Should your charity store offer online discounts?

If you’ve decided that your charity shop should sell its donated items online, one of the questions you’re likely to ask yourself is whether or not you should offer discounts or run a sale.

One look around online stores and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and it’s clear there are discounts everywhere. Special offers, reduced prices and regular sales.

But as a charity shop, you need to try and make as much profit as possible to benefit the causes you’re passionate about. So should you offer online discounts or not?

The benefits of running a sale 

Sales are a common tactic used by retailers because if they’re done properly, they can be hugely beneficial.

An effective sale can:

  • Help businesses clear out unwanted stock and refresh shelves
  • Attract new customers to your shop or online store
  • Build excitement and interest about your business or charity amongst existing customers
  • Encourage repeat business and boost your reputation
  • Help you sell other items, more products and increase your average order value 

However, there can be problems with running a sale or offering discounts too. 

The dangers of discounts 

Although discounts can help you get buyers through the door and clicking onto your products, they do mean you are sacrificing some profit.

And if your efforts to offer buyers related products that they might like don’t pay off, or the sale doesn’t encourage more frequent, higher value purchases, then a sale can have a negative effect on your overall revenue.

There Is also the danger of getting caught in the trap of constantly having to offer sales to your customers, running them too often to the extent that buyers won’t buy from you unless you have some form of discount.

The expectations of buyers 

The challenge that any online seller faces, including charity shops, is that buyers expect to see some form of sale or discount when they are shopping.

Nowadays there is always a sale on somewhere. From Black Friday to December Offers, Boxing Day Sales to New Year’s reductions and on throughout every season and every time of year.

And online sellers have smaller overheads, so they can afford to offer lower discounted prices at all times.

But buyers also have expectations of charity shops too. They expect that used and donated items will already be cheaper to buy from a charity store. And they also know that if they buy from a charity store, they will be donating to a good cause.

So online charity shops do have some goodwill with regards to their pricing and sales policy. 

On marketplaces like Amazon and eBay however, buyers are typically looking for the lowest price – or the price that offers them the best value for the item they want to buy if they’re looking at used goods.

That means that you do need to focus on price if you’re selling on there. Offering a discount or a special offer can help you stand out from the competition.

The easiest way to find the best prices 

Because prices are constantly changing on Amazon and eBay, finding the right price can be a challenge.

If you have volunteers working in your charity shop, you can’t expect them to know exactly how to price a donated item to sell online so that it offers better value than similar products from other sellers.

Thankfully Shopiago can help you overcome these hurdles, and ensure you’re offering the very best prices at all times – without needing to worry about sales or discounts.  

Whether you’re selling a DVD or CD, a designer coat, or a famous children’s toy, Shopiago uses clever software to scan all connected channels and search all current, sold and unsold listings to find matches.

It then analyses the prices and selling history to determine the best possible price to list your item at. Your staff can then just replicate the listing information and accept the suggested price, and the item is then ready to sell.

It stands the best chance of selling – and of making your charity the maximum possible profit – without you having to advertise a special offer or give some kind of money-off discount.

Try it for yourself to see how Shopiago can improve your sales with a free 14 day trial.