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269 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1592601 14-Jul-2016 15:05
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mattwnz:

 

Did you get commission on top of wages, for selling higher value products? When I worked retail at a department store, staff in the home electronics department did, but not people in the other departments. 

 

 

We did yes, but that did vary a lot over the years.

 

When I started we got a % of total sales we'd made, plus MTA vouchers from warranty sales.

 

Then for tax reasons they ditched the MTA vouchers and warranties had commission bonuses instead.

 

Then later they brought in targets which you had to meet, else you would get no commission. There were two particular targets you had to hit, and some others which didn't effect your commission:

 

  • Sales per labor hour
  • % of warranties sold on items which warranties can be sold on

I really disagreed with that last one, and even leaked the details of it here on Geekzone Forums. Apparently head office tried to force Mauricio to give up my details, but he respected the privacy :)

 

They also brought in an 'over $1 million in sales in a year' club, where members got double commission.

 

The sales per labor hour was poorly done though too, especially for part time staff who worked the less busy days, their target was exactly the same as everyone elses.

 

And I assume to keep from having to pay out more money, the targets kept rising over the years.


134 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1592613 14-Jul-2016 15:18
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I have a DSE branded computer bought in 2003(ish?) Can I still claim warranty on it ;)

 

In all seriousness though, I am curious whether these "DSE" branded computers were common in all Dick Smith stores or just the Palmerston North one where my Dad bought ours.

 

It had a AMD Athlon XP 3000+ in it, and Windows XP Home Edition and all the boxes have "Dick Smith" on them and the old logo


 
 
 
 


1243 posts

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  Reply # 1592624 14-Jul-2016 15:38
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What item was the most frequently stolen from Dick Smith stores?

 

I used to work at a supermarket and the item that disappeared fastest over sales recorded was razor blade cartridges, as they're ridiculously expensive and small enough to easily hide in your pockets. The second most stolen item was in-house bakery goods, because the bakery was the first aisle after fruit and vegetables, and people would pick up (say) a packet of doughnuts and eat them while wandering around the store and dump the empty packet somewhere. It got so bad they actually rearranged the store so the bakery was the last thing before the wine and beer.




269 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1592632 14-Jul-2016 15:48
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PSlover14:

 

I have a DSE branded computer bought in 2003(ish?) Can I still claim warranty on it ;)

 

In all seriousness though, I am curious whether these "DSE" branded computers were common in all Dick Smith stores or just the Palmerston North one where my Dad bought ours.

 

It had a AMD Athlon XP 3000+ in it, and Windows XP Home Edition and all the boxes have "Dick Smith" on them and the old logo

 

 

haha, yes, they sure did. In fact my old manager still has one kicking around at his place, which he bought at a similar-ish time yeah.




269 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1592636 14-Jul-2016 15:59
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andrew027:

 

What item was the most frequently stolen from Dick Smith stores?

 

I used to work at a supermarket and the item that disappeared fastest over recorded sales recorded was razor blade cartridges, as they're ridiculously expensive and small enough to easily hide in your pockets. The second most stolen item was in-house bakery goods, because the bakery was the first aisle after fruit and vegetables, and people would pick up (say) a packet of doughnuts and eat them while wandering around the store and dump the empty packet somewhere. It got so bad they actually rearranged the store so the bakery was the last thing before the wine and beer.

 

 

In the last couple of years, Fitbit. But that's not just our stores, they're a popular target at all retailers. They're small, worth a fair bit, easy to sell on TradeMe or such. Logitech UE Megabooms were a popular target too. 

 

But essentially almost every product range had theft at some point or another. Towards the end, someone even managed to get a set of cellphone cabinet keys (the cellphone cabinet keys were all the same for each store it would seem, yikes!) and stole a bunch of Galaxy S5's. Someone stole a big screen TV, which we were able to watch later on the security footage, and as you found in the supermarket, lots of small items too.

 

Head Office were extremely controlling with what could be written off, it was very hard to take stock off the system, which I would guess was to keep the appearance of having very little losses and lots of stock in the company, but that's just my guess.

 

 




269 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1592637 14-Jul-2016 16:01
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Speaking of stolen items, I know the small pocket scales for drugs we sold, they were a big target. All stores who knew what they were doing had those in a locked cabinet.

 

It was quite easy to pick the customers who would ask to buy those scales sometimes. Not while the store was open, but I made a dump bin display of a Drug Dealer Package; it was the pocket scales, a cheap prepaid disposable cellphone, and a roll of Dick Smith duct tape :D

 

Another time with the pocket scales, I told the sales person helping them to offer them a free extended warranty. The customer was all for it, very happy, and then the sales person asked for their address for the warranty, and they said ah nah don't bother with the warranty. hahaha, I knew they'd turn it down!


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  Reply # 1592650 14-Jul-2016 16:11
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Towards the last year and months of DSE's life, did people on the floor raise with management issues regarding the insane overstocking of the private brand crap? And what was management's response?

 

And when DSE first went into receivership, what was the mood within the company like? Did people believe that the chain could survive?

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

 




269 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1592658 14-Jul-2016 16:21
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dejadeadnz:

 

Towards the last year and months of DSE's life, did people on the floor raise with management issues regarding the insane overstocking of the private brand crap? And what was management's response?

 

And when DSE first went into receivership, what was the mood within the company like? Did people believe that the chain could survive?

 

Cheers!

 

Absolutely, in fact at least one manager I know of nearly got fired for saying some pretty harsh words to the higher ups. The response was just to ignore it really. I'm sure they heard it, but they didn't listen.

 

People who were known to have negative views about such things, weren't invited to the company conference, things like that.

 

As wage budgets got tighter, and stock of private brand crap increased, and staff numbers shrunk, and losses rose, they just didn't want to hear about it.

 

The mood when the company first went into receivership? I guess everyone took it differently, but largely I think staff weren't surprised. In particular for ones who had been there at least a couple of years, we'd seen it go slowly down hill. I think we hoped we'd survive, but knew the chances were not great.

 

When the fire sale happened in December, there were a lot of questions on the private Dick Smith staff Facebook group asking are we closing. Head office denied it, and after Christmas I remember they made a point of posting a photo of a buyer ordering more external hard drives. Like look, we aren't closing, we're ordering more stock. At that point though, at least the top people would have known it was done for.


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  Reply # 1592661 14-Jul-2016 16:33
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LostBoyNZ:

 

Absolutely, in fact at least one manager I know of nearly got fired for saying some pretty harsh words to the higher ups. The response was just to ignore it really. I'm sure they heard it, but they didn't listen.

 

People who were known to have negative views about such things, weren't invited to the company conference, things like that.

 

As wage budgets got tighter, and stock of private brand crap increased, and staff numbers shrunk, and losses rose, they just didn't want to hear about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just.... no words. A couple more from me.

 

In the days when DS was doing well, what tended to be the hot selling stuff and what tended to be stuff that really boosted the margins? And even in the days of DS doing well/better than the end, many people complained about the lack of product range and pricing, were those concerns ever raised to and/or addressed by management?

 

 

 

 




269 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 39


  Reply # 1592668 14-Jul-2016 16:52
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dejadeadnz:

 

Just.... no words. A couple more from me.

 

In the days when DS was doing well, what tended to be the hot selling stuff and what tended to be stuff that really boosted the margins? And even in the days of DS doing well/better than the end, many people complained about the lack of product range and pricing, were those concerns ever raised to and/or addressed by management? 

 

 

Back in the 'good days', hmm, cables, batteries, bags, memory cards, software like office, anti-virus, printer ink and others. Anything that really wasn't a major item, but was an accessory for it, there was usually great markup in it. That's why you get lots of pressure to buy other things with your big purchase, because that's where the profit is. That's the same across all retailers I imagine, but at Dick Smith at least, staff were given attach rate reports, broken down by product range category even. You'd see how many products you sold where no attachments were sold on the same receipt.

 

Complaints about the lack of product range and pricing, hmm that's a tough one. On one hand, there were complaints from people, but really not enough to make it worth lowering the price. For example even though one person might complain a cable is too expensive, five more people will come along and buy it. That got out of hand in the last couple of years, the pricing went insane (RCA cables for like $45 or something if I remember right) but earlier it wasn't much of an issue.

 

Product range is a tough one too. They could have had a wider product range, but less of each item. They did try to fix that at one point, in fact for a while we had more laptops than we could fit on display. But the problem then became we only had a couple of each, and so there was a lot of "I'm sorry that one is sold out" or "We can sell the display model and a cheaper price". I agree they needed a bigger product range in some areas, but I can also see the buyers side on that one, it's a very tricky balance. Given unlimited budgets and storage space, no problem, but yeah...

 

 


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  Reply # 1592670 14-Jul-2016 16:55
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Approximately how much money did DS management steal from the public when they refused to honour any more DS vouchers?




269 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1592671 14-Jul-2016 17:04
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DarthKermit:

 

Approximately how much money did DS management steal from the public when they refused to honour any more DS vouchers?

 

 

Approx AU $2.5 million. Technically though it was the receivers, not DS management, that chose not to honor them. I've seen that happen with many companies (I remember Central Park Interactive and their gift vouchers not being valid for example) and it's terrible. The receivers job was to get back the secured creditors money first, and under NZ and Australian law unfortunately gift card holders are unsecured creditors. So morally I think it's 100% completely wrong, but as far as the receivers doing the job they were meant to, I guess they did it correctly.

 

I had a $150 voucher myself, but I know a lot of people out there had much more :( The average value was about AU$ 55.

 

In Australia, I think what Woolworth have done is fantastic. Any Dick Smith gift cards purchased from them can be exchanged for the same value in supermarket vouchers. But I believe that's Australia only.


455 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1592679 14-Jul-2016 17:40
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What were the worst abuses of the old no fault returns policy? Did you ever cut people off for returning too many things? How much did you usually have to mark the used items down?

3422 posts

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  Reply # 1592681 14-Jul-2016 17:46
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Was your commission at the end based on turn over, or on a share of profit?

 

What was the general vibe when DSE got into the appliance market in a serious manner?

 

Who did you see as the biggest brick and mortar competition? JayCar? PB's? Harvey's? Noel's? JB's?




269 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1592685 14-Jul-2016 17:52
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hashbrown: What were the worst abuses of the old no fault returns policy? Did you ever cut people off for returning too many things? How much did you usually have to mark the used items down?

 

haha, I didn't see many problems from that myself, like I never saw anyone get told no more. But I remember just about on my first day, someone brought some headphones up to me. They'd received them from an exchange the previous day, as their original set was faulty. Only when I looked at the headphones, and saw the brand text slightly worn off I said these aren't headphones you got yesterday, I can't return these. LOL.

 

Mark down used items? There was no set formula, I think it really depended on the condition of the item, but just as an example if someone wanted to buy a returned freeview antenna that's normally $55, they probably got offered $40. It totally depends on the store though, because to a certain amount, it's down to the individual sales person.


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