ChaRetail: The rise of goodwill shopping

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Britain is fast becoming a nation of goodwill shoppers, with ChaRetail; charity shopping both in store and online, on the rise. A poll of 2,000 UK adults has found that one in two Brits now use charity shops and over a third of Brits say they’re happier buying pre-owned products over new, if it means they will be supporting a good cause. Nearly a quarter have said they plan to do even more charity shopping next year, showing retail therapy is now as much about giving as it is getting.

When it comes to the items most likely to be purchased for charity it’s books (53%), interior items (32%) and statement coats (30%), the last two often being where Brits are seeing the biggest bargains in opting for pre-loved over new and making the most impact to the circular economy. Perhaps the most famous supporter of ChaRetail is Dragon’s Den Deborah Meaden who you might find in her local Oxfam shop.

With the COVID-19 pandemic triggering a permanent shift to more online shopping, the poll was commissioned by eBay UK to mark the launch of Charity Connect, a six-month programme created to help digitally upskill hundreds of charities to the eBay for Charity platform, to help their inventory reach an even broader audience, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“So far this year, a staggering 87 million pre-loved items went to a new home via eBay. And with thousands of charities already on the marketplace, we’re delighted to see that this growing trend for shopping with impact, be it online or on the high street, is becoming the norm for many.

With our Charity Connect programme in its second year, we’re excited to partner with charities to teach them skills that will give them access to the 29 million eBay customers and a virtual shop window to the world 24/7, ultimately helping to raise even more vital funds.”
– Chris Gale, Head of Social Impact, eBay UK

“Our online sales through eBay have definitely increased since the start of the pandemic. Not only was there greater demand from buyers online, we were also able to focus some extra resources onto the operation resulting in long term growth and Charity Connect had plenty to do with this. The best opportunity that eBay presents us with though is to sell our best-selling items, such as fashion and books, closer to their true market value, which is something that we couldn’t achieve in our local network of shops.”
– Daniel Taylor, St Rocco’s Hospice

@heartzeena ChaRetail“Everyone knows I absolutely love to browse charity shops to find a unique fashion or home gem, but over lockdown I discovered there are a huge range of charity shops on the eBay for Charity platform. Some of my favourite vintage interior pieces at home have come from eBay and they’re things I will treasure forever.

I can browse in my own time, from the comfort of my home whilst also supporting causes close to my heart. What’s not to love when you can shop with a conscience!”
– Zeena Shah, Fashion and Interior Stylist and eBay user

Last year’s Charity Connect programme saw charities including British Red Cross, Marie Curie and Vision Foundation take part in a series of free webinars on how to boost sales on eBay, including follow up 1:1 sessions with e-commerce experts, all to help charity retailers build an effective online presence.

With secondhand shopping on the rise as well, Brits can also donate between 10% and 100% of their sale item to the over 11,000 charities on eBay.

In 2020, almost £31m was raised by the eBay UK community, with £27m directly from charities selling on the platform. To date, $1.1 billion has been raised globally through eBay for Charity, with £199 million raised for UK charities since 2007.


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