Charity Retail Hitting New Online Heights

Charity retail online sales are currently hitting record high levels.
It is the one area of charity retail that has seemed to not just hold it’s own, but actually flourish.
Whilst not all charity retailer’s online operations are functioning fully right now, many that are ‘back to normal’ are comfortably outperforming last year’s sales.
So why is that you might ask…

There are 3 main reasons:

  1. Efficiency: They have optimised their operational efficiencies especially having fully integrated their selling platforms with their logistics provider.
  2. Listings: Using best practice templates on eBay or at least listing products to best practice.
  3. Lean supply chain: Minimise the handling of potential listings and the movement of listings to the ecommerce department.

“Online Retailing is all about profit and not the sales. Remember that for every one FTE employed in a charity retail online business, a profit of £40,000 should be expected.”
Barry Moles, Author of ‘The Science of Charity Retail’

Most traditional online retail business have flourished, from Amazon’s record profits to fashion retailers with a strong online business. Online sales as a percentage if total UK retail sales has now soared past 30% – up from 19% in 2019. If there were any lingering doubts that consumers are changing their shopping habits, the have surely now dispersed.

It is no secret that, since the reopening of charity shops, there has been a huge increase in the amount of donations being made thanks to ‘lockdown spring cleaning’. Under normal circumstances, under-donated shops require a huge amount of focus and therefore time. So it does beg the question; Has there ever been a better opportunity to invest your time in opening (or improving) your online charity retail business?

A Charity Retail Association report last year found that 81% of charities selling online said it helped them expand their reach and customer base, whilst 88% say it has allowed them to get the best possible price for unusual and high-value items, such as collectables and antiques.

Most charities understand that they should be selling online but struggle with the same common problems and questions; “I don’t really know how to get started”, “How do I allocate sales to specific shops?”, “How do I manage the fulfilment?”, “Should I employ specific staff to run it?”

Charity Retail Training and Support Services have heard them all and, as the UK’s only registered charity retail training provider, we are qualified and more than happy to help answer all your questions too. If you would like to take the first steps towards fully utilising this growing revenue channel but you need a little help then why not ask the experts….


Charity Retail Training & Support Services are a UK registered training provider, made up of a varied team of skilled specialists. Our team provide charities with the support they need to achieve their goals. Our breadth of experience and dedication empowers countless charities to optimise the return from their retail outlets.

If you would like to find out more about our Brand Directory or any of the other ways that we have helped so many charities with their retail business, please get in touch at or on 0208 050 7514.

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