On the surface, you might think of buying a used POS system as a cost-effective solution. But this decision comes with some strings attached. In fact, there is more than one reason why you should never buy a used POS system.
The global POS market hit over $22 billion and $25 billion mark in 2021 and 2022. By 2029, the global point-of-sale market is expected to reach $70 billion. Of course, when you start a new business from the ground up – you want to save resources and opt for smart devices, including a POS system from third-party sources.
But in practice, getting a used POS system is a bad idea. This is because old POS systems are typically redundant. You cannot scale up and streamline operations with an old and outdated point-of-sale system. The worst part of buying a used POS system is that it features old software and most of the time provides no support.
Let’s take a look at the four main reasons that should convince you not to buy a used or old POS system:
- Redundant Software Applications
If you’re planning to buy a POS system with second-hand pre-installed software, understand that it won’t have any value to your business. Pre-installed software on a point-of-sale system may have worked for a previous business, but it will not work for you and your business.
For instance, you don’t want to mix POS systems for retail and restaurant operations. While retail POS systems feature inventory matricies and unique software applications, restaurant point of sale system feature split check and integrated kitchen display functions.
Oftentimes, businesses search to find and purchase a used point-of-sale system that has functional and supported software. But expecting to have updated software on a used POS system is not practical. In most cases, the danger of buying a used POS system is dealing with non-compliant PCI standards.
It could potentially compromise your business’ ability to accept credit cards. More importantly, it would make your business more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and unsecure transactions.
Just when you think it can’t get any worse – you’ll have to deal with the ownership transfer of the software or take care of the license fees. Otherwise, you risk using the POS system software illegally, which can create more issues later on.
The ability to update and manage software can make all the difference in how you use a POS system. If you intend to buy a used POS system, you may have to update the license and still run into legal issues. So, take any information you find on a used point-of-sale system with a grain of salt.
Oftentimes, businesses end up buying a used point-of-sale system in haste. Sooner or later, it dawns on businesses that they’ll have to reprogram it for their menu. Remember that reprogramming the POS system takes a lot of time and requires technical expertise.
Some startups get a used POS system and then have to spend their valuable resources to train teams so they can understand outdated software. In any case, when you purchase a second-hand point-of-sale system, you’ll have to invest in different areas.
- Outdated Operating System
Whether it’s Windows, iOS, Android, or Linux operating system, the POS system you plan to buy should be running the latest version. But if it has an old operating system, it won’t function like modern POS systems and can compromise your business operations.
Moreover, one of the worst things about buying a used POS system is that it is vulnerable to potential security threats. It can lead to data breaches and put your entire company’s valuable data at high risk. Today, data is the Holy Grail for any business and the last thing you want to do is get an old POS system that can lead to data loss.
Remember, data loss can tarnish the image of any business and trigger fines. Avoid buying a used point-of-sale system if you don’t want to incur more liability. Using a POS system with an outdated operating system creates serious security issues. After all, old operating systems are slow and prone to failure.
With old POS systems, there is also a good chance you won’t see dedicated support. It means the POS vendor stops providing support, which makes it difficult to sustain the system. Buying a used and old POS system means you’ll be responsible for addressing new issues.
Old POS systems tend to fail businesses at the worst time. Buying and using an old POST system also lacks omnichannel capabilities like inventory management, task automation, daily reports, and employee management.
As a business owner, you naturally don’t want to be left behind and get stuck with outdated features and capabilities. It makes it all the more important not to buy and use old and outdated point-of-sale systems that would be detrimental to your growth potential.
- Limited Features and Slow Payment Processing
You should avoid buying a used POS system if you don’t want to deal with slow payment processing and limited or redundant features, If you already have an established business, you’re aware of fluctuating credit card processing fees. A few cents more per transaction can round up to a lot of money every year.
And to top it off, old and used POS systems likely don’t integrate with top of the line payment processors. Business owners should see buying a POS system as a long-term commitment through a merchant account provider. You don’t have to buy a used point-of-sale system that can only integrate one or two providers.
Businesses should be cautious about merchant providers that make a few upgrades and try to sell used POS units. One of the risks of buying a used POS system is that they’re likely not EMV compliant. That’s because merchants in the United States started to accept and process EMV chip cards in 2015.
- Old and Worn Out Hardware
Typically, point-of-sale hardware manufacturers regularly update their products. POS system end-users should keep up with more dynamic, new, and complex software applications. If you want to maintain your competitive edge in your industry, you’ll have to get a POS system that features new hardware and supports the latest software applications.
But one of the major pitfalls of buying a used POS system is it propels businesses to deal with old and worn-out hardware. As the hardware of a POS system gets older – it’ll become more difficult to find suitable replacement parts. It would also become challenging to receive desk support from tech experts trained on the newest devices.
When you cannot get your hands on compatible hardware parts and drivers, it decreases the overall value and functional capability of your POS system. So, if the hardware drivers that connect peripheral devices and the POS system don’t work, receipt printers, touch screens, and barcode scanners won’t open automatically.
Unlike new point-of-sale systems, used and old POS systems are not modern and sleek. Old POS systems tend to get clunky. If you care about your brand, you wouldn’t think about getting a used POS system. While POS hardware manufacturers provide warranties on new hardware, used POS systems have expired warranties. It means you’ll have to cover the repair costs on your own.
When you purchase a used point-of-sale system, you’ll likely be using a product with an expired warranty on all hardware parts. Most hardware manufacturers also don’t provide extensions on their warranty. Buying a used POS system means dealing with multiple defective components that would require replacement or repairs.
Why Using a Used POS System is a Bad Idea: Perspective
Your dream to scale and expand payment processing capabilities will remain a dream if you end up buying a used and outdated POS system. When looking for a standalone and highly compatible POS system, don’t consider buying a used point-of-sale system.
One of the drawbacks of buying a used point-of-sale system is that it lacks the scope businesses need to grow and scale up operations for years to come. Also, buying a used and old POS system leaves no choice for businesses but to deal with a lot of paperwork and experience sync issues.
Old software used in the point-of-sale system comes with no support. And when features and functions are not working in an automated manner, you’ll be forced to perform tasks manually and compromise your payment processing efficiency.
If you plan to buy a used point-of-sale system, understand that the older the unit – the slower it will be to process payments. Getting a used POS system will also require some time before your staff can figure out how it works and make it work for customers.
So, should you buy a used point-of-sale system? No. In a tech-driven age, it doesn’t make sense to get a used point-of-sale system. Typically, it makes sense to buy used or refurbished smart electronics when there are impressive deals. But the same approach doesn’t work with the POS system. In fact, getting a used point-of-sale system can be detrimental to your business.
Whether it’s outdated tech or non-existent support, buying a used POS system is far from practical. The wise course of action for business owners is to get a brand new point of sale system to accelerate, optimize, and streamline payment processing operations.