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Point-of-sale app?  RSS feed

 
Michael Radelut
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Location: Germany, 7b-ish
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I'm looking for this app - does anyone know whether such a thing exist?

Say I'm a small commercial gardener.
I have a small customer base, divided into two buying groups.
I haver an app on my phone (and computer, but that's optional).
Twice a week, while walking through my garden in the morning, I make a list of what will be immediately harvestable.
I then type the kind of vegetable, the amounts of each and the price into my app.
When I'm finished with them all, a message is sent to every customer, telling him that new stuff is in stock.
When an order is made, real-time stock adjustments happen.
Next evening, the two people responsible for the delivery arrive and take away the sorted veggies.
Every customer can view his orders and balance; a message is sent whenever it exceeds X, prompting him to make a payment to me.
It should be something that can work without some corporation handling billing because it's meant to be small and secure (no online bank data needed).

 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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I want that app, too!
 
Ron Helwig
Posts: 132
Location: New Hampshire
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forest garden hugelkultur tiny house
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Michael Radelut wrote:
I'm looking for this app - does anyone know whether such a thing exist?

Say I'm a small commercial gardener.
I have a small customer base, divided into two buying groups.
I have an app on my phone (and computer, but that's optional).
Twice a week, while walking through my garden in the morning, I make a list of what will be immediately harvestable.
I then type the kind of vegetable, the amounts of each and the price into my app.
When I'm finished with them all, a message is sent to every customer, telling him that new stuff is in stock.
When an order is made, real-time stock adjustments happen.
Next evening, the two people responsible for the delivery arrive and take away the sorted veggies.
Every customer can view his orders and balance; a message is sent whenever it exceeds X, prompting him to make a payment to me.


This should all be able to be done using an e-commerce website that is designed to be mobile-first & responsive. ('mobile first' and 'responsive' are keywords that any web developer should know and all new websites should be using them.) I could build such a site myself, but it would most likely cost more than you're willing to pay. I'd bet though that there are sites out there that can do everything you want.

Michael Radelut wrote:
It should be something that can work without some corporation handling billing because it's meant to be small and secure (no online bank data needed).


That pretty much means using bitcoin.

Shopify is an ecommerce site host that accepts bitcoin: http://www.shopify.com/
But you should check out other options as well, although I can't think of any off the top of my head.
 
Michael Radelut
Posts: 204
Location: Germany, 7b-ish
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I realize I should have worded this a little differently.
When one starts out, testing the waters and selling only to a few people one is in personal contact with, and then needs an app to just get an overview of what to harvest from the beds, little more than some sort of Doodle or a glorified spreadsheet with online access seems necessary.
I've read about Shopify, Volusion and the like, but when you're doing the equivalent of a weekly yard sale and can personally collect the money, shouldn't there be something a little less complicated?
Just a colourful board with little boxes to tick off, thereby removing them from the overall amount of boxes, everything else being handled via phone or in person.


 
Ron Helwig
Posts: 132
Location: New Hampshire
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forest garden hugelkultur tiny house
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Trust me. As a programmer with about 20 years of experience I can say with confidence that it is not as simple as you make it sound. Making systems that are robust and simple for the user to use is really hard - users will often do things you wouldn't think of until you've experienced years of dealing with a variety of users and their idiosyncrasies.

Spreadsheets are great for analysts who are trained to use them, but I wouldn't suggest them for this purpose. What happens when one of your customers adds rows or updates counts themselves, for example? Accidentally deletes a row?

Many apps are just mobile views of web pages anyway, so using a smartphone to access a website should be pretty much as good as an app.

And I wouldn't worry about folks that aren't known customers accessing your site. Unless you do some heavy marketing no one is going to even know it exists - I definitely know that

But how much would you be willing to pay anyway? A couple thousand $ should be plenty.
 
Simone Gar
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Location: Alberta, zone 3
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Have you looked into Square (squareup.com)? Here in Canada we get limited features but I think in the states it does all/most of what you want. Online shop, mailing out, inventory etc.

Edit: Shoot, sorry didn't see you are in Germany. I don't think it's available in Germany yet.
 
Michael Radelut
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Location: Germany, 7b-ish
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Ron, I trust your expertise, and I'm aware of the pitfalls of advertising and proper use of clickable items.
What I'd like is something that merely looks simple, but has all the functionality it needs. Should be all the rage these days.
I was immediatley looking for something unrelated to POS, like polling software and the like.
In the end, I'll probably end up with a round of chat messages/emails, and the respective overhead.

Simone, Square is the kind of posh startup I'd like to avoid.
You also get all features of established systems like Shopify and Volusion in both Canada and Europe.
Although admittedly it is a little hard to imagine heads of lettuce being presented like this:
http://district-demo.volusion.com/
 
Simone Gar
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Michael Radelut wrote:Ron, I trust your expertise, and I'm aware of the pitfalls of advertising and proper use of clickable items.
What I'd like is something that merely looks simple, but has all the functionality it needs. Should be all the rage these days.
I was immediatley looking for something unrelated to POS, like polling software and the like.
In the end, I'll probably end up with a round of chat messages/emails, and the respective overhead.

Simone, Square is the kind of posh startup I'd like to avoid.
You also get all features of established systems like Shopify and Volusion in both Canada and Europe.
Although admittedly it is a little hard to imagine heads of lettuce being presented like this:
http://district-demo.volusion.com/


Posh startup? It's free, it works. Square only charges a fee when payments are made with credit card. As any credit card transaction would come with a fee.
Shopify and Volusion both come with expensive monthly fees whether your page is ready, you have sales or not. Your choice but I rather not spend money before I have sales and especially only if I have sales transaction via credit card. I haven't paid a cent yet as my customers haven't used their credit cards yet.
 
Michael Radelut
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Location: Germany, 7b-ish
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I called it posh because it's targeted at people who's foremost problem is an easy way to conduct financial transactions.
In my country, the plastic money adoption rate is much lower than in the US, and, if I may put on my tin foil hat for a moment, exproporiations of bank accounts need not be limited to only one EU country...
Cash has recently be called a 'haven for criminals alone' by EU bureaucracy, so the last thing I want is another way to "modernize" payment strategies in that direction.
(Don't think your government isn't contemplating similar things btw )
Volution and Shopify aren't just a credit card reader and some software, but whole online shops. Fees are tax deductable, and I won't be selling services which only need a swipe to pay, but need a permanent virtual shop window to display produce.
 
Simone Gar
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Michael Radelut wrote:I called it posh because it's targeted at people who's foremost problem is an easy way to conduct financial transactions.
In my country, the plastic money adoption rate is much lower than in the US, and, if I may put on my tin foil hat for a moment, exproporiations of bank accounts need not be limited to only one EU country...
Cash has recently be called a 'haven for criminals alone' by EU bureaucracy, so the last thing I want is another way to "modernize" payment strategies in that direction.
(Don't think your government isn't contemplating similar things btw )
Volution and Shopify aren't just a credit card reader and some software, but whole online shops. Fees are tax deductable, and I won't be selling services which only need a swipe to pay, but need a permanent virtual shop window to display produce.


Still not getting what you mean with posh in this case... anyways...

I think you need to look a little more into the services that Square offers. I agree they are mostly know for the transaction part (esp. credit card) but as I mentioned in my 1st post there is much more. Like online stores, inventory management, cash management etc. As I said I haven't done a single credit card transaction yet. I manage my cash payments, cheque (still common here, I know it's not in Germany) and also invoicing. The invoicing is great as it let's you create professional invoices that can be paid with credit card via their services but also any other way you want even paypal, bitcoin etc. It's totally up to you and free (apart from credit card fees).
The reports work like a charm, you can report on sale in any period, on any product and fees only (for tax purposes for example). Every transaction comes with a unique ID which is really handy for tax reporting.

I am not trying to sell you on this but I want to clarify that square offers much more than credit card transactions.

I was looking for something that can handle any transaction without much set up, fuss or maintenance. I also wanted something that looks professional (receipts, invoices) and works with anything of payment (well, cash, cheque or credit cards at least). Square does that.
 
Simone Gar
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Location: Alberta, zone 3
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Michael Radelut wrote:...need a permanent virtual shop window to display produce.


One service to check out for this is bigcartel.com
Not sure if you fit into their portfolio (they accepted me) but their fees are reasonable.
 
Michael Radelut
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Location: Germany, 7b-ish
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Unless I dress my lettuces up in scarves, I think there's little chance of admission
 
Michael Radelut
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Location: Germany, 7b-ish
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Well...two years later I have the garden, but as far as I can see there's still no app fitting the bill.
Maybe I'll use a chat app and stickers for veggies...
 
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