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Consignment Software & Backups

We’ve talked about backups before.  There are many methods and technologies that can be used to save your database backups.  That’s a very important part right there though, what I just mentioned – database backups.  Whether you’re using USB flash drives, external USB drives or an online backup service such as Mozy, you still need a backup that is officially supported by your consignment software vendor.

Many of us are used to just copying files or dragging them into a folder.  With databases, it isn’t always that easy.  Each consignment software vendor uses a different database technology and each provide their own, supported backup routine.  Take for Liberty for example.  You can’t just copy the data folder to a flash drive and then tell Mozy to backup a particular folder.  Even though Mozy offers a Business version with an additional SQL Server add-on, it’s still not an officially supported backup routine.  At the end of the day when you close Liberty, there is a backup prompt…

Liberty Backup Prompt
Liberty Backup Prompt

This launches Liberty’s backup utility, which communicates with SQL Server and makes an officially supported, Resaleworld backup file…

Liberty Backup Utility
Liberty Backup Utility

Without a backup that came from Liberty’s backup feature, anything else technically isn’t a “supported backup.”  With programs such as Consignment Success, you can copy the entire program folder, but not while the program is in-use.  So it’s still best to have an actual backup that was created by Consignment Success.  Also, you wouldn’t want to configure Mozy to just backup the entire program folder – you don’t want to access those data files directly while the program is in-use.  If I planned on using Mozy with Consignment Success, I wouldn’t tell it to backup the program folder.  Instead, I would create a special folder on the hard drive and at the end of the day, when I clicked “Yes” to the backup prompt, the database files would be zipped up and saved in a special folder…

Consignment Success Backup
Consignment Success Backup

Mozy would backup that folder – the one where my database backups go each day…

Mozy + Consignment Success
Mozy + Consignment Success

Now the important thing to remember is, no matter which backup process you use, backups need to be tested on a regular basis.  I’ve seen each and every consignment program be affected by improper backup procedures.  As an IT professional, I’ve worked in all sorts of business types and industries.  No matter which industry, backups need to be tested.  You can do backups on a daily basis and think everything’s peachy keen – until you realize all of that work was done in vain.

Each of the software vendors appear to have no problem with their users taking a copy of their consignment software home with them.  Check with your vendor and you might need to get a new license from them, but each one I’ve worked with thus far don’t have a problem with a home copy.  This is a great way to test backups.  You don’t want to get caught without a backup, because it can turn into months of data, if not all data, being lost.

What you should know about BCSS…

This post is intended to help consignment and resale store owners see exactly what Steve, owner of Best Consignment Shop Software (or BCSS), is all about.  If you’re interested in consignment software reviews, be careful out there.  BCSS has planted tons of keywords for ‘best consignment software’, so beware of fake consignment software review websites from Best Consignment Shop Software.

The Computer Peeps have legitimate consignment software reviews available for consignment store owners.  For anyone who’s not familiar with the BCSS back-story, Brian (owner of Visual Horizons Software, developer of ConsignPro) was kind enough to post a detailed history on his site.  For those looking for Best Consignment Shop Software reviews, you should read this information first.

Recently, CCE posted a new download of their latest program – Consignment Ease v8 – on CNET.com.  CNET is a trusted site and a portal to software downloads.  Companies interested in making their software available to search engine queries, utilize CNET as a trusted host.

CNET is also a public site, so anyone can join and anyone can post comments.  Not even 24 hours after Consignment Ease was published to CNET, Steve (disguised as sbevis123) posted the following “review”…

BCSS comment on Consignment Ease consignment software download
BCSS’ comments on Consignment Ease

Let’s dissect some of Steve’s comments and really get to the bottom of it.  From the looks of it, Steve is really concerned about “marketing practices” and “scruples.”

At the bottom of BCSS’ site, they claim to own the copyright for ‘best consignment software’…

BCSS' false copyright for 'best consignment software'
BCSS’ false copyright for ‘best consignment software’

There’s just one problem – CCE, developers of the original Best Consignment Software (now known as Consignment Ease because they CARE enough about their clients, current and future, that they don’t want ANY confusion with BCSS software) – are the owners of that copyright.

Fortunately, the Internet is here!  All it takes is a quick search of the United States Copyright Office to see that CCE owns the copyright…

CCE copyright on Best Consignment Software
*Click image to enlarge

Sooooooo, why do you have that posted at the bottom of your site, Steve?  We’ll see if Steve posts a comment back here on our blog.  He claims that Kate (author of Too Good to be Threw: The Complete Operations Manual for Resale & Consignment Shops) over @ TGTBT.com won’t let him defend himself.  Well, Steve, now’s your chance!  I won’t delete your posts!  I’m not going to let you post any links to your site or anything like that – you don’t need any help with your search engine marketing.

Steve’s software, BCSS, seems to be of the quality that he has to rely on sales tactics and Internet marketing to sell his product.  Don’t forget, even bad publicity is good publicity…but we’re going to change that for you, Steve, yes we are.

Steve even tried this with Ron @ RJFSoft (developer of Consignment Till)…

Steve's false comments on Consignment Till
Steve’s false comments on Consignment Till

At least Ron knows how to write code and develop software, Steve.  What can you do?  Marketing?  I think there’s some old joke about lawyers, sales people and the like.

So I’ll continue to update this blog post with all-things-BCSS.   It is The Computer Peeps’ obligation to put this to an end once and for all.  We’ve had too many clients call us after losing data from BCSS.  We’ve had too many clients call us because they spent months trying to get a hold of BCSS via phone.

If you have had an experience with Steve or BCSS, please feel free to leave your comments!

Below is an ongoing list of issues with BCSS and their marketing tactics…

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One of my favorite things about Steve and BCSS is how he steals keywords from other vendors – e.g. “best” and “simplify.”  Here’s what BCSS shows on their new site…

BCSS copying Resaleworld
BCSS copying Resaleworld

Here’s what Resaleworld has at the top of their site (and this has been their slogan for years)…

BCSS copying Resaleworld

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Here’s a list of “fees and costs” from other software vendors, that BCSS have outlined in their site…

BCSS' inflated, made-up, inaccurate fees
BCSS’ inflated, made-up, inaccurate fees

My favorite part of BCSS’ comparison is that BCSS doesn’t even offer credit card processing.  Let’s look at some of Steve’s figures though…

  • He shows Resaleworld charges $1,200 for Data Repair.  Really?  Where’d you pull that dollar amount from, Steve?  I went to Resaleworld’s online store and I only see a $150 fee for Data Services…
    Resaleworld's Data Services
    Resaleworld’s Data Services

    Here’s a direct-link to that product on Resaleworld’s site…

    http://www.resaleworld.com/store/product.php?productid=126&cat=35&page=1

    The only “hidden fee” is their clearly outlined $150 vs. $200 price (if you are or are not on a Support Plan).

  • Steve shows $900 for Resaleworld’s printer support.  Where the heck did you pull that number from Steve?  Resaleworld supports their hardware for the first 30 days.  After 30 days, ALL software vendors do not support their hardware.  This is why people call The Computer Peeps so they can get assistance for $50.  You don’t even support printers, Steve – you don’t even talk to your customers or return their phone calls, so how they heck can you say your printer support is “included”?
  • It shows RSW charges $750 for Windows or Networking support.  Are you joking, Steve?  Where on RSW’s site does it show a consignment store has to pay $750 to Resaleworld?  There are no mandatory fees, nor any hidden fees.  So what you’re saying, Steve, is that YOU support Windows and you’ll manage your clients’ networks for free?  Awesome!  I guess I’ll have to refer The Computer Peeps’ clients to you since you’ll do it all for free!
  • You show “Online Account Access” isn’t available from RSW.  Actually, they offer both a consignor login and a customer portal (My Resaleworld).  Soooo, how current are your figures?  Resaleworld has offered online access for at least 3 years.  Maybe your pricing/feature list is just really old, in addition to being completely false?
  • Phone Training costs $1,000 from RSW?  That’s odd, I didn’t know that.  So you’re saying a Liberty user has to pay for phone training?  I can’t seem to find anything that says a Liberty user has to pay this fee.  You seem to offer full-time phone training for free though, right?  Awesome!  Let me know which number your clients should call, because they call The Computer Peeps letting us know they can’t get in touch with you at all.  I’m sure it’s an oversight, so I’ll just sit here and hold my breath until you publish the phone number BCSS users can call to get free phone support for 10 years.
  • ConsignPro has $1,000 in “Hardware Markups”?  Can you break this down for us please?  I’m just not seeing $1,000 in mark-ups on Brian’s site.

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BCSS’ QuickBooks integration pricing comparison vs. Resaleworld…

BCSS' pricing comparison vs. Resaleworld's QuickBooks Integration
BCSS’ pricing comparison vs. Resaleworld’s QuickBooks Integration

Steve, can you provide an outline of exactly what your QB integration supports?  Resaleworld offers a QuickBooks export for free – it’s included in their software.  RSW’s free QuickBooks export will export consignor payouts, again, for free.  The $200 QuickBooks Link that RSW offers links directly to your QuickBooks Company File – a true link, not an old-school, generic export.  It supports GL Account names + types.  Everything from taxes, COGS, inventory sales, payouts, consignor payable amounts, etc. are all exported in full-detail.  Can you show us where BCSS’ QB export does all of that, for free?

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So you know someone who knows a lot about computers…

There is nothing better than having a “good mechanic” in your back pocket.  Whether it’s your son, daughter, husband, cousin, etc. it’s always handy when you have a “tech” in the family.  How many years of experience with consignment software do they have though?

One of our most-common calls is,

“My kid worked on the systems and knows a lot about computers…but they’re still not working.”

There are a LOT of little details when it comes to consignment software.  These are professional/business-class systems and they have a specific set of requirements in order to run properly.  A $1,000 program can be rendered utterly useless, by one simple mistake.

This is one of the reasons we started The Computer Peeps.  “DIY” is great and it has its place, but all things come at a cost.  Just because someone knows math, doesn’t mean you should hire them as your accountant.  🙂

At the end of the day, you have systems that need to run your consignment software.  Someone has to do the work and there’s going to be a cost, both financially and in time.

It’s a matter of how much do you want to spend in time and money?  There’s a balance between DIY and cost.  If you’re interested in tinkering with computers and fixing them yourself, great!  What’s your time worth to you though?  Are you just tinkering with a computer at home?  One that doesn’t impact your business?  Are you going to “learn on the clock” using your business systems?

Let’s say your car needs a tune-up.  Sounds easy!  All things are relative though and it’s up to you to decide what your time is worth.  Great at changing oil and love doing it yourself?  What a great way to save money!  Don’t have time or just don’t want to deal with it?  That’s where you pay for someone else to do it.

Something that should only take a couple of minutes, can turn into days or weeks worth of issues if the person working on the issue doesn’t know which way to go.  Attempts to troubleshoot the issue can be rendered futile, all because one little thing is overlooked.

I’m all for learning, tinkering, discovering, etc. but after seeing so many consignment/resale store owners end up paying far too much in time and/or money, I can’t help but say, “let The Computer Peeps handle it!

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