Forget POS – think EPOS!
- January 5, 2016
We all know if something sounds too good to be true it probably is.
Last week I was very surprised to see ‘pre-used’ ePOS systems for sale.
Obviously there are going to be businesses which didn’t make it and in many cases there is a fire sale of all their equipment and whereas in the old days, say in the hospitality industry, it used to be stainless steel kitchens, tables and chairs, we are now seeing more and more old it EPOS systems coming to the market.
Needless to say, there are people out there who need to optimise their capital and who possibly imagine that it is a good idea to invest in a second-hand EPOS system, especially as on the face of it there is a load of hardware, which includes computer equipment, portable terminals and all the other paraphernalia of a point-of-sale system.
My personal view is that you should never buy a pre-owned system of any sort because by the time you have tailored or modified it to suit your own circumstances, you may as well have gone to your local dealer and bought a brand-new system together with a full support package.
(Purely for research purposes, I have just looked at a very well-known Internet auction site at EPOS systems for sale. I was surprised to see that there are more used than new systems available with at least one of them looking as if the base unit was something like a mono screened 12” thick old PC…Mind you, it was very reasonably priced!)
So let’s have a look at the pitfalls of looking for such a system on well-known Internet auction sites or possibly bankrupt stock auctions or even being offered such a system by someone you know merely to help them out!
Although a very large pile of cabling, screens, cash tills etc may look very attractive because you certainly will get lots of equipment for your money, the insides of the equipment will be equally old so do make sure that the latest versions of whatever software was loaded on it are still available, that the old equipment is capable of driving any new software and that whatever you’re buying is totally virus and malware free. Unfortunately, to do this job properly you will probably need an expert to come in and have a look through the system.
If you are aware of the release number of the software currently installed on your old equipment (always indicated by the number following the decimal point), for instance Windows 3.1…… you will need to see how many versions have been released since the one that is currently installed in your old equipment. You need to make sure that the software has been licensed to that particular machine and not pirated by the previous owner. That will probably mean that you have to pay a current licence fee if you want to install the latest system.
Speaking of licences, do not ever pay for what the vendor tells you is the remaining time left on the licence because licences are not usually transferable. Plus if the licence stipulates that there can only be say three users on the system, and you have twice that number who need to use it, you will have to pay additional fees.
Whenever you look at a brand-new system and are looking to purchase it from an established and reputable company, you are not just buying hardware and software, you are paying for the entire backup that comes with it. One of the most important aspects of these ‘extras’ is the matter of staff training. You are very unlikely to be purchasing support and training with any second-hand package.
Finally, as say a restauranteur, you should be aware of the fact that when you buy a brand-new EPOS, firstly it’s going to be much cheaper to install than you imagine and any system you purchase will be tailored specifically for your needs and numbers.
You certainly won’t be able to see a demonstration done by a professional before you buy an old system. So to summarise:
Stay well away from second-hand pre-used EPOS hardware and software. You may well find it costing you more than a brand-new system specifically constructed for you.
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