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 Merchandising - Worried, What If Don't Have Any Experience ?
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LJT
Member

USA
45 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2004 :  7:33:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Jenna,

I saw that you are from OH. Are you near a big city? My cousin lives in Youngtown and doesn't seem to be able to find work merchandising. There are not many avaliable in her area? I know this doesnt' help much. If you live in a big city or can find a job in a larger city that pays mileage you may want to branch out.

Joyce
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KimG
Star Contributor

Orlando, FL
USA
612 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2005 :  1:15:06 PM  Send KimG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just posted my data on NARMS, but i have no experience in merchandising. I just started ms'ing 2 weeks ago. I don't even know what some of these terms mean, like planograms, resets, and POP. Will someone still hire me, or even give me some rudimentary training? I am looking for part-time work, a couple of days a week. I don't want to tie myself down to an office job, I want to work independently, and I work well that way. Any tips would be appreciated.

Kim
silver certified njtwnf
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MaryL
Valued Contributor

Richmond, VA
USA
185 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2005 :  2:22:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Several companies are willing to hire reps with no experience. All of the companies give clear and detailed instructions. Do not take on any reset until you are going to work with a team or someone with experience. Most projects are easy and many companies just want someone dependable. Sometimes a company will give you a project and when you complete it and everyone is happy, they will give you more work. NARMS is the best place to register.
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CarmenBolin
Valued Contributor

Camarillo, CA
USA
199 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2005 :  1:08:59 PM  Send CarmenBolin an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
When I first started, I was just honest about my lack of experience, my dependability and my willingness to learn. I took some rather low paying jobs first, simply because they had very detailed instructions and would get me some experience. Then, I did some searches for terms such as planogram, POG, POP, POS, etc (eventually I found NARMS, I would suggest starting there). I didn't do a reset until it was on a team. Then I asked TONS of questions, now I do resets by myself all the time. The more you do, the more you know which ones to do and which ones not to do.

Walk around a store and look at the product. Walk into the cosmetic area and look at a 4 foot display. See how many different shades/variations of each product are there? Consider the difficulty when setting it. Now, walk to say, the toilet paper aisle. Bigger product, takes more room, not as many varieties, probably easier to set. See the difference? I did this any time I saw an ad for another job. Would I want to set computer cables? After all, how many possible types can there be? (FYI, it is a TON!) Walked around two different stores and decided that would be a challenge.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, even from the store managers. They prefer you ask before you set something wrong. Oh, and enjoy it! If you are detail oriented, like to set your hours, pick part time non route jobs... it can give you the income with flexibility.

MSPA Gold Certified July 2005
Shopping & Merchandising Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles Counties
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AudreyB
Valued Contributor

West Plains, Missouri
USA
197 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2005 :  9:44:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't have a lot of merchandise experience yet, but I've found that the managers are often the most helpful people - if you treat them nice

I recently called a manager to introduce myself and let her know I was coming to her store the next day. She said that was the first time that a merchandiser had done this and she managed that department for several years. Since I was basically clueless what to do when I showed up, she ended up helping me a great deal.

BTW - I didn't make the call to the manager to suck up, it was required in the instructions I received.

Audrey

Audrey
happily shopping southern Missouri and northern Arkansas
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Jenny41
Star Contributor

Ohio
USA
745 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2005 :  11:06:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I started in April with no experience whatever, and now I am turning down work daily! And feeling bad about doing so! Just apply to everyone and be truthful!
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JennyK22
Member

Marietta, GA
USA
34 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2005 :  01:30:59 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jenny: That's how it's been with me. May I ask, how do you handle turning down work while still hoping to maintain the contact? I'd really appreciate some input on that. Thanks!
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Sharon Allen
Member

Sheffield, AL
USA
16 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2005 :  6:34:27 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
As stated in many of the posts, most people have more experience than they realize. I worked a retag during May, June, And July, and found that I had more than I knew I had! I have owned/operated a small business for several years, and now am into merchandising. I love it! I gained so much experience in my business, and it has tremendously helped. After all, the product has to be out there and look good before a customer will buy. Basically, common sense, relialability, perseverance, willing to work, and willing to learn are the main components of a good employee. When I recruited help for retaggings, the main things I requested were, "Be there when you are supposed to, be willing to work, and be willing to learn." I recruited some good people with just those three requirements.
Sharon, NW Alabama

Sharon S. Allen
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VeraD
Apprentice

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2005 :  1:03:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can't wait to get merchandising jobs.
I Worked for Walgreens a little over 12 years.
I did allot merchandising, pricing, resets,even setting up
displays and planogroams.

It was nice and no it's easier then you think.
My mother has never worked in a store before but was hired
to do a reset she was liked so much she was hired for the next week.

Vera
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.SherryB
Inactive

MO
USA
7 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2005 :  5:16:40 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by .JaneP

HONESTY is a big asset...tell the MGR that you need help learning the telezon machine. They would rather show you than have you mess it up!

I have to do my very first cut-in tomorrow. I was not given any training. I'm a smart girl and am sure I can figure out a planogram, etc. but I've never actually DONE any merchandising before. I wouldn't know where the stock is, or how to check inventory or print price tags. Is it really OK for me to hang all over the manager to get my job done? I don't want to give the impression than I need my hand held all the time (because I don't.)

Thanks
SherryB in MO
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GLabow464
Valued Contributor

Springfield, PA
USA
112 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2005 :  12:40:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I had never done merchandising until I started MSing and took one job setting up a display. Because of the suggestions I had read here on the forum I took with me: a big black trash bag with 2 screwdrivers, a bottle of Fantastic, a roll of paper towels, a couple of small trash bags, a box cutter, and my cellphone with the scheduler's number on it. With the exception of the cellphone, I used them all.
The manager was helpful, showed me the product, a handtruck, and a space to set up. Then he left me alone. I had to install an additional shelf (good thing I had my screwdrivers), I cleaned all the shelves (Fantastic and paper towels) and had bags to throw all the trash away. I had to open boxes with my box cutter, and when I got done, I think it was a nice job. The manager seemed impressed.

The one thing that bothered me was not having enough product to set the planogram exactly. I ended up spacing some rows apart to make the display look full, and had to put up short rows. I expect when the store got a shipment they could restock the shelves.

I found I liked merchandising and I'm doing more now. With my little black trash bag!

Gary - Silver gjs9lz
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MaryL
Valued Contributor

Richmond, VA
USA
185 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2005 :  1:03:57 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
When you do a reset or new set up for a section in a store, many times you will not have all of the product. Most times, the store will have to order the product. It is important that you leave the space empty so they know what they have to order. If you revisit the store a week or two later, it will be full.
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Claudessa
Member

Gardena, California
USA
11 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2005 :  01:58:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been Merchandising for 5 years and working for one company for 3 years, their projects are 2 x a month any pay very well. I work for 2 other firms that provided me with weekly work. I find this more rewarding than taking 1 time jobs. The good thing is that some of the stores overlap so that I can do two projects while I am one store which means sometime I am making over $25/hour. I then try to schedule my msing in between store (lunch shops). All of my jobs came from NARMS. I am lucky because I live in an area the loaded with stores, but, I was on NARMS looking for things everyday until I found the long term assignment that I wanted. They only experience that I had was in a retail stores. My only problem now is how to get 3 companies to let me off at the same time. You can make a good living merchandising, and have free time if you work it right.

Shopping Silver

Merchandising and MSing in Southern California
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TeresaC
Valued Contributor

Auburn Hills, MI
USA
101 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2005 :  07:54:45 AM  Visit TeresaC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
If you have no experience merchandising and do not understand the terminology you can read the merchandiser training manual at www.narms.com for no charge. There is also a certification test you can take for a nominal fee. Yes, I do hire people with no experience that have passed the test if I feel they are good candidates.

Teresa Cockrum, SPAR Merchandising Recruiter
Recruiting@sparinc.com
1-800-477-5347 x 8578
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BrendaLynn
Member

MO
USA
43 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2005 :  12:40:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yes, NARMS is a great place to learn. I just started out in this industry about a month ago. I thought I would like shopping, but had a call from a company needing a merchandiser at the last minute. It was a reset no less, and I was pretty intimidated. However, I learned most of what I needed to know through the training manual at NARMS and my project went well. I also found that I enjoy merchandising so much more than shopping. I was worried about taking the certification test there, but actually, it was pretty straight-forward and I did well. My question to the veterans in the biz.: does passing the certification at NARMS offer more/better opportunities?

For other newcomers to the field, trust in yourself. You really do know more than you think you do, definitely check-out NARMS, and use your logic and common sense. Merchandising is not at all difficult if you're willing to seek out answers to what you don't know, willing to listen and take advice, and are willing to work. I'm so glad I stumbled into this field! And Volition!

Brenda Lynn
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KimG
Star Contributor

Orlando, FL
USA
612 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2005 :  07:18:58 AM  Send KimG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I registered with NARMS months ago, haven't gotten a few posts to my profile, and even a couple of calls back. But, no jobs yet, and I think it is because I have very little experience in merchandising. I need something regular besides ms'ing, but I don't want to tie myself down to working a part-time job the same hours at the same place every day. Because of other obligations (working for my husband when needed) I need to be flexible. I guess I should just start filling out applications. Does taking the NARMS test help?

Any schedulers out there-I'm reliable, extremely organized, and looking for about 10-15 hrs/week.

Kim
silver certified njtwnf
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BrendaLynn
Member

MO
USA
43 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2005 :  10:59:04 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kim- Are you applying with companies directly? Look at the merchandisers companies list here at Voltion and start applying. Also, I was completely new to merchandising, but was hired by Archway the first of September and have gained so much experience through them, including major resets. They are not the highest paying, but they do pay like clockwork, and are very good about hiring "newbies" and allowing them to gain that much needed experience.

Brenda Lynn
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KimG
Star Contributor

Orlando, FL
USA
612 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2005 :  1:13:03 PM  Send KimG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have applied to a few companies directly. Gotten some response back, mostly "we have your application, etc". I did sign up for a simple merchandising job with Certified Reports. I do ms'ing for them, and thought I'd give it a chance. If I hate it, I just won't do any more for them (their pay is low), but at least I can say that I have some experience.

Kim
silver certified njtwnf
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Elizabeth36
Star Contributor

Greenville, NC
USA
566 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2005 :  8:41:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think alot of it is timing too.. I got lucky, had some experience in a retail setting (used to work for Estee Lauder and Clinique)so was familiar with the terms and knew what would be required.

The biggest thing is luck though.. Is there a need in your area right now? Maybe not but the person who works for those companies may quit tomorrow... And then they see an application from you...

Play up your strengths... Can you look at a picture and put things where they should be on the shelf in relation to the picture? That is all a plan-o-gram is... A picture of what they want the shelf/area to look like... So you take the product and put it so it matches the pictures... Tons of different numbers/names??? Again they tell you where they want them to go... You may be slow at first but if you get a regular account, the more you do it, the faster you get...

Are you extremely organized?? To a fault??? Let them know that... I think if you appear competent and detail oriented most companies will give you a chance...

Elizabeth
Shopping Greenville NC and surrounding areas!
I WANT MORE MERCHANDISING WORK! Call me, ok?
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Sharon Allen
Member

Sheffield, AL
USA
16 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  9:31:12 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
E-mail me, I will be glad to help or answer any qestions you may have. Usually I can tell by talking to you 5 minutes if you are merchandiser material or not, and if not, I can give some tips on how to improve. I have unlimited long distance (a MUST in this profession!) and can call you back so as to save you on long-distance calls. Everything Sheri at Dynamic said is true. Reliability, commitment, willing to stay till the job is done, and doing your best are all valuable attributes. One other valuable tip--a fax machine is invaluable! I don't know everything about merchandising, I learn something new every day...if it were easy, though, I would be very bored and very unhappy! I love my job(s).

Sharon S. Allen
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