How to run a Bridal Registry...

  • I have just had the experience of watching a bridal register set up for my sister-in-law at a major Australian department store. I'm not entirely sure that they have the technology sorted just yet...

    Step One : You register.

    They give you an 8-digit "R number" (R04325185 isn't ours, but all of them have a handy leading zero to confuse the unwary). They also give you a heap of cards to insert in the invitations. On these, they expect you to write you R number so that your guests will be able to view on line the list of goodies you'd like to get.

    Fair enough I suppose, but after hand writing an 8 digit number a hundred or two times, you'd think that there was a decent margin for error. Looking at the numbers, there is no check digit. I guess they reckon you can also search by name for the right list, so what the heck. I do still wonder how many gifts get purchased for the wrong happy couple...

    Step Two : You select the items you want to be on the list.

    They give you a complimentary clipboard and pen, along with a supply of pre-printed forms, and you wander around the store writing down the 13 digit bar code for each item you want to be on the list.

    No, truly, they DO!

    You then hand the list back, and their staff re-key the bar codes into a web based application which eventually ends up on the web site.

    The fact that guests can't see a picture of the gifts on the web site had puzzled me, but it's all clear now... event with check digits in the bar codes, it's simply far too likely that the Wedgewood jug you thought you selected actually has the code for that lovely rake over in garden products, or whatever!

    We're thinking of taking an old hand held scanner and a laptop in to compile the list....


  • The big chains here in the States have all that fully automated.  You go to a kiosk dedicated to the registry, and create your registry.  You tell people, "I'm registered at {Target|Wal-Mart|Home Depot|Lowes|Whatever} and then they can go to the same kiosk, look you up by name (for marriages, it's either bride or groom), and print out a list of things, with the barcode on it, and a location in the store.  To allow the registrant to generate the list, they give you a scanner gun, and you roam around, "shooting" what you want.  All in all, it's pretty slick.  Oh, and some things are onling only, not in the store, and the registrant can pick those online using a web interface to their registry, or the gift giver can likewise shop online. 

  •  @mct said:

    Looking at the numbers, there is no check digit.
    How can you tell?

  • @Eric Shinn said:

     @mct said:

    Looking at the numbers, there is no check digit.
    How can you tell?

    Because R04325184 and R04325186 are also valid ID's?

  • Exactly. In fact all the IDs I could see ran sequentially...

  • Well... if it worked for the other 4325184 customers, it can't be TOO bad 🙂


    Just kidding, in this day and age thats a pretty ancient system.





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