Can I buy a used Clover POS? What are the benefits? Is it a wise decision? Let us answer these questions today.
If you’ve recently acquired a used Clover POS that appears to be in good condition, you might have hit a roadblock upon trying to reprogram it. Unlike certain devices, Clovers are designed with a robust security architecture, making unauthorized alterations nearly impossible.
So, is buying a used Clover POS system really a foolish choice?” Let’s discuss the practical, financial, and technical challenges that you should consider before making this decision. Additionally, we’ll provide some expert insights to guide you in making an informed choice about acquiring a pre-owned or used Clover POS.
Can You Buy A Used Clover POS?
The short answer is Yes. And if you are wondering if buying a used Clover POS system is a viable option then the shortest answer is that it is not recommended. Clover systems are typically sold with a bundled merchant account contract that cannot be separated from the hardware. If you purchase a used Clover POS without the associated merchant account details, the device becomes essentially useless.
Image source: Clover POS for retails
While purchasing a used Clover POS system might seem like a cost-effective option, there are several reasons why many merchants opt against it. Tha
Why Merchants Avoid Buying Used POS?
Here’s a rundown of the key factors to consider before making this decision.
- Security Risks with Older Systems
One of the major concerns with buying a used POS system is the security aspect. Outdated software and non-compliance with current PCI standards can make your business vulnerable to cyber threats and insecure transactions. Additionally, dealing with unauthorized software usage might result in complications and hinder software management.
- Limited Features and Slower Performance
Clover POS used often lack the latest features and may not be compatible with the most recent omnichannel capabilities, limiting your operational efficiency and growth prospects. Compatibility issues with leading payment processors and the inability to process EMV chip cards could also lead to customer dissatisfaction.
- Maintenance Challenges and Limited Support
Daily use of a POS system can lead to wear and tear, making hardware repairs a potential headache. Finding replacement parts for outdated models can be challenging, and support from vendors might be discontinued. In addition, outdated warranties and the lack of modern designs could result in additional expenses for repairs and compromised peripheral device functionality.
Considering these factors, it might be more beneficial in the long run to invest in a new Clover POS system that offers up-to-date security features, improved performance, and reliable customer support.
If you’ve recently acquired a Clover POS used by someone else, or from an online marketplace like eBay, or even a closed business, you may be wondering how to make the most of this opportunity.
After all, why invest in a brand new system when you have a Clover in seemingly good condition at your disposal? But before you can start using it, you may be faced with questions like how to reprogram Clover POS it or even log in, especially if you don’t have the necessary passwords.
Clover POS devices are meticulously integrated, ensuring a seamless and secure POS experience. Attempting to alter either the hardware or software components can lead to system instability or malfunction.
Another key obstacle is vendor lock-in. Clover operates within a closed ecosystem to authorize system changes exclusively by specific individuals. This means you’ll be tied to the merchant services provider (MSP) the system is registered with, offering limited flexibility even if you’re dissatisfied with the fees or services.
First and foremost, it’s important to realize that Clover, much like iPhones and Android phones, can be locked. What does this mean? Well, just as mobile carriers like Verizon or Metro PCS lock phones to their networks when a Clover is obtained through a specific bank or ISO (Independent Sales Organization), it is typically locked to that entity. Herein lies the challenge.
If you can track down the individual or business that sold the Clover to the previous owner, you may be able to reprogram it. In most cases, the seller will be more than willing to assist, as they are familiar with the process. They will likely provide you with a merchant application, which you’ll need to fill out. This application typically requires your bank account details, including a voided check, among other information. Once submitted, it may take anywhere from 5 to 12 days or even less, depending on the specifics, for your Clover to be ready for use.
The payment processor is a vital component of the POS system, tailored to work seamlessly with Clover’s hardware and software. Switching processors can trigger compatibility issues, affecting the system’s functionality and potentially causing failures. Most Clover POS systems are bound to specific merchant service providers with established agreements. Attempting to switch providers can result in service termination due to contract violations.
In cases where non-integrated card processing is an option, challenges and limitations arise due to compatibility issues between the payment processor and the POS system. This can lead to a slower and less convenient checkout process for customers.
Transactions may require manual entry of payment information into the terminal, followed by verification in the POS system. This manual process increases the risk of errors and discrepancies in transaction records, limiting your ability to accept certain payment methods or utilize advanced features.
- Contacting the Original Seller
If you can trace the original seller, reaching out to them is a viable option. They can help reprogram the Clover for you. This involves filling out a merchant application, providing necessary information, and waiting for the reprogramming process to complete, which usually takes around 5 to 12 days.
- Assessing Customer Service
Ensure the sales agent or bank you’re dealing with offers good customer service. Prioritize a provider that can assist you promptly and effectively, making the process smoother for you.
- Considerations for Used Clovers
While opting for a used Clover, ensure it’s in a functional condition. Evaluate its physical state and check for any potential issues, like a frozen screen or other technical glitches. If it proves to be unreliable, it’s advisable to invest in a new one from a trusted source.
- Trial Usage
To ascertain the Clover’s suitability for your business, consider a trial period. Make sure the provider doesn’t bind you with a lease or contract. Test the Clover for a few months, and if it meets your requirements, continue the association for an extended period.
- Some online-purchased Clovers cannot be reprogrammed, it is imperative to know and evaluate your sourcing if it’s from reliable sellers, or what you can do is directly contact the original provider.
- Understand that many service providers cannot assist in reprogramming the Clover directly.
- If you successfully reprogram the Clover, it requires further assistance for dedicated services, including online ordering, branded apps, and various other tools to optimize your business operations.
- Understand your specific business requirements. For instance, restaurants may need a system that seamlessly syncs with kitchen ticket printers, while market vendors or pop-up shops might require a mobile unit for use at various locations.
- Evaluate all costs involved, including upfront expenses, monthly fees, transaction fees, and any potential hidden charges. This financial assessment is crucial for making an informed decision that fits your budget.
- Consider the features you need. Are you looking for a basic system for straightforward transactions, or do you require a more advanced solution with features like inventory management, customer loyalty programs, and support for online orders?
- Two prevalent scams are frequently associated with Clover POS systems. The first involves merchant service providers offering seemingly affordable Clover POS systems on platforms such as Amazon. Yet, they attach these to long-term contracts with exorbitant fees and significant early termination charges.
- The second common scam occurs when individuals sell Clover POS used machines on platforms like eBay without disclosing that the hardware is non-functional due to its inability to undergo reprogramming. Be vigilant and thorough in your evaluation when considering these purchases.
If you’re considering buying a Clover machine online, it’s crucial to choose a reliable source. Our recommendation is to procure your Clover POS machine from one of a reputed Clover resellers. Look for a provider that offers transparent payment processing rates and equitable contract terms.
For those inclined towards specific payment processing models such as interchange-plus payment processing or a cash discount program, there are viable options available, including Dharma Merchant Services.
After selecting a trustworthy merchant services provider, it’s important to understand the art of negotiating a merchant agreement to secure the best contract terms for your business. Your provider will offer you a quote on payment processing fees based on factors such as your business’s scale, longevity, the nature of your products, your personal credit history, transaction sizes, and the ratio of online to in-person sales.
If you’re considering purchasing a Clover POS used, distinguishing between a reliable deal and a potential disappointment is crucial. To aid in your decision-making process, here are three practical tips you can use:
- Check for Unlocked Systems
Always ensure that the Clover POS system you’re examining is unlocked. These systems are often bound by specific company restrictions, rendering them useless if locked. If you’re purchasing from a private seller, verify whether they can put you in touch with the original distributor.
Moreover, confirm that the distributor is willing to unlock the system for you before finalizing the purchase. Take note that some distributors may have specific conditions for unlocking the system, so proceed with caution.
- Get a Clear Return Policy
When making a purchase, particularly of a used item, ensure that the seller offers a written and straightforward return policy.
Having a reasonable return window, even as short as 30 days, allows you to test the system in your own business environment thoroughly. In the event of unexpected issues like a locked system or undisclosed problems, a reliable return policy ensures that you can easily get your money refunded.
- Opt for Reputable Companies Over Private Sellers
It is advisable to avoid purchasing a Clover POS used from private sellers on platforms like Craigslist, Amazon, or eBay. Consider this process akin to buying a second-hand luxury car without a set of keys.
Although these private sellers might entice you with lower-than-market-value prices, the potential risks associated with their lack of reputation can often outweigh any initial cost savings.
Acquiring a Clover POS used can be a cost-effective way to boost your business operations. However, it’s important to understand the complexities involved in reprogramming and using such systems. By making informed choices and carefully evaluating your options, you can ensure that your Clover serves as a valuable asset to your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it possible to purchase a pre-owned Clover POS System?
While you can purchase a used Clover POS, it's important to note that these systems are not reprogrammable. Therefore, you cannot utilize a secondhand Clover POS to conduct sales for your business.
Q: Where can I purchase a Clover POS system?
You can easily locate Clover POS used on various online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, as well as through classified ads and authorized dealers.
Q: What are some common Clover scams to be cautious of?
The primary Clover scam to be wary of involves low-quality merchant service providers selling Clover systems on platforms such as Amazon and eBay.
Disclaimer: The Clover® name and logo are trademarks owned by Clover Network, Inc., an affiliate of First Data Merchant Services LLC, and registered or used in the U.S. and many foreign countries.