Oxfam Shops have a long tradition of selling second-hand books. Our network of over 650 shops receives lots of generous donations. In some areas we even have specialist bookshops. There is a massive range in the value of the books we handle: from paperback novels which sell for a few pounds to valuable collectible items which may sell for thousands of pounds. Our teams of book volunteers ensure all donations are sold for the best price possible, so that we can continue to support Oxfam's work.
A number of our shops also sell books through our on-line shop and therefore in addition to working in our high street shops, some shops may have vacancies for volunteers keen to develop this area of work.
Many of our volunteers offer at least one 4-hour shift each week however you can discuss your availability with the shop manager who will let you know when vacancies exist.
Every Oxfam Shop is different and therefore the specific roles will vary according to your interests and the needs of the shop. As a member of the book team however it is likely that you will do some or all of the following:
- Sort incoming donations of books, identifying those which are likely to sell and any that have a potential high value.
- Help to research the value of rare and/or collectible books.
- Use shop guidelines to price the books.
- Arrange the books in the shop, perhaps as part of an attractive window display.
- Review the stock regularly to provide a fresh selection for our customers.
- Depending on your interests and the shop's needs, there may be the opportunity to take responsibility for a specific section of books.
- There may be the opportunity to get involved in the sale of books on-line.
We encourage our shop volunteers to develop an understanding of all aspects of the shop's work so that they can support the whole team as necessary.
Skills and competencies:
You don't have to have specific skills or qualifications to volunteer in an Oxfam Shop. To work as a member of the books team however it is likely that you will:
- Have an enthusiasm for reading and a love of books.
- Be able to work as part of a team to ensure donations are processed methodically.
- Be able to work creatively to display books in the shop in an attractive way.
- Be keen to learn new skills.
What this role can offer the volunteer:
Oxfam shop volunteers benefit in lots of ways. You will be joining over 23,000 volunteers to show "we won't live with poverty".
- You will be given all necessary training and support for this role.
- It is the opportunity to use your interest in books and reading in a very worthwhile way.
- You will gain retail experience; specifically in the area of book sales. In addition you will be able to develop a range of skills across the whole shop.
- Oxfam Shop volunteers can claim reasonable local travel expenses and lunch costs, in line with Oxfam's policy.
Find your local shop here. This will give you contact details for the shop so you can phone, write or call in to find out more.
Most of our shops are happy to accept applications to volunteer at any time. Just contact the shop manager to find out more.
The shop manager will contact you as soon as possible and will arrange a convenient time for you to visit the shop and have a chat about volunteering.
As soon as you have had an initial chat with the shop manager and after receipt of suitable references, you can arrange a start date.