7 POS Buying Tips
7 POS Buying Tips For Your Retail Store
# 1: Choose your Software First - Many times retailer store owners buy their hardware, printer, and think they have everything ready to go, then try to find a software that they like, and are unaware that not all software is compatible with every system. . .
~If you purchase your retail store's computer system first, you will limit your POS software choices. The POS system you choose to use in your retail store has a huge impact on the efficiency of your business. For example, your perfect software may run on a UNIX, but you might have already bought a Windows server.
~Your POS software will have hardware and operating system requirements. For example, most software will require a certain version of Windows, Unix or Linux. Each program may only function with certain types of printers, scanners, cash drawers, and card readers.
Avoid frustration and save money by choosing your retail store's POS software first, then ask the software company about their recommended hardware and operating systems.
# 2: Buy From One Source - If you choose to buy software and hardware from different companies, you are setting yourself up for disaster. If you have a problem at your retail store with your software after you purchase it and you need technical support, your software provider may very well blame the problem on the hardware, and then the hardware person will say they don't stand behind your software. You get caught in the middle, no one will take responsibility, and you don't get the answers you need. If you buy all of your software, hardware and accessories from one source, there is no room for excuses, no one else for the company to blame but themselves, and no one else for the company to shoo you off to. Also, many times if you buy everything as a package, your provider can pre-configure your computer system to your retail store's needs, which saves you time and frustration.
# 3: Do Not Buy on Price Alone - You need to factor in price when making your decision, but it should not be the sole or determining factor. There are many companies who sell POS systems, whose goal is to make a quick sale by having a low price, and fail to offer any guarantees or support. So the question is, what is the monetary value of support and a guarantee worth to you in the long run?
# 4: Pay with a Credit Card - If you are unhappy for any reason, or if the company does not deliver, you can dispute the charge on your credit card. If you pay by check, money order, or lease, make sure you check with the Better Business Bureau and/or run a Dun & Bradstreet listing on the company you are dealing with.
# 5: Don't Forget the Extras - When you are comparing quotes from different sources, make sure you are comparing the same packages and options. Some companies will leave out necessary extras in their quotes in order to show a lower price, whereas some companies include all of the extras in their initial quote. Either way, know what you are looking at and make sure you are comparing the same things!
Here are a few items you may need to consider for your retail store's POS system:
- Training Fees
- Support Fees
- Software update/maintenance fees
- Data conversion fees
- Receipt printers
- Barcode scanners
- Reports printers
- Cash drawers
- Surge protectors
- Battery backups (UPS)
- Cables for printers, computers, and your network
- Network hubs
- Internet access routers for shared Internet access
- Paper - thermal, preprinted invoices, plain paper, etc.
# 6: Carefully Choose the Source you are Buying From - Many retail store's make the mistake of buying a POS system from whomever is located the most conveniently, this is understandable, as you want someone close and dependable. However POS is a highly specialized area and unless a company has many years of experience in POS systems you are taking a huge gamble that they will not be able to support you once you start using your system.
#7: Ask about Support (Most Important) - Any reputable POS company will offer a year's worth of support with a POS system purchase. This support should be for an unlimited number of calls. Find out what their support means, are you limited by the number of hours or actual calls you place? What happens if you exceed this number, are you billed for the extra? All these questions should be answered clearly by your POS provider.