Buyer Tips

POS systems can be costly and time consuming to purchase.  Too many businesses buy the first system that they come across, only to find that it doesn’t meet their needs or is too complicated and confusing for employees to use.  Since systems are usually customized to your business, you won’t be able to simply re-sell or return a system that you don’t like.  Shop smart and buy the right system the first time.  Here’s how:

Choose software first. Many businesses make the mistake of purchasing scanners, printers, and other POS equipment before deciding on a software program. Don’t make this mistake!  The software that best suits your business might not be compatible with every device.  In shopping for software, you might find that a regular keyboard will work just fine and that you don’t even need an expensive touch screen display. 

Use a system that has been successful in your industry. Make sure the vendor you select has experience in your industry.  For example, some vendors specialize in credit card processing for Ecommerce merchant accounts. Get references from other businesses before choosing a system.

Use the same source for all components. Many POS systems fail or are underutilized because the hardware and software are not fully compatible.  This usually happens because a business will use different vendors for each component.  Buying everything from the same vendor ensures compatibility.

Shop around. This is good advice for any equipment purchase, but is especially necessary when choosing a POS system.  POS systems are expensive, time consuming to implement, and difficult to return or switch. Make an informed choice. 

Get a demo or free trial. Never buy before you try.  Test out a basic cash sale, customer record, inventory features, refunds, purchase order, credit card processing and reports to make sure these basic operations work the way you want them to.  Most vendors will provide a demonstration of the software, and some even allow for a free trial.  Using the software is the best way to judge if it will meet your needs.

By following the tips in this guide, you should be able to make an informed choice about what type of POS system would benefit your business, and which vendor could provide you with the best system.  Choosing a POS system can be time consuming, but choosing the wrong one can result in wasted time and money.  Conversely, the right system can take your business to the next level, saving time, money, and resources.  It is important to consider all of your options and choose wisely.

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