This article is part of a larger series on POS Systems.
Consignment stores act as an intermediary between the product owner and buyer. They stock and supervise products until they are sold and then pay the product owner. Thus, consignment stores need flexible point-of-sale (POS) systems with tools to manage new item sales and inventory. Consignment store software systems should also have features that address the specific needs of consignors, such as frequent communication and store credit management, but still be easy to use for day-to-day checkout.
We looked at nearly a dozen POS systems specifically for their functionality, examining both native tools and add-ons. In our evaluation, the five best POS systems for consignment stores are:
- Shopify: Best overall
- Square: Best free POS systems for in-store and online
- Ricochet: Best for consignor accounts and tools
- SimpleConsign: Best for multistore and franchises
- Rain POS: Best for consignment shops that need work orders
Consignment POS Systems Compared
Online: $39 to $399
POS: $0–$89 (plus online fee)
In person: 2.4%–2.7%; Online: 2.4% + 30 cents–2.9% + 30 cents
In person: 2.6% + 10 cents; Online: 2.9% + 30 cents
$129 (or $1,199 for annual subscription)
From 2.6% + 10 cents, plus $15/month + admin fee
Varies by processor
With Shopify integration ($0–$75 per month)
From $99; call for quote
Varies by processor
Basic sales functions only
Are you just starting out?
See our complete guide to opening a consignment shop.
Shopify: Best Overall Consignment POS System
What We Like
Although not designed specifically for consignment shops, Shopify tops our list for the best consignment POS system because of its excellent tools and ability to integrate with consignment store software. If you also sell your products online, Shopify offers powerful ecommerce and social selling tools and discounts on shipping.
Shopify earned 4.17 out of 5 in our evaluation. It has good tools for checkout, marketing, and ecommerce but lost points for needing an add-on for consignment tools and because some features require a higher-tier plan. Shopify requires an app for loyalty programs (unlike other providers such as SimpleConsign, which have native tools for this), but free apps are available.
Its pricing is competitive, especially if you are content to use the vendor tools for your consignors. It’s easy to use, and you can purchase or rent the POS hardware or use the mobile app.
To use the POS system, you need a Shopify plan. Plans run from $39 to $399 per month, with discounts in payment processing and shipping that get better with the higher plans. A three-day free trial is also available.
If you are OK with logging consignors as vendors, then this is the cheapest option after Square. If you need special consignment tools, such as account credit and a consignor portal, then you need to add third-party apps, which may come with their own monthly fees. Shopify does have a vendor portal, however.
Shopify’s transaction pricing is competitive, especially for in-person sales. It does not have a flat fee but charges a straight percentage of the sales amount. This is to your advantage if you primarily do small ticket sales.
Online Transaction Fees
2.9% + 30 cents
2.6% + 30 cents
2.4% + 30 cents
In-person Transaction Fees
Additional Fees for Using Third-party Payments
Up to 77%
Up to 88%
Up to 88%
Shopify POS Pro (per Location)
$89 per month
Shopify POS Lite
* Shopify collects sales taxes in certain states where it is required by law. The prices stated here do not reflect such taxes.
Apart from the option to pay monthly, Shopify also offers a 10% discount on one-year plans and a 20% discount on two-year plans (lump-sum payment).
Shopify integrates with several consignment systems. We recommend ConsignCloud. It offers a simple POS system, but excellent consignment tools, including split payment, a mobile-friendly consignor portal, and automatic inventory control and bulk payouts.
- Integrated POS: Shopify’s POS system integrates fully with the online store; whether you sell an item in person or online, it’ll be accounted for in inventory and sales reports. The POS is customizable, with shortcuts and saved carts as well. Shopify makes our list of the top POS systems along with Square.
- Online sales: In addition to being able to create an online store easily, you can make sales online and have customers pick up items in person. This POS system also lets you sell on social media sites via solid integrations with Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Shopify is our No. 1 recommendation for ecommerce platforms.
- Inventory management: Shopify has excellent inventory features, including low stock alerts and variants, purchase orders (POs), and even the ability to forecast product demands.
- Hardware: Shopify works on tablets, but offers hardware systems that include stands, cash drawers, card readers, and more. You can even rent individual devices or hardware bundles for a few days, such as for a fair or community event. Hardware rentals start at $9 per day, and Shopify alone offers this capability.
- Mobile app: Like Square, Shopify has a full-featured mobile app that lets you take your sales anywhere. It earned a 3.5 out of 5 on Android and a 4.5 out of 5 on iOS.
Square for Retail: Best for Free POS & Online Store
What We Like
Square for Retail is our overall best retail POS system. Here, it places second to Shopify, but is a terrific choice for a small consignment shop that doesn’t need a lot of consignor tools.
As with Shopify, you can register consignors as vendors or you can integrate Square into one of many consignment apps like Rose or Aravenda. It has also developed an integration with Ricochet, which ranks next on our list. Square offers competitive payment processing fees with a powerful and free POS system, plus a wide variety of services for when your business grows.
It earned 4.14 out of 5 on our rubric, just shy of Shopify’s score. One reason it took the second slot is that you are locked into Square’s in-house payment processing, while Shopify lets you choose your own processor. However, even the free Square plan offers an easy-to-use POS, strong inventory tools, customer management, and a free online webstore. You need Square POS Plus ($60 per month) for vendor management tools, or you can integrate the basic Square POS into a consignment system to get the best POS system without any additional fees.
At its most basic, Square only charges you for transaction fees; there are no monthly software fees to worry about, as you’ll get the POS system and the online store for free. This makes it the cheapest of the consignment store POS systems on our list. However, as you grow, you may want to add more features, like loyalty or payroll tools:
- Square for Retail (baseline plan): Free
- Square for Retail Plus: $60 per month, per location―adds vendor management, automatic inventory tracking, inventory counting, and purchase orders
- Ecommerce: $0–$79 per month
- Square POS Payment Processing Fees:
- In person: 2.6% + 10 cents
- Online: 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
- Keyed-in payments: 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction
- Volume discounts: Square will create custom packages (software pricing and processing rates) for businesses processing more than $250,000 per year.
- Square additional services:
- Marketing: Starts at $15 per month for up to 500 customer contacts
- Loyalty program: Starts at $45 per month, per location, for up to 500 loyal visits
- Payroll: $35 per month, plus $6 per employee
- Team management: $0–$35 per month, per location
- POS system: Square’s POS system is very easy to use and, unlike many POS systems, lets you take credit card payments even if offline. It processes them once you have a connection again.
- Omnichannel sales: Like Shopify, Square has an online store component, but Square’s is free. This includes a store, the ability to order online and pick up in-store, and to sell via Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
- Hardware: Square works on tablets, but Square also has registers, handheld registers, and other equipment that is designed specifically for the Square system. The others on our list work with multiple hardware vendors, and Shopify has tablet stands and peripherals.
- Customer management: Square can recognize customers by their payment methods, and customers can save their payment preferences for future sales. You can ask customers for feedback right after the sale via text or email receipt. One drawback is that email campaigns and loyalty programs cost extra. For these functions, we suggest Rain or SimpleConsign.
- High user satisfaction: Square has excellent user reviews; the app scores 4.8 out of 5 on both Android and iOS. Users praise its adaptability and how easy it is to use.
Ricochet: Best for Working With Consignors
What We Like
Ricochet earned a 4.13 out of 5 in our evaluation. It is a specialized POS system that contains a full set of industry-specific features such as a consignor portal for accessing accounts, supplier tracking, payout management, and tools for managing consignor credit. It also includes inventory management and purchase ordering features.
While its price, support hours, and limited number of integrations kept it from the top of the list, Ricochet is the best choice if you need consignor-specific tools like a consignor portal, split payments, and more. Plus, it has an integration with Square, which means that you can combine the two and get the best of both worlds.
Ricochet’s plan costs $129 per month or $1,199 for an annual subscription. This is expensive relative to other software on our list, but if you consider that Ricochet will handle all your consignment needs, POS sales, and online sales, it can be cheaper than, say, Shopify, which requires paid add-ons for consignment features.
This POS currently uses Ricochet Pay for payment processing and has recently become more transparent about its processing rates. While this is comparable to Square’s and Shopify’s rates, note that Ricochet also charges additional PCI and admin fees; other POS systems on this list do not require these additional charges. If your credit card sales are infrequent, this may be an expense you don’t want.
- Consignment portal: Ricochet has a consignor/vendor portal, where consignors can log in to see their accounts, including items still unsold, pending payouts, and more. SimpleConsign has a similar feature, as does Shopify, but Ricochet offers more consignor tools.
- Consignment tools: Ricochet, unlike Square and Shopify, is designed specifically for consignments. You can assign consignor credits and awards, automate commission splits, and even let consignors create their own inventory and print their own tags.
- Ecommerce: Ricochet has its own webstore for selling online and shipping products. Unlike Shopify, there’s no additional charge for this tool. It integrates with your system for inventory and sales calculations, plus Mailchimp for collecting customer information for mailing campaigns. You can accept PayPal payments as well.
SimpleConsign: Best for Multiple Consignment Stores
What We Like
SimpleConsign includes consignment-specific tools like several split payment choices, contracts, consignor credit, and a terminal where consignors can view their contracts and account activity. The POS is designed to handle multiple store locations, with the ability to view reports and inventory for any location with one click.
SimpleConsign earned 3.42 out of 5 in our evaluation. It lost points due to high pricing and extra charges for add-ons. It also lost points for not having a mobile app or register features such as customizable hotkeys. Ecommerce access is only available on the most expensive plan. However, the POS has a full suite of consignment tools, including contracts, consignor communications, and payouts. Its ability to handle multiple locations earned it a place on our list. You can also purchase consignments from the register, something Square and Shopify can’t do.
SimpleConsign has three plans, plus additional pricing for plug-ins. Pricing is by location. Every plan includes unlimited consignors, inventory, and cashiers; customer support; training; and backups. Every plan also comes with a rewards points system―something Square charges extra for―and integrated credit card processing. SimpleConsign did not specify card processing rates, which may vary depending on the processor you use.
- Basic: $159 per month, per location
- QuickBooks plug-in is an additional $75/month
- Standard: $209 per month, per location
- QuickBooks plug-in is an additional $50/month; plan also includes basic consignor access, price book, and automated clearing house (ACH) payouts through SimplePay
- Professional: $309 per month, per location
- Includes everything in Standard plan, plus Product Connect for Shopify, free QuickBooks plug-in, application programming interface (API) for ecommerce, cloud printing, photo app, and dealer remote item entry
- Consignment tools: You can easily add vendors, designate contracts, and set consignment splits. Unlike Rain, SimpleConsign does not have a tool for recording signatures. It does, however, let you set and customize monthly fees, such as if you are renting space in your shop. As with Rain, you will need to pay your consignor manually.
- Multistore capabilities: You can use SimpleConsign in multiple stores, with the ability to see any location’s inventory and store credit. You can view reports and inventory for any location with a simple click, even from the register. This is great if you have a customer searching for a specific item that’s not available in one location but might be present in another.
- Ecommerce: SimpleConsign has an API for ecommerce integration or a direct integration with Shopify. However, we do not recommend SimpleConsign’s ecommerce simply because you will be paying more to integrate Shopify, in addition to Shopify’s own fees. Unless you are sold on SimpleConsign for its other features, consider Shopify with a different plugin, or Ricochet.
Rain POS: Best for Consignment Contracts & Work Orders
What We Like
Rain POS is a full-featured in-store and ecommerce POS system that works on a multitude of hardware types, so you are not tied to a proprietary machine. With specialty designs for different types of stores, it has a consignment module that is one of the most powerful we’ve seen. It has a work order function for businesses that take consignments and repair them before putting them up for sale, such as for antiques and high-end items.
However, you need to pay consignors manually, as the software does not support this. You may also need to integrate with ecommerce software to sell consignment items online.
Rain POS earned a 3.37 out of 5 on our rubric. The biggest hit was in pricing, as it does not list pricing or transaction fees on its site. It does not have a consignor portal like Ricochet or SimpleConsign. It also cannot take payments offline. Nonetheless, it has a wealth of consignment functions, loyalty, and marketing tools.
Rain does not list its pricing online; this lack of transparency cost it several points in our evaluation. You need to get a demo and then talk to a representative for a quote. The same goes for its payment processing, Rain Payments, which is built on Stripe’s infrastructure.
Third-party sources say Rain starts at $99 per month, which is on par with what most of the consignment-specific POS systems run.
- Full-featured consignment module: The consignment module includes the ability to collect contract signatures and set minimum pricing, net consignments, and more. This is far more than Shopify or Square can do on their own. Rain falls short of SimpleConsign, however, in that you cannot pay consignors from the module.
- Contracts: Unlike the other providers on our list, Rain lets you specify contracts and collect signatures. You can use multiple contracts, so that you can have separate ones for different product types—antiques, for example. Signatures can be collected by print, email, e-signature, or not at all, and you specify in the account how it was collected. SimpleConsign has contracts, but you can only print them.
- Work orders: You may have an item that could be worth a lot but needs some repairs done first. Rain is the only consignment POS system on our list that lets you create work orders for the repair of items. When a work order is out, the item is listed as reserved until the repair is completed, after which it is listed as for sale.
How to Choose a Consignment Store POS System
When choosing a POS system for your consignment store, consider the needs of regular retail stores—speedy checkout, return management, store credit, and various payment methods are all good to have.
However, also look into robust inventory and vendor management, since all items in stock have different owners who will need to be paid at the time of sale. Consignment store POS systems also need tools to help maintain constant communications with product owners (consignors), send them regular reports, and manage credit. Good consignment POS systems will also have a consignor portal or allow consignors access to their own accounts, increasing transparency and making both reporting and product movement more efficient.
How We Evaluated Consignment POS Systems
We looked at nearly a dozen POS systems, including general ones with vendor management and programs that are specific to consignment stores. While we gave heavier weight to consignment tools, we nonetheless looked at their use for the entire retail process.
Shopify was our No. 1 choice. It took the lead in ease of use and scored highly in all categories. Its 24/7 customer support, integration capability, and ability to work with multiple payment processors set it above the other choices on this list.
Click through to see the scoring criteria we used.
25% of Overall Score
25% of Overall Score
These are features that make things easy for your cashier, including programmable buttons, store credit and return functions, gift cards, and more. We also gave points for online tools and mobile payment processing.
20% of Overall Score
These are backend tools for marketing, inventory, and especially consignor management and communication. We have the heaviest emphasis on consignor tools, with partial credit if the software integrates with consignment apps.
10% of Overall Score
Software is no good if it’s not easy to use. We looked at offline modes, customer support hours, integrations, and online support tools like articles and videos.
20% of Overall Score
Here, we relied on our years of experience evaluating POS software as well as reviews from real-world users to determine value for your dollar.
Consignment POS System Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Consignor portals, like those in Ricochet and SimpleConsign, allow consignors to log in and see the status of item sales, payouts, and inventory. Some even let them edit information. This can save you time-consuming phone calls from consignors wondering if their items have sold yet.
Yes. Most consignment POS software have tools for regular item sales as well, with vendor accounts and regular inventory tools. We consider a few of the consignment POS systems in this list to be among the best retail POS systems in general.
Absolutely. You should have an ecommerce system that works with consignment software so that you can properly calculate your share vs your consignor’s share of the profits, and you need to determine how shipping costs are split. Both Shopify and Square have native ecommerce tools.
Yes. We recommend Square so frequently because of its ease of use and versatility; it’ll definitely work for consignment stores. Square for Retail is noteworthy for its free plan and native online store. Note, however, that some of the consignment-specific functions will need third-party add-ons.
In general, inventory management is fairly similar between consignment shops and regular retail stores. In both cases, you’ll benefit from features like low-stock alerts, variant management, and multilocation tools. One difference is that consignment stores will need to track inventory and sales by specific consignor; this is another reason that it’s beneficial to use a POS system with a consignor portal, as it makes it easier to do this.
The best POS systems for consignment stores should be inexpensive, easy to use, and take into account the unique needs of consignment sales. Sometimes, you can’t get all three, but with the best consignment POS systems above, you can come close.
We chose Shopify as the best overall consignment sales platform because of its many features and excellent price. You can list consignors as vendors or integrate with a consignment store software to get a powerful system for in-store and online. Check out Shopify and get started today.