Suvi leads stars of online sales
THE international boom in online sales is reaping reward for East Cheshire Hospice via its own eBay site.
The charity already has at least 50 regular internet customers a week – generating monthly sales of between £2,000 and £3,000 – with all income going to patient care.
E-commerce supervisor Suvi Harriman is aiming to double those figures by expanding the popular online auction and shopping website.
The online team is based at the charity’s Thornton Square shop where volunteers Andrew Savage, Alison Lomax, Alison Weston and Stuart Craine upload images of donated goods to eBay and manage the main website at echospiceshop.org.uk.
The hospice has found customers worldwide as a result. For instance, a collection of Napoleon plates was sold for £30 to a client in France.
One bargain hunter recently bagged a Laura Ashley winter coat for just £4.99. On another occasion a used coat was bought for £62 when a new coat would only have cost £40 – but the buyer was happy as he was aware all of his money would help the charity.
A quick glance at the site, set up more than two years ago, shows the broad variety of items on offer, either through auction-style sales or ‘buy it now’ shopping.
Suvi said: “The things we sell are unbelievable. It’s all high end stuff and none is sold in our two charity shops (the other is at Chestergate).
“Donors bring in goods ranging from clothes and toys to train sets, cameras, jewellery and even Elvis memorabilia.”
She added: “We’d ask anyone with unwanted gifts from Christmas to drop them off at one of our shops and let us know if it’s suitable for eBay.
“We’re looking to expand through other avenues such as Facebook, Amazon and pre-loved websites; it’s a vital source of revenue for the hospice.”
Suvi, originally from Helsinki, was looking round the shop near her home with her two children - Johanna, seven, and Patrick, six – last summer when she heard the new role was being created.
It was a perfect fit as she had already volunteered for the hospice and ran her own online company, Finnspirations, selling Scandinavian-style crafts.
Suvi came to Manchester to study in 1998 and met husband Mike two years later.
“Our house backs on to fields so we see nature and love walking in Macclesfield Forest,” she said. “I grew up in a forest and once saw a moose with big antlers in my back garden. I love England and people are very friendly.” ● To find out more about helping the hospice contact the fundraising team on 01625 433477 or email fundraising@ echospice.org.uk.
●● East Cheshire Hospice’s online leader Suvi Harriman