the shop dependent upon it's Internet connection, the software provider's Internet service and the Internet itself. The latter is under government control so while you might trust the current people in charge...
- The shop is dependent upon a second computer provided by the software vendor. Where it is located? Who owns it? What's the degree of reliability? What security measures are in place? No matter what they are, all of these concerns are added worry about information preservation and privacy. All of this can be avoided of course by purchasing a software program (like Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software) that installs on shop computers and does not require the Internet. Staying off the WWW is the only 'guarantee' that hackers can't get it.
- An unforeseen risk (that doesn't come to mind when shopping software price) is increasing costs. How much will it cost to add extra users? Licenses? Locations? The unspoken risk is an increase in the monthly payment. Can the software provider raise the price in the future? If so, what's the likelihood that once locked into the software, you'll be subjected to price increases?
- Another concern is ownership of your info. If you decide to dump a software vendor, can he or she keep the store of information from you? Will it be released to you so it can be transferred to the new software?
Someone's 'word' won't be sufficient to stave off future attempts to add to cost or hijack your files. Before jumping in it's best to read the developer's EULA (End-User License Agreement). Therein you will find the true disclosure of risk, which vendors often vehemently deny any responsibility for in using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS IN THEIR DENOUNCEMENTS.
If web-based software is oh so reliable and secure, why don't software vendors share in the risk of this shaky platform?
New Pawn Software Tools
Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software includes a module for processing and managing payday loans. There are currently 2 formats and others may be configured as needed:
- Lend the net amount of the loan: For example, if the loan is for $100 and the loan charge is $20, the borrower would be issued a loan for $80.
- Add the loan fee to the amount to be borrowed. Give the lender $100 and collect $120. Collection is usually in the form of receiving a post-dated check dated for the due date in the amount of the loan + interest.
Improved Search Functions
In the program under User Interface options can be set to search for people (buyers, clients, employees) by name or ID, disbursements by 'paid by' or 'paid to', inventory by ID1, ID2, Description or Loan ID, Sales by invoice # or name, and pawns by ID or name. Under each table in each work area, click in the search box and starting typing a name, number or other search parameter. As each character is entered, the list of possible matches reduces to those entries matching the letters or numbers entered. When using a drop-down menu, pressing the first letter or number of the entry sought will move the cursor to the first matching entry.
Customizable 'Free' Pawn Forms
The amount spent on preprinted pawn forms adds up to thousands of dollars over time for the average pawn shop. The cost increases when changes make stock obsolete, requiring repurchasing new forms. Except in the State of Florida, Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software can be printed on plain 8.5 x 11 paper (with boilerplate terminology copied on the reverse side). It is possible to have the pawn ticket customized for 2 tickets per page. While slight more ink would be used for the ink printer, the cost savings amounts to again, thousands of dollars, over time. When changes are required, the file read by the program to create the ticket can be edited and the changes will appear on the next form.
Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software includes several options for reporting pawns to local and state law enforcement as well as to regional and national reporting agencies:
- A report of each pawn transaction may be printed and physically given the local police.
- An electronic file (spreadsheet) can be created and emailed to the police or LEADS Online or local reporting agencies.
- With the 24k edition of Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software records may be sent to LEADS via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) with the press of a link.
- For regional reporting, the software can be modified (configured) as needed.
Basically police want only want to know about items and the people who pawn or sell them with detailed descriptions of both.
Pawn software records what the item is, its description, make, model and/or serial number (if any). When the item entered is a gun, the program knows to add an entry in the electronic gun record for future reference and reporting.
Information about individuals includes of course full name, address, birth date, race, height and weight, eye and hair color, Identification (like numbers for license, social security, passport, green card, military, insurance, library, student), and optionally employer information and identifying (non-removable) marks like scars and tattoos.
Pictures of items and people can also be taken, stored and reported to police but not all jurisdictions require them.
In PPSS a person's record can be flagged as 'bad guy'. The intent is to warn others working at the store to be cautious and vigilant when interacting with the person. Notes about the individual can also be added to the record to provide details as to the concern.
The program allows for the tagging of military personnel and their relatives who are 'protected' from usurious charges by the federal government. The person's DMDC Certificate ID number can be recorded.
Is Pawn Software Complicated?
In pawn there are only a few moving parts: Create a record for a new client. Enter the items being pawned. Print the pawn ticket and get it signed. Produce labels or hang tags for the items, or not. Store items somewhere out of public view so they won't be inadvertently sold before forfeit and any grade holding period. Send reminder notices of pawns coming due - if required by authorities or as a courtesy. Redeem pawns or extend them. Forfeit pawns that exceed the loan and grace periods. Sell inventory. Create receipts. Create reports. Report to the police or some reporting agency like LEADS Online. Repeat.
Is pawn software complicated? Simple programs are no more confusing than the actual pawn process. Pawn software seems to become complicated when those offering programs either do a poor job of designing user interfaces and/or conclude that more bells and whistles will increase sales appeal.
A well-designed and implemented software actually automates repetitive tasks, computes correct values every time, organizes inventory, makes the printing of labels and tags, receipt, pawn tickets and reports a simple process and consolidates information for any period of time into easily understood presentations in the form of reports, onscreen and in printed form.
Software vendors pushing ultra-high prices for their wares would have you believe that pawn software should do all of those things and more. If police reporting is relatively easy and the whole process of communicating with and dealing with the public is pretty much automated, do you really need to pay $2,000 every year one software allows for texts to be sent from within the program to pawners regarding pawns coming due and other communications? Roger. Some pawn-store owners fall prey to the 'If it costs more it must be better' way of thinking but such folks may not be so good at math either. The purpose of running most pawn shops is to maximize profit and giving a chuck of profits to a software developer for faddish functions won't win awards from the Wharton School of Business.
A key note of any good software program is the money saved by replacing high-priced thieving employees with computerization. With a larger monitor a shop owner can run his business on one half of his computer screen and watch his favorite sports team on the other half while saving a ton of money in wages and stolen property, not to mention forgoing the headaches of managing people. Software never gets sick. Doesn't show up late. Doesn't pilfer from the till and you don't have to listen to boring details of disinteresting lives.
Software simplifies your business, simplifies life and the meager cost is well worth it, unless of course the high-pressure sales pitches of the extremely expensive programs get the best of you.
Pawn Shop Inventory
Computerization of a pawn business is the modern, efficient and accurate way of managing and controlling the thousands of items in inventory. Organization saves time, improves customer and employee experiences and helps to build a customer base by presenting a professional image while making the experience of pawning one that many clients will be encouraged to repeat.
Each item in inventory is given an 'ID #' (identification number) and is known to shop owners and employees by that designation. With software and in manual operations, each item can be found in inventory records by its ID.
Every piece of merchandise can have a 'record' which is a file containing information about the item: its origin, description, price paid or loan amount granted, dates for when it came into the shop, when it was redeemed, forfeited or sold. (The pawn record can include a history of activity related to the item, including payments of interest, payments on principal, dates and outstanding balance.)
Inventory is managed efficiently with the use of categories - grouping items together by type. Large general category examples are vehicles, boats, equipment, firearms, electronics, outdoors, tools, metals and jewelry. General categories provide an overview of all pawned, purchased and forfeited stock but lack usefulness when creating inventory reports. Often more specific cataloging is employed to provide details about store wares. For example, firearms could be separated into antiques, collectibles, handguns, pistols, rifles, shotguns, tactical and black powder. A group like shotguns could be subdivided into single shot, over/under, double, break, pump, semi - although software might allow for subdivisions to be included as part of each gun's description vs adding complexity to the list of categories.
Using categorization with software allows for the application of variables to any category. A certain group of items may be tax free or placed on special discount. A category may be assigned a specific printer to avoid having to switch labels or tags when printing price labels for different types of stock. One printer might do a jewelry barbell label while another might do a 2 x 1 hang tag for trigger guards on guns. An item's category designation would let the program know to which printer to send the job.
Location is another means of identifying, organizing and finding items in stock, and can be a part of the item record. Where is item 42-1? View the item record to see its location designation.
Dividing merchandise into groups is helpful for reporting - reports for the shop owner as well as reports to legal authorities (like the local police, a national database repository and/or the ATF). While the police might want a report on every item that comes into the store, the ATF, for example, only wants to hear about guns. Software is also available to automatically send daily reports to national databases like LEADS Online.
Pawnbrokers Software Free
At the time of this writing (11-13-19) there is no 'free software for pawn shops'. Any references to 'free software' are to programs available with limitations in features, time or both. "Free demo" is not "free software".
Most software vendors provide a 'free demo' with is usually the full version of the software but usable for a limited period of time. Why? Writing, producing, testing and maintaining requires the time of several people and try as we might, there's just no one in the software or pawn business who opens the doors for business just for the fun of it. If that's an understandable stance, then perhaps your quest should not be for 'free software' but software that is reasonably priced that meets your needs.
There are a few fish who spend literally thousands of dollars every year on software (needlessly). It's a bit moronic these days to be so gullible as to believe paying out the nose is necessary to get the job done.
What job is that? Keep track of people and inventory. Process pawn loans. Report to whomever requires it. Some shop owners, on the one hand, get off of striking a great deal who some dude who doesn't have a dime in his pocket while reaching way back to pay themselves on the back for the excessive dollars that fly out the door every day on nonsense software gimmicks. Duh.
Strike a balance between 'free software', frugality and greed. Even if you could find 'free software' there will be a price for things like post-purchase service. (Oh, in addition to 'free software' you're hoping for free support? Such is not beyond the mentality of many a pawn-shop owner but getting all you can get for nothing while trying to give as little as possible for possessions of value is the very thing that causes pawnbrokers to get struck by lightning, hit by moving vehicles and never winning the lottery, ever. Karma, bitch.
Evaluate Pawn Software
Way before the Internet salesmen pushed benefits before laying cost on prospective buyers and in general it's no different today when shopping on the Internet for pawn software.
Heads up! When viewing search results for pawn software, the first few listings with 'Ad' in a rectangular box with rounded corners are paid ads - placed there by Google (for one) because the advertisers paid (big money) to get to show up first at the top of the list, knowing that getting there first might get the sale. Pretty safe to say that with the added expense of paying search engines for webpage real estate positioning, costs for 'the software' may be higher than the free listings that appear after the last paid ad. Appearing at the top of paid or free listings is in no way a reflection or evaluation of the software, the vendor or the service to be expected. Ranking highly for search terms has nothing to do with the software itself.
At first blush people seem to believe that talking to users of the software will be useful in their determinations. First up, if the vendor is willing to provide users' contact information in hopes of getting help in making a sale, then expect that your information will be offered in the future and you'll be called upon to answer calls about the software. Vendors who respect their users' privacy offer a software demo instead, so potential customers can see and 'feel' the software on their computers where the software will be used. After all, most people who made a purchase (of software) want to believe that their money was well spent and may not be willing to admit (to themselves much less others) that they are at least unhappy with having to pay forever just to use a software program. They've justified the expense to themselves and may be looking for agreement from others that they made wise decisions.
Asking the software developer for names of users who act as references for the program and the service? Any such information stemming from that source will be well screened and biased. It's extremely unlikely that names of unhappy users will be offered.
How useful are reviews? Along the same vein, how dependable are reviews? It's common knowledge that businesses coax, solicit and pay others to write glowing reviews, no matter the platform (Yelp, so-called software-review sites, etc). Review sites and vendors with software represented on them commonly offer incentives to software users to write reviews, offering free software updates, discounts on purchases, promises of future benefits ("paying it forward"). In short, like the news, most reviews are fake.
A not-so-obvious truism about 'reviews' is that once a pawn-shop owner has spent and/or is spending a gazillon dollars for the software of his choice, it's not only difficult to admit to having made a poor choice but to live with it, writing a good or glowing review of 'the software' becomes self reassurance that the decision to purchase the software was a wise one. Factually most people who decide upon one software program over another didn't do his or her due diligence but rather bought sales hype or made the purchase because the salesperson was likeable and/or persuasive.
To view some really shocking and enlightening information, ask any software vendor for the 'End-User License Agreement' or some form of written terms that will apply after purchase. For example, vendors who tout web-based software are in complete adamant denial of responsibility for providing and recommending a program that is dependent upon the shop's Internet connection, the Internet itself, the remote computer and the remote computer's Inet connection while sales presentations play down the risk and even go so far as to suggest things like "guaranteed uptime 99%" leaving the back door open with the remaining 1%. Interpretation: 'It's safe so long as nothing bad happens and if/when it does, we're not responsible for the assurances put forth to get you into the software pre sale.'
One might ask of a software provider about future cost. If the back end cost is wide open, is purchasing the software tantamount to signing a blank check? (Yes!) Can the cost of using the software be increased in the future? Here again assurances pre sale need to be confirmed in writing in the EULA or some other legally-enforceable document. Sadly such surreptitious sales pitches aren't always in concert with post-sale facts and experiences. They are also illegal (fraud) but who's going to sue right? No government agency is going to step in the levy fines and jail sentences. If you don't know to ask, some vendors aren't about to disclose their plans for laying on fees and increasing fees after purchase.
Some shop owners begin their relationships with software providers with a heads up or warning about being computer illiterate or challenged, as though to say 'I'm going to buy your software and I expect your help in learning other software programs, namely Windows, because I don't know how to copy/paste, move a file from one place to another or even to delete a file', which of course are very basic Windows commands. So the story often goes that the purchaser of the software puts the software vendor's phone number on speed dial and calls multiple times every day, usually on the latter's toll-free number, and when the welcome wears out, the complaints start surfacing about 'poor service'. Get a grip. You don't call Microsoft (impossible to do anyway, for help) asking a MS rep to teach you how to process a pawn transaction, so why call upon the pawn-software rep to teach about resizing windows, optimizing a computer or how to decompress a zip file? Out of courtesy? Sure, but abuse of a privilege is an excellent way of turning a symbiotic relationship into an adversarial one.
Pawn Software Records Preservation
Especially in the pawn business with its heavy regulation, preserving historical input must be a top priority. Preferably some method or redundant methods of backup are in place to assure recent copies will be available for recuperation should the hard drive be lost.
There are online several services available for automatic daily backup. The best ones don't overwrite past files with new ones but make a rolling backup, saving Monday's records in a folder named 'Monday', for example, then Tuesday's in the appropriate folder. When selecting an online service, avoid those that overwrite previous stores. Otherwise bad replaces good and the purpose of backup is defeated.
Free Google Drive allows for 15GB of storage, ample enough for a daily backup of most shop's information. Free services of course aren't going to be automatic and will require
What about storage on an unknown server housing a web-based program? Questions arise: Do you own it? Do you have free and unlimited access? (Can it be downloaded at anytime, or automatically sent to the shop owner periodically, like daily? If you apprise the software company of your intent to switch to another program, are your files at risk of not being under your control? Can the vendor refuse to make it available, legally or otherwise?
Free Pawn Shop Help
A secret to success is giving something of value away to attract attention, traffic and new business.
Got dreams of big profits in pawn? They're there! Have those dreams not materialized as you had hoped? They can!
The best kind of help is free and good! As a matter of fact, it's just good business sense to take in all you can - for free!
It might sound too good to be true, but you can take Pawn Matrix up on their offer to lend you a totally-free helping hand. Keith Porter is willing to do that - give you plenty of free profitable advice - because he is 100% confident in all that he have to offer - and his ability to deliver.
Partner up with experience and wisdom. Take Pawn Matrix for a spin. If you're not interested - nothing lost - no cost. If you are interested, Keith will have succeeded in making sense of how to maximize your profits - and it will not have cost you a dime.
Here are some examples:
- Move that stagnant inventory out the door. Make room for more, and learn how to line your shelves with merchandise with the "Wow Factor"!
- See how to double the number of people coming into your establishment with some simple common-sense marketing efforts - many just free!
- Grow a commanding presence in your community and use that foothold to branch out. Once you have Matrix's 'Winning Formula' it's just a matter of multiplying yourself across town and around the county. (Pawn America grew from this concept.)
- Learn how to put $10 bucks into your business and get $100 back, with the confidence that prior to plunking down that sawbuck that you will have that Benjamin locked up.
This is good stuff. We endorse Pawn Matrix at Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software because for the past 11 years we've had to watch guys with enthusiasm and desire struggle with success - because we've seen the power behind Pawn Matrix pull businesses up by the boot straps and launch them into wonderful success.
"Knowledge is power." That's certainly true, and in your business of opportunity dealing with people who seriously need you services, 'the more you know, the better'.
It's about 3 minutes long. Stop at any time. But if you get to the end realizing what's on the table, then feel free to ring him up on the toll-free number, 800-605-1799.
After that, it's up to you. We're betting you're going to find having a guru 'on call' is going to best your very best return on investment.
A Guarantee: If Pawn Matrix doesn't triple your investment, you'll get your money back!
We recommend Pawn Matrix because we share the same business model: reasonable prices, fair policies and big help for pawn-shop owners.
Florida Pawn Burrell Forms (Pawn Tickets)
Florida is strict on the pawn business. Using Burrell's approved forms assures that you will be in compliance. PPSS has been specifically configured to use Burrell's Florida Pawn Ticket. Procedures 1. Download and install the PPSS Florida Program from https://www.pawn-software.com/download-pawn-software.htm 2. Be sure to record all the form calls for in the pawner and pawn records. 3. Just feed Burrell forms into a laser or dot matrix printer and proceed. Where and What to Buy Contact: Burrell Printing (901 Highway 685, Pflugerville, TX 87660, 800-252-9154, website: http://www.burrellprinting.com For Laser Printers: Use #10-0909 Pawn Tickets For Dot Matrix: Use 10-920 Multi-ply Tickets For Secondhand Dealers: (no pawn license: Use 10-0903 Tickets For Consignment: Use 10-0903 Tickets How to use Burrell Forms Simply prepare a pawn, place the Burrell form in the printer tray or tractor feed and click Print Ticket (on the right in PPSS).
Advantages of Credit-Card Processing
- Accepting credit cards satisfies your customers' expectations.
- Credit-card accounts give buyers more purchasing power, effectively making more money available for shopping.
- Credit cards speed the checkout process and
- Card purchases eliminate math errors in calculating change due and lessens employee theft.
- Accepting cards can reduce the amount of cash needed on site.
- Processing sales in this way enhances your store's image.
Merchant Account Offers to Avoid
Perhaps the most expensive option is consignment software 'integrated' with card processing - costly for 4 reasons:
- The consignment software itself costs a lot more than software without integration.
- Total credit-card fees may be higher.
- You get locked in. You pay $x,xxx for consignment software 'integrated with credit-card processing' and you're very unlikely to dump expensive consignment software to change credit-card services.
- The consignment software vendor gets a percentage of each of your credit-card sales for pushing X-Charge. Yes, that should be disclosed. No, it's not. (South East Merchant Services will share their revenue from sales with PPSS.)
PayPal simplifies matters with online access to activity and statements. The downside is 2.9% processing fee and $0.30 per transaction.
- No software integration with your PC required
- No hardware to buy
- No software to install
- No merchant account or credit-card processor
- No annual commitment or fees
- No startup or cancellation fees
- No lengthy credit application
- No gimmicks like bait/switch fees, broken agreements
- One source for records, easy reports and administration
- Owned by reputable eBay - You are less likely to be mistreated.
- Create unique log-ins for your employees
- Email receipts and professional-looking invoices to customers
- Excellent fraud protection
- Generate custom packing slips
- Optionally accept phone, fax, mail payments (monthly fee)
- Process payments for customers without PayPal accounts
- Ship to non-billing address
- Shipping and tax provisions
- Visa, American Express, MasterCard and Discover
- Website processing fees (1.9 to 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction)
Wireless Credit Card Processing
With PayPal it is now possible to accept credit cards remotely from anywhere with a hand-held terminal.
As a matter of disclosure, PPSS will receive a small one-time referral fee by PayPal should you chose to process credit-card purchases through them, but only if you access the PayPal site through the link we provide.
Pawn Shop Tips
Visit stores in your area. What do they stock? Ask people who work there. What's hot? What's selling? Get ideas as to what you want to take in on pawn, buy outright or consign. Research prices. Where do your prices need to be to get Walmart customers?
Do you have wholesalers in your area? If not there are plenty online (like Alibaba) where an item can be purchased for pennies on the dollar in large quantities (and shipped to you). Put a display of cheap screwdrivers near your check-out station for three bucks (fifty cents or less your cost) and put pennies to work in the background.
Look at advertisements for things for sale in your locale. Newspaper ads. Craigslist. Facebook selling pages.
Buy and resell. Look around your neighborhood. Branch out: garage sales, flea markets, estate sales. Look for things of value that can be picked up for a steal. Put a tag on it and resell it at your shop. Twenty percent is a good return on your money? How about 100%? 1000% Is there a vintage car or some other relic stashed in a hay barn or shed? Get inventory at bargains prices, mark them up and increase your bottom line.
Sell refreshments, candy, snacks. Expand your thinking. What are your clients buying next door, down the street or across town? Stock it. Sell it. You're not just in the pawn business. You're in the business of marketing.
Liven the place up. What's the flavor of the community? Rap? Blue grass? Oldies? Play some music. Put a large TV screen up and play something that the locals will find entertaining. Erect several monitors around the shop and broadcast a variety of entertainment. Make everybody happy! Keep them in your shop and coming back to your shop because it's the coolest place in town to be. Coffee? Doughnuts? Poker? Every person you anchor to your shop has the potential of bringing twenty others for a visit.
Take pictures of people. We all like to look at ourselves so snap it, ask for a cell phone number for forwarding, send it and build a list of cell phone numbers for your alerts of new merchandise, sales and announcements.
Create a wish list. Ask people what they are interested in. Record their name and contact information and promise to let them know when something similar comes into your possession.
PPSS and Credit-Card Processing
Just swipe the card and select the card type from a drop-down menu on the sales invoice. The amount of the sale is auto-entered.
Glossary of Terms
A pawner forfeits pawned items when he or she fails to redeem the pawn by paying the loan amount plus interest and fees by the due date (plus the grace period, if any). Ownership of the forfeited item(s) transfers to the lender. The forfeited merchandise can be sold after any applicable holding period.
A Jewelry Pawn Shop is the most common type of pawnshop and car title pawn is a popular type of pawn.
A Layaway is a form of financing. A down payment is made toward the purchase of something tangible or intangible. A payment schedule is a proposed series of payments defining due dates and amounts to be paid. The purchased merchandise remains in the possession of the seller until the final payment is made. Ownership of the item is transferred to the buyer (or delivery of the service is made) with the final installment. A software program like Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software keeps track of buyers, inventory, payments and due dates.
A pawn broker is one who lends money (usually at high interest rates), taking marketable assets like gold, jewelry and car titles from pawners as collateral. The loan amount is typically 40-50% of the value of the pawned item. On repayment of the loan plus interest, the pawned article is returned to the borrower. If the loan is not repaid on time, the item becomes the property of the pawn broker and the debt is canceled.
A pawn broker might also buy outright - purchase items in hopes of reselling them at a higher price. This is usually done when the pawn shop broker thinks the item may be sold fairly quickly and/or at a high markup.
A pawn ticket is issued to the pawner as a transaction record, including names and addresses, loan amount, terms and conditions.