The St. Rocco’s eBay shop is now an important part of our fundraising.
You might be surprised to discover that St. Rocco’s has had an eBay shop for nearly a decade – I know I was! But it is only in the last few years that it has really started to take off. To find out more about what is now an important part of our fundraising activities, we spoke to Dan Taylor, our e-commerce manager.
Dan has been with us for two years now and was able to fill us in on the history, current situation and plans for our eBay shop. “Initially, it was run purely by volunteers,” he explained, “and they did a great job. So, it was felt that we needed to put a more consistent and systemic effort and approach to take it to the next level.”
Grew during lockdown
Dan’s background of running e-commerce sites made him the ideal choice to take our eBay operations to the next level and he has built up an impressive team of 7 volunteers and kick-start apprentices to grow the business.
“Things really took off during the first lockdown,” he said. “At that time all the shops were closed and so the Hospice was being starved of the vital funds needed to maintain operations. Fortunately, we were able to move some of the shop managers and permanent retail staff to the eBay operation to ensure that we could grow it and continue to bring in funds.”
Reaching more customers
“During the lockdown we were selling around £3,000 of goods a week. Now the shops are open we typically move £1,500 a week,” said Dan. Those are impressive figures bringing in between £50K and £100K a year of vital income for St. Rocco’s.
At any one time the St. Rocco’s eBay shop has around 1,000 items for sale, with between 75 and 120 added weekly. The goods are chosen by the shop managers and warehouse staff and are sent through to the eBay team for research, photographing and listing.
“We can reach a much wider audience with our eBay shop both nationally and internationally,” explained Dan. “We recently shipped a rocking chair to Moldova and an enormous sideboard to France. But my favourite item must be a guitar we sold during lockdown for £1400. The buyer turned up at the Hospice to pay in cash and as there was hardly anyone around at the time, it was a bit surreal!”
As to the future, as you can see from the pictures, space is severely limited at the current Longford street HQ and so we are hoping to move the entire operation to bigger premises that can support its future growth.
Dan concluded, “St. Rocco’s eBay shop is now an important part of the Hospice’s fundraising activities and is going from strength to strength. I feel proud to be part of that and proud of the team for helping to keep funds coming in during the Lockdowns we have had in the past 18 months. I am really looking forward to the future and growing the operation further.”
Browse our eBay shop for some great bargains