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Repeat Street System Setup

We thought we’d keep a mini-series going, documenting the systems we configure for consignment stores.  We help consignment store owners get the most out of their consignment software, by configuring stable computers and industry-standard point of sale hardware.

This installment shows a brief glimpse into the system setup for…

Repeat Street Women’s and Children’s Resale Boutique (Gurnee, IL)

http://www.repeatstreet.com

Julie Jablonowski @ Repeat Street is such a pleasure to work with.  She runs Liberty at her store and has a two-computer setup.  She was experiencing an increasing amount of computer issues with her older systems.  It was time to look into reformatting and upgrading or replacing the systems.  Since each of her systems were well past their time, investing in newer technology was the most cost-effective approach.

Repeat Street Dell Computers for Liberty Consignment Software
Repeat Street Point of Sale and Server

We configured two Dell systems to manage her consignment software + Microsoft SQL Server.  A consignment store is a hi-demand operation and both point of sale as well as new consignment intake must be operational at all times.  There just isn’t time for system lockups, errors, etc.

We professionally configure our systems in-house.  It’s not enough to just “go get a Dell, dude.”  Building up your own systems isn’t as cost-effective as it used to be either.  Dell’s business-class systems offer hi-end technology plus next business day hardware replacement.  The Computer Peeps are a preferred partner through Dell.

Since your database is everything – e.g. your consignors, items, sales, payout history, etc. – you want to do everything possible to protect your systems.  These Dell systems include a Seagate Barracuda SATA II hard drive @ 7200 RPMs.  Not only is this drive fast, it’s reliable.

The Dells also include RAM inspected by Kingston.  Since only a few chip companies actually manufacture memory, companies such as Kingston test and verify RAM before it’s sold to consumers and vendors.  This ensures the RAM is stable, reliable and free of errors.

Repeat Street Dell Computers with Core 2 Duo Processor
Repeat Street Dell Computers w/ Core 2 Duo Processor

Since Julie is running Liberty on two systems and based on how frequently the systems are utilized, we configured a stronger set of computers for her.  Liberty is consignment software that utilizes Microsoft SQL Server to manage its database. All databases grow over time and that means a heavier “weight” to lift.  Even with compression and purging, a database is always growing.  You always want to avoid Celeron processors and in this case, we wanted to step things up even more.  We utilized Intel’s Core 2 Duo line and combined with Windows 7 Professional 64-bit + 4 GB of RAM in each system, Repeat Street’s systems are ready for everything they can throw at them.

Consignment Software Database Backup Drive
Consignment Software Database Backup Drive

We also want to protect the database and ensure we have daily, redundant backups.  While we can’t force our clients to utilize an external hard drive + an automated backup system, we highly encourage it.  Repeat Street made the best decision by opting for a complete backup system.  We utilize an online backup solution that also manages an additional, local copy to an external hard drive.

Now Repeat Street’s consignment software is sending a database backup to both her external drive and her off-site, online account.  This gives the ultimate in redundancy.  There is a local copy of the consignment software database, to help recover in an instant.  There’s also an off-site backup, should a catastrophic event occur.

We don’t just “buy Dell computers and ship them out.”  No, no, no.  First of all, you have to select the right hardware, the right motherboard/RAM/CPU combination and the right version of Windows.  Once these systems arrive, we go through a 4-page configuration sheet.  Everything from NTFS permissions and advanced networking to Windows Updates and complete system tuning is performed in-house.

Repeat Street also added a Zebra thermal tag printer, bar code scanner and cash drawer to the system setup.  All hardware that ships with the system or that will be utilized with the systems (if the store already owns printers, etc.) is pre-installed and configured here.  We color-code our systems so that everything is “plug and play” when the systems arrive.  Add to that, we’re there for you the day the systems arrive.  We ensure there’s a smooth game plan for getting the final consignment software backup + any additional files backed-up and moved to a safe place.  Once the systems are online, we remote-in and do a white glove inspection to ensure everything is still running perfectly.

For consignment stores who purchase systems from us, all they have to do is purchase the systems and unpack them when they arrive – that’s it.  No installing, fussing, waiting, configuring or cussing.  There’s far more to this than just buying a computer and slapping some software on it.

With these new systems in place, Repeat Street can continue to be Gurnee, IL’s favorite consignment shop!

I've been helping consignment & resale store-owners since 2003. I started The Computer Peeps in February of 2010. After 15 years of working with consignment stores, I understand the unique challenges consignment & resale storeo-wners face. From electrical issues in old building or strip malls, to advocating for them when their consignment software keeps crashing. I now manage over 400 computer systems, servers & websites for store-owners all across North America and I am the developer/programmer of Peeps' Software -- the only software written FOR consignment & resale stores specifically.

10 thoughts on “Repeat Street System Setup

    1. Dean

      Hi Jill,

      We did all of this remotely! We configure Dell systems here and we tailor each to meet our clients’ needs. We have been working with Julie for quite some time and her existing systems just weren’t cutting it. It got to the point where it was time for change.

      So we configure everything here, including the network, printers, consignment software, automated backup system, etc. Her Zebra tag printer is pre-installed and configured here; we also configure the second system (or any system in the network) to print across the network to the Zebra. So she can print tags from either computer, using just one Zebra tag printer. Everything is color-coded/labeled so when the systems arrive, it’s literally just a matter of “connecting the dots”.

      All of her hardware is tested and configured to work with her consignment software. We include a complete system overview, so Dell warranty info, system logins, consignment software network setup, etc.

      It truly is just a matter of unpacking the computer, plugging in the power and network cables and then “connecting the dots.” We walk our clients through this process and then remote-in as soon as the systems are online. We test everything once again to ensure all printers are performing exactly as our clients expect.

      An on-site is a little costly, especially for something that can be done remotely. We don’t leave you “stranded” to do it on your own and believe me, if it wasn’t easy for our clients to connect everything, we wouldn’t have been able to help so many consignment store owners with this type of setup.

      Let me know if you have any additional questions!

  1. Julie

    Dean is the one who has been a pleasure to work with. He has been so patient with all my questions and concerns. I literally haven’t had a single moment of worry since the very first phone call I made to him. He did a wonderful job of checking out my systems, fix the problem, and make them run better. And so you know, I’m the one who initiated the discussion about getting new computers for my store. Dean didn’t try to sell them to me. I truly trust he is belong me do what is the best thing for my business. And for that I am so grateful!

    1. Dean

      Thanks for bringing that (@initiated the discussion) up too, Julie! Our next blog post in this ‘series’ actually covers a laptop that a client sent to us. She just needs to squeeze a little more life out of it and while she ultimately wants to invest in a new Dell, she can’t right now. We upgraded the RAM (Memory) for her, backed-up her data and files, wiped the hard drive and reinstalled Windows. She’ll utilize this laptop to get her by a little bit longer and then eventually add a Dell system to her network, making this laptop a Point of Sale/additional workstation.

      We’re not just trying to sell stuff – that’s not our motto. We do everything we can to work within a store owner’s existing infrastructure. Sometimes systems just need a tune-up or better antivirus. Sometimes more RAM and/or reinstalling Windows squeezes a little more life out of a system. Other times though, equilibrium is reached and the cost of maintaining older systems far outweighs the cost of replacing them.

  2. Jill

    That’s awesome – thanks both of you for telling me about this! I have 2 stores. In my original store I run Consignpro with two computers, no problems. I bought a pre-existing store in July that was running Liberty on two computers. The prior owner had never updated her Liberty and the I am definitely not using it to its potential. I have no clue how to use it and i know before I learn anything else I need to upgrade it fully. I was able to install a couple of the updates but I hit a point now where there is not enough memory or something in either computer so I’m missing a lot. My brother in law set up my computers in my first store but he recently passed away before he could get to the new store. Horrible, I know! Anyways, I don’t trust anyone locally because they know nothing about the consignment industry. I would be interested in maybe you “looking” at my computers that run the liberty remotely and letting me know maybe what I need to do, even if it is to buy a new computer. If you can email me and let me know what we need to do and how much the consultation is, I would love to hear from you. Thanks! Jill Saenz, owner of Boomerang Consignments & More and Boomerang Consignments Palm City. My email: [email protected]

    1. Dean

      I am so sorry to hear of your loss! Liberty’s latest versions require a minimum of 512 MB of RAM (Memory), so if the computer’s a little older, you’ll see that error appear. If it’s a decent computer – e.g. newer generation CPU, etc. – it’s possible to extend the system’s life by doing the following:

      – Install more Memory (www.crucial.com has great prices + free shipping)
      – Wipe the hard drive and reinstall Windows (if you have the original Windows CD/DVD)

      We also offer training for Liberty (or any of the consignment programs!) and we can make sure you’re truly utilizing your software to its fullest potential!

      I’ll email you directly so we can discuss the options and see what we can do! Liberty requires more horsepower than the other applications, as it utilizes Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express Edition. In addition to minimum system specs, Liberty and MS SQL Server need a smooth, level playing field in order to run. That’s where having a clean install of Windows to begin with helps. No need to wrestle with .dll errors, registry issues, etc. There does come a point in time where wrestling/upgrading costs more than replacing the systems.

      We’re looking forward to working with you!

  3. bonnie

    I will be starting up a kids gear/toys/baby clothes consignment shop in 2-3 months from scratch. I have been following TGTBT website for advice. I see that you are a trusted consultant. I plan on buying a new system and it seems everyone is running liberty or consignpro. I also saw consignment success or something like that. Is there a better choice? About what should I budget for a small boutique style shop on a shoestring budget? I expect to run it with one person mostly. I need all the help I can get.

    1. Dean

      Hi Bonnie! We would love to help you navigate through all of the info out there! There are a few consignment programs out there, such as the ones you mentioned. Depending on your needs and wants, we can help find a package that works for you! We can also configure a new Dell system to run your consignment software on. At the end of the day, trying to run your new business software on an old, scrappy machine OR on a door-buster deal from a big box store, ends up costing you more in both time and money.

      We offer a free 30-minute consultation and we’ll go through a list of topics to make sure we isolate what you truly need, in order to run your resale business. You don’t have to purchase everything at first either. Starting with the consignment software + the Dell system could get you up and running, initially. You can then add a tag printer and eventually even a barcode scanner and receipt printer.

      So right off the bat, your consignment software will run between $400-$1,000. The Dell system we configure is $785 + shipping. If you’re on a shoestring budget, a good option could be to start out with Consignment Ease (only $400). Then as you grow, if you need the features of Consignment Success (e.g. Layaways, Sales Promotions, emails, etc.) you can upgrade Ease to Success (paying only the difference). There are definitely options out there and you don’t have to spend a ton, to get a solid system for your resale business.

      Let me know if and when you’re available and we can schedule a consultation. Again, it’s free for a 30-minute consultation!

      We’re looking forward to working with you!

  4. Susan

    I have been operating a group shop since 1999 and use SOS (Shop Owners Software) and have always accepted things on consignment. We opened a consignment shop in 2007 using this same software which was designed to manage an antique mall. The programmer did make modifications to accommodate consignments. We are at a point now where the program is not as efficient or streamlined as we need to handle the volume of consignments we accept daily. Can you make recommendations on how we would explore our options.

    1. Dean

      Hi Susan,

      We actually offer a free 30-minute consultation. We can see if we can help narrow down which of the consignment programs is the right fit for you, considering your unique setup. We’re available Monday through Friday from 10 AM until 5 PM, Eastern. We’re also open on Saturday from 12-4 PM. You can email us directly using the Contact button above and we can schedule a time to talk.

      Looking forward to working with you!

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