Kwon Sale – how it works (part 1)

The Kwon Sale has been running in some form or other since 1971 when the first small scale bring and buy sales were run to support Kwon He Ryun (a Korean orphan).

Over the years, the format has changed as the Sale has grown to its present state where we have a team of up to 100 volunteers making the sale run smoothly. But the Sale would be be nothing without the sellers and the administration behind the scenes that manage sellers and volunteers.

So how does it all work?

We start planning (before the previous Sale takes place) so that we can get flyers printed ready for distribution a couple of weeks before the Sales line opens.

The sales line uses a free (to Kwon) service – it is set up to receive calls, record them as voicemail, then email the messages. We listen to each voicemail in turn and put the details into a spreadsheet. The sellers packs (instructions and cover letter) are mail-merged with the spreadsheet to create individual PDF documents. Before we started asking for email addresses, we had to print and post every pack. But with email addresses (and a bit of programming) we can send the seller packs soon after they are created.

We control the number of sellers and the drop-off/pick-up times so that we can make things run smoothly: the more sellers we have, the longer it takes immediately before and after the Sale to process and sort goods, and the longer queues in the car park – it’s a fine balance. So if you ring up after the seller hotline  opens and you get the “sorry all slots have been filled”, please understand and try again next Sale.

This process works quite well – before the seller hotline, we used to answer phones and take details when people called – now we can process batches of calls. (Before that, we used to invite people to drop goods off at a garage during the week before the Sale – on one sale we had about two garages full of stuff that were uncollected after the sale.)

For helpers, we have started to use Doodle Polls to help organise people into teams to cover each of the zones – part two will tell you about how the Sale day operates.


What’s your Kwon Sale story? Email or visit our Facebook page


About ronfromkwon

Been associated with the KWON sale for a long time!

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