Posted: 03 August 2013

Behind the scenes at our eBay shop

Earlier this summer, David, the manager of our eBay shop, kindly answered some of our questions about how the shop operates.

Q: What does it take to manage an eBay shop, and how do you decide which items to sell?

A: Running an eBay shop for a charity isn’t much different to running a shop for an ordinary business. Each item received is thoroughly researched which gives us the ideal category to list in, the best method of selling, the length of time to sell the product, keywords, pricing and so on. Depending on the item, we might list as a fixed price or auction. A great thing about eBay is it connects you to a global audience, so more often than not, even the most niche item will sell.

Q: I've been told that ghost detectors were once a really popular item. Is it typical to have certain trends in buying behaviour?

A: Because items we sell are so variable, we are often surprised at the demand for things we suspect are going to be difficult to sell. For example, we listed a consignment of items that read 'electrostatic energy', thinking they would be used in the engineering industry. However, as soon as they were listed, it became apparent that they were used for detecting ghosts, so the ghost-hunting community snapped them up in no time.

Generally, the broad eBay community loves everything from silver coins to Angry Birds iPad cases. We also try to list anything that can be purchased as a gift at Christmas time. 

Q: Are there any particular product categories that are more popular than others?

A: Not really. In terms of categories, there is good demand for just about everything, but high end fashion, such as designer bags and shoes, always attracts a great deal of interest. It’s not uncommon to sell a handbag for well over £500. 

Q: Do you enjoy working with The Children's Society?

A: Yes, my colleagues and I really enjoy working with The Children's Society and we're often amazed at the good nature of the companies whose products we sell. For example, we recently received a consignment of 50 Sennheiser headphones. Fearing they might be fake, we sent a set to Sennheiser so that they could be authenticated. Unfortunately, they turned out to be counterfeit, but Sennheiser said they would replace them with a genuine pair. To our amazement, a few days later, a box of 50 arrived from Sennheiser, which was an incredibly generous gesture. The headphones sold very well and raised thousands of pounds to help fund The Children's Society's work. 

Q: What a nice story. Why do you think Sennhesier did that?

A: I honestly believe it was solely because of the work The Children’s Society does in supporting children and young people, and Sennheiser must have felt that they didn't want the charity to be lose out on the vitally needed income. 

Q: Do you hear from people who buy things from us?

A: Yes, we've run the shop for two years and it’s been really nice to see buyers commenting on how pleased they were to have purchased something from the site, safe in the knowledge the income would help fund the charity’s work.  

Please take a look at our eBay shop.

By Sally Wrenn - Digital team

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