Ideal Cost Reacts: Business.com’s “Is a Free POS System Right for Your Business?”
In this article, the author doesn’t clearly disclose any affiliate compensation from third-party advertisers in the credit card processing but clearly links to them in the article. Additionally, there is an “editor’s note” promoting their POS System affiliates, which is a very sneaky way to disguise their compensation model as actual content.
Nevertheless, will we find Business.com to be reliable in dispensing advice on POS systems? Let’s find out.
What is a Free POS System?
- The price of a point-of-sale (POS) system often directly correlates to the features, limitations, and convenience it offers.
- A free POS system can save you money and is ideal for small businesses that rarely process card payments and don’t need advanced POS software functions.
- Most free POS systems are tied to high transaction fees, limited features, or multiyear processing contracts.
- To choose a free POS system, analyze your budget, industry, business size, and the feature you need.
A point-of-sale (POS) system is an integral component for most businesses, and it’s challenging to find the system that’s the right fit for your company’s specific needs. Since POS software and hardware are available in various combinations and price points, business owners can pick and choose what works best for them. Sometimes, that best option is free of charge.
However, the age-old saying, “you get what you pay for” rings true more often than not – and POS systems are no exception. Although using a free POS system to complete your consumer transactions may seem like a great option, it has its own set of pros and cons.
John Moss, CEO of English Blinds, said business owners should be wary of the limitations and additional fees that can come with a free POS system.
“There are free POS systems in as far as there are systems you can get in place without any upfront cost, purchase price, or set monthly fee, but these typically cost more per transaction or have limitations in place in order to counteract this,” Moss told business.com. “There is no such thing as a free lunch, after all, just different ways of paying for things.”
The price point of a POS system varies based on many factors. Assuredly stating that it “often directly correlates” with features, limitations, and convenience is a strange way to hedge your bets against being wrong. POS systems range in price for a variety of reasons, which may or may not have nothing to do with features, limitations, or convenience.
The author also doesn’t distinguish the actual costs of a POS system. POS systems consist of hardware and software. Most traditional POS systems have an up-front fee for equipment such as terminals or tablets, card terminals, printers, and more. The software may come with a one-time or ongoing licensing and/or per-transaction fee. There may be add-on services such as gift-card integration. When the author discussed “free POS systems,” she doesn’t distinguish between free equipment or free software or both. Years ago, retail businesses and restaurants would purchase equipment almost exclusively from POS vendors and worry about the credit card processing at a later date. Now, many businesses buy the POS system and processing directly from the credit card processor. If the processor thinks the account is big enough, they will discount or comp the equipment and perhaps even some of the software costs. Comping equipment isn’t a new concept. In fact, the concept exists elsewhere, such as giving away free cell phones to sell monthly service or giving away free razors to sell the blades. It even exists in other small business services such as free business checking.
The author continues in the article to discuss POS systems using John Moss as her single-source for information. When we researched English Blinds, we were surprised to find out that his business is actually in England. Mr. Moss appears to be a nice and knowledgeable guy, but the author is single-sourcing an article about American credit card processing and POS systems exclusively from one international source. England has an entirely different system for credit card processing than the U.S., so the author should have used experts with U.S.-based businesses. Helping small businesses requires transparency.
Based on the international single-sourcing, hidden affiliate compensation, and sneaky editor’s note, we are grading this article D-.
Don’t Take On The Credit Card Processors By Yourself
Since 2009, IdealCost.com has helped hundreds of companies nationwide reduce their merchant account fees through identifying and fixing hidden profit, overcharges, fake fees, and billing errors. Clients have saved $300-$20,000 per month on their credit card processing fees without going through the hassle of changing their processing vendor, bank, or equipment. Switching credit card processors should be a last resort, only reserved for funding delays, poor customer service, or technical difficulties. Before you consider switching credit card processors, see if you qualify for IdealCost.com’s monthly savings program. Upload your most recent merchant statement for a free analysis. You’ll receive an estimate within 24 business hours.
If you are opening a new credit card processing account or switching credit card processors, feel free to contact us for a free consultation. IdealCost.com can help secure the best terms and fees based on your specific needs.