Friday, October 26, 2012

Point of Sale Workshop Update

Thanks to everyone who attended my How to Choose and Budget for a Point of Sale System workshop at the awesome Oregon Small Business Development Center in Ontario OR! Here is information on the next workshop being held in Boise:

Note that these workshops can be held online or at a location close to you as well.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In Case You Shopped at B and N

News article related to credit/debit cards being compromised at Barnes and Nobel:

Make sure that all of your point of sale or cash register equipment meets all the PCI compliance requirements for data security. I also recommend having a security company scan your entire system quarterly to ensure your system is secure.  I personally use Security Metrics and include the cost of the scans with in the cost of the point of sale equipment.

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Android Retail and Restaurant Solution

I've come across quite a few iOS (iPpad, iPhone & iPod) solutions over the last six months but this is the first Android based solution that I have been able to get my hands on. It is called "Clover" and is marketed as a solution for retail stores and restaurants that need more than a cash register but don't have the budget (or need) for a $3000 to $10,000 point of sale system.

Here are some pix that I took of the Clover unit.

Back of the system showing the LCD customer display

Front of the system showing the Android tablet, cash drawer, credit card swipe & receipt printer

Side of the system - a barcode scanner is an available option

Another shot of the front

A couple of things impressed me about Clover. One is that it is the first tablet point of sale system that I have reviewed that has multi-location capabilities.  I also liked that there is one set monthly price for the whole system (software 'app', tablet, warranty, support, cash drawer, receipt printer, credit card swipe and customer price display).  This really makes it easy on a retail store or restaurants budget since there are no surprises - just a monthly payment starting around $79/month.

*UPDATES 7/26/2014*  Recent feedback on Clover:
  • "Returned it (Clover) the next day"
  • "(sales rep) couldn't even demo the system"
  • "they will raise my (merchant services) rates"
  • "don't want to be locked in to a credit card contract"
  • "good step up from a cash register"
  • "missing features"
  • "went with Bindo which does more and doesn't require me to use a specific company for credit and debit card processing services"
The Bindo solution was mentioned a couple of times.  Folks noted that Bindo does more than Clover and is even offering some various incentives like free hardware currently. If you are curious about Bindo Point of Sale, check them out at

Are you in the US and in need of no cost retail point of sale advice? I'm happy to help and can be reached on my cell at 208-340-5632 (mountain time) or via email at

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Point of Sale Workshop

A big thanks to the Idaho SBDC and all the future point of sale owners who attended our How to Choose and Budget for a Point of Sale System workshop! More workshops are on the schedule for Oct 25 in Ontario, OR (registration is closed) and the week of Oct 29th in the Idaho Falls, ID area.

I am also working on another workshop in the Boise area for the early part of November.  In early 2013, I will look at scheduling a workshop related to getting the most out of your point of sale system for retail store and restaurants who already have a point of sale system.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Point of Sale Workshop Schedule

If you are in the Boise, ID area, here is a link for free registration to a retail point of sale workshop being conducted by the Idaho Small Business Development Center in Boise, ID on October 17th:

I am also coordinating with the Small Business Development Centers in Post Falls, ID, Moscow, ID, Twin Falls, ID, Pocatello, ID and Idaho Falls, ID to conduct the workshop.

The workshop is also being held at the Ontario, OR Small Business Development Center on Oct 25th but registration has already closed.

You can reach me via Blogger or at kevinantosh (at) gmail (dot) com if you want to request more information on the workshop or simply to suggest other topics for this blog.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Complaints on "Free" Point of Sale

I've mentioned before that there is no such thing as a 'free' point of sale system. When reading the details, you'll likely see hidden fees and/or ending up paying a higher than normal amount for credit card processing. Even 'nominal' monthly fees can add up to $3500 or more over the course of 5 years - about the same as the cost to purchase a complete point of sale system. Yet, with the 'free' point of sale systems you never actually own anything!

Harbortouch has been getting quite a few complaints lately.  Here are some links to check out why Harbortouch may not be a sound choice for a point of sale system:

And Harbortouch's repsonse:

As retail professionals, we all know that no point of sale system is free - you either pay up front, pay monthly, pay through misc. fee's, or pay via hidden charges (just paying higher than average credit card processing fee's can cost you $1800 or more annually).  Do your homework and you will likely find that 'free' will cost you the same in the long run as most other point of sale systems.

Are you in the US and in need of no cost retail point of sale advice? I'm happy to help and can be reached on my cell at 208-340-5632 (mountain time) or via email at

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thinking About Cloud Based Point of Sale?

New study just came out showing that we are still at least two years away from cloud based point of sale being a reliable and viable option for most retailers.  Yes, there are plenty of cloud based point of sale systems on the market but this explains why they can be slow and offer limited features when compared to a point of sale system run on a local computer.

Here is a link to the study overview:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Managed Services and What it Means to You

Retailer store owners like to focus on running their business and not playing IT managers (in general). One retail point of sale trend over the last 1-2 years is to "off-load" some typical IT related tasks to your point of sale solution provider. This is known as Managed Services.

For a monthly or annual fee, the place were you purchased the point of sale system from can then take of daily tasks like backing up the data and virus scans. They can also monitor your computer equipment to watch for potential problems using remote monitoring software. Finally, help desk support is usually included to take care of everything from simple questions to system failures.

Since everyone has different levels of comfort when dealing with computer equipment, a good question to ask your potential point of sale system provider is what level of managed services they offer (and make sure that support is included on evenings and weekends as well). Their level of service should take care of what you are not comfortable or do not have the time to deal with.

May sound simple but this is something that could save hours of your time each year.