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to think charity shops are too expensive and have lost the plot

(102 Posts)
Hermi0ne Tue 25-Aug-15 16:01:36

Its just silly at this point. Was browsing through one of my local ones and they want 5 quid for a bobbly primark shirt! I can get that new for less! I thought, originally, charity shops wanted to also help poor people being able to afford clothes, those days seem long gone. It just really annoys me.

BarbarianMum Tue 25-Aug-15 16:08:42

Charity shops are there to make a profit for the charity they represent. They are not (and have never been) there to support the poor access cheap clothing - unless this is also part of their charitable objectives.

Most charities have quite a tight business model and guidelines for the resale value of clothing but this is implemented largely by volunteers and sometimes they get it wrong. If it is too expensive don't buy it - unless you are shopping there to support the charity and don't mind. But YABU to think they don't mostly know their business.

hollieberrie Tue 25-Aug-15 16:09:14

I agree OP. I volunteer in one and am often a bit embarrassed at the amounts we charge for things!

All i can say is that in our shop the prices are strictly fixed by head office, so shop employees and volunteers are not allowed to price things lower.

Also the shop focus is very much on making the maximum profit possible for the charity (hence the constant push to sign people up for gift aid when they donate). They are definitely not concerned with helping poorer local people buy clothes. Well, not in my experience anyway.

Having said all that i do still love working in a charity shop and still think there are bargains to be had - especially kids toys and books.

Jo4040 Tue 25-Aug-15 16:16:55

Our charity shop is great. Clothes a £1 most other things 50p/20p

Even really good stuff! You get the odd thing for around 2,3,4,5 quid, but I defo think they are doing it like this because people in the area just hav'nt got the money.

They have a sign up that reads

'Please don't ask for reductions, everything is cheap enough' grin

FarFromAnyRoad Tue 25-Aug-15 16:20:29

I completely agree with you OP which is why I only ever support small independent charity shops - there are still some left! They also get my donations when I'm having a clear out. The only way to change this is to vote with our feet and force them to rethink and sadly I can't actually see that happening on a large enough scale to make them sit up and think!

irretating Tue 25-Aug-15 16:24:19

Some things are over-priced but you can also get some amazing bargains. I would not pay more than £2 for anything that was originally from Primark, but I snapped up a Monsoon dress for £10 recently.

It seems that there are set prices for different types of clothing, jeans all seem to be the same price, t-shirts, jumpers etc. Wear and tear seems to affect pricing more than labels. I don't know if this is the way it actually is, just the way it appears to me.

Moln Tue 25-Aug-15 16:26:47

There's several very close to my house. Two are as you describe (one being Oxfam) and there's a third that sells things for a low price (€1 baskets for clothes and three books for €2, 'glamour' dresses all under €20) and they often have 'sales' on certain ranges (organised by coloured hangers) The third place is always busy and people are buying constantly, the other two aren't.

To me if makes sense that the bobbly Primark top cheap so the charity shifts stock and makes profit rather than sells not as much, had to relocate stock elsewhere because they are looking for more money per item.

Rarity08 Tue 25-Aug-15 16:27:39

Where I live it depends on the charity. Oxfam, Dr Barnardos are expensive, but a local animal shelter shop have all clothing £1. The big charities are all ran like corporate businesses.

gamerchick Tue 25-Aug-15 16:28:51

Just go to the small independent ones OP. The big names especially the BHF are seriously nuts for prices. I've seen plenty of stuff in them you can get brand new for cheaper hmm

Aeroflotgirl Tue 25-Aug-15 16:31:26

Yanbu at all, if they carry on this way, people will not buy from them they will loose a lot of custom. Ask for what you want, but at the end of the day, it is worth what people are prepared to pay for it, if they can buy new for the same price or near, then they will.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Tue 25-Aug-15 16:32:48

I often walk past a British Heart Foundation shop that sells furniture and think it's nuts. They sell ancient TVs for £250. MDF bedside tables for £150 each.

I'd love to know who buys this stuff

cariadlet Tue 25-Aug-15 16:33:45

In my town it also depends on where you go. Some (eg Oxfam) are very expensive, so I'm careful what I buy there. Others are dead cheap and I buy more.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Tue 25-Aug-15 16:36:27

I got a pair of huge DFS sofas in our local BHF shop for £190 including delivery, always ask to speak to the floor manager, they're allowed to haggle grin

Aeroflotgirl Tue 25-Aug-15 16:38:30

Nobody gobbol any person with any sense would walk right past

BackforGood Tue 25-Aug-15 16:39:04

It varies hugely.
In my local High Street, there are 7 charity shops.

One prices things considerably higher than the other 6 - personally I don't even bother going in there for a browse now. They've had a fancy refit and bought all matching hangers etc. - personally I'd rather the money went to the good cause than fancy fittings in the shop - I blame Mary Portas.

At the other extreme, there's one shop that seems to have a constant "Everything for £1" policy. Their till is always ringing, so I guess that adds up across the week. It'd be interesting to know what they take in comparison with each other.

I was waiting for a friend in a holiday town recently and had 20mins to kill in the high street so went into a couple of charity shops and couldn't believe what they were asking for very ordinary looking clothes.

However, that is part of the fun of charity shop browsing - the thrill of finding the bargain hiding amongst the tat smile

Sazzle41 Tue 25-Aug-15 16:41:57

I agree with other posters re the larger charities. A damaged 6inch buddha was in mine for £28 ! The independants I have found an unworn jasper conran summer dress for £5 , a Monsoon dress for £6, lots of unworn baby and child stuff at 50p each etc etc. Men's unworns silk shirts for £3 each as well. Depends on the area, my old home town, people are too posh to/frown snobbishly re. ebay so its charity shops all the way.

londonrach Tue 25-Aug-15 16:45:36

Sadly i dont bother looking anymore as they too expensive for me.

VikingLady Tue 25-Aug-15 16:46:39

We don't even go into BHF any more - far too expensive. And we have a Scope almost next door to Primark which sells Primark clothes at higher prices!

We do get a lot from Age UK though, and our local charities.

irretating Tue 25-Aug-15 16:48:37

My local BHF store is really reasonable, we got our dishwasher for £30.

BackforGood Tue 25-Aug-15 16:49:12

That's interesting - it's BHF in our High Street that is the one that is FAR more expensive than any of the others - I didn't realise it was a National Policy unless you live by me?. Shame really as it's a charity I would otherwise like to support.

Lunastarfish Tue 25-Aug-15 16:53:58

I think I've posted this before but there is a charity shop when I lived in south West London that seemed to permanently have a sign on the door asking fir no more donations as they were full. They would try to sell primark clothes for £10 - no wonder they are full(!). I wonder if they don't realise 'Atmosphere' is primark.

That said, there is also a fantastic independent children's charity shop which sells little white company abs baby gap outfits for £1, funnily enough they are always busy & I expect making some serious cash.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Tue 25-Aug-15 16:54:50

procrastinator - what did you haggle from? £1,700 each grin

Seriously though, I am glad to hear that they will move from the prices though

Orangeisthenewbanana Tue 25-Aug-15 16:56:41

You just have to have a good old hunt and be a bit discerning. I found quite a nice bag in one the other day for about £6-7. When I hunted inside to find the brand, it was Primark. You could have bought a new one for that! You can get some good bargains still though, especially kids clothes, dvd's and books. The RSPCA one by us is probably the best. Have only used BHF to donate furniture to, not buy. That's great as they come and collect for free smile

LineyReborn Tue 25-Aug-15 16:57:19

Age UK is all right - they price all large prints / paintings / pictures at £4.99 and there are a few good ones to be found in amongst the rubbish stuff.

MimsyBorogroves Tue 25-Aug-15 17:01:38

Yep. DS2 is obsessed with Mr Men books at the moment so we are trying to collect them via charity shops at the moment. One around here was asking for £2.50 for them! hmm

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