Thrift Store Handbook
After several years of successful yard sales, a few dedicated, committed individuals decided to test the idea of a thrift store business. It worked! The Monroe County Friends of Animal (MCFA) Thrift Store became a full time business in 2012 and is operated solely by volunteers. Our success has also been accomplished by the wonderful donations from the community, friends and neighbors that are supportive of MCFA and the desire to help the animal shelter. This business has been well received in Monroe and surrounding counties, with customers feeling a sense of satisfaction in knowing their money is spent on supporting the Monroe County Animal Shelter and also being able to purchase quality items at a reasonable price.
All funds from the Thrift Store support MCFA's mission of providing rescue opportunities, care and shelter for animals of Monroe County. We have provided for the cost of food, medical needs, veterinary visits, transport costs, equipment and ancillary needs for our animals.
The MCFA Thrift Store can only be successful with dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers with a positive attitude. We welcome all volunteers that are committed to following the highest standards of integrity and honesty with respectful interaction with our customers.
Store hours: Wednesday thru Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. In order to maintain continuity of necessary/expected duties, we offer two shifts for volunteers: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (three hour shifts). Special consideration will be given for those who can only give a few hours a month; work schedules and duties may be modified by the Thrift Store Manager.
Thrift Store Volunteers need to commit to a certain day and time to assure proper operation of the store.
Please give as much notice as possible when you will not be able to work your expected schedule. If you cannot come in due to an unexpected event, contact the Store Manager and alert the scheduler via email.
Positions and general expectations for volunteering at the MCFA Thrift Store:
- Thrift Store Manager - this requires a dedicated and committed person(s), willing to manage the entire operation of the store. The Manager is involved in decisions on building lease, maintenance, store layout, intake of donated items, sales, pricing and storage of donated items. The Manager is also responsible for assuring that volunteers are on staff to maintain the operation of the store. This position requires many hours of work outside the normal business hours of the store. In addition, the MCFA Board assists by providing guidance with business related or volunteer related issues.
- Storage/Inventory Coordinator(s) - these individuals work directly with the Store Manager. Responsibilities include scheduling pick-ups, maintaining the storage area and determining storage capability for additional donated items. Storage Coordinator assures that volunteers will be able to maneuver around the area to obtain needed items for inventory or to store excess inventory as needed.
- Cashier - One cashier per shift is required. Cashiers will interact with each customer that visits our store. A positive, enthusiastic welcoming personality is necessary. He/she will give input to the Store Manager on pricing, customer comments and maintain required paperwork. This position requires a person who is punctual and committed to the agreed upon schedule. It also requires the skill of being attentive to detail. For safety reasons, we require two individuals to be in the store at all times (cashier and one other person) in order for the store to be open to the public.
If activity is slow in the store, cashiers are asked to check the Wish book against the store inventory. If items are available that a person wanted, contact the customer, date and initial the date of the call beside the customer's name.
Additional procedures are provided in a separate binder for the cashier concerning their responsibilities for opening and closing the register at the beginning and end of the day.
- Intake volunteers - We strive to have three to four individuals on each shift to make the work load balanced for all involved. Intake volunteers clean and evaluate donated goods to determine IF an item can be sold and its value. If value is in doubt, the Store Manager or cashier will give guidance on pricing.
Our intake volunteers are a great asset in helping to sell items to customers. Helping the customers with questions and interacting with them in a positive manner will help to increase sales, plus increase the return of customers. If a customer wants a specific item, and we don't have it at the current time, the cashier has a "Wish book" that holds information for desired items and customer contact information.
Common duties that are shared by the intake volunteers include restocking inventory, rotating items, creating displays of merchandise, cleaning and dusting of the store, sweeping the floor, checking and cleaning the restrooms, preparing items for storage, etc.
Intake volunteers should strive to leave a clean working space/intake table for the next shift. If you start the cleaning of an item and cannot finish it, leave the item on the intake shelves. Our goal is to process all donated items as they come in.
Important: Volunteers have to take responsibility in knowing their ability for lifting
. Please ask for assistance to move items that are too heavy for you to lift or move.
All donated items need to be evaluated, cleaned and tested before being placed for sale. The quality and pricing of the items for sale have to be maintained in order to retain our customer base.
Only items in working condition should be placed on sale, or noted on the price tag if something is missing.
Scheduling volunteer: This volunteer is responsible for scheduling all shifts at the store based on volunteer availability and maintaining a volunteer calendar. Also, monthly volunteer hours for each Thrift Store volunteer are tabulated and forwarded to the MCFA president on a monthly basis. Some computer skills are necessary.
We ask our volunteers working one 3 hour shift to take a break only when needed. Our break area is small and maintaining cleanliness of the area is expected of each volunteer. For those who work two shifts in one day, please take a lunch break. We want our volunteers to enjoy their time at the store, but we need our volunteers to work during the expected shift so that the store operations and requirements can be maintained equally on all shifts.
If a volunteer would like to purchase a donated item from intake, obtain/confirm pricing from the cashier. This will help to avoid any confusion on how items are priced for purchase by the volunteers. If a volunteer would like to purchase an item that is being donated to Habitat or the church (excess, unwanted clothing), confirm the price of the item with the cashier.
During busy times, it is preferred that volunteers not shop while working; try to shop before or after your shift. Allow the cashier to ring up and bag your items that you would like to purchase.
Please do not bring valuables into the store. A small refrigerator is available for volunteers to use. Old food will be disposed after a few days.
These are not permitted to be carried in the store by any volunteer.
This document is not intended to replace on-the-job training but to provide expectations and guidelines for our volunteers.
Updated: December, 2014
Monroe County Friends of Animals | P.O. Box 106 | Vonore, TN 37885