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How to Negotiate and Find a Deal on POS Systems

Busy point of sale

Busy point of sale

POS systems make transactions process more efficiently, improve management of inventory, and can even increase sales. Having a system that isn’t right for your business can actually end up costing you more money in the long run so it is important to find the right one. Whether you operate a restaurant or a boutique retail store, a POS system generates reports, processes transactions and sends information to other departments.

If you’re thinking about switching to a new system, or needing a system for the first time, evaluate industry-specific software first. There is different software for restaurants versus hotels; yoga studios versus a clothing boutique. Once you decide on the software components you need, buying the hardware is easy. If you purchase the hardware first, you could have leftover scanners, touch screens, keyboards, etc. that are not compatible with the part that works: the software.

So how do you negotiate with a vendor for business pos systems?

First, you can always negotiate on equipment and additional options as a package deal and if you can’t, you can find basic items refurbished or at a discount store that is cheaper. For some business owners, time is much more valuable so it is better to buy everything from the same vendor. Most of the time a vendor will throw in some equipment to get you and your business as a customer.

Price is sometimes negotiable- more so when you purchase a comprehensive system with a contract. Software upgrades, and hardware discounts work similar to free equipment. If you sign an extended agreement, a vendor is more likely to negotiate on price.

Two things you won’t be able to negotiate on is POS system fundamentals. POS systems require a steady power supply, solid internet connection and a software program. If you need a mobile terminal for credit card processing, your software program and internet connection have to support your mobile terminal first.

Once you get your system in place, you still need to train yourself and employees. Training is oftentimes negotiable and a free trial. If you are switching to a new system, don’t just roll over old data. Chances are you’re buying a new system because you can’t rely on the old one so importing these records will result in the same problems. Import customer information first, then employee information and start fresh by entering inventory manually.

A POS system is a technical, specialized purchase. If you really want to save money and buy different components from different sources, do your research first (software, then hardware, and fundamentals). If you’re a solo operation, this might work because your inventory doesn’t require multiple components.

Image by JOE M500.

About the Author: Betsy Brottlund is the Director of Marketing at Resource Nation, an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for entrepreneurs and business owners ranging from payroll services to phone systems. Brottlund frequently contributes to several sites that offer tools and advice for business owners, including Dell and BizEquity. Previously a communications consultant, Brottlund has worked with start-ups to Fortune 500 companies managing their marketing and communication programs.
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