Guest post by Elizabeth Renfroe of Children’s Market at First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, Alabama
1. Read your sale’s guidelines from cover to cover.
Make sure you know how your items need to be prepared, what’s accepted, and what you can’t bring. Don’t forget to find out how everything needs to be sorted or grouped for drop-off. There’s nothing worse than putting a lot of work into entering and tagging your items, only to have them rejected. If you don’t understand something you read, ask your organizer!
2. Sort Your Items by Size & Category
Sort your items by size and category and put them into manageable stacks or groups before you start entering items online. If you put all of your boys’ size six items together, you’ll save time when entering your items. Within your groups or stacks, separate the items you want to discount and donate. Those boxes will stay checked or unchecked on the form until you change them. By entering all of your boys’ size six discounted or donated items at once, you won’t accidentally donate or discount something you wanted to sell for full-price or pick up. (If you’re donating items, discount them!)
3. Bookmark Your Sale’s Consignor Info Page
Bookmark your sale’s consignor page so you can reference their policies & procedures and quickly access their login links if you need them. (Note: Bookmarking your actual MSM login page may cause some cookie trouble for some folks, especially those using multiple sales…. we recommend saving your sale’s consignor page and grabbing the link there)
4. Explore the Choices
Take a moment to explore the inventory input choices under Work with Active Inventory, ilike categories and sizes. Every sale can customize their category descriptions and size ranges. You need to select the best descriptions and sizes for the items you are consigning.
5. Use Thoughtful Descriptions
Be logical about your descriptions. One of the great things about Sale Manager is ability for sales to search active inventory when tags are lost. If your shirt only has “shirt” in the description on the tag, they won’t be able to find it in the system to sell. Try putting the brand name and item type in the first description line (Old Navy t-shirt), then descriptive words in the second, like blue/green plaid. Use common terms in your region for your descriptions. For example, in the south, we would look up rain boots, but never think to look for galoshes. Cute words like jammies won’t help someone trying to find pajamas in the system.
6. Move Past Sale Inventory
Move leftover items from past sales into your active inventory. From your consignor homepage, select Work with Consigned Inventory, and then Work with Inactive Inventory. In that window, check all leftover items that you’ll be bringing to the current sale. Don’t forget to remove anything that you’ve sold or passed on to someone else since the last sale, too.
7. Internet Explorer is Best for Printing
Use Internet Explorer as your browser when printing your tags. It’s the best browser to print your tags correctly. You can use other browsers, like Chrome, to enter your items, but always print using Internet Explorer.
a. Reminder: Turn off your pop-up blocker. It’s under Internet Options: Tools: Pop-Up Blocker. If your tags still aren’t opening in a new window, check the bottom of your IE window. You may see a ∅symbol on the lower right side. Right-click on it and allow pop-ups on that page. Either of these steps should resolve an issue if your tags aren’t opening in a new window.
b. If you get a message about “cookies disabled” when you try to log in and work with your account, follow the steps in this document from the developer of My Sale Manager to easily resolve the issue. http://www.mysalemanager.net/helpdocs/loginproblems.pdf
8. Do a Bit at a Time
You can print a few tags at a time or enter all of your items and print your tags at one time. Make sure you do what is manageable for you, so you don’t get frustrated and quit. Tagging is just like eating the proverbial elephant. Do it one bite (or task) at a time.
9. Print a Test Tag
Align the print cartridge and even consider replacing it before you print your tags. Print a test tag and make sure it prints clearly, with straight lines and empty space between the bars and lines. Your barcode should look like this one:
10. Don’t Tape Over Barcodes
When attaching your tags with tape, do not tape over the barcode or use an excessive amount of it to secure the tag. The barcode needs to be clear and easy for cashiers to access, but not so loose that it will fall off. One piece at the top and one across the bottom below the barcode should be plenty to keep the tag secure and easy to read.