Charity business is booming on eBay according to an article in today’s Financial Times. The 6,000 odd registered charities on eBay raked in £6.25m in sales – that’s a 56% increase in sales when compared to last year.
There’s no doubt that many charities have big advantages over regular eBay sellers. Firstly they often are selling donated items so they don’t have any cost of goods to worry about and secondly with MissionFish they’ll not be paying eBay fees on successful sales. Not paying fees makes a big difference and saves anything up to 12% in final value fees.
If you are a charity you should be seriously considering selling on eBay, especially if you have retail high street shops. The reach of the Internet is far greater than any single outlet and it ensures that the most valuable items get seen by as many potential buyers as possible.
If you’re not a charity the good news is that (in the main) charities probably aren’t competing directly with you in many categories and are certainly less likely to be selling new products. However they do also compete with businesses off eBay, for instance the FT article reveals MillRace IT as the biggest charity seller on eBay turning over £580k in the last year.
MillRace are in the computer refurbishing business and compete directly with other refurbishers for business. When it comes to selling on eBay they’re getting the eBay fee advantages as well as financial charity status as a business. That gives them a big financial advantage both for winning clearance contracts and when selling.
The charity sector will continue to grow on eBay but in reality, at the moment, charity sales are a drop in the ocean as far as eBay UK’s overall turnover goes. eBay are predicting $8bn in mobile sales alone for 2012 – that makes the £6.25m in charity sales pocket change and most sellers won’t even notice charities are there.