“This platform and the whole team at Thriftify have supported our Ecommerce journey from the very start, and made it easy for us as a charity retailer to shoot for the stars!”
– Kate Mansell & Kathryn James
We are a national centre of excellence for families in Wales with children who have cerebral palsy. Our specialist team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists work together to offer transdisciplinary skills, so each child, benefits from their combined expertise.
Our family support service offers a listening ear, advice and support. We share our knowledge and skills through collaborative working, courses, national and international conferences.
Obviously our main aim is to increase our fundraising for the charity – the more we sell, the more children and families we can help and support. It really is that simple. We like to use Del Boy’s quote from Only Fools and Horses; “this time next year, we’ll be millionaires”!
However as a charity retailer we also have a duty to promote sustainable practice, and it’s a responsibility that we take very seriously. At Cerebral Palsy Cymru we have an early intervention service called “Better Start, Better Future”. We aim to support each family in providing the best start and best future for their child. That future must include doing our upmost to protect the planet; to make second-hand shopping the first choice, and prevent as many items as possible from going to landfill.
Our aim for our store is to provide a large selection of clothing for every age, style and shape, so that everyone can find something they love! We’re focusing on slow fashion as well as books that cover a range of subjects, along with music, gaming and other media that appeal to all tastes. We also want to showcase a variety of interesting and unusual collector’s items. So to sum up, we’re headed “To Infinity and Beyond”!
Our Cerebral Palsy Cymru charity shops are part of amazing local communities. Whether people are shopping with us, donating their pre-loved clothes and household items, or volunteering with us, they’re making a huge difference to the lives of children in Wales who have cerebral palsy.
Our shops also provide an incredibly high percentage of our fundraising income as a charity, and in March 2000 when the pandemic forced us to temporarily close all of our shops, and indeed lose one of our shops altogether, we knew that the time had come to seriously consider our Ecommerce options and to move online asap. Although the shops are a vital part of the local economy, we knew that there was potential to reach a much wider audience and increase both fundraising and awareness of our charity as a whole.
We knew immediately that Thriftify was the platform for us after hearing a presentation from Ronan at the CRA Ecommerce Conference! There were a number of reasons and it all just clicked and made sense straight away. For us, Thriftify offers first and foremost:
Moving online is well worth it! Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have huge numbers of staff, stock or equipment. It’s very easy to overthink the whole process but Thriftify enables you to keep it simple. Just start where you are with what you have and go from there. Small steps will move you in the right direction and you’ll learn a lot as you go.
It really is as easy as A, B, C, and we were looking for just that! It’s such an easy process to upload items and that’s essential for us as we work part-time; we have to maximise our efficiency.
You either scan the barcode, or take your photos, upload and allocate a shelf number, add any important details (if you want to) and the Merchandising Team takes care of the rest.
Thriftify helps us in so many ways. The team takes care of all customer queries, which as anyone who sells online will know, can be incredibly time-consuming. But this also means that customers receive a quick response and the best possible service.
It’s incredible to think that our items are not just listed on our dedicated Thriftify store. People can also find them on eBay, Google Shopping, Facebook Marketplace and Amazon. We’ve sold a ski jacket to a customer in Australia, a wedding dress to a bride in Germany and a Barbour jacket to a customer in France!
Shipping our items couldn’t be more simple. With the integrated shipping feature on Thriftify, we just have to pack the order securely, print the address label, and wait for our lovely Hermes driver to collect the parcels. This makes our job so much easier and we can get on with uploading more items to our store.
Another key feature for us is being able to add a Donor ID for our items and keeping track of retail gift aid, ensuring that we don’t miss out on such a vital aspect of charity fundraising.
We both work part-time for the charity, which means we need to use this time effectively. This platform allows us to do just that. We focus on uploading the best quality and variety of items for our customers and Thriftify take care of the rest!
We dearly love our job, and we’re so grateful for every single sale. We hope our customers know what a difference their purchase makes to the charity, and it’s a pleasure and a delight to see them returning to the store.
When we started to research Ecommerce for charity, we realised just what a minefield it is. For people like us with little experience in the field (although we love to shop online ourselves) it can be a little overwhelming! We’d have been a bit lost without a platform like Thriftify.
Starting something like this also makes you realise just how hard our Shop Managers and volunteers work in our physical shops. They sort through hundreds of bags of donations every week; they’re dedicated to the charity and constantly strive to provide an ever-changing range of stock and a fantastic service for customers. We wanted to bring this level of care and dedication to our online shop.
We’ve learned that it’s possible to combine ethical shopping, fundraising and looking after the planet, and that it’s a thoroughly enjoyable experience! With advice from the team at Thriftify we can focus on what’s selling well on our store, increasing our exposure on social media and expanding our stock. We really have learned a lot in the last 9 months!