UK Startup helps Age UK unlock £23k extra per month

Vintage clothes shop

New service, Vintage Cash Cow for Charities, helps charity shops make money from previously ‘unsellable’ items

Vintage and antique buyers, Vintage Cash Cow for Charities, have partnered with charity Age UK in a move that unlocks new revenue streams for the charity.

Following a successful trial with 40 Age UK charity shops, they have now launched the free service to all 400 of Age UK’s stores, helping them raise even more money through their supporters’ donations.

VCCfC’s service buys unsold and unsellable donations direct from charities through their free to use service. In this simple move, thousands of pounds in extra funding can be unlocked from items that couldn’t be sold ‘traditionally’.

Co-founder, David Weaver, said “Our service appealed to Age UK (and another 90 charities who already use us) as it’s entirely free. We arrange and cover the cost of collecting boxes from each shop. We manage all handling, storage and selling overheads as part of our service. There’s a dedicated customer service team to provide support and advice about the items they accept.”

VCCfC buy old, retro and vintage gold, gold-plated, silver, silver-plate, costume jewellery, coins, medals and militaria, watches, cameras, writing and smoking instruments, old games and toys. These items often haven’t sold or are non-saleable in charity shops.

The huge volume of goods VCCfC receive, along with their expertise, ensures that each charity shop receives competitive prices for the donated items they send, whilst reducing the risk of valuables being missed or undervalued.

VCCfC’s Metal Price Promise means they pay a minimum £1 per kilo of brass, pewter, copper and silver plate – some shops get at most just 5p per kilo, with some reporting to get nothing at all.

Nick Smith, Head of Retail Operations at Age UK, said “VCCfC are a great partner for Age UK. They have over 30 years’ experience and already work with over 90 local and national charities. Their free service helps each shop raise even more from items they can’t or don’t sell.”

The 40-shop trial took place in 2018 with very positive results, “Over 75% of our shops got involved with the trial, with nearly half becoming repeat users of the service. We generated extra income with little effort – one shop raised over £350 from one box, so it was an easy decision to roll this out nationally.”

Co-founder David Weaver said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Age UK nationally and providing their shops with another revenue stream. We have the knowledge, service and network of worldwide traders and collectors to give charities an outlet for donations which may otherwise end up in recycling or the bin.”

He continued, “We work with many charities regardless of their size or whether they have charity shops, but we know there’s more charities out there who could benefit from our free service, so we’d love to hear from them and help generate money for their causes.

“Our company’s motto is “Don’t bin it, box it” to encourage charity shop staff and volunteers to think about whether an unsold or non-saleable item can be sold to us, rather than recycling, or worse, ending up in the bin (where it may end up in landfill). We’re helping to encourage charities to operate more sustainably through using our service and drive the reduce, reuse, recycle agenda, which can only be a good thing for everyone.”