Wetheral’s Oak Tree makes over £1,000 a week more after e-commerce training

A charity has seen huge improvements in donations after diversifying its online sales.

Wetheral-based Oak Tree Animals’ Charity recently saw its donations increase after taking part in the free six-month eBay Charity Connect program, offered by eBay For Charity.

Charities sign up for the program and are matched with a specialist advisor who tries to boost their eBay profile, equipping them with the skills to make the most of donations.

This involves diversifying their e-commerce, targeting individual markets where items will sell best.

There are also webinars and an eBay store is provided.

Caroline Johnson, CEO of Oak Tree, said, “They have taught us a lot through this program.

“We had a great advisor, Eoin, who gave us great advice and went through our accounts and told us about the program, what we do well and we could have done better.

“E-commerce is so important to us helping animals in our area, so with eBay’s expertise, you understand things like algorithms.

“We were getting around £50 a week on eBay after which we were able to put more adverts and it was working up to around £1500 from donations as we developed our skills.

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“There are all these complicated algorithms and it just allowed us to navigate them”

Caroline said the charity needs around £2,500 a day to run and explained how she and her team have grown their network of stores: “People give us a range of donations, we grow it not only to get the best income possible to support the work we do, but also to provide additional touchpoints where people can access our services.

“People are incredibly generous and this has given us access to a huge clientele.

“A gentleman gave us some retro video games.

“When talking to this donor we said we were going to use eBay and a donation raised £7,000. If we had sold it any other way, I don’t think we would have made so much money.

A spokesperson for eBay for Charity said: “eBay for Charity provides charities with online storefronts from which they can raise funds, acting as an additional revenue stream.

“This has been crucial over the past two years, during which time Covid-19 has forced charities to close their stores and lose vital fundraising opportunities.

“There are currently over 11,000 active charities on eBay, which continues to grow day by day.

“To date, the eBay community has raised £199 million for UK charities.”

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