When our users tell us how they think a POS system should work we actually take notes! All future development of the system is based only on what we hear from you because that is where we get all our best ideas. One year of support is included in the purchase price of Retail Plus. After that there is an annual fee of $99 for a standalone computer or $139 for a multi-user network.
Support is available by calling the number above or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We usually answer email at the end of each day. Our download page contains the latest revision of the software and it is always available. You can also find any troubleshooting tips you need right here.
Current Support Topics
Hardware Options - Daily Sales Reports - A4 Label Formats - Gift Certificates - Consignment Items - Network Setup - CD Backups - Parent & Child Items - Selling Labour Or Services - Printing A Customer List - QuickBooks Link - Copying Your Data To A New Computer - Displaying Photos On A Network - Upgrading To Version 3.0
Remote Access Support: You can get live one-on-one support and tutorials via remote access software. Please call our toll free number to schedule a connection.
Receipt Printer - To make your printer configuration easy select a receipt printer that has a cash drawer port in the back. Epson, Star, Samsung and Citizen make a range of good products. Please note that graphics printing on receipt printers is not supported.
Cash Drawer - Any cash drawer will be OK, just make sure to tell the supplier you will be connecting to the receipt printer so they supply the right cable. If you are connecting the cash drawer directly to the computer you must have a serial port available on the computer and the cash drawer must have a serial cable.
Barcode Scanner - Any USB barcode scanner will work. There may still be some used ones available that connect via the keyboard port but such ports are no longer used on new computers. Avoid old scanners that connect via the serial port.
For more information about hardware options please see our Do-It-Yourself page.
TROUBLESHOOTING QUICKBOOKS LINKS
If you get an error message when updating to or from QuickBooks it is most likely caused by one of the following:
- The Chart Of Accounts is missing one of the accounts specified in the setup instructions, or the Account Type is not the right one. (see Appendix Q in the manual).
- The list of payment methods in Retail Plus does not match the one in QuickBooks, or is not spelled the same way i.e. Amex instead of American Express.
- You are attempting to update QuickBooks from another PC on your network. QuickBooks will not allow you to link with Retail Plus unless you are working at the computer where QuickBooks is installed. This is a restriction imposed by QuickBooks because it is considered a security risk.
- QuickBooks is not open in the correct company file, not in multi-user mode, or Retail Plus is not registered as an unrestricted user.
- The "Last QB Request" button - If QuickBooks generates an error message after a command is executed this button will pop up a window showing the request sent to it in QB-XML format. You can copy and past it into a fax which will make it easier for us to see why your request was rejected.
For complete instructions on connecting Retail Plus and QuickBooks please see Appendix Q in the Retail Plus manual.
DAILY SALES REPORTS
Daily sales reports usually consist of cash drawer totals and a sales summary. Both are obtained in the POS screen. To get the first press F10 then F5. To get the second pull Totals down to Itemized Sales Log, then select File / Print / Daily Sales Report.
SELLING LABOR OR SERVICES
To sell labor or services just give it a name ( Repair Service, Consulting Hours etc..) and give it a price per hour. This allows you to sell fractions of an hour where appropriate. If you charge repair work by the bench hour, you can sell 1.25 hours of plus the parts out of regular inventory. Make sure you set the Item Type to Service or the Department to Labor so the system does not treat it like shelf stock.
It is very easy to network Retail Plus. Here are the basic steps:
- Connect your computers with Fast Ethernet cable.
- Decide which machine will contain Retail Plus and all it's data (we call this the host) and install Retail Plus on it. Do not install Retail Plus on any other machines except the host.
- Right click on the Retail Plus folder, select Sharing and enable it. Windows may give you some warnings about security but don't let that stop you. For the basics on Windows file sharing please see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304040.
- Go to each workstation on the network and open Windows Explorer (not Network Neighborhood). Pull Tools down to Map Network Drive and follow the Wizard.
- On each workstation use Windows Explorer to create a shortcut pointing to PLUS30.EXE. Just open Windows Explorer and navigate it to the network drive where you will see the contents of the Retail Plus folder on the host machine. Right click on PLUS30.EXE and select Create Shortcut. Once the shortcut is created you can drag it onto the desktop.
Some configurations in the Retail Plus Setup screen are workstation-specific so make sure you open the Setup screen on each one and check the settings.
Network Error 21 and how to fix it.
We sometimes get calls from users who are getting an error message that looks like "Error 21 - Open Database" when they network Retail Plus. This means that Windows Explorer was not used to map the drive and so there is a network alias name for the host machine instead of a drive letter:
Wrong: "\\Host_PC\\C\\Retail Plus 30\...etc."
Right: "Z:\Retail Plus 30\...etc."
The problem is how the drive mapping was done. Using something like Network Neighborhood inserts an alias name for the Retail Plus host computer instead of a drive letter and you must re-map the drive using Windows Explorer. In Windows Explorer pull Tools down to Map Network Drive and let the Wizard lead you through it.
If you already have a Retail Plus icon on your desktop right-click on it and correct the Target path to look like Z:\RetailPlus 30\Plus30.exe where Z: is the drive letter you have assigned in the mapping step.
Now start Retail Plus on the workstation and reselect the default inventory (File / Inventory / Select).
Network Error 23
Error 23 is generated by Windows and usually indicates a LAN hardware problem. The network transmits data in packets which are subject to an integrity test called CRC or Cyclic Redundancy Check. When a packet fails the test the network automatically requests a re-transmission. If that does not fix it an error 23 is generated. This usually indicates an intermittent fault in a LAN card, cable or router.
PARENT & CHILD ITEMS
If you sell a product by the case and by units you will need to be able to convert cases to units on the fly. When a customer orders one widget and you only have cases in stock then the system will ask you if you want to break a case to fill the order. To set this up create one inventory record for the case stock and another for the unit stock. Go to the Special Tab in the case stock record and set the Case Qty field to the number or widgets in a case. Go to the Special Tab in the unit stock record and set the Parent Item field to show the stock code of the cases.
A4 LABEL FORMATS
If you are in the UK or continental Europe you will need to print price tags, barcode labels and address labels on A4 size sheets. Just download the A4 print definition files from the Download page.
Gift certificates can be tracked simply by setting them up as a serial numbered item with a stock code of your own choosing. Just create a new item and set the Item Type to "Serialized" and the Dept. to "Service" so the system won't try to included it in purchase orders or stock value reports. On the "Special" tab enter the serial numbers of the gift certificates you are going to sell. The serial number of each gift certificate will appear in the purchase history of the customer who bought it.
CONSIGNMENT ITEMS -
If you are carrying consignment items you may wish to keep them from being treated like regular inventory i.e. exclude them from stock outs, purchase orders and inventory audit reports. The solution is to see a consignment items not as inventory but as a service you are providing to the owners of the items. All you need to do is set the Item Type to "Service" when entering it into the inventory list. In that way it will appear on the sales receipt like any other item but the profit will be recorded as service revenue - which is what it really is.
RESTORING FROM A CD BACKUP -
If you are using a CD drive to back up your data you should know that many CD drives automatically change the file attributes to Read Only. When you restore the data files to your hard drive the file attributes will still be Read Only and Retail Plus will not be able to work with them. To make sure restored files are useable right-click on the filenames, select Properties and make sure the Read Only attribute is not checked.
COPYING DATA TO A NEW COMPUTER
Sometimes a new user will download Retail Plus onto a home or laptop computer for evaluation and then start entering some of their own inventory. Later they need to install Retail Plus on the store computer and transfer the new data to it. The best way to do this is:
1- On the source computer run the Backup command and let Retail Plus write the data files to a folder called Backup on the local C: drive.2 - Create a fresh installation of Retail Plus on the destination computer then copy the Backup folder to it's C: drive. The easiest way to do this is with a USB memory key or thumb drive. Avoid using a CD because Windows changes the file attributes to Read Only on a CD. Copy the Backup folder onto the C: drive of the destination machine.3 - On the destination machine create an empty inventory file with the same name as the one you are transferring.4 - Run the Restore command and point the file dialog at the inventory file in the Backup folder.
DISPLAYING PHOTOS ON A NETWORK
In order to display photos correctly on a network they must be kept in the PICS sub-folder of the Retail Plus program folder. On the host machine the data path to the photos should look like:
C:\Retail Plus 30\PICS\somepicture.jpg
If you only have one computer it does not matter where you put the photos, but if you want workstations on a network to find them then they must to be in the PICS folder.
PRINTING A CUSTOMER LIST
There are several options to print a customer list:
For a verbose list go to File / Clients / File / Print / Client List. This prints everything and only fits 2 clients
For a brief list go to File / Clients / File / Print / Mailing Labels. Print it on plain paper rather than mailing labels.
For a customized list go to File / Clients / View / Open In MS-Excel. This puts the client list into Excel and you can design a report to satisfy your particular requirements.
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