High-Cost Consignment Software

Software can be a great value or a great expense.
Learn about costs and vendors' plans for your profits.

The High Cost of [Some] Consignment Software Programs

Vendors offering open-ended software can't really tell you how much it's going to cost to pick them because they can't know how many times you're going to step into the price traps they've set out for their prey.

In general those programs costing $x,xxx also have trailing fees. Here's a list of most of the 'hidden costs':

Quite a list, and as suggested, more fees will be added just as soon as vendors can think them up.

Annual Service Fees

Software bug fixes should be fixed for free, and once you've learned how to use the program, what 'service' is needed? None! So, why annual fees? Simple: It's an excuse to keep the vendor's straw sucking up part of your profits. Are you paying an annual 'service fee' to Microsoft for using their software? Nope.

Most of the shell games are played with annual fees. Think ahead. Once the money and time learning a program have been invested, you're pretty well stuck. You won't want to buy and learn another program and throw away all that was invested in your first decision.

Vendors playing this game are not only perfectly well aware of this situation, they are perfectly willing to exploit it with fee increases and new fees! As sales revenues have declined over the years, existing software users have been burdened with higher fees for 'service'.

Hopefully you'll be incredibly successful and if you are, you will need additional computers to handle the extra work. Depending upon the vendor, you'll pay from $99 to $395 for each copy of the program for each additional computer and those vendors charging service fees will increase the annual support fee (significantly).

If your destiny includes opening other locations, now is the time to find out what it's going to cost to buy the same software for other locations and how much more 'service' is going to cost. At least one [greedy] vendor charges full price for the software and doubles up on the service fee. Why not? He's got you locked in because he succeeded in hiding these truths from you in the beginning. Did he know about his policies while giving you the sales spiel? Of course. Did he lie to you by withholding the information. Yes.

Web-Based Software

There are very compelling security and dependability reasons for avoiding making your business dependent upon a cloud software. The extreme cost is a double whammy.

One web-based program costs $150/month (rounded) or $1,800 per year (for stores with more than 150 consignors). That's today's price. Mother nature tells us it will be higher later on if you venture down this road.

Most people start a consignment store with the intention of succeeding and staying in business - perhaps at least for 10 years.

While that might sound a bit facetious, some vendors hoping to get $18,000 per shop over the next 10 years expects us to fall for sales slogans like "low start-up cost, no contacts, quit any time, no large up-front fees, free this and that."

Hidden Costs

Without years of history it's impossible to know what to look out for prior to taking the plunge, so here's some help:

Wilson at Consignpro bragged openly in a forum about 'firing' customers when he determines they become too much of a bother. He actually told one shop owner that here first $1,000 was down the drain and she would have to repurchase the software for another $1,000 in order to continue to have support for his software. Neither was there a refund of the additional money she had already paid for 'annual support'.

The same person offered a 'free software update' to users who had refused to pay the 'optional annual fee'. The update disabled their software and he refused to remove the planted bug until they paid up.

Trifecta: After arguments with customers he has been known to access their computers without their knowledge or permission and destroy their data files.

These are not only hidden costs of doing business with this Internet punk, they are criminal acts.

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