Volunteering at the Plant Sales
Volunteer positions are for 3-hour shifts. As a courtesy to your fellow volunteers, plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your shift starts and 30 minutes before the 9 am shift to make sure we are fully staffed when customers start arriving. Light snacks and drinks are provided for HGC only. A bathroom is available onsite but customers must be escorted by a member and the member must wait to escort them out. Customers are not allowed in the house, on the back porch, or in the greenhouse at any time. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and bring bug spray/sunscreen if you need it.
Cash Register & Tag Puller
Working the cash register is typically a two-person job. Each plant should have two tags: a label indicating the type of plant and a tag with a seller number and price.
The tag puller pulls the price tags from the customer buying the plants, leaving the plant label. The tag puller should obtain an empty box and transfer plants one at a time from customer’s box to the new box, pulling each price tag as they go, to make sure every plant is counted once and every plant has a price tag. Paper towels are located on the table if you want to wipe each tag as you pull them. Once all tags have been pulled, the tags can be handed to the cashier.
If, for any reason, a plant is missing a price tag, the tag puller should have a yard helper or greeter run and look for a price at the seller’s table (as indicated by where the customer says they got the plant). The tag puller should then create a new price tag with the seller’s number and price. Other than the “Free to Kids” plants, plants should not be given to customers for free.
The other cashier then adds up the customer’s bill using the cash register. The tags should be put to the side of the register and not in the glass container until the customer has finished paying to avoid any conflicts. The cashier collects the money and provides correct change as needed. All customers should be provided with a receipt (the itemized tape from the cash register). All sales must be calculated on the cash register for accounting purposes and all sales are final. Only ONE customer should be handled at a time to lessen the chances of a mistake and to avoid confusion.
If a customer says that the club can keep the change or otherwise provides money as a charitable donation, that money MUST go in a separate envelope and cannot be counted in the sales totals. If someone joins the club and/or pays dues at the sale, this money must also be separate from sale totals and placed in a separate envelope.
Many people have questions about the plants they are thinking of purchasing, such as how much light it needs, etc. Yard helpers are around in the back yard to help answer questions as they are able or to guide customers to the right people to answer those questions. Yard helpers keep an eye on things overall, jumping in to help as necessary. Sometimes a plant may not have a price tag, which can back up the cash register. Yard helpers should be familiar with where various plants are generally located so they can run and check on the price, enabling the tag puller to create a new price tag.
Greeters are typically stationed by the entrance to the greenhouse and across from the cash register to welcome people to the sale. As people enter the backyard, welcome them by saying something like, “Welcome to the Hobby Greenhouse plant sale! Have you been to one of our sales before?” If they answer yes, tell them welcome back and thank them for their support. If they answer no, give them a synopsis of who we are and what the sale is all about.
A sample response is: “Well then, we’re glad you have you! We’re a local club filled with plant enthusiasts. You don’t have to own a greenhouse to be a member and if you think you might want to check out one of our meetings, our meeting schedule is located at the cash register. Feel free to peruse the plants for sale, all grown by our members, which are located up and down both sides of the back yard. Proceeds from our sales go toward scholarships for local horticulture students. There are paths at the back of the property that will allow you to view a few of the neighboring gardens as well and if you have any questions, just look for people with name tags.”
The club has carts available for use during the sale in order to help customers take plants to their vehicles. Carts must stay in the possession of a club member at all times – customers are not to take the carts themselves and no one is allowed to take carts home. Greeters should always offer to help people out with their plants, especially those who are purchasing a lot of plants or who look like they might struggle to carry what they have.