Charity bids to appeal to eBay customers

by Emma Nolan
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Charity shops are getting with the times.
What once used to be a rummage through the ‘seco’ for a bargain is now being transformed into a streamlined user friendly experience.
NCBI, the National Council for the Blind of Ireland, have just launched a charity shop on eBay Ireland.
The move comes as the charity strives to expand their offering by appealing to the 162 million global users of eBay and adapt to the current perception of charities in Ireland and how they’re run.
“Irish people don’t trust charities anymore,” CEO of NCBI tells The Gazette.
“Charities have gained a terrible reputation in the Irish media due to the corruption that was unveiled this year.”
As a result, Chris says that NCBI’s funding has dramatically decreased.
“All charities have been hit with this lack of trust now, so we had to come up with another way to make ends meet.
“We need to come up with innovative ways to generate funding and we’re trying to do is appeal to a bigger market.
“So rather than people who would come and visit our shops in Ireland, we’re looking to broaden our offering to a global market.”
Chris believes that having an online presence will be an armour for charity shops in the future and says that NCBI are modelling their approach on the British Heart Foundation who are raising £1.5million a year from their eBay shop alone.
“We’re trying to get into a digital space that we haven’t been in before,” he says.
The online store features a diverse range of items from coveted preloved designer brands to first edition copies of classic literature titles.
NCBI provide a number of services for people with sight loss including library, employment, training and counselling services.
Chris says that all of these services and more are in need of additional funding because it’s not coming from the Government.
In Dublin, there are 22 NCBI charity shops.

Just last week, disaster struck at their Francis Street premises when it was burned down when a rogue firework caused the shop to set fire.
Despite this set back, Chris says they have started to rebuild the premises and hope to reopen soon.
The eBay store is gaining traction too as they just sold a Versace handbag online for €350.
“A bargain,” Chris says.

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