About our site
The web site is a volunteer organisation, run as an off-shoot of the successful shops selling charity Christmas cards in libraries in the South Manchester/Cheshire area. We do not take a cut of the selling price like commercial sites; what the charities charge on the site is what they receive. However, we do have to charge for the service, as we have to pay for server space, communication costs, and developer's time/skills to make upgrades as necessary - a modest £35/pa.
After Christmas a number of charities sell off stock at reduced prices. Have a look at the site after Christmas, and take advantage of the bargains on offer. Look early to avoid disappointment - the stocks may be limited.
Though the site started just selling Christmas cards, many charities now add other small charity or Christmas related goods. A list of such charities is given in the link at the top of this page. Postage rates are set by the charities, not us, and spread over a wide range. Some charities specify an overseas rate, but most will be prepared to send abroad if you contact them for a rate, though you will probably have to phone them to place an order. Again, there is link at the top of this page to a table comparing all rates and countries serviced, plus last posting dates.
A few charities offer overprinting services, as indicated (**) above, and bigger cards which may be suitable for this are listed in the Corporates link, whether or not the sponsoring charity can arrange overprinting themselves. There are generally a limited number of cards with greetings given in Welsh, bilingually, or other languages; again there is a link above.
The amount each charity makes from its card sales is very variable. This site takes no cut from each sale, so each charity receives 100% of the card selling price from us, the basis of the 100% you may have seen elsewhere on the site. However, all charities will have selling and distribution costs and internal overheads, quite apart from the cost of making and printing the cards. So their ultimate profit on a pack of cards will be considerably less than the selling price. This will vary greatly between charities, depending on such things as their use of volunteers, whether they have card sponsorship, or use donated images for which they pay no copyright fees.
We welcome feedback from customers. Is there anything we could improve, have you had any problems, and how did you find us? If you are reporting a problem, we shall need as much detail as possible, if we are to have any hope of solving it. Most of the things we hear about are one-off, erratic events, whose cause is difficult to track.
Combined Charities Christmas Shops 1971 - 2014
Combined Charities began in 1971, with 12 participating charities. Over the last few years there have been around 55 involved in our shops in Wilmslow, Macclesfield, Hale, Knutsford, Sale, and Altrincham.
The internet venture, which we started in 1999, seemed a logical extension of what we were already doing:- providing a market-place for charities. It allowed us to provide this service to charities with no local volunteer effort to support a position in the shops. More importantly, it allowed small charities which might not have the resources to create their on on-line shop, a way into on-line selling.
However, two principles mark us out as different from others in this field.
1] Charities, whether in our shops or on our web-site, get 100% of their sales revenue.
2] No-one working for Combined Charities is paid.
Perhaps, in this day and age of go-getting and making money, this is refreshing to know. The very skilled and professional team of Combined Charities do all the work for free.
Browse this site then, confident that whatever you choose, the charities are getting 100% returned to them.
We thank you all for your support, and wish you all well
Sheila Hallas MBE (Honorary Organiser)