The new "gift aid" tills went live in our charity shops today, and should not only mean increased funds from every donated item which has been "gift aided", but will also help with tracking sales of different types of item and with stock control.
Basically this is how it works:
- When a donor arrives, we will ask them if they are a UK income tax payer. If they do, we ask them to complete a declaration giving their name and address and stating that they wish us to be able to reclaim tax on the funds from any of their donations which is sold.
- We take a sheet of self-stick peelable bar-codes and stick one code on the form, one on a card which the donor keeps and put the rest in the bag of donations.
- When the donations are sorted and tagged for pricing, a bar code is fixed to the price tag, and an item code is written on the tag.
- When the item is sold, the till operator scans the bar code, types in the item code and then rings in the price in the usual way.
- The till periodically uploads details of sales of gift-aided items and sends off a claim to HMRC.
The use of the item codes means we can print out a record of (for example) how many ladies tops we sell. This helps with planning the shop layout (obviously if ladies tops are a good seller but skirts are slow, it would pay to expand the space for tops and reduce the skirts, and so on). Where special or valuable items are donated it gives us a way to track them through the system and reduce mistakes like selling pieces from a valuable china set individually.