Why we do pickup the way we do.
A lot of thought goes into every decision we make about how to manage the CCC Sale. Pickup is no exception. Our number one goal always has been and always will be to make the shopping and selling experience as easy and profitable as possible for you— our sellers, even if that means more work for us. Our pickup procedure includes you (the seller) coming to the sale and finding your items out on the sales floor with a process for checking items as they leave the building to ensure that the right person leaves with the right stuff. It may seem to some that our process does not fit with our reputation and goal of an exceptionally easy experience. You might even think that sorting items by seller number, having them bagged and ready for pick up might make things easier on our sellers and be a better choice. Let me explain why we have chosen not to sort seller items prior to pickup:
1. Sorting requires you to inventory your items. In order to efficiently and accurately sort items at the end of the sale, most barcode programs require sellers to identify and describe every, single, item that comes into the sale. The size, category (boys, girls, juniors, books, etc.), price, description and whether or not the item will be donated after the sale. All of that information must be input into the program by you, the seller for every single item you bring. We purposefully chose a barcoding program that is much less complicated and does not require you to inventory your items. Having to inventory items is a time consuming process that takes already busy moms away from their family and is a big deterrent to sale participation.2. Sorting requires you to inventory your items which requires more time at checkout and lost sales. Scanned items must match EXACTLY to every item in inventory. Forgot to place your barcode on an item? Can’t sell it. Tag is missing from an item? Can’t sell it. Torn or damaged tags? Can’t sell it. Scanner can’t read the barcode? Can’t sell it. Some of the problems that arise from inventorying items can be solved at check out by looking up a sellers inventory and matching items up, but the process is extremely time consuming making for longer lines at checkout leading to fewer sales for everyone.3. Sorting requires more volunteers, more hours from volunteers and less protected shopping time.A. Sorting takes man-power. We would have to add approx. 80-100 more volunteers to the schedule. This means 80-100 more people shopping the volunteer sale, making the volunteer preview sale crowded and possibly leaving other volunteer shifts partially filled. We try to hold the number of volunteers to a preset maximum to ensure a great preview sale experience.ORB. We could change our volunteer program and add a second group of volunteers. These volunteers would work 8 hours. Four of their choice and four sorting. Eight hour workers would then get to shop before our four hour volunteers. A two group volunteer program puts at a disadvantage those who do not have eight hours to devote to volunteering. It also decreases the time each group of volunteers have to shop. Shopping times would have to be staggered which would only allow each group one hour of protected shopping time. Currently, all volunteers are on equal footing, working the same amount of time with an equal chance at buying items at the preview sale. They all get the same two hours of shopping time before sellers are allowed in the building.4. Sorting requires more of your money. Sorting requires time. We would have to either cut shopping time or rent Harvey Convention Center an additional day. Cutting shopping time down would mean cutting out all or part of half price Saturday. Half price Saturday is vital to many families on both ends…shopping as well as selling. It is our largest day by far. This is not an acceptable solution so, we’d have to rent Harvey Hall an additional day. If we were able to find nine consecutive days to rent Harvey Convention Center (which is harder than one might think) our overall rent cost would increase dramatically. The increase in rent would push us to the point of having to decrease the percentage sellers receive from 70% to 65%. We never want to do that. We remain committed to putting as much money back into the hands of our sellers as possible.
5. Sorting requires less to be given to those in need. About twenty percent of our CCC Sale families pick up their left over items at any given sale. The remaining 80% generously support local families with their donations. We are very grateful for the generosity of our sellers. If we sorted, the percentage of people who choose not to donate would increase, taking those items away from the local charities. The charities we support rely on our donations to fill their closets and clothe local needy families.6. You make more because we sell during pickup. We sell a lot of merchandise during pick up. We have found that the vast majority of those who come to pick up their items, find things they want to purchase while they are looking through the racks. Every sale we hear, “I’m so glad this was still here”, or “my son wanted this yesterday and I just couldn’t do it, I guess I’m buying it today.” Many of these items are not marked half price. If a seller has a higher-priced item, such as furniture or big toys, those sales make a big difference in their check. We are surprised every sale al how much sells between 4pm and 6pm. It’s just one more opportunity for moms to bless other moms.