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4 Comments on “Best Consignment Shop Software Using CCE’s Copyright”

  1. Chanae Houska
    Hey, I would like to know which consignment software would be best. I am just starting out, and I have no idea what I need. SO if you could help that would be awesome! Thank you! Chanae Houska
    • Dean
      Hi Chanae,

      Thanks for replying to our article! We get asked this all the time - i.e. "What is the best consignment software out there?" That very catch phrase is the phrase each of the consignment software vendors try to capitalize on as well. They all say something about "best" somewhere on their sites. That's why we decided to utilize the same terms and inject some accurate information into the sales smog out there.

      None of them are the "best" consignment program. Each of them have pros and cons - some more cons than others.

      First, you have to stick with the programs that are established and will be around in their current capacity, for years to come. The reputable consignment programs out there are:

      • ConsignmentTill
      • ConsignPro
      • Liberty
      • Consignment Ease/Consignment Success
      • Simple Consign

      Each of them can run a consignment store, but you'll find each program has its limitations, as well as benefits. For example, Consignment Ease and Consignment Success (little and big brother versions of the same program) are easy to install and easy to just "start using" right away. There are limitations to those programs though, such as the fact that in order to keep your accounting correct, you are personally responsible for running multiple maintenance utilities to balance out accounts. Failure to do so results in accounts being paid incorrect amounts. For a small store with just one computer and a not-too-high volume of consignments/sales, Consignment Ease is an inexpensive program that would give you far more than you would have if you did everything by hand. Ease and Success also don't scale up well, as far as networking and large amounts of data. If you planned on running 7 computers and processing hundreds of items and sales each day, the technology behind those products does not allow for it.

      Liberty doesn't require manual accounting, markdowns are automatic, backups can be configured automatically, and since it utilizes MS SQL Server, it does scale-up well to larger networks and larger amounts of data. Liberty isn't perfect though and even on a fast network with fast systems, certain screens in Liberty can show Not Responding, even though the hardware and database are performing very quickly. Liberty also only does Item Fees based on a flat dollar amount, not based on a percentage. For stores who do a wide-range of prices - e.g. furniture - a percentage Item Fee might be a must-have. Does that mean Liberty is useless? Absolutely not. Some might be able to work around that issue, whereas some might find that as a show-stopper.

      ConsignPro has been around for years and the many options it has, reflect the many years of feedback from store owners and updates Brian has responded with. ConsignPro is also very easy to install and can run in a network environment better than Ease or Success can, since it offers actual database settings within the software. It utilizes MS Access for its database, which provides it with a bit of a performance boost over Ease/Success, but since it's MS Access, it too is limited by larger amounts of data, as well as concurrent connections to the database - e.g. from other computers adding items, ringing-up sales, etc. Brian's Remote Item Entry though, was a really fantastic way to go about adding items while off-site. It's all web-based, so you don't have to purchase an app or install any special software. You can do remote item entry from a tablet, a phone, a laptop, etc.

      ConsignmentTill is the only one of the consignment programs to offer customizable tags. You can layout and design your tags/barcodes any way you'd like. That being said, it doesn't include any tag formats right out of the box and you have to either create them yourself, or Ron @ ConsignmentTill remotes-in to configure them. ConsignmentTill has a very touch-screen friendly point of sale interface and can be networked. It also suffers from performance issues, once you get up to 3+ systems. Ron has made very strong efforts to address this though and has moved from Access, to an embedded-SQL database and rumor has it, is about to enhance the database back-end in the near future.

      The key is, you really should try ALL of the programs before you buy. Put together a short checklist of tasks that you will go through in each of the programs. Be very deliberate, e.g.:

      • Simulate entering multiple, consigned items - just as though you were processing consignments.
      • Ring-up multiple sales, using different scenarios - e.g. standard sale, discounted sale, tax-free sale, etc.
      • Cut a check to a consignor.
      • Run a daily sales report, an annual sales report, and a report of sales information to help see which items/brands have sold.

      You have the benefit of getting at least 30 days to try each program, so there's no reason a store owner can't try each program and truly pet each through its paces.

      We also offer a free consultation if you'd like to discuss any specific concerns or if you have any unique processes that you want to be sure the consignment program you select, can in fact handle.
  2. Tina
    HI! Very interesting reading. Thank you for all of the information.

    I am a small business owner with 2 consignment shops presently. Both are ULTRA busy, all accounting done manually at the moment. I purchased BCSS two years ago and have had a nightmare of a time getting it going. Now that I have a second store, it's not even possible as far as I understand it. The hardware that i bought is still all the box, never even used. I am desperate to get automated; really need to do something before I burn out from working 24/7. I would like to grow my business to include other locations ultimately so I am seeking a program that I can grow with. Would you have any recommendations??

    Thank you so much.

    Tina
  3. Dean
    Hi Tina,

    As you and many others have found, BCSS just doesn't seem to be able to provide a reliable, stable platform for consignment and resale store owners to run their business on.

    When it comes to scalability, the database engine itself really has to be scrutinized. You simply will not find any developers building applications that are meant for large-scale data storage and high-performance, using the database engine BCSS uses (dBase).

    It's worth considering one of the SQL-based solutions, which would be Consignment Till or Liberty.

    Depending on which hardware items you purchased, it's possible some of it will work with a different consignment program. Each of them utilize very specific parameters, which the programs and tags are designed around. Sometimes hardware can be bent into working, if not completely, then partially. e.g. receipt printer prints, cash drawer doesn't auto-fire.

    We can take a look at the hardware you have and see if you can squeeze any life out of it. A worse-case scenario, is the hardware can be sold on eBay, Craig's List, or to another store owner.

    We're available Monday through Friday from 10 AM-5 PM Eastern and Saturday from 12-4 PM. We offer a free 30-minute consultation as well.

    Hope this helps!

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The Computer Peeps provide technical support for consignment software.