Important Tips for Evaluating Pawn Shop POS Systems

The first thing you might consider doing when looking into pawn-shop software is to cross off your list every vendor who refuses to post prices on his website and insists on a phone call to simply answer "How much does it cost?". The reason is obvious: to engage you in a conversation that will take your time to go through a whole lot of convincing before you ever hear the numbers. 'Sell. Sell. Sell.'

Secondly, if you abhor endless payments to a software vendor for the use of his software, then the second group of vendors to cross off your list are those offering 'web-based' programs. There is no ownership and the software will only continue to work for as long as your payments continue.

Check with your local jurisdiction and state. Some prohibit the use of web-based programs for security concerns.

In addition there are risks that aren't fully disclosed up front with all the sale hype:

  1. 'The program' is not installed on your computer where you have full control. It is installed on a computer 'somewhere' that you know nothing about and over which you have absolutely no control.
  2. Your customers' information will be 'out there' for hackers to access. No amount of assurances or pacifications by the software vendor will diminish the probability that your customers' data will be compromised.
  3. Running your business will depend upon the program and the program in turn is dependent upon your Internet connection, the Internet connection and the computer on the other end and all the vagaries that can affect continuity of service: power outages, weather (hurricanes, floods), viral and hacker attacks... so the Internet is a wise choice for the daily operations of your business? Do you really trust 'the Internet'?

The third risk is paying big bucks for a software program that is backed by one individual - usually a programmer who wrote his own program who could be gone tomorrow (along with support for his software) for any number of reasons. His disappearance would require you to purchase and learn another program and get your data converted (which often can't be done or done well because of the incompatibility between different types of databases).

Most of us want the same thing in software: a one-time payment for lifetime use and no forced annual or monthly support fees, or ongoing costs of any kind. On the other hand, it's extremely unreasonable to expect any software provider to provide software support (as opposed to customer support) for a one-off payment. If we want a software company to stick around to service our software, we should expect to pay something periodically to support the software.

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