"For me, it’s great because it’s a completely different environment to my workplace, and it challenges me in other ways."
I spend one afternoon a week with the Rennie Grove eBay team, which forms part of the charity’s Retail & Trading operation.
Why did you decide to volunteer?
I graduated several years ago as a chiropractor and I work from a practice in Great Missenden. I love my job but I had the time and the inclination to give something back to a good cause. I’ve supported charities before but never by volunteering. I always assumed it would mean working in a shop and I wasn’t sure that would be for me. But my parents live next door to a lady who volunteers for Rennie Grove – counting all the coins that come in from the hundreds of collecting boxes in shops and homes. She explained that the charity has all manner of different volunteering roles – and as an avid eBay user in my own spare time, I though I would be at least half-qualified for this role!
What does your volunteering role involve?
As ‘listers’ it’s our job to upload photos and write descriptions about all the items that are donated and selected to sell on our eBay site. These can range from handbags and shoes to plates and cameras and paintings. We have other volunteers with specialist interests who can advise us about the value of a donated item – and the general rule of thumb is that if it could raise more money through eBay than in one of the charity’s shops, it comes our way!
Some items are more time-consuming than others. The key is to include as much information as possible. If a collectible item is damaged, then it’s far better to mention this, as it doesn’t deter the collectors – whereas an inaccurate description could lead to a return and request for a refund.
I spend a lot of time researching items through search engines, which helps me to put together a detailed and accurate description. Sometimes I don’t even know what the item is, but I have developed an unshakeable faith in the selectors as I can’t believe how much some items are selling for! But give me shoes and I can list those like lightning, one pair after another! I’m part of the target audience and I know exactly which words will clinch the sale!
What do you enjoy most?
For me, it’s great because it’s a completely different environment to my workplace, and it challenges me in other ways. I find it interesting and rewarding: I love coming in each week and seeing what my listings have fetched. I am constantly astounded by what people in the know will pay!