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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Public prefer charity shops to eBay

This news post is about 9 years old

​Charity shops preferred to online study reveals

People now prefer to buy from charity shops rather than online marketplaces like eBay, new research shows.

Data released by nfpSynergy also shows four in five of the public in the UK have visited a store run by a charity in the last year, up from two thirds a decade ago.

The study asked 1,000 people whether they would prefer to buy a range of items from a charity shop or an online marketplace.

They ranked higher for almost every kind of product, including books, clothes, DVDs and jewellery.

Researchers also found that on average, 54% of the public would buy the items from charity shops compared to 40% who would turn to online marketplaces.

The data shows that 84% of people would rather buy books from them compared to 53% from online marketplaces.

The results are similar for adults’ and children’s clothes (62% and 45% for adults’, and 45% and 35% for children’s), CDs, DVDs and music, (73% and 53%) and jewellery or antiques (41% and 40%).

The research is a boost for charity shops as they try to shed their less fashionable image of recent years

Of the 16 items asked about, only food and toiletries would see more people heading for the online market.

People were also asked if they had visited a charity shop in the last 12 months and 81% said they had, up from 68% in 2004.

The poll also reveals people’s perceptions of the shops.

Despite many describing them as old fashioned and overpriced (15% and 12%), plenty of people see them as exciting and fashionable (12% and 13%).

The research is a boost for charity shops as they try to shed their less fashionable image of recent years.

NfpSynergy’s head of data analysis, Cian Murphy, said: “Charity shops are often accused by the media and retailers with vested interests of taking over the high street. What our research shows is that the British public love charity shops and see them as an important part of their community.

“The fact that people would rather go to their local charity shop than go online for most things shows the importance of charity retail as a sector and a presence on our high street. Charities should be proud of their shops, not apologetic."