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£1500 in first two weeks! Fantastic!

Charity Shop Consortium Logos, Harlington and Michael Sobell Hospice and Age UK Hillingdon, Harrow and Brent

Published on 29 June 2021 12:53 PM

A week ago, I had the pleasure of visiting our warehouse in Harefield, home of our shop's consortium online shop. I met with Nicola Jacobs, online trading manager and took the opportunity to ask questions about it worked and how it was going. 

Jackie James, Website and Social Media Co-ordinator 

Harefield is a lovely little town, with a small but bustling high street. We are close to the M25 and there is local transport with bus stops close by. There is a 5-minute walk, however this will take you along the beautiful Grand Union Canal. There is also free parking at the premises.

 

My first question was "How is the shop going?" Very well it appears! The shop has had its number of listings restricted because the account was dormant for a while, however despite this, the shop sold over £1500 of goods in its first two weeks following its launch. This is a real achievement and a fantastic start. 

 

So Nicola, Why do we need an online shop? "Most charities now operate an online department. There are 182 million people worldwide using eBay. Also some items will not get their full value when sold in the shops and we have a responsibility to ensure that we get the best price possible. For example, someone donated their collection of Charlie Bears to Harlington Hospice and we have raised £600 so far, however we would never have got these prices in our shops" 

 

So that £600 means £200 per charity? No, that wouldn't be right or legal!  You can be assured that if you donate an item to Age UK Hillingdon, Harrow and Brent's two shops, the money raised will only go to Age UK HHB and the correct shop will be credited too. All items that come in from the shops each week are boxed and labelled with the shops name. Items are listed here with a shop code and then on a weekly or monthly basis I let the shops know what they have made.

Click here for further details on our shops consortium 

 

So how does it all work? Firstly, the shop managers check donations when they come in and keep aside anything they think is best sold on Ebay. Then each week, our van visits each shop and picks up these items, at the same time as picking up/dropping off any small electrical items for us to test for electrical safety. This is an added bonus to the shops as previously they had to turn away electrical items.

The items are stored separately in the van and placed in the individual shops section on arrival.  The items are then carefully researched, photographed and listed. For most items when sold, we carefully package it up and post to the buyer, however larger items must be collected from our warehouse. 

 

So you must be very busy, doing all this work on your own! Starting up a new business is always busy! However I am not on my own as I already have a small team of volunteers who are helping me. However we always need more volunteers to help research, pack items sold ready to be posted, take photos of items and help keep the warehouse tidy. This would be a great opportunity for people to learn and develop online selling skills, whilst meeting other volunteers. Full training would be provided along with plenty of tea, coffee and biscuitsI 

 

Finally, how do your buyers find the idea of buying from a charity? Surely buyers don't care? Actually we have had some lovely feedback so far including this one "Being able to buy bears & benefit a worthy charity at the same time is enormously gratifying!" 

Thank you Nicola for being such a fantastic host. You have made me very welcome and I can vouch you make great coffee. If people want to know more, how do they contact you? "Please email me at  njacobs@michaelsobellhospice.co.uk " 

 

So how do I find your listings? Just click on the link below! 

Shop with us online

If you want to shop online from the comfort of your own home, why not visit our Ebay shop?