A new platform is being trialled by Self Help Africa which could revolutionise online sales for the Northern Ireland charity. Haru aims to make e-commerce easy and efficient for charity shops and the specially designed app determines what should be sold online versus instore, by identifying more valuable items which can be placed for sale on Haru at a higher than usual charity shop instore retail price.
Gerard Magee, Head of Retail, Self Help Africa, said: “We are trialling Haru in our bookshop at Botanic Avenue and we have been using the app to determine the value of a number of books.
“The efficiency of Haru has helped speed up the rate at which we can value books and the accuracy of the valuations is unparalleled. We were recently donated a book ‘Wanderings In Burma’ which we estimated could be worth around £100 but instead when we listed it on Haru we sold it for more than three times that.
“Not only did Haru open us up to a whole new audience, rather than being dependent on people visiting the store in person to potentially purchase this book, it also expedited the sale, as the book could possibly have sat on the shelf for a long time due to the subject.
“This example alone proves the business need for a platform like Haru in order to empower charities like ours to embrace online selling and provide us with another stream for income generation at a time when we are battling to increase sales in order to help our programmes in Sub Saharan Africa. We are grateful to the founders of Haru for offering us the opportunity of trialling the platform with us.”
Haru is the brainchild of Jacques Hill and Sam Lynas. The idea for their Belfast based business was spun out from their own online vintage clothing business. Sam said: “At Haru, our ambition is to empower charities online. Our service is designed to improve the efficiency of charity shops by making online selling easy. The software helps staff and volunteers identify what items to sell online, recommends a price and connects to multiple online marketplaces. We hope Haru can be a part of the amazing work already being done in the charity retail sector.”
Self Help Africa Self Help Africa has charity shops in Banbridge, Bangor, Ballynahinch, Belfast, Downpatrick, Dunmurry, Holywood and Lisburn. If you would like to volunteer with Self Help Africa or make a donation, visit www.selfhelpafrica.org or contact Winne Okot at Self Help Africa by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 028 9023 2064.