Retail merchandiser for Hallmark --- anyone done this?

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Posted 3/14/2011 by itsme1546 in NSBR Board
 

pegaroo
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Posted: 3/14/2011 10:44:13 PM
This sounds interesting - how did you hear about this?


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luckywife
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Posted: 3/14/2011 10:47:39 PM
My BFF's mom did this for a few years. She liked it. She did say that that Wal*Mart employees were always really rude to her. Something about the policies that allowed Hallmark to come in and restock the cards vs Wal*Mart employees doing it themselves. Other than that, she really liked it as a side job. Like you said, the pay is not great, but the job was not very hard. Good luck!


Mrs. Steven Rudy


girlscrapsalot
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Posted: 3/14/2011 10:54:43 PM
My mom did this for a few years. You need to be able to lift and move the boxes of stuff. It's physical in the sense that there's a lot of bending, squatting, etc while putting up the displaysand whatnot. Just putting that out there as some can't handle that part of it.

For the most part, it's very flexible. As long as you get it done by their target dates, you can do it on your own time. You MUST be able to work around the holidays as that's their important times. So if you go away for thanksgiving that would be a problem as the Christmas stuff needs to go up ASAP, stuff like that.

She eventually found something else that paid better and fit more with her former career (before she retired) so she quit. But I think it's a good "get out of the house" fun money kind of job! You won't really interact with other people, so if your idea of getting out of the house o

MonicaB
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Posted: 3/14/2011 10:55:17 PM
I have never done this myself, but I work in a store where we have "the eyeglass lady.". This woman does merchandising for reading glasses. It's nice for her because she has her set stores and can go any time of day (she comes at night to our store), and get things done at her pace.

If the Hallmark one does not pan out, I know there are other companies such as Avanti cards and I think American greetings that has this type of employment.

Good luck!



Sireney
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Posted: 3/14/2011 11:27:15 PM
I've been an RM for Hallmark for almost 6 years now.

I have to say, yes, the pay isn't great. I started at $8.50, and I make $10 an hour after 5.5 years. Pay is bi-weekly, also. There are NO benefits, no vacation pay, no sick days, no personal days. If you work, you get paid, if you don't, you don't get paid. Simple as that.

The only thing that will be asked of you, is that you can work the day right before/after a holiday. For example, Easter is a Sunday, so on Monday you would be expected to be at an account to do the changeover to Mother's Day product. If you have small accounts, then you could do them all in one day, or as many as is possible, then go to the others the next day. In my case, I have two large grocery store accounts (and a few smaller accounts). I will be at the largest account on Monday, Tuesday will be the other grocery store, and on Wednesday, I'll hit three smaller accounts in one day).

Oh, then there is Valentine's Day - which is really the only holiday the company gets kind of crazed about. Service requirements are upped a bit, depending on the type of account. But, they will let you know that information in advance so you can plan for it.

When you set a new holiday, you will be responsible for the seasonal counter (all cards), and any party product display that coordinates with it. After the holiday passes, you will do a credit of all seasonal product. (Everyday product is credited out of the account by your TA (territory assistant).

You will be responsible for ordering everyday product (birthday, sympathy, new baby cards, etc). Depending on the kind of account you have, you may have to order party product, gift wrap, ribbon, bows. Some accounts are on POSR - point of sale replenishment, and certain product will automatically be ordered as it sells down. (this is very nice!)

The job is SOoooo flexible - as I said, the only day you're *expected* to work is that day after a holday. In the case of a holiday that falls on Friday, or Saturday - it can usually be put it off until Monday. (weekend working is not pushed - though there may be a day that you're asked to do so - usually around Valentine's) Of course, if you go for the job, be sure to ask all of these questions first. The person you report to may be more stringent about things than the person I report to.

Or, sometimes there is a directive to leave product up an extra day or so. In that case, you will be told what day you're expected to do a reset. They always designate a day that all changeovers should be completed by, and what day all credits should be completed by (norm is 10 days post holiday).

**As I was typing this, girlscrapsalot posted - Christmas product goes up very early now. All of my accounts have Christmas/Thanksgiving product up by November 1st/2nd. If there is ever a chance that you won't be able to go into your account the day after a holiday - due to going away for a holiday, or you get sick - most TAs *will* work with you. This past Thanksgiving I woke up sick the day after. I called my TA, and let her know and she said to just go in and do the work on Monday or Tuesday if I felt better, otherwise let her know, and she would do it. TAs generally do NOT have their own accounts to service, so that they are free to help if it's needed. They really oversee a certain number of accounts in an area.**

Merchandiser's are given a handheld unit, that you will use to scan into your accounts, order product, do credits, etc. A new system is being rolled out that will track commute time/worked time/mileage, etc. There is an online site to log into and track orders, credits you've done, product you want to find, floor plans. There is a customer solutions call center you can call for help in an account. Plus, the TA that you would report to is a great source of information.

In the case of the job listing you read - in a Toys R Us, you'll have a lot of giftwrap (roll wrap, flat wrap, ribbon, bows), maybe pinatas and party goods, lots of kids cards, but the card counter will probably be about 8-16 ft.

Barnes & Noble is mostly Sunrise Greetings, and a lot of "collections" of specialty cards (maybe 16 - 20 feet). No Expressions by Hallmark cards from what I've seen. Those two accounts will probably be an hour or two at most. The grocery store will probably be the most work.

With children in school, and their schedules, this job is such a great thing. I often think about getting a full time job, but, for my family, this just works really well. Oh, another thing ( not counting major holidays)- it's a great job in that if you go to bed planning to work the next day, but wake up not feeling like going out to work - it's OKAY.

As long as you get your work done, you can go when you want. I had fully planned to go to work this morning, but, I started cleaning, folding laundry, etc., my son got home from his class around 11:00 - and we decided to go out for lunch, and to do some galivanting - so I never went to work. Instead, I'll go out to work Tuesday.

Good luck!



kimosmom
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Posted: 3/14/2011 11:35:53 PM
My mom was a merchandiser for over 26 years and everything Sireney said is exactly true! It's a great job for a mom who wants a p/t job while the kids are in school!


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Kathy
Blessed mother of Nicholas



Sireney
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Posted: 3/14/2011 11:49:42 PM
You're very welcome! I just added a little more towards the bottom of my post. I'm glad to provide information. If you have any other questions, peamail me. I can always ask my TA some questions for you, too.

Sirene



ca angel
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Posted: 3/15/2011 1:19:51 AM
This sounds like what I'd like to do! When I worked retail in college my favorite part was cleaning up the displays (accessories) and making them look nice. Obviously there is more to this job (ordering, etc) but it's nice to not have to deal with the drama that some customers bring.

Since it sounds too good to be true, what are the downsides, in general not specific to cards?
ca angel

PeaLegs
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Posted: 3/15/2011 1:24:35 AM
Ooooh! This sounds like what I need right now. I used to work at a Hallmark and loved it.

I may have to look into this in my area.


Erica

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Sireney
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Posted: 3/15/2011 6:02:19 AM

Since it sounds too good to be true, what are the downsides, in general not specific to cards?



If you don't need to worry about medical insurance, paid time off, and a large paycheck, then there really aren't any downsides. Honestly.

Another example - after my father died in 2009, I had such a hard time functioning. It was unexpected, and sudden. I barely got through my days in the first handful of months afterwards. I was working, but, I was letting some things slide. Some weeks I wouldn't get to my accounts. My TAs boss happened to stop into one of my accounts, and didn't like what she saw. She left me a note saying as much, called me the next day to set up a meeting with her, and my TA.

We met - and she asked what was going on. When I told her, she said that all I need to do is call my TA, or send an email. Communicate with her what was going on, and they'd have had someone cover for me for a while with no problem. I could have easily lost my job, but, I didn't. The biggest thing is communication. If you can't get to an account, email or call your TA. Let them know you're having a bit of a problem that week. You're sick, your child is sick, whatever - and they always work with you. I am talking from personal experience, and I'd like to think that it's the same all over.

Yes, I happen to have a very easy going TA. There are some who are a real PITA! My TA had an emergency surgery in September, and was out until the first week of December. The woman covering for her was a realy pain! She told me I ordered too much, nitpicked over every little thing. But, when my son had an emergency appendectomy in October, I called her, and she said don't worry about the accounts, just take care of him.

I wish I could find something negative to say....but, I can't. It's all formulated around how many accounts you have, and the size of the accounts. It can be crazy busy at holiday time. But, the other months, when it's so slow - like over the summer - it's so nice! I'm not a morning person at all, so when everyone is on break from school, like during the summer, no alarms are set, we get up late, and I do eventualy go out to work, sometimes not til 3 or 4pm.

Go to the beach all day, when hubby is home to watch over the kids, head out to do a little work. Granted, some accounts make that part easier - it all depends on the store - and how late it's open. But, that is why you have to have open communication with your TA. Ask if it's okay to do that upfront.

Sirene



austyn
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Posted: 3/15/2011 7:12:26 AM
not for Hallmark, but I did it for uhhh who was it...Sanrio? Is that one of the card manufacturers? It started with an S...anywho - it was at a couple of K-mart stores doing the same thing.

It was a fun little job. Can be a bit time consuming - especially at Christmas.



peasyp
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Posted: 3/15/2011 8:04:01 AM
I did it for 2 years and had 3 Walgreens stores. It was VERY flexible, I got paid 8.25 an hour, and built up vacation days. I mean i could really go in when i wanted and if i didn't really feel like working the store but once that week then thats what I did. ( the managers never noticed when i came and went) It was great for me because my kids were in school and it got me out of the house a few hours a week.
Downside for me was during a holiday or really just Christmas, I had to be there the few day before and the days after to take down and put up Valentines.Not so good when my kids are out of school. Since I had 3 stores, I had to travel and did not get travel time. I also had managers call from other stores wanting me to come work.. at one time I had 5 stores. That got to be too much and I think I got burned out.
I also worked for Hallamrk and traveled to new stores to set up fixtures and place product on them or if an old store had a remodel we took out the old fixtues and reset everything. Did get travel time for that. Did not do it for very long, the fixtures were very heavy and for 9.00/hour...not enough money for me to do that heavy lifting.
You can also check out Hallmarks website they have employment opprtunities section and list openings in your area. I had thougt about being a territory rep. when that came open. ours traveld to all the Walgreens stores in our district and checked on the merchendiser and evaluated their job. I know it was very flexible too. Also check out American Greetings website and another one for merchandising jobs is NARMS.com.

SweetiePie Pea
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Posted: 3/15/2011 8:13:01 AM
this must be for non Gold Crown stores??

I worked for a small local chain of Gold Crown stores in the late 90's. I started as just a basic retail sales person. I didn't want the management position after my boss left so I asked to do the merchandising (let a single Mom take the management spot because I knew I would not be there much longer).

it was a LOT of fun. I really enjoyed meeting the collectors (I was usually there during big events like their holiday open house). learning about all the collectibles hallmark makes. their displays were always so happy and fun. It took some of the monotony out of rotating cards

It was nice making my own hours too. At the time we just had one vehicle so I was able to leave and come back if needed.

Some of the sets were quite large for the GC stores though and we usually had a couple people working on displays when the ornaments went up. It would be a lot of work for one person. I hope it's just for non GC stores (who have smaller displays)!





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ostrich girl
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Posted: 3/15/2011 8:29:55 AM
I never knew such a job existed! I'll keep this in mind if my part-time job I have now changes.


-mich


amybaby
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Posted: 3/15/2011 9:23:08 AM
How can others of us who are interested in this type of job find out more? Do you have a link for nationwide openings? Thanks!


~Amy~

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makingmemorieslast
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Posted: 3/15/2011 10:57:39 AM
Amy - go on your local Craigslist site and check under jobs...either do a search for "Hallmark" or just look under "Part-Time"


Sireney
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Posted: 3/15/2011 3:19:35 PM
Here is the actual Hallmark website with a page to link up to jobs with the company. Choose the option for part-time field merchandising and then go from there.

Hallmark jobs

Up until a couple of years ago, you would get paid vacation time. That doesn't happen anymore - they did away with vacation time for part-time employees. Keep in mind, that almost all field work is part-time. Even TA (Territory assistant) positions are part-time.

Travel time, and mileage, is (and always has been) paid ONLY if you travel from account to account. Or, if you drive one way to/from your first account more than 20 minutes, or more than 15 miles. I have one account that takes me 25 minutes to get there because of traffic, but, it's only 10 miles away. I get paid for 5 minutes of my drive time, both there, and back. If I do any travel to accounts in between (I have 5 accounts total), I get paid for all mileage, and time it takes me to get to each account.

If you do other driving around in between, you do have to deduct from the travel time, so that you're just charging actual work travel time/miles. Territory Representatives DO check this, so it's best to be honest!

Most accounts are serviced at minimum 1x per week. Some are 2x, some are 3x. Then, there are some accounts that get biweekly service.

Heidi - totally unrelated to actual Gold Crown stores.

I believe Wal-Mart/Target is actually serviced by a company other than Hallmark, though they do carry some Hallmark branded product.

Sirene







ukfan
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Posted: 3/15/2011 3:24:24 PM
My dad is currently working with Hallmark as an RM. He likes it well enough. Gets him out of the house, he kind of picks his hours/schedule as long as he gets his work completed. Pay is not that great - but they need some extra income right now.

He does go in to Wal-Marts right now and has not had an issue.


Jennifer



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megmc
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Posted: 3/15/2011 3:27:07 PM
From what my friend does at walmart, the job requires alot of time and she has to work every holiday because the walmart is a 24 hour store. granted it is only a few hours, but a few hours on a holiday is way to many.

Sireney
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Posted: 3/15/2011 6:13:03 PM

From what my friend does at walmart, the job requires alot of time and she has to work every holiday because the walmart is a 24 hour store. granted it is only a few hours, but a few hours on a holiday is way to many.


In find this interesting, because after six years of doing this job, I have never heard anyone with Hallmark being asked to work on the actual holiday, and we have quite a number of 24 hour grocery stores in the area, that are open on Thanksgiving, Easter, and New Year's Day.

The only holiday I've ever had to actually work on, was Valentine's Day. But, it is always seasonal service only - go in, neaten ONLY the Valentine's product, and leave. We are *never* asked to work on Christmas, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, or Easter. A mass message is sent via our handheld unit daily for the whole week leading up to the holiday, that we are NOT to service any accounts on the actual holiday, unless it's been approved by our TA/TR.

As with any of these holidays - the extra service the day before is only seasonal service, because you are expected to make the round, and hit any of your major accounts that have large amounts of this product.

Sirene



kimosmom
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Posted: 3/15/2011 6:22:45 PM

In find this interesting, because after six years of doing this job, I have never heard anyone with Hallmark being asked to work on the actual holiday, and we have quite a number of 24 hour grocery stores in the area, that are open on Thanksgiving, Easter, and New Year's Day.


Yes, you're right...my mom NEVER had to work a holiday, just only the day after to take down the past holiday and put up the next one.

She started when I was in the 3rd grade and only worked when we were at school. In the summer, she stayed at home with us and then went to work when my dad got home at 5. No, it didn't make a ton of $$, but the flexibility was what she needed at the time. What she did make did allow us a lot of extras that we wouldn't have had if she weren't working!

AND...even though she's not doing the Card Merchandising, she still does it for other companies...Revlon, Carters, Cover Girl, etc... Still flexible, but not as "physical" (can be some heavy lifting) for a 62 year old!


**********************************************************
Kathy
Blessed mother of Nicholas



AngieandSnoopy
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Posted: 3/15/2011 7:51:15 PM
Sireney did all the hard work for me! Anyway, I worked for Hallmark at Walmart 3 years ago. There were actually two of us splitting the time and at the time, I was working at Subway IN Walmart so it worked out well for me, I was already there.

The nice thing is that I was allowed to keep the envelopes we threw away after Christmas, sent the cards back but not the envelopes. I have a nice stash for my card making!

Downside, I bought every card they had with a Dachshund on it! Upside, gave me some good ideas for cards!

I really did enjoy it but when I got my full-time job, I just couldn't do it anymore. Especially since I already have a part-time job, my wedding cake top website.

The nice thing is, Walmart is a POS so I didn't have to order anything UNLESS I knew for sure something was out and needed. They needed help a few weeks ago, and still may. Just wish I could afford to quit my job right now and do that as a part-time to bring in a little money while I build up my website business.


Angie ~ Snoopy, Amanda, Michel, Davy, Benji, & Onkita - my fur kids!
Red, Black & Tan, & Double Dapple mini Dachshund's! Is it Snoopy or Snoopea?
Michel 9, Onkita 14, Jeannie the Chiweenie 14, and Sugar Plum 16 years!

Fiskateer #2358

Sireney
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Posted: 3/15/2011 7:57:37 PM
LOL - I was reading a post on the General Scrapbooking board about dry hands, and wanted to let you know this little thing - handling so many envelopes, *especially* at holiday time, your hands will dry out, and it can get bad. Add in the cold weather, and ouch! My hands were so bad this winter, I went through hand lotion like crazy. So, keep some in your handbag, or car, and when you leave work, use it, and often!

Sirene



AngieandSnoopy
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Posted: 3/15/2011 8:08:48 PM
Sireney, you just reminding me of the hazards of the job! Paper cuts! I learned to keep Liquid Skin in my apron pocket so I wouldn't bleed all over the cards and envelopes occasionally!

This post "pushed" me into finding my former supervisor's email and telling her to keep me in mind next time she needs someone.


Angie ~ Snoopy, Amanda, Michel, Davy, Benji, & Onkita - my fur kids!
Red, Black & Tan, & Double Dapple mini Dachshund's! Is it Snoopy or Snoopea?
Michel 9, Onkita 14, Jeannie the Chiweenie 14, and Sugar Plum 16 years!

Fiskateer #2358

ukfan
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Posted: 3/15/2011 9:06:14 PM
I find it interesting in my dad's region - he only works February through Thanksgiving. He doesn't work between Thanksgiving and February 1.

Wonder if this region outsources the Christmas holiday?



Jennifer



"give me chocolate...or I will cut you"
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