Can I Buy A Used Clover POS? Here’s How To Avoid Scams
If you're looking to buy a used Clover POS system, be warned that the pitfalls are numerous, and there are a lot of better ways to find a new Clover machine for sale.
Can you buy a used Clover POS? Absolutely! Should you? No! While you can certainly find a used Clover POS system for sale on eBay or Amazon, it’s never a good idea to buy one. Used Clover POS are not reprogrammable and new systems are always sold with a merchant services contract—which you should never enter into lightly.
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Common Clover Equipment For Sale: Pricing Guide
Clover POS is sold by many different banks, merchant services providers (MSPs), and even retail stores like Sam’s Club. You will almost always pay the MSRP if you purchase your POS equipment from Clover.com, but if you buy from another party, pricing can vary. Use our table as a guide for how much a Clover POS should cost (based on Clover MSRP).
Clover Equipment Costs
|Clover Station Solo||Clover Station Duo||Clover Mini||Clover Flex|
|Pricing||Starting at $1,349||$1,649||$749||$499 ($350 if purchased with Clover Station)|
|Hardware Included||Station, cash drawer, receipt printer||Station, customer-facing display, cash drawer, receipt printer||Clover Mini with built-in receipt printer and scanner (cash drawer sold separately)||Clover Flex with built-in receipt printer and scanner (cash drawer sold separately)|
|Compatible Software Plans||Register, Table Service, Counter Service||Register, Table Service, Counter Service||Payments, Essentials, Register, Table Service, Counter Service||Payments, Essentials, Register, Table Service, Counter Service|
|Optional Installment Plan||3 monthly payments of $450||3 monthly payments of $549||3 monthly payments of $250||3 monthly payments of $166|
Common Clover Scams & Tactics To Be Aware Of
A common Clover scam is for a seemingly low-priced Clover system to be sold with a predatory merchant services contract that will end up costing you a small fortune in the long term. Another scam involves sellers hawking used Clover equipment online without mentioning that the hardware is unusable because it can’t be reprogrammed.
What To Know Before Buying On eBay
It is not difficult to find a Clover machine for sale on eBay. Some used Clover POS systems on eBay are sold “untested” or “as-is” which usually means the system is unusable and can only be junked “for parts.” New Clover systems are also sold on eBay with a merchant services account.
The main issue with Clover POS systems sold on eBay is that a merchant services contract is not something you should enter into lightly, and certainly not something you should enter into on eBay. Most merchant service providers who sell Clover on eBay are not providing a fair deal, as they can easily sneak hidden fees and long-term commitments into their contracts.
What To Know About Amazon
Like eBay, Amazon’s marketplace allows MSPs to sell Clover POS hardware with merchant service contracts. The concern with buying a Clover POS on Amazon is that you can’t trust a random Amazon seller to provide a good merchant services contract.
Most of the merchant service providers selling Clover hardware on Amazon are fly-by-night companies that you’ve never heard of. Even though they may be selling for less than MSRP and advertise low processing rates, you have no idea what level of customer service they offer, their warranty policy, or what added fees they may charge.
Why You Can’t Reprogram A Clover Machine
Many merchant services providers can reprogram terminals so you can reuse equipment from a previous provider. Clover doesn’t allow that—your device is locked to whatever merchant services provider you got the machine from. This means you can’t buy a used Clover POS online and have your MSP reprogram it.
The problem with an un-reprogrammable system is that you will be stuck with whichever merchant services provider you buy your Clover from. And not all merchant service providers are created equal. Some of them have good customer service, some have terrible customer service. Some charge lots of hidden fees, others are fair and straightforward about the fees they charge. Some require years-long service contracts, while others are month-to-month. As you might imagine, being stuck with a poor-quality merchant services provider is a nightmare for any small business.
Where To Buy A Clover Machine
There’s nothing wrong with shopping for a Clover machine for sale online, as long as you buy from a reputable company. That is, don’t buy used Clover equipment on eBay (it won’t work) or buy a new Clover system on Amazon (it will come attached to a shady MSP).
So where do we recommend buying a Clover machine? Fortunately, there are several high-quality merchant services providers that sell Clover POS with a fair and transparent payment processing contract. One of these is Clover.com. Clover offers flat-rate processing and month-to-month contracts with no hidden fees.
If you prefer to use a different processing model such as interchange-plus or cash discount, you also have other options. Dharma Merchant Services or VizyPay are great places to start. We’ve put together an excellent resource about the best—and worst—payment processors to purchase your Clover POS from. If you’re in the market for a Clover POS system, I strongly recommend reading it.
Clover Not For You? Here Are Some Good Alternatives
If you’re learning for the first time that Clover POS equipment is not reprogrammable or reusable with a different merchant account, you might be reconsidering whether you want to buy a Clover POS at all. Clover is a great POS in most respects, but many merchants want a more flexible system that allows them to purchase pre-owned POS equipment. Or, you may want POS equipment that you can reprogram for use with a different POS software or merchant account down the road.
The following are a few alternatives that provide more flexibility than Clover when it comes to POS equipment. For a more comprehensive look at available Clover competitors, read our post on the best Clover alternatives for small businesses.
Square: Can Be Purchased New Or Used
Square is a free POS app with no contract. Though Square does sell proprietary equipment that can’t be used with another system (Square Terminal and Square Register), you also have the option to use Square on a universal iPad POS setup.
Why We Recommend Square
Square is the ultimate free POS—you only pay a flat rate for processing. Square is incredibly versatile in that you can use it with just about any type of small business and it also works with mobile POS hardware setups. You can use Square with an iPad on a $199 Square Stand (pictured above), which swivels and includes built-in payment acceptance, or you can use one of Square’s proprietary hardware systems. You can even use Square to sell with a smartphone.
If you want to buy used equipment, you can easily find it on eBay or Amazon, and it’s equally easy to set up this hardware with your own Square account.
Toast: Can Be Purchased New Or Used
Toast is an Android-based POS system for restaurants. Toast recommends purchasing your proprietary POS equipment from the company directly, though it is possible to buy used Toast equipment online and use it with your Toast subscription.
Why We Recommend Toast
Unlike Clover, Toast POS is specifically designed for restaurants. This restaurant POS offers numerous features with built-in payment processing. You can buy your Toast POS equipment new at a reasonable price ($799 for a Toast Flex terminal, payment device, and router) or even get it for free—though you’ll be charged a higher payment processing rate on the free plan. It is also possible to buy used or refurbished Toast equipment on eBay and activate it with your Toast account. Just make sure you confirm with Toast that said equipment will work with your system, as they have phased out support for some older tablets.
One of the only downsides of Toast is that it requires a two-year contract with an early termination fee. Before committing to Toast, make sure this is a POS system that will work for your restaurant business long-term.
Lightspeed POS: Can Be Purchased New Or Used
Lightspeed provides cloud POS software for restaurants and retail that uses a standard iPad POS setup. Lightspeed prefers you source your equipment from them to ensure it’s compatible, but you have the option to use any new or used iPad POS equipment with your Lightspeed account.
Why We Recommend Lightspeed
Lightspeed offers industry-specific POS software packages, including Lightspeed Retail, Lightspeed Restaurant, and Lightspeed Golf. This iPad POS has reasonable monthly pricing and comes with built-in flat-rate payment processing. Unlike Square or Toast, you have the option to use an outside payment processor with Lightspeed, though you will pay a higher monthly fee if you use an outside processor. Lightspeed also incentivizes businesses to pay for a year of service upfront (the price is higher if you pay monthly).
Lightspeed uses pretty standard iPad POS equipment that’s easy to source yourself if you don’t want to buy a new hardware bundle from the company directly. Lightspeed makes it easy by listing all compatible POS hardware on its website. Lightspeed Retail can also be used with a desktop PC setup.