There is no cost disclosure on the Bravo website. Apparently a phone call is required, giving the opportunity to 'Sell! Sell! Sell!' a software program costing $31,080 over 10 years (for 2 stations).
5-Year Cost - 2 Computer Stations
"$79 & Up"
Compare to Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software
If "$79" seems doable - That is for one station only. Most shops have at least 2 computers. The monthly fee increases for every computer added making the monthly payment $128 for just 2 computers.
Also, if you want any one of the following features, you'll be forced into the more expensive "Ultimate' option. The items in red are commonly used in pawn shops:
- Customer Loyalty Program
- EyesOn Security
- Fingerprint Scanner
- General Estimator
- Gift Cards
- ID Scanner
- Multi-Select Extensions
- Price Guide
- Quickbooks/MAS 90/Lawson
- Retail/Purchase Orders
- Scrap and Jewelry Refining
- Signature Pad
From the Bravo website:
- Hardware is necessary for printing pawn tickets, reports, receipts, price labels and for scanning barcodes.
- Other hardware scans driver licenses, fingerprints and records electronic signatures.
- Hardware is not all that expensive (and you may not need most of it).
- Hardware pieces will cost roughly the same regardless of the software chosen.
- Using Bravo software isn't going to negate the need for hardware.
- Unlike Bravo, hardware is a one-time payment "up front".
- Unlike Bravo you own the hardware and could resell it later on.
- Save thousands? Come on...
Hardware listed on Bravo's site: Cash Drawer, Fingerprint, Honeywell Voyager 1202, Honeywell Voyager 1400, HP Desktop Workstation, HP Printer, Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard & Mouse, Scanshell ID, Star Printer, Zebra Printer. Now, how again does Bravo save on 'expensive hardware'?
- Bravo requires a high monthly stipend. If it is not paid, the software and support for the software end.
- With one-time payments for PPSS software and hardware, there is no forced prepayment for support.
- 'IT maintenance' will always be necessary no matter which software is in use. Computers die. Printers wear out. Stuff breaks.
The Elephants in the Room
Future Cost Risk
Once a shop owner gets locked into a software program it's fairly certain that the 'monthly amount' will go up up and up over time. Rarely does a shop decide to abandon a software program, even when the costs become financially painful. (Just ask users of Pawnmaster.)
As your business grows, what will be the cost to use the software on multiple computers at the same store? At multiple stores?
- Do you trust the Internet?
- Would you trust the success of your business to the Internet?
- Check with authorities. Some jurisdictions will not allow web-based software for security reasons.
With web-based software (like Bravo) your customers' information will reside on a computer that you'll know nothing about and over which you have absolutely no control. No assurances or pacifications by anyone will diminish the fact that your customers' data is vulnerable - and you're liable.
In order to use the software, several variables have to be 'perfect' all at the same time: your Internet connection, the server Internet connection, the Internet in general and even 'the weather'.
The Safe Cost-Effective Alternative
Most of us want the same thing in software: a one-time payment for lifetime use and no forced annual or monthly support fees.
The closest to nirvana in pawn-shop software is Pawnbroker Pawn Shop Software. It's one-off, no forced support fees. Support is billed as it is used and if it is never used, there's never a charge for support - fair enough. Beginning with the first anniversary of purchase, there will be a small annual payment for software maintenance.