FAQs: Buying

  • What is Oxfam's Online Shop?

    It's your one-stop Oxfam shop, where you can choose from a wide range of second-hand and Oxfam Unwrapped items and have them delivered to your door - or send gifts directly to your friends and family. We function in exactly the same way as any major online retailer, but there is one thing that sets us apart. Every penny raised by your purchases will help ordinary families to work their way out of poverty. So when you shop with Oxfam, you change lives.

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  • What can I buy?

    At Oxfam's Online Shop you can choose from:

    • Donated gifts. A unique range of second-hand clothes, books, music and homeware which has been donated to our high street shops by supporters - then lovingly photographed, described and despatched to you by teams of Oxfam volunteers. From vintage clothing and shoes to valuable first edition books, every item listed is unique and exclusive to the Oxfam Online Shop.
    • Oxfam Unwrapped Gifts. This great collection of charity gifts has been making life easier for present-buyers - and making life better for people in poverty - since 2004. With presents ranging from goats and latrines to teacher-training schemes, keep your loved ones happy while making a lasting difference to the people who really need your support. Oxfam Unwrapped gifts are also available in all Oxfam shops.
    • Oxfam Christmas cards, calendars and diaries. A larger range of products, including gifts and Fairtrade food can be found in a number of Oxfam shops all year round 
      What makes Oxfam's New Products even better is that every single item you buy helps create positive futures, and all of our products are sourced responsibly. In addition, many products support small-scale farmers or social enterprises, use sustainable materials, or help you reduce your environmental impact.

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  • How does shopping at Oxfam make a difference?

    Whether you're stocking up your store cupboards, bargain hunting, picking the perfect present - or all of the above - we'll give you a straightforward, hassle-free and enjoyable online shopping experience. And we'll use the profits from your purchases to fight poverty worldwide.

    Each purchase you make is an important contribution to Oxfam's work. Some sales will directly benefit Fair Trade producers. The communities that we work with have identified the items we fund through Oxfam Unwrapped as essential. Money raised from the sale of second-hand goods will increase our general funds, so we can use them wherever - and whenever - the need is greatest.

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  • When I buy an Oxfam Unwrapped gift, what does the person I'm buying for actually receive?

    When you buy an Oxfam Unwrapped charity gift the person you're buying for will receive a gift card with information about your present and the difference it will make to a family or community in a developing country. You can choose to have this card delivered to your address so you can pass it on in person, or you can have it sent directly to your recipient. If you prefer, you can send an e-card instead of (or as well as) a printed card. All our printed cards come with our special 'goat notes' (sticky notes).

    You can order an Oxfam Unwrapped gift online, by phone or by post. If you order online you can either choose a card that features a picture of your chosen gift, or you can change the image to suit a special occasion, e.g. a wedding or birthday (we have 12 occasion card image to choose from). We also offer the option of customising your gift card with a personal message if you order online or over the phone. If you choose to send an e-card, you can include a personal message and choose the date you'd like your e-card to arrive.

    If you order by post you can either choose a card that features a picture of your chosen gift, or you can change the image (there are four Christmas cards to choose from). Unfortunately we cannot add a personalised message. If you wish to personalise your gift, please order online or call our friendly team on 0300 200 1300.

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  • Are there any Unwrapped gift sets available this year?

    Oxfam Unwrapped gift sets are not available this year. However, if you're ordering online, you can add little extras to your Unwrapped gift during checkout. To view the full range, take a look at our little extras page.

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  • How can I buy an Oxfam Unwrapped gift?

    Oxfam Unwrapped gifts are available to buy:


    • Online at www.oxfamunwrapped.com
      If you've left it a bit late or want a green gift, you can order online to send one of our new e-cards. You can also order printed gift cards to be sent by post. Personalise your gift at checkout with a message or a new occasion card image and send it direct to the recipient. Ordering online also saves Oxfam money.
    • In Oxfam shops
      If you'd like some help deciding which gifts to buy, why not visit your local Oxfam shop? They'd love to meet you! Find your local Oxfam shop
    • (Please note: our shops may not stock all 30 gifts and they do not stock the little extras range. If you have a specific gift in mind we recommend you call the shop first.)

    • Over the phone
      Call 0300 200 1252, Monday-Friday 9.00am-6.00pm.
    • By post
      If you would like to order by post, please complete the order form in our printed catalogue. You can order a catalogue online at http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped/request-catalogue or by calling us on 0300 200 1300.
    • Spend your Nectar points
      Oxfam Unwrapped also offers the option to spend your Nectar points on an Oxfam Unwrapped gift at http://www.nectar.com/oxfamunwrapped. You can either trade in your points to buy one of ten specially selected gifts or order a voucher starting from £2.50 (500 points) to use against any Oxfam Unwrapped gift purchased in an Oxfam shop. Perfect as a gift or if you haven't decided which Unwrapped gift you'd like to buy yet. Don't worry if your Nectar points voucher doesn't cover the price of a full gift, you can simply pay the extra at the till.

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  • How do I use my basket?

    While you browse, click on the product you wish to buy and then click on 'Add to basket'.
    You can view your basket at any time while you shop - there's a link on every page. This means you can:


    • See how many items you've added so far.
    • Increase the quantity of particular items (except in the case of second-hand goods, as each product listed is a one-off).
    • Remove any items you have changed your mind about.
    • Apply any promotional or discount codes.
    • Find out if any items have changed in status, ie are out of stock or (in the case of second-hand items) have been sold.

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  • What happens when I go to the checkout?

    When you have finished shopping, click on the button 'Proceed to checkout'. You will now be asked to log in or to continue without registering (you will be given the option to register at the end). Then just follow these steps to complete your purchase:


    • Step 1. Billing details

      You will be asked to confirm your billing address.

    • Step 2. Customisation

      If you're buying gifts from Oxfam Unwrapped, this is when you customise each one - for example, you can choose whether you wish to send a gift card or e-card, choose card design, add a personal message, and whether you'd like to add a real treat (eg chocolates) to be delivered with the gift card.

    • Step 3. Delivery address

      You can choose to send everything to the same address, or specify multiple delivery addresses (more information on delivery charges).

    • Step 4. Order summary.

      You can then check your order and edit any details if necessary. Then choose the following as you wish:

      • Make a voluntary delivery contribution
      • Add an extra donation
      • Sign up to the Gift Aid scheme

      Then tick to accept the Terms and Conditions, and continue to Secure Payment.
    • Step 5: Payment

      You should then enter your card details (for more information, see What payment options do you accept?)

    • Step 6: Order confirmation

      When the order has been processed you will receive an order number and a summary of your order which you can print. We'll also send you an email within an hour to confirm your order.

      If you already have an Oxfam account, you can view your order history and status in the My Account area.

      If you haven't already registered, you can save your details to speed things up next time you shop with us.

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  • What payment options do you accept?

    You can pay for your online purchases using one of the following payment types:


    • Visa
    • Visa Debit
    • Visa Electron
    • MasterCard
    • PayPal

    We can also accept Maestro cards issued within the UK.

    Please note that we are unable to accept CAF cards on this website. However, if you are buying Oxfam Unwrapped goods you can use your CAF card to place an order with our team on 0300 200 1252.

    If you are buying second-hand items, or Christmas cards, calendars and diaries please use one of the cards listed above, or by PayPal.

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  • Why didn't my payment go through?

    If you receive an error message that your credit or debit card has been declined - but you are sure your details are all correct - then please contact the bank that issued the card to find out why.

    It is worth checking if any of the following apply, as these can prevent payments going through:

    • The billing address you have with your bank may different to the one that you are entering on the Billing Address page.
    • Your card may not have enough credit available to cover the payment.
    • Your card may have a block on internet/phone orders, or on payments to charity.
    • Your card may have reached its daily transaction limit.
    • Your card may have been flagged for additional authorisation.
    • If your card was recently issued, it may not have been activated yet.

    Your bank will be able to help you sort out the problem. In the meantime, you can pay for your purchases with a different card or call one of our friendly team on 0300 200 1252 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) who can place any Oxfam Unwrapped, or Christmas cards, calendars and diaries orders for you.

    Please note: Although receiving an error message means the payment will not have been taken by Oxfam, the order value may be reserved for us. This means that, until this is released by your bank (usually within 7-10 days), this money will not be available for you to use. So please do contact your bank before trying to place your order again.

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  • What is item locking?

    Every second-hand item we list on the Oxfam Online Shop is unique - there is literally just the one! So when you add a second-hand item to your basket, we 'lock' it there for 60 minutes so you don't have to rush to the checkout (of course you can still remove the item at any time). Although other users can still see view the product, they will see a message saying it's locked in to another user's basket.

    Item locking prevents the disappointment of having an item you've fallen in love with snatched from under your nose, and means you can keep on shopping - just make sure you get to the checkout before your 60 minutes is up! After this time, the item will stay in your basket but it becomes available for other users to buy.

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  • Why are some items sold or out of stock?

    Our second-hand items are all unique. So when they're gone, they really are gone!

    Christmas cards, calendars and diaries 
    We sometimes sell out of items and then re-stock. Other items we discontinue to make sure we're selling what the users want.

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  • What is Gift Aid?

    The Gift Aid scheme is a government initiative that enables charities to reclaim the tax that has already been paid on donations received - increasing the value of your donations by 25%. To sign up to Gift Aid, you must pay income tax, or capital gains tax, and you must have paid enough tax in the relevant tax year to cover the amount Oxfam will reclaim.

    Within Oxfam's Online Shop only Oxfam Unwrapped gifts are considered to be donations, and therefore eligible for Gift Aid. When purchasing second-hand items, and Christmas cards, calendars and diaries you are buying a product rather than making a donation. However, you can still sign up to Gift Aid whatever you buy. So if you make a donation or buy Oxfam Unwrapped gifts in the future we'll be able to reclaim the tax - making your generous support go even further for Oxfam.

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  • I'm having problems purchasing items in my basket. What can I do?

    If you're unable to complete the checkout process, please take a look at our dedicated checkout help page, which has suggestions on things you can do to resolve the issue yourself. It also gives you the option to contact us with the information we need to help try to resolve the problem.

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