How to Write a Receipt

Receipts serve as a document for customer payments and as a record of sale. If you want to provide a customer with a receipt, you can handwrite one on a piece of paper or create one digitally using a template or software system. If you plan on doing business, it’s important that you know how to properly write a receipt for proper documentation, tax purposes, and to protect yourself and your customers.

EditSample Receipts
WH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5c89c3b1a0f1a’)Sample Donation ReceiptWH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5c89c3b1a1569’)Sample Donation Receipt for FurnitureWH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5c89c3b1a199f’)Sample Donation Receipt for Car
EditHandwriting a Receipt
Buy a receipt book to make writing receipts easier. You can purchase a 2 part carbonless receipt book online or at an office supply store or one that has several sheets of reusable carbon paper. These booklets are usually prenumbered and already have the receipt headings in place. Make sure to get booklets with 2 part forms so that you get a copy that you can keep for your records. If you don’t have a booklet on hand, you can simply handwrite receipts on a piece of paper and photocopy them.[1]
Make sure that the carbon paper is between the original and the copy before starting to write a receipt.

Use a pen when handwriting receipts, making sure to press down firmly so that the information transfers to the copy.

Write the receipt number and date on the top right. Write out the full date that you made the sale and a chronologically ordered receipt number under it. Each receipt should have a number so that you can keep track of each sale throughout the day. For the receipt number, start with 001 and go up one number for every receipt. You can do this ahead of time so you don’t need to write it every time you make a sale.[2]
For example, the top right of the receipt would look something like:January 20, 2019004

You can reset the receipt numbers every day as long as you also write the date on every receipt.

Most receipt booklets will already have a different receipt number for each receipt.

Write your company name and contact information in the top left. Write your company phone number and address under the company name. You can also include other details like the website, social media accounts, and/or operating hours. This information will serve as proof that your company made the sale and will help the customer contact you if they need to.[3]
If you don’t have a company, write your full name instead of a company name.

Skip a line and write down the items purchased and their cost. Write the name of the item on the left side of the receipt and write the cost of each item on the right side of the receipt. If you sold more than one item, list the items and their prices in a row.[4]
For example, an itemized list on a receipt should look something like:Toilet paper………..$4Comb………………$3Moisturizer…………$20

Write the subtotal below all of the items. The subtotal is the cost of all the items before taxes and additional fees. Add up the cost of each of the items that you sold and write the total number under the list of item prices. [5]
To be accurate, use a calculator to add up the items.

The subtotal should look something like:Toilet paper………..$4Comb………………$3Moisturizer…………$20SUBTOTAL………..$27

Add taxes and other charges to the subtotal for the grand total. List the name of the tax or additional charges on the left side of the receipt and transcribe their cost on the right side of the receipt. Then, add any applicable fees and taxes to the subtotal to get the grand total, or the amount that the customer has to pay.[6]
The grand total should look something like:SUBTOTAL………..$27Sales Tax………….$5.50Shipping…………..$3GRAND TOTAL…..$35.50

Write down the payment method and the customer’s name. The payment method could be cash, check, or credit card. On the last line of the receipt write the customer’s full name. If they paid by credit card, have them sign the bottom of the receipt. Then, make a copy of the receipt and keep it for your records and hand the customer the original receipt.[7]

EditMaking a Digital Receipt
Download a receipt template for an easy digital solution. If you are providing someone a receipt online, it may be easier to write the receipt on the computer. In this case, search for receipt templates online and download one that suits your needs. Then, fill in all the applicable fields using a word processor and send the customer a copy of the receipt.[8]
Remember to include the date of sale for any receipt that you write.

Only download templates from sites that look reputable.

Use software to create receipts with a professional look. Compare paid and free receipt generating software programs and download the one that best suits your needs. Set up the program and fill in your company name and information on the settings tab. Then, it’s just a matter of properly filling in the applicable fields. Once you’re done, the program will generate a professional-looking receipt for you to give to the customer, and will log the receipt in its database so you can refer to it later.[9]
Popular receipt programs include NeatReceipts, Certify, and Shoeboxed.

You can also upload your company logo so that it shows up on the customer copy of the receipt.

Use a POS system for highly accurate receipt management. A POS, or Point of Sale system, is a system that helps you track business expenses, sales, receipts, and can process payments like checks and credit cards. This system will automatically generate a receipt for the customer at the point of sale and log the sale in your database. Compare different POS systems online and choose one that fits your needs. Then, download the system onto your computer and work with customer support to get automatic receipts generated every time you make a sale.[10]
Popular POS systems include Vend, Shopify, and Square Up.

Many POS systems can now be downloaded on your phone, tablet, or computer.

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Today in History for 13th March 2019

Historical Events

1759 – 27th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet
1772 – Gotthold Lessing’s “Emilia Calotti” premieres in Brunswick
1852 – Uncle Sam cartoon figure made its debut in the New York Lantern weekly
1973 – Minskoff Theater opens at 200 W 45th St NYC
1994 – 33.3% of Austria votes for ultra-right Freedom Party
2013 – Aleqa Hammond’s Siumut party wins the Greenland parliamentary elections

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Famous Birthdays

1585 – Federico Cesi, Italian naturalist and founder of the first modern scientific society, the Accademia dei Lincei, 1603, born in Rome, Italy (d. 1630)
1930 – Doug Harvey, American National League umpire (Baseball Hall of Fame 2010), born in South Gate, California (d. 2018)
1946 – Yonatan Netanyahu, Israeli soldier who died leading rescue operation Entebbe in Uganda, born in NYC, New York (d. 1976)
1951 – Fred Berry, African-American actor (Rerun-What’s Happening), born in St Louis, Missouri (d. 2003)
1963 – Vance Johnson, American NFL wide receiver (Denver Broncos), born in Trenton, New Jersey
1987 – Marco Andretti, American racecar driver (grandson of Mario Andretti), born in Nazareth, Pennsylvania

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Famous Deaths

1271 – Henry of Almain, English crusader (b. 1235)
1915 – Sergei Witte, 1st Prime Minister of Russia (1905-06), dies at 65
1982 – Albert Weisser, composer, dies at 64
1982 – Wilfred Hawker, Suriname sgt-major, executed
2007 – Arnold Skaaland, American professional wrestler (b. 1925)
2010 – He Pingping, the world’s shortest man who was able to walk. (b. 1988)

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How to Photograph Clothes for Sale

Great photos are the best way to show off clothes for sale to potential customers. Start by steaming and lint-rolling the clothes to make them look their best, then showcase them with a mannequin, model, or flat lay format. Use a light backdrop, bright lighting, and lots of different angles to capture the colors and details of each garment. With the right tools and a little hard work, you can get beautiful product photos that are sure to draw in sales!

EditMaking the Clothes Look Their Best
Steam or iron the clothes to get rid of any creases and wrinkles. Hang up the clothes and use a small handheld steamer to smooth out creases in the fabric.[1] Smooth, wrinkle-free clothes will look much more polished and appealing to customers.

Remove any stains from the clothes. If you can easily get the stains out yourself with bleach or a Tide pen, remove stains yourself. However, if the clothing is delicate or difficult to clean, take it to a dry-cleaner to have any stains removed.
If the article of clothing has very minor staining, it may not be worth it to pay for dry-cleaning. Instead, you could reduce the price accordingly, be upfront about stains, photograph them well, and let the buyer handle removal.

This is especially important with vintage or antique clothes, which can be fragile and easily damaged.

Inspect the clothing closely for other flaws. Look over each piece for issues such as loose threads, missing buttons, rips, or broken zippers. You can fix most of these small problems yourself buy trimming hanging threads or sewing matching buttons back on. However, issues like broken zippers or major rips are not as easily fixed.
Document any un-fixable issues in your listing and be upfront with the buyer when you sell the garment.

Use a lint roller to remove any dust, hair, lint, or stray threads. Any little specks and spots that show up in the photos will distract customers and look unprofessional. Take extra care to remove these before you start photographing. Lint-roll the whole garment once, then spot-check it once it’s in position to be photographed.

EditSetting up Your Equipment
Use your smartphone for a quick, inexpensive option. With bright, natural lighting, smartphone pictures can look great and get the job done. Position the garment next to a bright window and use your back-facing camera to frame it. Focus on the garment and adjust the lighting, then take several pictures.

Use a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera if you have access to one. Taking photos with a DSLR will make your listings look even more professional and higher-quality. A higher megapixel count will be able to capture the color and details of the garment more accurately. Make sure you use the correct settings to get the best photos possible.[2]
Set your ISO at no higher than 600-640 to prevent graininess.

Set your aperture higher than F/11 to keep all the details of the garment in focus.

Select a white balance according to the type of light source you’re using. The most common settings are natural sunlight, tungsten, fluorescent, and LED.

Photograph the clothing you wish to sell indoors against a white or light grey backdrop. This will help keep the lighting consistent, prevent distractions, and ensure that the colors are captured accurately. You could use a white wall or a smooth sheet, or for a little more money, you could purchase a roll of seamless paper from a photography store.[3]
Always stand the model or mannequin in the center of the backdrop, directly in front of your camera.

If you have a c-stand, use it to hold the seamless paper backdrop in place. If you don’t have one, just tape the end of the paper to the wall or ceiling.

Take photos next to a window for nice, natural light. This type of lighting brings out vibrant colors, looks relaxing and appealing to customers, and won’t cost you a thing. Set up your backdrop and mannequin, model, or Flat Lay area in an area next to a bright, open window. Shoot during the morning and late afternoon for the most even indirect light.[4]

Rent or invest in a simple lighting kit for a more professional effect. You can find inexpensive beginner kits online for reasonable prices. The most important piece to have is a large softbox, which creates diffused, even light and softens shadows.[5] Professional lighting is best for taking catalogue photos or documenting a full clothing collection.
If you will be selling clothes often or professionally, a lighting kit is a must.

A simple lighting setup includes a light head, softbox, c-stand, battery pack, and pocket wizard.

You can buy lighting kits on sites such as or, or you can rent from sites like

EditDisplaying the Clothes
Purchase a mannequin for a convenient, cost-efficient option. Mannequins are a good investment that can help provide consistency to your photos and keep your budget low in the future. You can set up the mannequin and take pictures at any time without having to pay or schedule a model. Mannequins also let customers visualize themselves wearing the clothes.[6]
You could purchase a standing, full-body dress mannequin, or you could also get a set of hollow-backed partial mannequin bodies. These also come in sets that include a male, female, and gender-neutral child mannequin.[7]
Clothes that work best with mannequins include jeans, blazers, long dresses, coats, and blazers.[8]
Unless you’re selling mostly strapless items, make sure to purchase mannequins with arms that can fill out sleeves.[9]

Hire a model if you have enough of a budget to do so. Seeing the clothes on the model gives the customer a better idea of what the clothes will look like in real life. A good model can also more clearly appeal to your target market. For example, if you’re selling your clothes with teenagers in mind, having a teen model will draw in teens and help them imagine how it would look on them.[10]
You could also ask a friend to help you out with the modeling.

To save money, use a mannequin or dummy for the basic side, front, back, and close-up detail shots, and use the model to show what the article of clothing looks like when it’s paired with an outfit.[11]

Pin and tuck the clothing until it fits the model or mannequin. Use pins and clips to pull in waistlines or adjust straps, and use magic tape to hold down any gaping armholes. Of course, you shouldn’t alter the clothing to the point that it doesn’t look like the original garment, but you want to show the best fit possible.[12]
This is especially important it your mannequin has a hollow back and cannot fill out the clothing properly.

Use flat lay photos to showcase the item in a simple, clean way. You can easily create a flat lay photo by laying out and arranging an article of clothing on a flat background, then shooting straight down at the garment. To add the illusion of depth to the clothes, use techniques such as tucking in fabric around the underarm area or adding tissue paper inside the clothes.[13]
The flat lay format works best with skirts, sweaters, shoes, scarves, handbags, towels, and kids wear.

If you don’t have the budget for a model or a mannequin, this technique is a simple, affordable alternative.

EditTaking the Photos
Take photos from the back, side, and front of the garments. Be thorough as you document each piece. If you’re using a mannequin, rotate it in front of the background and take photos from each different angle. If you’re hiring a model, have them turn slowly and take a series of photos showing each angle. The more thorough you are, the more likely people are to purchase the clothes you’re selling.

Get up close to show details in the clothing. Customers want the experience of being able to pick something up and get a closer look at it, even while shopping online. Imitate this experience by getting close-ups of the fabric texture, buttons, tags, delicate stitching, and patterns. Use lots of different angles and close-ups to let the customer feel like they’re getting the full picture.[14]

Take photos of any tags, instructions, and flaws on used clothing. If you’re selling used clothing, you’ll need to provide extra information about each piece. Document the brand name, any tags that show that the clothing has never been worn, and wash/care instructions. You should also take clear photos of any imperfections in the clothing, such as stains, rips, or tears.
Customers will trust you much more as a buyer when you provide clear, upfront information about the garments.

Take pictures of different poses that showcase the clothing. If you hire a model, have them try several different poses for each outfit, such as a hand behind their head or with their hands in their pockets. Make sure the poses you’re using don’t cover up too much of the product with accessories or hands.[15]
For example, if you’re photographing a flowy dress, you could have the model hold out the sides of the dress to show off the fabric.

If you’re photographing a men’s winter jacket, you could have the model turn slightly to the side and put his hands in the pockets.

Avoid sitting, jump shots, or motion shots that might blur or distract from the garment itself.

Sort through your photos and choose the best ones for your listings. Once you’ve transferred your photos onto a computer or device, look through all of the photos and delete any that are blurry or too dark. Pick several of the best photos for each garment listing, including 1 shot from each of the front, back, and side angles, as well as a close-up shot that shows the garment’s texture.
If you’re selling new clothes, you should also include a photo of a model wearing the piece as part of an outfit.

If you’re selling used clothes, add several photos of tags, care instructions, or imperfections.

Take more pictures than you think you’ll need. The more options you have for your listing, the better!

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