Point Of Sale Software

I’m looking for recommendations of Point Of Sale software for a small retail store. Or better yet, a good site or magazine with ratings. Quicken seems to be popular but I have heard horror stories.

It all depends on what features you need to have, or will need in the future. Most give you the basic abilities, but make sure you won’t outgrow them.

For instance, will you need multi-store capability, networked POS systems, ability to export data, what hardware do you need it to work with (pole displays, receipt printers, cash drawers, scales, barcode readers, etc).

We used to use Microbiz for a 3 station networked POS setting, but found it to be unstable and prone to problems. We switched to Keystroke POS and have been much happier with their product, and with their support.

We considered Quicken, but it was a new product at the time and I felt like choosing a package that had been around for a while.

We want to be able to have up to three networked PCs, each with a barcode reader, cashdrawer, receipt printer, and credit card reader. A pole display would probably be good. I’m thinking Windows, just because the salespeople would be used to it.

Wouldn’t the best approach be to hire one of the local businesses that installs and supports POS systems to put together a system for you? That way if there are problems, you have some immediate contact to get it fixed. IMHO.

This is how clueless I truly am, I didn’t know businesses like that existed. How are they listed in the yellow pages?

I did a quick search on http://www.switchboard.com for “point of sale” in Portland.

One company came up as specifically doing POS in Hillsboro Oregon - http://www.fireflypos.com/. Switchboard also has Google AdWords ads on their site and it came up with http://www.comcash.com which is a national POS developer & installer.

Seems that you might want to go with a company that will install this for you (just because you don’t seem too confident about your own ability to do it) but if you want to save some $$ there are many companies out there that will sell you entire systems that you set up yourself. If you Google “point of sale” you should get a good # of hits. Sadly, I cannot recommend one over another - that might be a crapshoot.

Good luck!

Good advise, ZipperJJ. To add some background, my parents own a store and I do all the POS work for them… but I have also been working in IT and have a lot of experience in many fields. I am sure there are many companies in Portland that do POS stuff since my city is much smaller and has multiple companies that do POS work.

To the OP… I guess you need to ask yourself some questions:

[li]Do you feel solid with creating small computer networks?[/li][li]Are you capable of installing the hardware yourself?[/li][li]Have you chosen which POS hardware you will use (models, brands, etc)?[/li][li]Do you have the time to support this after the installation?[/li][li]Who will provide the training to the employees?[/li][/ul]

Most small business POS software runs on Windows and has modest computer requirements. I would make make some calls to various POS dealers to see what systems they install, get estimates, etc. Also, many POS vendors will have a demo of their product that you can download and see if you like it. Basically shop around and see what you like.

Their is also a multitude of POS hardware available. For instance, if you need a barcode reader, some plug into a serial or USB port, some use a keyboard wedge, etc. Once you find the system you want to use, then you will need to shop around and find supported hardware that will work with the system.

In short, building a POS system from scratch is indeed possible, but make sure you feel qualified if you want to go this route – you can save a bundle of money if you know what you are doing. If you don’t feel comfortable, use a company that will do it for you. You will pay more for everything, but it all depends on what you want to put into it.

Good advice, thanks to all of you. To be clear, I know my way around computers; It’s the POS part that I don’t know. After doing some more looking, I’m leaning towards Quicken POS. However I took the advice and am talking with a local company that supports the whole shebang.