On every consignment-software website you will see the same nonsense:"We're the best deal. You can trust us!"
"Nonsense" because there are HUGE differences between the up-front and ongoing costs of ALL programs. Your cost could be a net $300 or $12,000!
Listen! How long would you like to be in business? Even if it's only 10 years, software is available for a one-time payment of $195 to $900 (with a ~50% resale value). In contrast, software can be 'rented' for $100-$150 per month times 120 months = $12,000-$18,000!, or trailing fees will run up costs.
Almost without exception, ongoing costs, add-on fees, hidden costs, cost increases and new fees! are real and the reason why they aren't visible prior to purchase is because they are purposely camouflaged - pricing traps covered with leaves and twigs, waiting for you to fall in.
Lie #1: "You can use our software and never spend another dime." The truth: If you don't pay the annual support fee, service in all forms will be denied and software updates (bug fixes mostly) will be withheld until you do agree to pay the annual fee.
Lie #2: "We are honest." The truth: Any vendor who lays costs on you AFTER purchase that weren't disclosed PRIOR to purchase is not 'honest' and this little disqualification applies to most of today's software providers.
Lie #3: "We are reliable. We are a software company." The truth: Most software programs were written by one person. Whether they were or not, most software programs can only be fixed (if only to be kept up to date with changing technology) by the 'author' of the program. He can assure you of continued long-term support as much as he can guarantee that he won't be getting on the wrong airplane anytime soon, retiring, going on to some other scam...
Lie #4 is a lie by omission - a failure to disclose PRIOR to purchase what pricing policies have been in the past (as an indication of what to expect in the future). Again, almost without exception, prices have been increased steadily and by LARGE percentages in the past - both for initial cost and for those irritating ongoing fees. Two good examples are the increases up front for 'consignpro' ($995 to $1,295, 30%!) and conpro's annual support fee, ($125 to $200, (60%!).
Lie #5: "You get what you pay for" is offered up by the providers of the most costly programs in hopes that people readers of such nonsense are naive and gullible. It's an obvious attempt to discredit lower-priced programs. All you need to do is demo lower-priced programs to see if they do all that you require and if they do, this ruse should be obvious.
Lie #6: "Our competitor has had unhappy customers. We haven't." Even Mercedes Benz with the highest customer satisfaction rating of 87% has unhappy customers, and so does every consignment-software vendor. It should be obvious that vendors who stoop to this tactic are also the highest-priced. When you see a vendor displaying complaints about his competitors on his website, or referring you to a buddy who does the dirty work for him, ask where he displays complaints against him.
Here's the Conclusion
Clear the air. Simply ask every vendor that you might consider doing business to provide you with a full, signed written disclosure of every possible fee that you might pay for every possible circumstance. When your request is met with anything but the disclosure, just know that there are pricing traps ahead.