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Charitable eBay auctions on the rise

21 February 2012 - 14:35 by Mike Price

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The number of charity shops which are using online auction site eBay in order to sell products and raise money is on the rise, according to the Financial Times.

Six thousand major UK charities are not only expanding their presence on the high street but also taking advantage of the tools for safe shopping online, which are provided by eBay's platform.

This number includes organisations like Children in Need and the result has been a 56 per cent rise in charitable sales over the past year, with takings topping £6.26 million as a result.

While e-commerce is helping charities to raise funds, 2011 as a whole was a relatively poor year for the sector as a whole. Donations flatlined at £11 billion, which when inflation is taken into account, represents a slight drop.

eBay spokesperson, Lorin May, said that safe shopping online offers a better deal for the charities because they are more likely to get a better price for the second hand goods they are selling, thanks to the larger market of consumers who use the web.

Special charity auctions dealing in celebrity donated items are also rising in popularity, with the famous hat worn by Princess Beatrice during 2011's royal wedding selling for over £81,000 last year.

Ninety-four per cent of all UK charity shops which sell products via the web do so through eBay, although a third also double up with their own smaller e-commerce sites from which customers can buy direct.

Ninety per cent of charities also expect that online shopping will account for a greater proportion of their sales in 2012, according to a report published by the Charity Retail Association.

Spokesperson Wendy Mitchell, said that the online market was a great place to put items which were simply not selling in store, because someone somewhere will be looking for them.