What would you suggest to help a charity shop increase sales/profits?

I am a volunteer in a charity shop and I’m trying to think of ways that might help increase sales and therefore profits. What ideas could you suggest?

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4 Responses to “What would you suggest to help a charity shop increase sales/profits?”

  1. Margaret S says:

    Most important improvement for all charity shops would be to have less stuff crammed into an inadequate space. I hate having to squeeze past people and odd bits of 1920’s furniture to reach the bookshelves.
    Secondly a lot of charity shops quite literally stink. No two ways about it the nasal assault in some of them is atrocious.
    Thirdly think about the prices you are charging – 9 times out of 10, for the quality of the goods the prices are shockingly high. A charity shop near me actually makes more on their ‘sale’ days than they do the rest of the week – why because they are selling things cheaply and therefore sell more.
    Fourthly I know most of the staff are ‘volunteers’ but that is no excuse for them to look down their noses at customers or donations.
    At number five I’d say have less stuff on the rails at any one time, do not put size 10s on size 14 hangers etc and stop trying to sell people things which really are past use/stained/torn/buttons missing/busted zips etc.
    Lastly I have often thought that charity shops should/could be a bit more ‘community spirited’ by having arrangements with crafters/artists etc in the area to showcase their work/sell it and take a cut for the charity.

  2. The one at 352 says:

    There is a charity shop in my village and the staff there are so snooty you wouldn’t believe!
    You go in with a donation and they look at you as if you have crawled out from under a stone. The ones that are like this are older women. Don’t know why they are like this – it’s as if they don’t want to soil themselves with the whole ‘charity’ thing.
    I would not want to go in there and browse because they are there glaring at you.
    So – making the shop staff more friendly would be a start.

    Mary Portas did a programme where she overhauled the fortunes of a charity shop somewhere. Google ‘Mary Portas Charity shop’ and it will give you some good tips. I’ve copied some from an article – see below. The programme was really good – making the shop less cluttered really worked. Not having everything crammed onto rails also helped people find what they wanted.
    She went into businesses and got staff to donate really good stuff – not the standard crystal brandy glasses that no-one wants.

    Look out for recurring trends that are hot catwalk looks right now, such as animal prints, or Eighties items.

    Look for classic accessories – a great designer bag will always be an investment.
    Snap up any retro-looking sunglasses, from Ray-Bans to Jackie O styles, and you won’t go wrong.

    Jewellery is always a good buy – just say ‘vintage’, not second- hand.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1190734/Bargain-shop-til-drop-MARY-PORTAS-tips-charity-chic.html#ixzz1JnSio5Wv

  3. Jo W says:

    Good for you – excellent idea.

    Getting better quality donations would help. See if a local paper would be willing to run an article on what you’re trying to do; approach local businesses; and of course put posters in your own shop window asking for more donations.

  4. kaitomono says:

    Assuming your shop is following the suggestions of previous answers (clean, easy to navigate, good stuff to sell that is properly priced) you may want to start having ‘fashion shows’ using students from local schools, church members, volunteer staff, firemen, policemen etc.

    Don’t charge admission, perhaps you can hold it in a mall in the center area, there may be a fee for that but you could check with your bylaws and see if you can sell raffle tickets. Get businesses in the area to donate: gift certificates for meals etc and small gift items and sell tickets to raffle off while the show is going on.

    Also, you can sell tickets for buying at your charity shop, and give away say $25.00 of goods of the winner’s choice. You could do this right in the shop, sell the tickets there or have them put their names in a hat and advertise a free daily draw. Send out press releases to let people know what is coming up and have some little event each month.

    The idea is to get the people in the door and make their experience in your shop a positive one.

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