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So for a year or two I have been looking for a Point of Sale system that accomodates all my needs which isn't alot but most POS's are focused on the restaurant business or retail and thats pretty much it. We end up having to try and make one or the other work for events. I'll start off with the requirements then work give a review of each POS I've tried so far.
Let's first start with my least liked POS but it didn't start that way...
At the beginning this was a great little POS with some custom options but its really focused around a restaurant which I'm not but made it work. A few years back they introduced the cloud version which I loved the idea of.. build everything in the cloud and push your changes down to your Terminals. MOBI is not good at this at all. Originally (and they still have) a peer network where you have one iPad acting as the server and another iPad can be a terminal but that extra terminal is very limited on what it can do.
Pricing was okay but still pricey for what you get. I found for the same price you can get into a nicer POS but MOBI was very easy to get up and going quickly if you have on one register. They do offer a 14 day risk free trial at the time of this writing so give them a look, maybe they'll work for what you need. Unfortunately MOBI isn't strong enough with features to do what we need a POS to do so they are now no longer a part of our infrastructure.
This POS felt like a step up from MOBI but more so in the cloud aspect. Getting multiple terminals up is easy as well as configuring your products but it felt still like the feature set was lacking. For example there is no discount or coupon area to add pre-populated information or an ability to run reports on discounts.
When you log in via an assigned PIN there was a huge lag between each press of the number to where you would continue to enter the wrong number because the lag is so bad.
Pricing I never got into but they are currently very generous with there trial period of 30days which I was blown away with. Thank You! Support wasn't horrible but needs improvement but that could be because airpos is headquartered in Northern Ireland. I'm sure the time difference has something to do with it.
Again, like MOBI if you have a simple setup then airpos may be fine for your needs but when you run into complicated environments like ours then it just won't do.
My next attempt was talech which was found off a google search for a Point of Sale system that would work on an iPad. I have much frustration with talech for mainly they have promise but I should of known I was in trouble right from the start. Salesman did a nice demo of the system and showed what I could do. My staff and I brought up questions to the salesman which was answered no problem, talech can do that. SOLD! Paid for the product but it took a days to get the login information and to process the purchase. Once I received the information I learned that you don't get all the features as demonstrated without purchasing the upgraded premium package. Also an odd thing but you cant apply discount coupon to one item. It says you can but if you have 5 of the same product and you only want to discount 2 of them you can't, the system applies the discount to all 5 of the same item. Weird. Also trying to edit items on the backend in the browser the system would just spin. Also I can not run the reports on discount/coupons used. It took awhile but I learned that talech, yet more feature reach than the other two, wasn't going to be our Point of Sale system.
With the 7 day free trial of iConnect POS I thought I may of found a winner. It is very feature rich and pretty easy to use. In fact it had the most features of any POS I tested. Also impressed with the support for iOS, Android and Web based. So it sounds great right? Nope, just a dress on a pig.
You will get different features based on what operating system you use so since you have three possible ways to connect to iConnect you also get three different environments. For example the Android and Web interface supports drop down discounts but the iPad does not. The iPad will support USB Printer where the Android Tablets do not... just to name a few differences.
Something I definitely did not like is if you apply a discount to an item it spreads the discount all over every items (like a percentage off). It looks ugly and not sure who would want that.
Finally a feature that I feel is a serious bug. If you process a refund on a sale it doesn't mark it in the system that you refunded an item off that ticket so that customer can go back as many times as they want and get a refund on the same ticket. That was the final straw that broke the iConnect POS back. I can easily see this happening in our environment.
I did love the ability to place an order on HOLD and pull it back up. I could see the ladies in the office doing sales during the week enter all these sales in a HOLD pattern and finalize it on the weekend when they customer comes to the gate.
Thank goodness for shopkeep. I have tried all these and lost alot of money in the process. The staff is very friendly and helpful. After introduction from Nick which handed me off to a specialist named Tim which showed me what I needed to see. I was up and running in less than an hour.
Now no one is perfect and I didn't see the ability to get a free trial of the system to play around. I had to pay $138 for two terminals/month which is the most expensive of all that I tried but it works. iConnect does have more features than shopkeep but Shopkeep just does what I need it to do. Sometimes more isn't always better. Unlike Revel we can shut down the terminals when not in use and I don't get billed the $69 for each terminal a month but if you want access to your reports still and keep all your products entered then you may a small price of $10/month. When your season starts back up you pay the $69/terminal and it downloads what you need.
For me its a no brainer and I'm still on my first day with the product but what I learned from using all the other POS systems, this product is really great.
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I'm just like most people and want to find ways to save money. For our family we don't watch that much TV and television now adays seem to be mostly commercials. Got introduced to Netflix many years ago and still have a running membership today. Now that Netflix has there own shows and movies with no commercials is pretty awesome. They also have last season shows all included with no commercials so if you can wait a year, its great watching a show with no commercials. I find commercials distract me from the show enough that when it comes back it refreshes my memory on what I was even watching.
There is more than Netflix such as Hulu which I didn't like at all. There is Amazon, which we have access to since we are Amazon Prime Members.It's not very much per year and as much as we order from Amazon that free shipping is nice as well as all the other goodies that come with it. Unfortunately Prime isn't nearly as strong on TV Shows and Movies as Netflix but its still an option. We also use an Apple TV since our house is mostly Apple products. When you have a house full of Apple, the Apple TV is a great addon to your home since Apple works very very well with Apple. If you don't have Apple I have and also like the Amazon Fire Stick. Main reason is it supports an application I like to use called Kodi which Roku doesn't support neither does Apple TV.
Alright so summary...
Streaming Apps that I use
- DirectTV Now ($35/month) - gives a few channels, not sure its worth it.
Hardware I suggest
- Amazon Firestick
Now what you loose mainly is your local channels. I didn't think this would be a big deal since we really don't watch much TV but when you want to watch local news, weather, etc. then it would come in handy. Obviously getting hooked back up with a dish or cable provider just for local channels is silly to me so I found another solution. It's a one time cost of $350 but its a strong antenna that connects outside your home which pulls in around 30-40 local channels. It's the same thing the cable company does. Outside of a cable facility you will see a very large antenna outside to pull in those local channels and then they send to all of you via the coax connected to your home. So once you pay the $350 to have someone install a strong Winnegard HD TV Antenna on your home they connect to your existing Coax and hopefully your TV is new enough to be able to Tune HD TV.
I'm now a happy cord cutter with the solution I need.
I kept our local cable provider for internet only service. They have only one speed so the lowest cost for internet was fine.($50/month)
I purchased an Amazon Firestick for every TV in our home ($35/each one time cost)
I pay monthly for Netflix ($10/month)
I purchased Winnegard HD TV antenna and had it installed on my home ($350 one time cost)
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