Advanced search

to be frustrated by charity shop wanting to display items rather than sell them...

(86 Posts)
5Foot5 Wed 13-Apr-11 13:48:13

I have no nice tea cups and saucers. In fact I have none at all, nice or otherwise. I have a china dinner service which we got as a wedding present but that only has coffee cups. Over the years we have had various "everyday" tea cups but these are currently at an all time low. (None) Mostly this matters not as we drink out of mugs and have plenty of those.

However, at Christmas I was bought a lovely three tier cake stand, something I have always wanted. With Easter approaching and guests expected I decided it would be nice one day to serve a "proper" afternoon tea. Little sandwiches with the crusts cut off, home made scones and cake - you get the picture. In fact if that went well I thought we might do something similar at the Royal Wedding.

So, I had to address the tea cup question. I didn't want and couldn't afford to spend a great deal of money on new china so I decided to look around the charity shops to see what they had to offer. In the window of one (Help the Aged) they had a rather nice set of six Ainsley china tea cups and saucers for £25. I thought this was quite good but decided to look at all the others first. Nowhere else came close - either they were very ordinary and bleak or the sets were incomplete or contained only four of everything.

After thinking it over (and on receipt of a small win on the lottery!) I decided to go back today and buy the Ainsley set if it was still there. Well it was and on second viewing I liked it even more than I had at first. I did notice that since my last visit they had decorated the window on a Royal Wedding theme. Everyone is doing it aren't they?

But when I went in and told the lady at the counter that I was interested in the china in the window she said that she couldn't sell me anything on display there! When I enquired why she explained that as the window had been arranged to celebrate the RW they were not allowed to move or remove anything until after the big day. She could take my name and telephone number and I could go back and buy it after 29th April but that was the best she could do!

Well I left it. I need teacups NOW. But can you imaging an ordinary business taking that attitude?

Sorry if this is a bit of a long rant about teacups but I am quite disappointed and casting about now for ideas where I can get something as nice without spending too much sad

twolittlemonkeys Wed 13-Apr-11 13:49:11

YANBU. Sounds absurd if you ask me!

evilgdil Wed 13-Apr-11 13:50:07

that seems a bit mental. they must be able to just find soemthing else, its not like they are a regular chain of shops with a generic look.

ajandjjmum Wed 13-Apr-11 13:51:04

Actually - the same happened to DD at River Island yesterday. The dress in her size is on the model in the window, which they can't disturb!!

Sales are going down...........I wonder why?!!!

MollysChambers Wed 13-Apr-11 13:51:53

YANBU. Have seen this before though. Very silly.

caughtinanet Wed 13-Apr-11 13:52:03

They're bonkers - I'd ring their head office and see if it really is their policy.

Are charity shops doing so well that they can afford to turn down sales ?

I'm amazed that tea cups are so expensive, I'm going to stick to my mugs grin

WincyEtNightie Wed 13-Apr-11 13:52:43

Are they still displaying the price tag?

Bohica Wed 13-Apr-11 14:08:46

I've had this happen to me over a complete peppa pig house displayed in the window, I was told it would not be for sale until the 22nd of that month. I went back on the 22nd at 9am & there was a que outside the charity shop for the window display items!!

<gets sleeping bag ready for next window display sale>

saoirse86 Wed 13-Apr-11 14:20:04

This really annoys me.

If I send stuff to the charity shop it's for them to sell to raise money for the charity, not to display and not sell.

I might as well have sold them myself and then given the money to charity. At least then the people I wanted to help get help.

stressheaderic Wed 13-Apr-11 14:24:13

Shocked about the River Island one too.

I asked for the dress off the window mannequin the other day and it was whipped off her without a second's hesitation. It was a size 12 too so good to see even the mannequins promoting healthy eating! grin

Littlepurpleprincess Wed 13-Apr-11 14:25:58

YANBU. The charity round the corner from my house has a beautiful little wooden dolls pram. It's just lovely. My kids would adore it. But it is 'for display only'. It's not even in the window. It just sits in the shop doing nothing. What's the point? Some-one made that, for a child to enjoy, and now it's wasted. Some-one donated it to raise money for a charity, again, it's wasted. The worlds gone mad.

Eggcelentexampleofmumoneggs Wed 13-Apr-11 14:29:06

Had this a while back in our local shop too! Lady told me they had spent too long making the display to let me take any of it!

AxisofEvil Wed 13-Apr-11 14:31:03

I think its relatively standard. A charity shop near me has a sign saying when the items in the window will be available to buy. Presumably it means that they get to have a full display at all times rather than starting with one which is quickly stripped down. Irritating for the OP though.

Islandlady Wed 13-Apr-11 14:33:46

I work in a charity shop and do the windows I always give a big sigh
when someone wants something out of it normally about five minutes after I gave done it grin

But I always take it as a compliment that I have displayed the item so well
that it has made someone want to buy it - so I dont REALLY mind and am happy to take out whatever a customer wants

However SOME charity shops employ and pay for an experienced window dresser to come once a week and do the windows thats why they cant sell anything out of them which maybe why the shop bohica went to had a sign telling when the items will be on sale.

5Foot5 Wed 13-Apr-11 14:35:21

I suppose I am also irritated because I probably could have bought it when I first saw it last week. But over the weekend they have dressed the window up and now won't take it out.


ForeverNamechanging Wed 13-Apr-11 14:36:46

At our local one you can buy the item but cant take it home till a new display goes up( once a week or so). I don't mind that as they spend hours putting together beautiful themed displays

squeakytoy Wed 13-Apr-11 14:37:42

Have a look on ebay, you will probably get them even cheaper on there.

plupedantic Wed 13-Apr-11 14:45:05

Bollocks to this. They should hae changed the display. Surely the window is to entice buyers in and shift stock, rather than waiting until everyone has had their tea party and then won't want to buy their £25 tea set!

Tolalola Wed 13-Apr-11 14:48:55

That's completely barking! Especially for a charity shop. I would be seriously annoyed if they were turning down the asking price for stuff I'd donated.

Meglet Wed 13-Apr-11 14:53:18


We have a couple of charity shops that won't let anyone buy the nice stiff from the window displays. So I don't bother going to them as I always want whats in the window.

squeakytoy Wed 13-Apr-11 14:54:10

Great typo there Meglet grin grin grin

fedupofnamechanging Wed 13-Apr-11 14:56:12

I think charity shops are exempt from paying full rates to the council that other businesses have to pay. If they are failing to raise the money for charity, because they choose not to sell items which the public have donated, perhaps their reduced shop rates ought to be challenged with the council. By refusing to sell items which have been donated for sale, they are imo defrauding the person who originally made the donation.

Seems to be a case of the tail wagging the dog.

Wrt both the charity shop and River island, I'd contact their head offices and complain. Stupid way to run a business, esp in a time of recession.

Meglet Wed 13-Apr-11 14:57:05

oops blush

babylann Wed 13-Apr-11 14:59:53

Now I feel really naughty, because if I want something that's in the window display at a charity shop, I tend to just scoop my hand in and grab it! But then, charity shops near me don't really have proper displays. Just things scattered around, looking cheap and second hand, the way they're supposed to.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 13-Apr-11 15:00:22

I think you're being a bit unreasonable, OP. I know you want the teaset but the shop needs it for display for the purposes of drawing others in who will buy other stuff. The lady there has said you can buy it after the wedding, have your tea out of a mug in the meantime or buy any old china cup and just close your eyes.

You're going to get a good bargain at £25 for an Ainsley set so either be patient gracious or spend a fortune on ebay getting one.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: