Forty-five years: from the first Sale in 1971 (when a handful of “St John’s College wives” decided to support a Korean orphan, Kwon He Ryun, for whom the Sale is named), to the present, we have normally run two Sales a year. In that time we have developed from a small scale bring-and-buy to a highly organised event.
Just as a a quick reminder, if you want to sell something in the Sale, you need to register as a seller. The registration is part of the system that makes it possible for us to run the Sale. There are a limited number of seller slots because if we have too many sellers, we cannot complete the post-sale activities in sufficient to time to clear the venue. So we have developed a registration system over the last 15 years.
It certainly seems that the electronic booking system we introduced for the May 2016 Sale was successful, and so we will continue to use it.
So how does it work?
Behind the scenes we use Eventbrite – it is a free service because we don’t charge to register sellers. We create the “tickets” and the “event” a few months ahead of the registration start date. About a month before the Sale, registration opens and you can reserve your time slot for dropping off goods. Eventbrite automatically sends you an email confirming your booking.
When you register, you choose a time slot for the Friday night before the Sale. This is the time that we expect you to bring your goods to the Sale. It helps us if you are able to arrive on time – too early and we may not have any helpers available (and the venue may still be clearing up from a conference or some other event); too late and we will be unable to include your goods because we will have finished setting up the Sale.
Once you have registered, read the seller information pack. This will tell you how to label things and inform you of the terms and conditions of the Sale. It is important to read this information (especially if you have sold in previous Sales) because it changes from time to time.
In the afternoon after the Sale, you can collect your unsold goods and money. Again, we ask you to keep to the time slot allocated when you registered. The team work hard after the Sale itself, sorting any unsold goods so they can be returned to their owners, and double (and triple) checking the labels from goods that have been sold to calculate the money due. We have about four hours to do this, leaving only two hours to return all the goods and to get the venue tidied up.