Should I Buy a Used Restaurant POS System?

The decision of what restaurant POS to buy is a big one and should not be taken lightly. After all, a Point of Sale system is a big investment that can result in big returns. However, many business owners have an understandable desire to save money on this investment. Maybe you’re one of them. If you are, you’ve probably wondered about the risks associated with buying a used restaurant POS system. Today, we hope to help you feel confidence in making this investment in your business.

The Risks of Buying a Used POS System

There are some very serious, and very real, risks that can arise when buying a used POS system. Generally speaking, these risks stem from purchasing the system from the original user. Some of the most common issues include:

  • Hardware that doesn’t work
  • Hardware/software compatibility issues
  • Software that doesn’t work for your business
  • “Hidden” costs, like software relicensing
  • A lack of warranty, training and support

When you buy a used POS system directly from a restaurant, the equipment may be greasy, sticky, full of coke...who knows? However, there is a difference between a used POS system and a refurbished POS system. Refurbished computers can have brand new touch screen monitors, card swipes, cash drawers, and more so what you’re really getting is a mostly new package instead of a stinky, greasy, syrupy, unreliable mess.

Additionally, POS systems are usually designed and programmed to be used in a certain industry or by a certain business. Buying a used system from the original user can lead to many unforeseen programming difficulties. If you choose to buy a used system from another business, make sure you contact the system vendor so that you can get their help in determining what kinds of costs you’re looking at for software licensing and/or system reprogramming.

The Right Way to Buy a Used POS System

There is, however, a better way to save money on a restaurant POS system without risking running into the types of problems listed above. The right way to buy a used POS system is to order from a legitimate secondary market provider. In fact, some vendors even offer used restaurant POS systems that include a warranty and have support, upgrade and licensing options so that you don’t have to worry when you run into trouble.

In the end, it really boils down to doing your homework before committing to a big investment like this and finding out what is the right option for you and your restaurant.

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