Thanks for reading our consignment software reviews! There’s a mess of search results out there for best consignment software and consignment software reviews. Most of that clutter is either from software marketing companies, or one of the less-scrupulous consignment software vendors out there. We didn’t think it was fair for store owners to go out there searching for information, only to be taken advantage of.
To cut through all of the BS, don’t hesitate to call The Computer Peeps toll-free at (888) 374-5422.
The Computer Peeps are consignment software specialists. We manage hundreds of systems for consignment and resale stores all across North America and Canada. We handle hundreds of phone calls and emails per week. We have a real-world perspective on each of these consignment programs – the good and the bad. The Computer Peeps have 15 years of experience supporting consignment software.
After fielding thousands of support calls, how-tos, and complaints from consignment store owners and after seeing absolutely nothing change, The Computer Peeps have written their own consignment software, taking matters into their own hands. We are proud to do what neither Liberty4 Consignment nor ConsignPro have been able to do after 20 years in the consignment industry — i.e. write powerful consignment software, that is designed around how consignment stores truly operate.
This consignment software review covers Liberty4 Consignment.
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As of 8/27/2012, a single-user license of Liberty4 Consignment is priced at $995.00.
As of 2/9/2018, a single-user license of Liberty4 Consignment is priced at $1,095.00.
While we can say that Liberty4 Consignment’s user interface is without attention to detail and sacrifices user experience for an old-school, utilitarian, “Tough! Consignment software isn’t supposed to be easy!” approach, you will never hear us dog Liberty4 Consignment’s database integrity. Where consignment software like ConsignPro suffers from regular data-loss an data corruption, this is not something you will really ever see in Liberty4 Consignment. That being said, the software does still suffer from rounding errors, as well as programmer-missed issues.
Liberty4 Consignment is the current iteration of many generations of Liberty, starting with Liberty for DOS. The software company that develops Liberty is Resaleworld.
While Resaleworld touts how many techs they have, this has proven to make no difference. Their updates have bugs that could’ve been easily found with basic software testing and storeowners come to The Computer Peeps to help prove to Resaleworld, that the updates have in fact caused their issues. Their support technicians frequently overlook issues that The Computer Peeps are able to identify in an instant, as we have 15 years of experience helping consignment store owners.
Working With Consignors
Liberty’s first screen is the Account List, so right from the beginning, you’re presented with a list of existing accounts and a way to search and/or add accounts. We immediately see a variety of ways to add accounts and clicking any of the Add Account buttons launches a new consignor entry form:
Liberty’s new consignor routine is a two-stage process. You’ll notice you’re only greeted with options such as First/Last Name, Address, Email, etc. There’s no way to change the consignor split on this screen – that option is available once we click OK and save the account.
There’s a handy feature in Liberty that stores City/State info when you enter new Zip Codes. This makes it easier to input new accounts in the future and also makes for more consistent data entry.
Once you click OK, the new consignor account is created and you’re presented with the full Account Detail screen:
The Account Detail screen is big and has a lot of options. In the years I’ve been supporting Liberty and other consignment programs, the most common issue I see on this screen is users overlook tabs 6, 7, and 8 because they’re buried in the middle of the form. Minor, but it does cause confusion which leads to frustration when you’re trying to find something.
Where we couldn’t set the consignor split on the first screen, we now have the option to do so via the Preferred Price Code. Price Codes are how Liberty determines the consignment split, markdowns, expiration, etc. One of Liberty’s drawbacks, is also a plus – i.e. Liberty offer lots of options which require a bit of setup time. Once configured though, the options provide more flexibility.
Working With Items
Once we’ve added our consignor account, we can begin adding items to his/her account. Liberty’s item entry screen presents us with all the fields we’d expect for consignment/resale inventory – e.g. Consign/Purchase, Price, Price Code (consignor split), etc. We can also see each item we’ve added as we’re working, so we can look back in our list of items for pricing and description reference.
The item entry screen in Liberty can be tailored to a relatively refined layout, but it doesn’t come this way by default. You can re-arrange/change the order of each field, control which fields Tab will stop in, etc.
Most are accustomed to being able to hit <Enter> when inputting new accounts, items, etc. Liberty is very keyboard-friendly as far as item entry goes. You’ll find item entry goes quickest using the <Enter> button to navigate from field to field. The <Tab> button navigates you through the various Attributes, such as Brand, Size, Color, etc.
Overall, Liberty’s item entry workflow is pretty clear and easy to follow. Tag printing is very easy via Print Only Items Received Today button. Online selling is available via Resaleworld’s proprietary online store or eBay. Liberty offers very tight eBay integration, for those who do any form of serious eBay selling.
I do occassionally receive calls on ‘ghost items’ that Liberty has added, which is really just a matter of understanding Liberty’s item entry process. Once you’ve entered your last item, you have to click Stop to finish the item entry process. This is because Liberty is always starting your next item for you, sort of “one step ahead,” so to speak. It can be a confusing feature though, so keep an eye out for that.
Liberty’s point of sale screen has the most appealing look to it, in our opinion. We’ve trained a lot of store owners on consignment software and Liberty’s POS seems to be the one that most are able to digest right away. What helps Liberty’s POS, is the attention to ‘grouping’ – e.g. the blue background behind the Suspend Sale and Layaway buttons, the green background for the “go here” buttons, etc. Items, payments, and functions/buttons are all available on one screen.
A small technical note worth mentioning – Liberty’s POS module is its own application. It has its own shortcut that you can place on systems that are meant to just do point of sale.
One key factor of Liberty’s POS module is its ability to accept more than two payments:
You can only see two of the payments, but you can see the little scroll bar and it says ‘3 Payments’ over to the right. You can enter as many payments into Liberty’s POS screen as you’d like. This is an advantage over some of the other consignment programs, which allow for a maximum of two payments. Just a fundamental difference in the choice of how they chose to layout the screen and the combination of controls used to enter payments, made all the difference. This might seem minor, but we receive more calls on this than you’d imagine. It’s actually one of our more common questions amongst the various consignment point of sale screens.
Everything is clearly visible, from payment buttons to the Total Due. Once you finish the sale, Liberty leaves the change due up on your screen for a few seconds so you can make change.
Liberty is a solid program, scalable consignment program. Where each of the other programs use a flat-file database, Liberty uses an actual Relational Database Management System to store and manage data – that system is Microsoft SQL Server Express. So while Liberty is a BIG program which takes a while to install and requires a lot of resources to run, I would say we really never see database crashes or corruption with Liberty. This doesn’t mean you can’t crash a Liberty database, quite the contrary. Power failures and hardware issues will lead to corruption and even loss of data. Liberty scales extremely well because of its database type, so if you’re a 7-user store, Liberty really is the only option at that scale.
Just because Liberty uses Microsoft SQL Server though, doesn’t mean Liberty is lightning fast. It’s a big program and even on the best hardware, certain screens in Liberty will show Not Responding for extended periods of time. Reports and screens can even get ‘stuck’ behind other screens.
Liberty is a bit daunting with all of its options, but in comparison to the other consignment programs, Liberty essentially has an option for every situation a consignment store would encounter. Liberty excels in the tax area, especially with states like Massachusetts, with ‘baseline’ tax amounts or varying tax rates/rules based on the type of inventory. Liberty’s initial complexity, is its advantage in the long run.
Some additional notes worth mentioning:
- Lots of options with the ability to ‘add your own’ to various screens.
- Highly scalable database back-end via Microsoft SQL Server. Larger stores (e.g. 7+ computers) really have to look at scalability and database performance.
- Tight eBay integration.
- Lots of reports, almost too many. Even after years of updates, clients still feel Liberty is missing some key reports.
- Gift cards
- Automated backup utility