Thrift Store Procedures

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Please note that this is an condensed version of the store handbook. There is a longer version, including diagrams, located in the Thrift Store.

Store Procedures

Making a sale

  1. The main categories are located in a column on the bottom-left section of the screen. After selecting the main category you can either select the product itself or subcategories to find the product. Click on the product to select the item and add it to the shopping list. If the customer is buying more than one of a particular item, then you can either click repeatedly on the product, or click on the pencil icon in the middle of the screen and edit the number of items.
  2. Once all items are selected and the customer is ready to pay, click on the volunteer discount button at the top right of the screen if applicable.
  3. If there are any miscellaneous items that are not in the product database, you can enter the item "Misc. Item" and then use the edit key to change the value. Alternatively, you use the numberpad at the right of the screen to enter the agreed upon price, and click the plus sign to add the item to the shopping list. You can then click on the pencil icon to add a description of the item, and edit the after-tax price.
  4. If an item is added to the shopping list accidentally, or if the customer no longer wants that item, then click on the button with the delete key symbol to remove it.
  5. If a different price than the advertised one has been agreed upon with the store coordinator or core volunteer (e.g. for wholesale, bulk and multiple items), or if the product fits “in between” products in the database, e.g. 430W Power supply), then either select the higher-priced item and use the on-screen numberpad to enter the amount of the discount followed by the minus sign, or enter the item manually, as previously described.
  6. After all items have been entered (and the volunteer discount applied) either press the spacebar or click on the equals sign on the numberpad at the right of the screen. The payment method dialog box will popup. This window will also calculate the amount of change to give back to the customer if you enter the amount of cash tendered.
  7. Hit OK--the receipt will print and the cash drawer open.

Selling computers

  1. Please, make sure the customer buying a box installed with Ubuntu receives a copy of the pamphlets "Taking Home Your Computer" and "Warranty Info" located beside the till.
  2. Make sure to tell them that the machine has a default password, and it can be changed by following the instructions. Have them read over the warranty policy.

Non-functional Hardware Sales

From time to time we may sell non-functional hardware (i.e. for parts and novel uses). To maintain our standards as ethical recyclers we track these sales and form an agreement with any and all customers buying non-functional items.

The customer must sign a copy of our non-functional hardware sales agreement.

Receiving Donation

For the purposes of the POS system, there is a tax-exempt product "Donation", in the top blank category. The default amount is $3 (the suggested amount for a replacement pair of gloves used by volunteers working in the warehouse), but you can edit this as above. Please edit the amount rather than the number of units, as this will give us more useful/accurate data.
Note: We are a not-for-profit society, rather than a registered charity. We are unable to issue receipts for tax credits.

Issuing Store Credit

Store credit will only be issued within 14 days of the sale, and only when the customer presents the item in question along with the receipt.

  1. Get the invoice book which is beside the computer
  2. Write "Free Geek Vancouver" at the top, then date it.
  3. Write "Store Credit", and the credit amount.

Refer the store credit section of the manual to see a sample credit receipt.

Using Store Credit

When a customer brings you one of these they can redeem it for its full or partial amount.

  1. Ask for the credit note from the customer.
  2. If they are not using the full amount noted, cross out the amount and write the new amount on it, adjusting the carbon copy at the same time. If necessary, (carbon copy can't be located, or there is no more space on the paper) keep the old one and write a new credit note.
  3. Sales made using store credit must be entered using "Voucher" payment method, selected from the payment method dialog box after pressing the equal sign or space bar when making a sale.
  4. Sales exceeding the amount of the store credit are made by first entering amount of the store credit under voucher followed by the plus sign at the top of the same dialog box, and then making up the payment with whatever other method is used for the difference.

Applying Discount for Volunteers, Staffs, and Directors

Volunteers, Staff, and Directors gets a 40% discount on most items. Laptops and high-end desktops/motherboards (Core i5, Core i7, and AMD 6 Core+ Machines), cellphones, and tablets which get a 20% discount.

  1. If you are unsure if someone qualifies for a discount, ask the Store Manager or another staff member for assistance.
  2. Enter the regular price as usual, and then click the applicable discount button.

Return Policy

We cannot perform refunds under any circumstances. Reasons behind it:

  • There is extremely limited access to the safe, and we are unable to retrieve the money for refunds at-will.
  • Record keeping issues.
  • Low amounts kept in the till.

Preventive measure

  • The more we know about what we're selling, the less likely we will have people wanting to return items. If in doubt, ASK another volunteer or member of staff -- do not make promises that you cannot keep!
  • Do not use the word "Return". It implies refund. Only use "exchange" or "credit". (Basically, leave no room for misinterpretation)

Day-end cash-out procedure

  1. Nobody else should be in the store while you count cash (the store will be closed and the doors locked).
  2. You must sign-in the admin section of OpenBravo.
  3. In the main menu, select "Close Cash", and select the close cash button that appears in the bottom right of the screen.
  4. Press 'Settlement' on the Verifone terminal and follow the prompts. Keep the details report, as well as the settlement report. Enter the amount for each payment method from this report in the Card columns of the 201X-Sales spreadsheet.
  5. Press 'Sales' > Product Sales', then search by today's date & the category 'Donation', to find the amount for that column.
  6. Go to 'Edit Sales' and search for all sales for the day. Wholesale and non-functional sales have non-null customer field. Manually tally the wholesale customers amount for that column. Note that this includes the subset of PST registrants, who also have their own column for sales made to them and which should be separately calculated.
  1. Open the till, and remove all money
  2. Count a float of $150 starting from the lowest denomination
  1. Open the spreadsheet called 201X-Sales.ods on the store computer desktop.
  2. Find the row corresponding to today's date.
  3. Fill in all of the yellow fields in the columns on the left side based on the printout from the till.
  4. Enter the left-over cash, by number of each denomination in the second set of columns
  1. If any cheques were received for donations, enter it in the cheques column.
  2. If there is an excess or shortfall, try to explain it in the comments field along with any other remarks about the day.
  3. Make all of the bills face the same way.
  4. Put all of the money in an envelope or sealed bag along with the report and any other documentation from the day (returns, used store credit receipts, accidental receipts, etc.). Ziplok style envelopes are kept in the wooden drawers on the workbench next to the display case at the checkout.
  5. Deposit this in the safe.

What if the computer is down, the spreadsheet is gone, etc.

If you are unable to access the 201X-Sales.ods spreadsheet, write the same information down on a piece of paper. Print it and place it in the envelope before putting it all in the safe.

Adding an item to the POS database

You must first be logged in as admin in the POS.

  1. The POS icons allow for only a very limited number (~10) of characters. Yet we want the item description on the receipt to be as detailed as possible. Use as many subcategories as needed to make the POS navigable enough to find the item, while in the product description put the finest detail (e.g. memory size on a video card) first.
  2. All products within the main category should be at the same level of subcategory, i.e. there should be no categories or subcategories that contain both products and subcategories one level down. This is a requirement of the part of the application that tracks sales data.

Common Customer Questions

What payment methods do we take?

We accept cash, debit, Visa, and Mastercard. We cannot take payments over the phone.

Where can I find laptop batteries?

We recommend the following locations:

Do you take trades?

We are unable to accept trades. Because we're a not-for-profit society, all of our revenues are dependent on donations.

Setting the price

The nature of what we do means there will always be items not found on the main price list on the wiki. Using the following as a rule of thumb.

  • If it is a current item, then visit one of our more immediate competitors (such as NCIX) websites to find out what they are typically charging for it (not "Hot Deals"/"Mail-in rebate" etc.) and give a discounted price of 1/2 - 2/3.
  • If it is specialized/niche but no longer possible to find new, then visit eBay for a guide as to the price. Ideally, there should be at least two completed listings in the last year. Our price would be roughly 20-30% lower than a stable eBay price.

Price may vary when one or more of the below are satisfied:

  • The item has been sitting around for too long
  • It's being purchased in bulk
  • The item is damaged
  • The demand of item (eg: DDR3 RAM has too low stock/high demand to do a deal on it)

Typically we also factor into rarity and the stock levels of the item.

Someone wants to hold items

Depending on the item and the situation we can hold items for a short period (up to one week), on the shelves at the back of the store (non-public area).

We will not hold items which are in high demand beyond the end of the day. For anything else, we can hold it until the end of the week, but it is important that the name of the person and the date they will pick it up is clearly indicated, otherwise it will be put back on display.


No items should be in the store which could contain personal data and have not been wiped, but this is something that volunteers and staff in the store need to be vigilant about. Most items when tested/wiped will have a coloured dot affixed, if it doesn't then please check this for yourself before selling the item!