Small business

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Small shop stall

One of the charms of the Point Of Sale business is that it is dominated by small companies. Of course, companies like IBM and Epson produce POS hardware, but both companies have set up very specialized departments that work separated from the rest of the company. Don’t try to find drivers for Epson receipt printers on www.epson.com; you’ll have to look at the site of the Epson SD group. In the POS software market, the presence of the big guys is even less prominent. Microsoft does have POS software, but they hardly sell it outside the USA.

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BryteNet hosting

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Hosted by BrytenetThis site has changed hosting provider. We are now hosted by BryteNet, an experienced hosting provider suited very well for weblogs like this one but also for corporate sites. BryteNet gives support in English, Spanish, Catalan and Dutch, and is highly recommended by the POS blog.

Black money

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Black money

Though you hardly ever hear about it, black money is still common in the SMB sector. I came to realize this during my holidays in Italy, when the following happened:

After eating a very good pizza in a fine restaurant in Rome, we asked for the bill. A minute later, the waiter returned and told us that we had to pay 40 euro. The waiter did not give us a subtotal, as he obviously wanted to do a black transaction. One of our friends however, thought the waiter wanted to keep the money as a very big tip, and requested a subtotal on paper. The waiter disappeared again, and returned with a subtotal for 33 euro, telling us that he made a mistake and that we had to add the starters —7 euro each— giving a total of 47 euro. We paid and left with the receipt showing only 33 euro. What happened was that the waiter simply gave us a receipt left on the table by other guests —proven by the fact that the pizzas on the receipt were not the ones we’d eaten— and used it for us. So he effectively had transferred the previous sale worth 33 euro and our starters —14 euro— to their black bookkeeping.

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Don’t trust the web

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Don’t trust the web when selecting your Point Of Sale! You might already have found out that it is very difficult to obtain objective details about POS systems, since the high rankings in the search engines are filled by spamvertised ‘blogs’.

Today I found out that ‘normal’ looking site cannot be trusted either. I came across a site made to help customers in selecting POS softawre. It was a good-looking site, with reviews of several applications. Since our own product can always use a little bit of exposure, I sent a message to the site owner, telling him that if he wanted he could receive a demo copy of our software for review. This was his answer:

You can submit a sealed bid along with your own review for the month of July. The highest bidder gets the highest rating.

And such a site claims to help the customer?! Do not trust the web, find a good POS specialist instead!

Why the POS market is different

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When I started this site, I wrote that the POS market is interesting because it is different from the regular IT market. So what are those differences then? Isn’t a Point Of Sale simply a PC with a database and some software on it?

Seen from that point of view, the POS market is indeed just like any other market. But if you look more closely, there are differences.

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