Running the Store

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Here's a list of stuff to do if you're running the Thrift Store. Use your store volunteers well. Don't forget to check out our Store Prices (although they should be posted by the register as well). New hires and volunteer interns should first follow the New Hire Crash Course on the Store to get up and running reasonably quickly. Don't forget to ponder the store meta question.

This article was completely out-of-date, so here's a first stab at a rewrite:

Preparing the Store for Opening

  • Vacuuming: Remember to pick up screws, zip and wire ties, and any other object that is hard to vacuum or could damage the device.
  • Reload Monitors: Get the number necessary to fill the number of empty slots. Choose attractive monitors first, as customers will choose these first to buy.
  • Reload cards, printers, etc. Make a note of any common item from receiving that is near out/out and let receiving know as soon as may be.
  • Tidy and merchandise. Visually put your face in front of every display and treat is like a combination of a painting and an informative poster. Does it pass the aesthetic test (look nice? tidy?) Does it pass the information test (what do I need to know about what I am looking at?)

End of day Closing Procedures

About Work Modes

Like any job, there is a regular basket of tasks that come up in running the store. By having defined modes, it is both easier to describe these baskets as well simplifying thinking about streamlining them. Finally, having defined modes, and notably, making them easy to teach is the holy grail of increasing volunteerism in the store. This is important because store is, has been, and will be understaffed at the time you are reading this.

Cashiering (mode)

Sorting, Pricing, and Shelving (mode)

  • Triages for this section are under development.Luiz 21:12, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • The initial sort (will we bother with keeping it in the store)
  • Sorting (if we are keeping it what then?)
  • Pricing, things that are commonly donated probably have a price here. Things that are less common, and worth more than say 10 dollars, can be price researched on eBay (remember to use completed rates). For uncommon things of little value, just make up some kind of a cheap price.
  • Shelving - In the absence of some kind of theming, the main consideration is to heard like with like.
  • Burning Ubuntu Distributions - Please see this page for instructions.

Answering questions/steering

  • Burn the contents of this pageinto your mind
  • Customers seeking tech support/consultation on a computer purchased at Free Geek: Unless very simply/easy, refer to tech support. Give out ubuntu new user guides like skittles.
  • Customers seeking tech support/consultation on individual parts need to be: 1) encouraged to volunteer 2) politely told "no" 3) referred to Jason Hohnmann 4) Referred to a paid tech support session

Selling Computers (mode)

This really should be a simple triage, since there is one. ComingLuiz 19:48, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

  • You need to know, at minimum:
    • Is the customer aware that the systems all have linux on them? (You ask this to see if they are doing something that requires a different operating system?)
    • How are they planning to connect to the internet? (You ask this because our computer do not have dialup modems, apples have no onboard modem support with linux, and PCs need a hardware modem for Hardy)
    • What is the primary purpose of the system? (You ask this because it allows for giving the best advice and really galvanizes what you will do next)
    • Are there any tasks that require a particular piece of hardware? (You ask this to see if they need particular hardware...commonly a burner, or printer, or something else)

Improving the Store (mode)

  • You can make things look better (often mindless)
  • You can make things work better (requires thought)
    • Improve the efficiency of a work mode
    • Improve the quality and accuracy of documentation
    • Improve the volunteer experience
    • Recruit volunteers, and hold on to them like a parasite

The Most Annoying Problems and How to Deal with Them

  • More customers than you are able to handle - Easy: Pick up the phone, call and have the front desk page for staf assistance in the store.
  • Problem customers - Usually mean those who are not following thrift store policy, especially the discount policy. This will be a daily consideration at the thrift store
  • Problem volunteers - Common problems 1) squirreling away hardware for themselves 2) scaring away customers with unnecessary information of a technical nature ("geeking out") 3) ringing themselves up for merchandise that they price 4) not doing any useful thing. Solutions, in order: 1)make sure that a volunteer is not monopolizing merchandise that others might want, make sure that all items are paid for on that day when the volunteer is ready to leave, and (if problems persist) ask the volunteer to volunteer elsewhere.2) do not let the volunteer talk to customers (steer to other tasks), kick out of store if problem persists 3) no person is to EVER ring themselves up for anything, including volunteers. This is a two-strike policy as far as I am concerned leading to 86ing. 4) Sometimes volunteers will hang out in the store but will do no work. This is, in general, fine so long as they are not being disruptive or waiting for stuff that they want. Any efforts to simply wait for desirable hardware should be treated immediately and aggressively (negatively).