How will you distribute items to the winners after check-out? Most of the Will Call process is handled outside the software. The best tool within the software for determining what someone bought depends on how you are running check-out and the will call process. . .
Virtually all Will Call methods share the same strategy for how gift certificates are organized: Gift certificates lend little aesthetic value to a table display and are easily lost among bid sheets and other printed materials, so they are filed (by item number) in clearly labeled envelopes in a file box for distribution during will call.
- Guests check-out in person and receive 2 printed copies of their receipt, one copy will be used as a pick list for will call.
- Guest moves to the Gift Certificate station then and a Will Call volunteer uses their printed receipt to pull the GC items. Volunteer checks off items provided, then gives the pick list back to the guest for the next station.
- Then Guest proceeds to physical item tables to pick up any physical items they purchased. Again, Volunteer checks off the items provided.
- Guests check-out in person or via self check-out and are emailed a receipt.
- Guest moves to the Gift Certificate station and a Will Call Volunteer refers to the Will Call report to pick items (see below). If the guest only has a couple of physical items left to pick up - it's helpful if the Will Call person writes the item numbers still needed on one of the envelopes (carefully) so the next volunteer doesn't have to look them up and start from scratch.
- Then guests proceeds to the physical items table and Will Call Volunteers refer to the Will Call report to pick the rest of the items.
- Note: paperless works well if each Will Call volunteer has access to a tablet or laptop to reference - and each device is set up and working well in advance of check-out.
Variation: Pre-bundling items by buyer:
Some events have a tradition of organizing all items by buyer with the intent to deliver a guests purchases quickly at check-out. This can work well if:
- You have relatively few items to distribute
- You have plenty of volunteers (both on data entry and will call picking) to get it done in the time available
- There is a significant amount of time between the silent auction closing and check-out (either a very long live auction, entertainment, or a fixed time for check-out to begin)
- There is plenty of space to work.
If you can pull it off, this is an elegant way to end your event. If anything goes wrong (item ends up in the wrong place, guests are ready to check-out before you are) it is very difficult to recover from and your event will end on a sour note (for both volunteers and guests).
Tips for reducing Will Call lines:
- Move the Gift Certificate Station away from Check-out to minimize congestion and confusion.
- Having all gift certificates in a single file crate creates a bottleneck as it's hard for more than one person to pull items simultaneously. Better to fan envelopes in rows along a table (#1-50, 51-100 etc) - to allow multiple "pickers" access.
- Allow guests to proceed to either Gift Certificate or Item will call station first.
- Consider allowing guests to pick up their own physical items. Yes, it is possible that someone will take the wrong item - but outright theft is extremely rare and actually, volunteer pickers are more likely to unknowingly grab the wrong item than the buyer is. . .
Flagging items as gift certificate and/or physical items for Will Call:
- Use the will call flag on individual items to denote whether the items is a physical item or gift certificate that needs to be picked up/delivered. Will Call Flags can be added as items are created, and/or edited individually or via bulk edits.
Other Tools for Will Call: