Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring 2010 Book Sale FAQ

Today we'll post the first half of the FAQ's. We've also posted them through Google Docs. So if you can't resist, you can look at the whole list by clicking the link. If you want to wait, the rest will be posted tomorrow.


The Friends of Reston Regional Library welcome all of you to the sale.  Our goal is for EVERYONE to enjoy the sale and to have a fair chance to find what they want. To that end, we have a few rules, which if everyone can follow them, will help all of us.

Why do you have so many more fiction than non-fiction books?

We don't!  Yes, adult fiction is the largest single subject category at the semi-annual sales.... as measured by "volume" (cubic feet!).  However, when all fiction is toted up (fiction plus sci fi plus romance plus lit, etc.), the total number of boxes is well below half.  So therefore all non-fiction (history, self help, cooking, religion, etc.) is clearly well above half.

But what the Friends have sorted through and stashed in our storage shed isn't the whole story either.  The way that the Friends have allocated selling square footage in the building (the two rows of fiction tables, plus the zones for sci fi, romance, lit) confirms that fiction again represents well below half of what's allocated. . . and what happy shoppers get to browse through at any given time during the sale itself.

What forms of payment do you take?

Cash and checks with valid information and phone number.  If you’ve written us a bad check in the past, cash only.

What are the rules for dealers/high volume buyers?

First, remember our goal from above.  In that vein,

a)      No bulk buying allowed until Sunday at 2pm. That means no sweeping of books from the tables into plastic bags.
b)    We allow you to buy as many TOTAL boxes (standard size/postal size) as you wish.  However, each time you accrue 6 boxes, we ask that you check out and take them to your car; and return as time permits.  We are very short on space, so if you can get your books out to your vehicle in chunks, it lessens the chance another patron will not recognize them as ‘taken’ or even ‘sold’ and start going through them.

Do you allow scanners?

Scanners are allowed on the main floor as long as one abides by the rules and behaves in an orderly fashion. We will ask people who cannot behave in an orderly manner to leave.  Should the use of scanners cause a disruption, we will ask you to put it away. We ask that you mind your manners – do not snatch books out of people's hands.

NOTE: Scanners are NOT allowed in the Specials Room

What is the Specials Room?

This is the small room where we have located higher value books ($5 and up – the vast majority $7 and under). ON FRIENDS NIGHT (April 21), patrons may select up to 40 items at a time, have them processed, paid for, and taken to their car, and then return and repeat as often as needed throughout preview night.  Due to the small space, patrons will be asked to leave other boxes, bags and books outside the Specials Room throughout the sale. 

What are some typical books located in the Specials Room?

You can see a selection of the books offered by viewing our Toplist.  This list is just a drop in the bucket of what we have there.

Why do you take so much information when I’ve selected Specials Room books?

We do it because it clearly helps us to run a better sale for the shopper, not just at this sale but future ones as well.  By knowing that a particular scarce item has sold already, the less likely we'll be to keep looking for it when another customer asks about it later!  More importantly, we learn about what subject categories are most sought after by our patrons.  And of course, that contact info routinely allows us to contact a buyer who's forgotten to pick up the precious bag of selections at checkout time (unfortunately happens every sale, and multiple times, too)

See you tomorrow for Part II

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