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AIBU to remind you to check out your local charity shop over the coming months?

(39 Posts)
PoppyPopcorn Tue 24-Oct-17 23:09:01

I'm a volunteer in a charity shop - one with lots of shops across the country.

At the moment, our shop has a whole rail of Halloween costumes for between 50p and £2, for kids of all ages. Why spend £15 on a new one which will be worn once and by next year, won't fit??

We have some lovely things which would be perfect Christmas gifts - lots brand new with tags. Just this morning I was sorting out lovely things like cashmere stripe scarves, jewellery and scented candles. All never used and brand new. If you buy Christmas cards, getting them from the charity you want to support ensures that all the profit goes to the cause rather than buying the supermarket charity cards which donate very little. Also, if you're looking for tableware or decorations pop in at the beginning of November - if your local shop is anything like our we're bursting at the seams with tinsel, baubles, tablecloths and the rest of it.

Don't add to the mountain of "stuff" bought every Halloween/Christmas and then chucked out. Wouldn't it be lovely if everyone bought just one or two things from their favourite charity shop rather than a mass retailer - better for the planet and better for the charity too.

wobblywonderwoman Tue 24-Oct-17 23:10:28

Very true live our local charity shops

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Tue 24-Oct-17 23:10:52


geekone Tue 24-Oct-17 23:13:02

I love charity shops. Many a work suit purchased

PoppyPopcorn Tue 24-Oct-17 23:23:46

And after it's all over and Auntie Doreen has yet again given you a pair of slippers that don't fit and a DVD you've already seen, bring your unwanted gifts in and we can sell them on.

JeNeSuisPasVotreMiel Tue 24-Oct-17 23:24:36

Well said OP

Judydreamsofhorses Tue 24-Oct-17 23:40:06

My brother in law and his partner give me the exact same Christmas present every year. It always ends up as the window display in the local Red Cross shop in January. (It’s not something which gets eaten or used up, so the first time gift is still in use and going strong!)

Bloodybridget Tue 24-Oct-17 23:42:05

I've already started scouring local charity shops for bits and pieces for the DGCs stockings and Advent calendars.

caroldeckershair Tue 24-Oct-17 23:43:08

Totally agree!

fullofhope03 Tue 24-Oct-17 23:46:15

This is a lovely post OP. Thank you flowers xx

Clickncollect Tue 24-Oct-17 23:48:02

Really good point OP and you've made me think. Thank you x

SleepingStandingUp Tue 24-Oct-17 23:51:26

Mine does not have lovely cashmere sweaters in it.

I do take in anything we can donate though.
Any duplicate kids presents will go to Ronald MacDonald accommodation in Birmingham (they provided us with accommodation for months when DC was in hospital) or to the actual hospital for pure favorite ward if suitable.

SpiritedLondon Tue 24-Oct-17 23:52:37

Well I wonder if your lovely charity shop is in a city centre ? I do think that the " chain " charity shops that line our high street in my town are quite disappointing- pretty predictable ( and I live in a "naice" commuter town near London). I think the best stuff is farmed into the trendy areas. The only success I've really had has been in more independent charity shops which have very eclectic stock. I live in hopes though OP and will give it a whirl.

AdiosPieceOfToast Tue 24-Oct-17 23:58:54

Our 15 have musty smelling, bobbled M&S tops for £4.50 each.

MirriVan Wed 25-Oct-17 00:13:26

I love charity shops.
Sadly lots of the ones in my area have ridiculously hiked up prices - I've seen bowls I've recognised as the same ones I've bought from Ikea, except the charity shop was charging more than the brand new price!
Ditto some Primark items I've seen for sale grin

FormerlyFrikadela01 Wed 25-Oct-17 00:19:49

I used to love charity shops but my local ones are full of overpriced shit these days. A tatty looking skeleton costume for £5 being the highlight this week. I've never seen these rails full of clothes for 50p that people seem to find on here.

yorkshireyummymummy Wed 25-Oct-17 00:29:50

I go to charity shops and donate lots.
I always get DD to have a clear out before her birthday and Christmas.
DD is just discovering the joy of having a 'rummage ' and finding an occasional little gem.
But I do have to agree with a previous poster- sometimes I find them just overpriced!! Some tops DD has shown me would be cheaper in Asda/Primark/ tesco brand new.
I saw a mug on the oxfam website ( I have had some bargains from there) which has Homer Simpson on. I got husband one ten years ago from Boots for about £4 with some biscuits or teabags in it. Oxfam were asking £10!!! £10 for a second hand mug that cost £4 new!!
So I think charity shops should remember that it's better to sell somethimg for £1 less but to actually sell it!!
I think this is a lovely post. Nicely written OP.
Just out of interest if anybody knows, - is it acceptable to haggle in a charity shop??

cupofcake Wed 25-Oct-17 00:36:08

Absolutely agree OP.

Jux Wed 25-Oct-17 00:37:56

We buy books from all our local charity shops all yeaar round. I get most of my clothes from them too. We get loads of stuff from them @dh recently bought some really sweet little glasses from one - little cut goblets, beautiful and delicate. We’re avid charity shoppers!

Goldfishshoals Wed 25-Oct-17 00:41:23

Oxfam prices are ridiculous. I rarely with them bother anymore. So much stuff is more expensive than new.

I remember one tine I was looking particularly for a lemon squeezer, they had several cheap looking plastic ones all scratched up for £5 each. I went to tesco and bout a new stainless steel one for less than £2 instead.

The only success I've really had has been in more independent charity shops

Yep, same here. Independent ones are a better bet for buying.

I refuse to donate to any charity shop anymore though, because I hate how much perfectly good stuff gets thrown into landfill by charity shops. It's sickening.

sukitea Wed 25-Oct-17 00:41:39

Outfits starting at 50p? Where is this cheap, delightful charity shop with BNWT items, because I will shop there. I can't and won't shop in my local ones; they are ridiculously expensive so I' m not surprised they have a lack of turnover.

FluffyPineapple Wed 25-Oct-17 00:49:11

I have always donated bags full of adult and children's clothes, plus books, bric a brac etc to charity stores. Recently I discovered that a (sort of) friend of mine (who is a volunteer in a charity shop) is allowed to take donations free of charge. I did not forsee my 'goods' being rummaged through and donated to " charity volunteers".

Just when you think you are handing over quality items to be sold for charity you find that "volunteers" are cashing in... Having a re-think about donating to charity shops tbh sad

insert1usernamehere Wed 25-Oct-17 00:50:38

There's only one charity shop I bother with - and that's the one that organises their clothes by size.

Please, please, please don't make me look through categories. I'm often quite open to what sort of garment I'm looking for (trousers, top, skirt, whatever) but what I can't be open to is clothes in sizes that don't fit me. I don't have the time / energy / will to look through the entire shop's stock, so please make it easy and divide by size!

MontytheSpookyMouse Wed 25-Oct-17 00:55:49

I miss really good charity shops.
I used to love being able to dress my kids in lovely clothes for a pound of two.

Now it's just expensive. I've seen Primark tops for more than primark and anything decent is £s. I know it's to raise money for charity but they also used to be amazing for helping those who couldn't afford loads a decent outfit.

Our local ones are terrible and like someone said above £5 for used costumes

The worst is a non chain one in which the lady who runs it creams through donations and takes anything at all decent for herself/Mum/friends. My friend knows her well and her teen had a gorgeous leather jacket I had seen someone bring in her shop. Friend said shop manager had give it to her free because 'she had to have some perks'

asprinklingofsugar Wed 25-Oct-17 01:13:12

yorkshire I also volunteer in a charity shop, and the answer to your question is no, absolutely not. The only exception is if you notice something wrong with it - eg a small chip on a mug, a missing button etc as these items shouldn't really have been put out for sale anyway. Also, if you were buying for example, 5 photo frames and the total came to £12, it is sometimes worth asking if you can have all of them for £10 instead. Depending on who's serving and what they're like (and I would try and estimate their reaction before asking), they might agree - I have done for things like that in the past, because the shop I help at doesn't have much room for storage, so if we can get a little bit extra space out front then, even if it means a little less money, that can be very helpful. However, do not do it all the time - you'd turn into a CF and the staff will recognise you and groan about you slightly in private after a while when they see you coming grin

Fluffy pineapple I respectfully disagree that volunteers are 'cashing in.' Where I help, we are allowed to buy items for a reduced price- the charity has a staff discount that is applicable to volunteers as well. We are occasionally allowed to take things home for free if an item we like is not going to be put out for sale i.e. binned, or to try clothes on (ours doesn't have a changing room) but if we either didn't bring it back or didn't pay for it, we wouldn't be allowed to again. Also, items would not just be binned so volunteers could take them home - the managers would never agree to that.

Although your donations may be lovely, and I'm sure they are, unfortunately not everyone's are- especially for some reason, deliveries of rotated stock from other shops- but all the donations are kept together until they are priced etc so it is easy to get nice good quality looking, donations mixed up others that maybe don't look so great. Obviously, nobody wants a load of rubbish being sold, neither the staff or the customers, so it is important to go through and inspect everything that is handed in. Volunteers 'rummage' through your donations as they must all be sorted, tagged, priced, steamed if necessary, and the paid staff (usually just a manager and sometimes an assistant), do not have the time do all that by themselves. Of course, I'm sure this doesn't apply to every charity shop, or every volunteer, there's bound to be some bad eggs, but I'd like to think it applies to most. So please don't give up on donating to charity shops entirely, we need/rely on donations, esp good-quality ones - but maybe don't donate to that particular shop anymore wink

I think something a lot of the general public might not realise is that although charity shops, are charities, they are run like a business. There are weekly and monthly targets: for money they are expected to make, percentages of items they are supposed to sell (eg 5% of sales per week should be books), number of gift aid products sold, number of charity branded reward scheme items they are supposed to sell etc, etc.. The targets vary between shops, and some of them are impossible to make so sometimes things will be fudged slightly (eg gift aid stickers added to a few non gift aided products, or if someone bought something then leaves immediately after handing over their money, putting the item through as a reward scheme product), as if the targets aren't made, the managers will get in trouble. Most managers and volunteers will not compromise on prices as they know there are targets they have to hit - and so they don't really have a choice, except to do as higher levels of management have instructed them to do.

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