Florida - For many in the decorative arts industry, the debate over to software or not has raged since the inception of the first database.
Is profession-specific software (and Point-Of-Sale devices), designed for collectors, shop owners, appraisers, antique malls, pickers, etc. really a necessity? For some the answer is a resounding "Yes." While for others, there seems to be a more muted approach on whether or not these programs are actually a required component for success.
For the sake of expediency, this particular article won't be addressing the yea's & nay's of whether or not software designed for the decorative arts is a must-have for folks in the industry (we'll save that for a later discussion), but instead will focus on today's various software options available to both collectors and dealers alike.
In the not too distant past there were only a few software providers for those in the antiques business However, today that number has stretched greatly, and there are now a whole host of different kinds of software tailored to one's specific type of business model. Collectors, dealers, consignment shops, appraisers, and more can order and install software that has been created with them in mind - it's no longer a one-size fits all platform.
Below, you will find a listing of some of the more popular software options available. These are listed in no particular order, and do not in any way constitute an endorsement from the Institute. The intent here is to merely share the information regarding the products out there, so that consumers can see what's available, and then decide for themselves what might or might not be appropriate for their collection or business.
Decorative Arts Software Options
1. Collectorpro - (http://collectorpro.com/) These folks are probably the granddaddy of collector software, and have been around since 1992. They offer a variety of different software packages, including one that is tailored to conducting USPAP compliant appraisals.
2. Charles Crume Software - (http://www.charlescrumesoftware.com/) This company also comes with a long history in the antiques industry, and has specific software designed for antiques dealers and antique malls. They even offer ongoing consulting services.
3. Art Saas (http://www.artsaas.com/) - For those in the art industry, this is a powerful tool that does more than just mange one's collection - from analytics, to sales and email marketing, this software offers a robust package of goods for the gallery owner.
4. Recollector (http://www.collectingcatalog.com/) - Designed specifically with "collectors" in mind, with an attractive price-point, this software is suited to beginners and pros alike and offers a free trial version.
5. Antiquity Software (http://antiquitysoftware.co.uk/) - A British upstart that also caters to antiques stores and businesses. Very modern look with a host of features for today's dealers who are on the go.
6. ConsignPro (https://www.consignpro.com/) - This company offers a broad range of products, but also has specific software for consignment businesses and thrift stores.
This above selection of antique and collector related software is by no means a comprehensive listing of all products available, but is merely meant to showcase some of the more popular brands available to those in the decorative arts community. For many, simply knowing how to tweak a database program that may already come pre-installed on your computer, could be enough. However, for those looking for something a little more turn-key, with virtually no programming required, then these options might offer a good starting point in helping to organize and keep track of one's inventory and stock.
- A.I.A. Staff Writers
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