“concentrate On Market Sectors You Are Familiar With” Rob From Florence Nightingale Hospice
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“concentrate on Market Sectors You Are Familiar With” Rob From Florence Nightingale Hospice

Rob is from the Florence Nightingale Hospice which is charity shop that sells online. They put a lot of effort into the online selling world to make money for that charity. Rob heads up the eBay operation and they also sell via their own website and has been working with the Florence Nightingale Hospice for about 10 years.

Hi everyone, Rob from Florence Nightingale Hospice shares his incredible journey on SellingOnlineToday!

Some thoughts from the interview

“We’ve been running eBay charity operation for the last 10 years and the name of the game is basically to work with our charity shops to identify items that would sell for more on eBay than in the shop.”

“What we trying to do is identify items and go on to eBay and sell for £30, £40, £50 to generate more revenue for the charity.”

“I work with a team of half a dozen volunteers. They have a variety of different and skills and different aspirations.”

“We have half a dozen charity shops in the location where are hospice is, in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.”

“If you do a search on eBay for charity, you will come across a number of charities doing similar exercises we are doing because they recognise the benefits.”

“The role I have got is that I get to see the donated items prior of the items going to the shop floor.”

“We try to train our managers and our volunteers to be able to identify interesting items.”

“You really do not know what is going to come out of every box that is donated to the charity.”

“We did have a very old authentic lord nelson bust a couple of years ago and it sold for about £17,000”

“Sometimes people come into the shop and say that this is a valuable item, please be aware that it is valuable.”

“People like to think that they are supporting their local charity when they come in with donations.”

“EBay continues to be very, very good for us, charities tend to get a very preferential deal from eBay.”

“Charities do not get charged the final sale fee (on eBay).”

“It’s all time consuming. The name of the game when you are listing an item is to ensure your photography is good. You can list up to 12 photographs for each items so you want to shoe each item in the best possible light. Then you need to do if necessary any research that might mean going to various websites abut pottery or porcelain to try and find out an age of the item or the manufacturer of the item. Then you have to physically do the listing which takes time”

“We use an eBay free programme called turbo lister which any one can download for free to their P.C.”

“Packaging the thing up is the most laborious and send it via a courier service of the post office.”

“You have to invest in a lot of packing material.”

“If you have say a Wedgewood cup and you have describe is correctly in terms of size and condition normally it goes through no problem at all. The problems come with breakages which we try to resolve quickly by asking for a photograph to be sent to us.”

“Clothing we tend to avoid unless it is very special purely because the returns level is a lot higher on clothing than on other types of items.”

“What I always say to my shop staff if that is if they are old and weird please don’t put it to one side because that’s where real value can be.”

“We probably send about 30-35% abroad. A lot to America, lots to Australia and increasingly to China. ”

“EBay tries to get you more money out of people by saying we will list you on the other sites if you pay more money.”

“Our items are not buy it now items, which would be appropriate to Facebook, our items are on for a week and they are finished.”

“Particularly with books, we did try Amazon for books but it didn’t work out for us. Books have been quite successful on eBay. We would list as an auction for a couple of weeks then we would list as buy it now.”

“We don’t do buy it now on too many other items as we want to keep our eBay charity shop quite fresh.”

“We deal with customers. Obviously a lot of the customer liaison is online but we do have customers that come in to pick up items.”

“I think more and more people are embracing (online shopping) all the time.”

“Deliver what you say you are going to deliver.”

Best advice: “If you are looking at eBay you want to make prepare the ground, it is time consuming and you want to make sure it’s going to work for you and that you are going to get something out of it. Concentrate on market sectors you are familiar with.”

Listen online here.

Listen on iTunes here.

What do they offer?

The aim of Florence Nightingale Hospice is to provide a first class specialist palliative care service which is accessible and free of charge to those with a life-limiting illness. All profits from the sale of items via Florence Nightingale Hospice Shops Limited go towards the running costs of Florence Nightingale Hospice at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. We sell items such as books, glass, figurines, train sets, china, collectables, telephones, money boxes, shoes and clothes.


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