CLIC Sargent began trading on eBay in December 2006, and become the first charity to employ a paid member of staff to look after its eBay shop in 2008. In the same year it was given the ‘eBay excellence’ award by the Association of Charity Shops, recognising the fantastic achievements the eBay shop had made within its first year. The team has since expanded to include three members of staff and 10 dedicated volunteers.
The charity has held a number of high-profile auctions over the years. In 2008 the shop held an auction to sell off items donated by Spice Girl Mel B, which ranged from a rubber duck to a £10,000 piano, raising £60,000.
The shop also holds annual themed auctions, including last year’s Get in Character event. High-profile authors including Andy McNab and Joanna Trollope gave winning bidders a unique chance to appear as a character in their next novels. As well as raising money for children and young people with cancer, the auction generated media coverage and widespread support from authors and booklovers.
Up until 2012 the shop had a long-running partnership with HMV, in which the chain donated obsolete stock to be sold by CLIC Sargent on eBay. This partnership raised an impressive £450,000 and is an example of the role corporate partners can play in the success of a fundraising venture.
The shop has also received fantastic support from the public, with donations of a 2012 Olympic Torch and a rare early edition of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, as well as thousands of other items.
To celebrate reaching the £1m milestone, the eBay shop will be auctioning some extra special items including props from the set of Downton Abbey, signed Downton Abbey scripts, a signed Celtic FC football shirt and a hat worn by Miranda Hart in Call the Midwife. These will be available to bid on from Monday 21 July.
Kate Apperley, eBay co-ordinator at CLIC Sargent, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have reached the £1million landmark. Ever since we started the eBay shop the team has been dedicated to raising as much money as possible for CLIC Sargent, and the way it’s grown over the years has been phenomenal.
“One of the main reasons the eBay shop has been so successful is the site’s global reach. eBay has the potential to reach millions of people worldwide each day, and we have sold items in every corner of the world. It’s a great place for us to sell the more unusual or collectable items, or higher priced items that just wouldn’t achieve their true value within a traditional high street charity shop.”