The new smartphone on Amazon, the shoes on Zalando, the tablet on eBay. Now you just have to wait for the doorbell to ring. Parcel delivery people can barely keep up with all the deliveries; house entrances are full with little yellow notes. Every German buys something online at least twice a month. Online shopping has long become mainstream and replaces the visit to a shop. Of course, it is very convenient, but the fact that more and more goods are ordered on the Internet also means that many orders are returned, which often negatively affects logistics and the environment.
However, it is possible to buy and sell products in good conscience. The solution is called »charity shopping« and particularly interesting for mail order companies that want to sell the added value of a good deed in addition to their products.
Charity Shopping: Shop Till You Drop?
»Buying for a good cause« is the slogan of charity shopping. Nothing changes for the customer – he/she will make a purchase at the desired shop as usual. The only difference is that customers do not directly access the shopping site, but are redirected via a link on a special portal site. Here comes the positive side effect: the shop operator pays a commission to the portal site for redirecting customers to his website, and a share of this commission is then given to various aid agencies and projects.
Almost all popular retailers are featured on the major charity shopping portals, so you do not have to miss out on anything. The commission that shops pay to the respective charity platforms amounts to between two and ten per cent of the purchase price. Charity shopping platforms, in turn, commit themselves to giving between 70 and 90 per cent of the commission received to a charity.
In order to be able to surf on charity shopping portals without any problems, ad blockers should be temporarily deactivated, or else shop logos may not be displayed at all. Cookies should be accepted as well, otherwise the shop may not recognise that you have been redirected, which would mean that charities would not receive any money.
An Overview of Charity Shopping Platforms
Charities from all sectors can be beneficiaries: education, sports, animal welfare, churches or humanitarian aid. In German-speaking Europe, the two largest platforms besides market leader AmazonSmile are Bildungsspender.de as well as Schulengel.de. Since 2016, Germany’s first online donation portal HelpDirect.org has offered the first charity shopping solution at HelpShops.org. Donors also receive a tax-deductible donation receipt. There is also an alternative to the many charity shopping portals on the Internet: since April 2019, it has been possible to use the smartphone app »Kauft lokal!« (Buy locally!) to make donations when shopping at local retailers.
Taking a look at charity shopping is also worthwhile for B2B companies because businesses buy more than private households. Whether it is office supplies, office equipment, business travel or workwear: many shops and service providers offering just that can be reached via plug-ins such as bildungsspender.de. It pays off to make use of these portals in order to support a (local) charity of your choice at no extra cost.
Other similar platforms and charity shopping role models are »ecolibri« (online bookstore that plants trees), »HelpShops« (collecting donations via large platforms) and »ecosia«, the search engine with the green thumb.
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