I have recently become an Ambassador for Kemp Hospice in Kidderminster, a great charity who add 'quality to life' for people that may have an illness that reduces their quality of life. They are a great bunch of people running it and an even greater bunch of people volunteering. I spent a few hours getting introduced to their warehouse, where they sort through all their donations and decide what's suitable for the shops or not. It's been a real eye opener, as I have always wondered about the workings behind the scenes in charity shops. And although we have seen Mary Portas doing her magic on a famous charity chain of shops in the UK, it is still a real revelation to see and hear what happens.
One thing is for sure, they need more volunteers, as there is lots of sorting to be done. So I wanted to share a few learnings from my time in the warehouse.
Separate clothes between really good and really bad, assume something that looks worn is in the really bad category. Kemp only wish to sell really good quality clothing and something that either looks badly worn or is soiled goes to rags. Now here is the great news, there is money to be made out of rags and this is a great reason to send all your clothes into charities. But to help them, please sort your clothing into 'really good' and 'really bad'. That way the volunteers do not have to do as much sorting. They still need to check it but it makes the job a lot easier.
Unless shoes are brand new or hardly worn or vintage, send them all to the shoe bank on refuse sites. There is something not so pleasant about wearing second hand shoes is there? I know some people will and need to but the idea is to get the quality of merchandise as good as possible in charity shops. It means that we can rely on getting some great bargains in charity shops and give the rest of the high street a run for their money.
Kemp have some great ideas for their shops in Kidderminster, Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn, which means a better look and feel for customers.
Then there is eBay and they will soon, with the help of 'yours truly', be selling on eBay too. And after investigating this inside eBay I also learnt that when anyone sells on eBay, they can nominate to make a donation from their sale to their chosen charity and eBay will discount your insertion fee by 50%. Now that's something to consider, as it's a win win.
I thoroughly enjoyed my few hours sorting through items for sale and making sure that only the best goes to their shops for those customers keen to look for a bargain.
I am sure I will share more in the months to come.