PR Log - Nov 10, 2012 - Computerization is not necessary for a consignment-store operation but it can be very beneficial for all but the smallest of shops.
A computer, a cash drawer and a receipt printer emulate the functions of a cash register, keeping track of sales, providing a safe place to store money under lock and key, and printing sales receipts.
Consignment software adds several useful functions unique to the consignment business:
1. Aging Inventory can be marked down (manually or automatically) as it remains unsold, saving store employees a considerable amount of time in tracking discounts and saving money by avoiding mark-down errors. Some of the more sophisticated software programs offer multiple discount schedules which can be assigned to various categories of inventory, allowing each item to be discounted according to owner preference. Additionally, the discount schedule (dates and mark-down prices) may be printed (or not) on price labels.
2. Settlements are a unique feature of consignment. Periodically (usually once per month) consignment stores 'settle' with consignors whose items sold in the previous month. With consignment software, as each item is sold, the sale proceeds is split between the consignor and the store with each account credited for its share of the sale. Better programs allow for variable consignor percentages, so relatives and friends, for example, might receive a higher portion of items sold on their behalf. Settlements may be paid in cash, by check or in store credit or gift certificates.
3. Feature-rich programs like Best Consignment Shop Software include other thoughtful features, like a default percentage to be deducted from settlements for credit-card sales, a 'buyer fee' which can be deducted from the total sales proceeds before splitting the proceeds, including layaways in settlements, printing an items-sold list on settlement check vouchers, and printing 'date in' and 'disposal codes' on price labels (to help employees know how long items have been in the store and what to do with them (dispose, return to owner, donate or transfer to store ownership) after the allotted time for selling expires.
4. A House Account is an account for shop-owned items. A common use for such an account is to receive unsold items transferred to shop ownership. Advanced software programs will allow for the automatic transfer of such items as well as setting the price of transferred items upon transfer, continuing to discount items after they have been transferred, and allowing for transferred items to be reversed to consignor ownership. In addition, multiple House Accounts are possible along with the option to manually transfer items (for greater control over individual transfers).
Now, the challenge for budget-minded stores is finding a program (like BCSS) that provides all of these features (and more) without costing an arm and a leg. BCSS is a popular choice, particularly amongst start-up operations, because the acquisition cost is low and there are no annual service fees. BCSS customers also take comfort in knowing that the program is not a product of one individual programmer.