Buying a POS system is all in the details. Investigate the software company to make sure it will continue to support and develop the software you choose.
Hardware can include the computer, monitor and POS peripherals such as the cash drawer, customer display, receipt printer and scanner. Research the hardware warranty on all POS hardware and peripherals. These warranties can vary dramatically. Compare length of warranty, response time, on-site vs. depot repairs and which components are covered.
When comparing different POS software you will find that the system requirements vary from one solution to the next. It is essential to make sure you purchase hardware with the appropriate system requirements. In addition, make sure you are purchasing the appropriate number of software licenses for your new system if more than one employee will be using it.
Make sure to ask about training and hardware support contracts. While these can typically cost more, they will ensure worry-free store operations.
Finally, training and installation are sometimes included in the proposal. Check to make sure you understand exactly how much training is included and research how much training is required to become self-sufficient. Be clear about who will install the software.
IDENTIFY RECURRING COSTS
When reviewing proposals, make sure you understand the up-front costs as well as any recurring costs that may be required. Are there monthly service fees? Are there annual membership dues? How much will technical support cost to answer questions about the software? What warranty is offered on the hardware and the POS peripherals (cash drawer, receipt printer, scanner, customer display)? Are you required to purchase a service contract? How will you take advantage of updates or upgrades to the software? When researching these costs make sure you understand the terms, response time, and whether there are additional charges for each workstation.
CREDIT CARD PROCESSING
Do you already have a credit card payment processor? Make sure the new POS system can accommodate your payment processor. Some POS software companies require using their payment processor.