Poppy selling eBay charity disaster

Every so often I see a story which really annoys me, and today is one of those days.

The BBC carries a story of a well meaning charity fund raiser who’s eBay listings were taken down for selling hand crocheted poppies to raise funds for The Royal British Legion.

The thing is with a little advice it’s all so needless. The listings don’t use eBay for Charity and so there’s no certainty that the funds would get to the intended recipient. Now that the issue has been raised the eBay listings have been reinstated but there’s still no eBay for Charity logo on them and that’s a big mistake.

Whilst there’s a letter on her Facebook giving permission to raise funds, it would have been so much easier if the lady had simply been made a direct seller for The Royal British Legion, who are incidentally already registered with eBay for Charity. This would have allowed her to collect the funds as she is already doing and hand them across without them being automatically paid over by eBay so that she could deduct postage costs…

…which raises another issue, the fund raising letter states that costs may not be deducted unless previously agreed and receipts provided. One has to question who is paying for the wool and the postage costs as, having raised £5,000 for this year’s Poppy Appeal, costs wouldn’t be trivial. Again an eBay for Charity Direct Seller agreement would tidy everything up leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that the funds would go to the right place.

This is an instance where everything could be quite easily put in order and communication between the charity and an ardent fundraiser should be better. eBay have all the processes in place to enable the safe selling with surety that the funds will get to the charity and if the tools available were used none of this would have happened.

If you’re going to sell on eBay in the UK to raise funds for charity, then please use eBay for Charity! Apart from being squeaky clean, you’ll also get an automatic 25% boost to your donations with Gift Aid.