What are the most important features to look for in a thrift store POS system
Thrift stores and reuse stores do not have the same POS needs as traditional retails.
If you are running a thrift store, building materials reuse store, antique store, consignment store, or other reuse store, your needs are unique. Here are some things you should be looking out for when shopping for a POS system.
The POS system should be easy for volunteers to use.
Many thrift stores are run by non-profits and are often staffed by volunteers. Volunteers care about your cause, but they are often not as technically skilled as a normal employee would be, and they often can't commit as many hours as a normal employee. So, you need a thrift store POS system that is easy enough for a volunteer to learn quickly, so that management can spend time on tasks other than simply training volunteers on the system.
It should work with your discounting methodology.
Many thrift stores run a number of discounts that differ from other retailers. For example, you might use colored price tags to automatically discount old items. You might discount entire departments if you end up with too many items on the floor in that department. You might have sales for volunteers or seniors. You should get a thrift store POS system that can easily discount items in the manner that you desire.
It should make round-up donations easy.
If you are a non-profit, your shoppers likely support your mission. They're often willing to round up to the nearest dollar and donate the change to your organization. This can bring in hundreds of dollars per month in extra revenue. So, make sure your thrift store point of sale system can round up a customer's purchase with a single click. You don't want your cashiers not asking for a round-up because they'll have to do math! Furthermore, it can be even more effective if the system reminds the cashier to ask for that round-up prior to accepting payment. As a bonus, if the credit card machine can prompt the customer for a round up, you'll avoid the problem of cashiers forgetting.
Can you print sold slips right from the POS receipt page?
Many thrift stores sell large items like furniture or appliances. Most that do allow the customer to hold the item by paying for the item, and picking it up later when they have arranged transportation. This is not something normal retails does, because they usually stock many identical items, so retail customers usually pay for an item when they are ready to actually bring it home. Instead of dealing with stacks of carbon copy paper, it would be better if your thrift store point of sale system could directly print these sold slips, and keep track of when itesm were picked up, it would greatly reduce paperwork.
Will it keep track of in-kind donations?
Thrift stores procure their inventory much differently than traditional retail. Most items are donated by community members. It can be helpful to have a digital record of receipts. That way you can get an idea of when you receive the most donations, and what geographies those donations come from. This will help you optimize your staffing and marketing efforts. Furthermore, if you run a donation pickup service, it would be great if the system could manage truck routing, pickup zones, and more.
Extra: can it handle purchased product?
Many thrift stores sell a limited number of new items purchased for resale. For example clothing thrift stores often sell new socks or underwear. Many building materials reuse stores will sell paint or paint supplies. (Please be aware of tax consequences for selling too many purchased items. As of this writing, if more than 15% of your sales come from purchased product for resale, your store may be subject to Unrelated Business Income Tax, or UBIT. Please consult with a tax professional for the latest and most accurate advice.) Anyhow, purchased product is a great way to make extra revenue. It's helpful to track cost of goods sold and keep track of current inventory counts to ensure your purchased product program is profitable and well-stocked.
If this sounds like what you've been seeking for your thrift store, we'd love to talk to you about our thrift store POS system. ThriftCart can do all the things mentioned above, and much more. It's made for you!