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To think charity shops have got just too expensive?

(280 Posts)
Arnoldthecat Sun 08-Sep-19 18:47:59

The high streets of even the fairly affluent towns now often have a selection of charity shops because no one else wants the retail space. Inevitably i often browse them and i dont think im alone in thinking that they have just got way too expensive.

I tend to look for factual books but as a matter of interest, i look at other stuff and prices. Example,used mens shirt £8 ! It was nothing special either.

I spotted a woman looking at a teapot. The label was partly obscured nd she thought it was £1.99 when it was actually £19...oh i dont think so,she said,as she put it back on the shelf.

No one is buying anything. They get it all for free,why not just keep prices reasonable,shift volume,get the money in and get new stock on the shelves/hangers?

Hannah021 Sun 08-Sep-19 18:50:57

do charity shops get discounted retail space?

Nyon Sun 08-Sep-19 18:51:58

Yes, Hannah they do. It’s partly why there are so many.

slipperywhensparticus Sun 08-Sep-19 18:52:00

Yes they do

PinkOboe Sun 08-Sep-19 18:53:02

The don’t pay business rates which is a HUGE saving

BackOnceAgainWithABurnerEmail Sun 08-Sep-19 18:53:14

Yes they do get discounted retail space.

The prices set hugely by area. I live between 2 towns. Books in oxfam in town A £3/4 in town B £1.49. V random!

malmi Sun 08-Sep-19 18:54:19

I expect the people running the shops know better than you what approach maximises their sales income (assuming that's their goal).

PinkOboe Sun 08-Sep-19 18:55:06

But yes, I agree, we’re in a very, very well heeled town where you’d expect good quality stuff, but it’s all misshapen per una for £15

I send my own nice quality stuff but have never seen it out for sale. Perhaps it gets sent to a central place and redistributed

formerbabe Sun 08-Sep-19 18:56:23

They are expensive...when I was growing up they were where poor people shopped. Nowadays there is no need for poor people to shop there as new clothing/books/toys etc are so cheap.

PinkLacy Sun 08-Sep-19 18:56:49


HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Sun 08-Sep-19 18:57:40

Absolutely not unreasonable. Most of the charity shops near me are more expensive than buying items new, so do nothing to either a) raise money or b) encourage people to buy second hand and help the environment. There is 1 shop that is very reasonably priced 99% of items £3 and under they turn over a huge amount of stock and as such must make an absolute fortune for their charity.

It never fails to make me wonder why other shops have not yet cottoned on that the pile it high and price it cheap method is going to generate more money.

jaggynettle Sun 08-Sep-19 19:00:07

YANBU they do seem v expensive and not even for good quality items. Am trying to use charity shops as money is tight but increasingly find myself drawn to places like primark as the clothing appears to be better quality and much more reasonably priced.

WaterSheep Sun 08-Sep-19 19:00:37

We have one charity shop in our local area with realistic prices. That doesn't try to be a vintage / boutique shop. It consistently gets donations, i've seen people queuing to do so, and the stock changes frequently. Unlike the others who can have the same items out for months, or until they rotate the stock.

Starface Sun 08-Sep-19 19:03:58

It is certainly the case where I am that Primark is cheaper and much easier to shop in, which is hugely important when I am usually shopping with both a toddler and a baby in tow. This means I use charity shops to give stuff to rather than acquire from.

100PercentThatBitch Sun 08-Sep-19 19:05:02

I volunteer in a charity shop in my free time

I am not responsible for pricing and find it absolutely laughable some of the prices put on things.

A well worn faded to fuck Tesco brand top?


Worse still is the Brand New items we get sent to sell that the charity has purchased. Full price and the definition of tat. They never sell.

Last winter we had doormats in and an elderly lady asked me the price I didn't know and checked.

They were £10! They were nothing special
either. Of course she went elsewhere, plenty of pound shops

I really don't know how they haven't gone under or how much actually gets to the cause

And no, I won't name the charity

DisgruntledGuineaPig Sun 08-Sep-19 19:05:19

I used to volunteer in a charity shop, the pricing structure was fixed, with a list of brands marked as basic, medium, high or designer. (Any brands not on the list would be handed over to manager to decide how to price them, designer items also were often looked at by the manager and for things like designer handbags, often just sold separately than in the store).

For the shop I worked in, only good quality items were sold, so more often than not, the basic brands that would be sold for £1/2, weren't in good enough condition, it was more the high end stuff that held shape/didn't look faded.

The pricing structure does vary by area, as some will support higher prices than others.

If you were being charged £8 for a mens shirt, then either that was a higher end brand and you didn't realise, or it was in an area where it's been proved the local customers are happy to pay a bit more.

WaterSheep Sun 08-Sep-19 19:07:14

And no, I won't name the charity

I'm guessing either Cancer research or British Heart, both of ours are half full of extortionately priced new goods.

PandaPantaloon Sun 08-Sep-19 19:09:05

I'm in Ireland and my local charity shop has all kids clothes for €1 and often have 3 for 2. Adult clothes are generally under €5. Recently I got 2 nice biker jackets for a grand total of €6.

OtraCosaMariposa Sun 08-Sep-19 19:10:29

I'm a charity shop volunteer. We get this "oh it's too expensive" thread at least four times a year!

Most of the charity shops which are part of a larger trend have endless management information provided by computerised tills. Our manager gets sales broken down by category and then can compare that against last month, last year, other shops of a similar size. He gets information about average selling price per item, how much we're turning over per square foot and goodness knows what else. If we weren't selling anything, he'd be out on his ear.

But on the other hand, we have to try to maximise income for our charity but that doesn't mean it's free to sell. Someone has to sort it, clean it, steam it if it's clothes, stick it on a hanger, process it through the till. And 75% of the donations never make it on the shop floor as they're only fit for the bin. So if we have a teapot which is worth a bit (and we check on the internet sold prices, we're not daft) and are debating whether to stick it out at £20 or £15, we'll try the higher price first. Because if it doesn't sell at £20, we can reduce it to £10. If a donor is generous enough to give us something which is worth £50, we would not be doing our job properly if we stuck it out at £2.

Mistakes do happen though and we have one very erratic volunteer who has a, shall we say, unique approach to pricing. We do try to steer her towards other jobs but she still does stuff like pricing a George at Asfda t-shirt for £10 and a silk blouse from Hobbs for a quid.

DownstairsMixUp Sun 08-Sep-19 19:11:36

I agree. I live in a seaside town (not a busy one like Brighton or Southend on sea) so the high st is full of charity shops. The stock stays the same forever as it's over priced! There's one that's had the same display since Xmas and I know this as the only difference now is the maniquins don't have the tinsel round them and the fairy lights are gone, other than that, same display! Primark clothes being sold for more than they would be brand new in the shop!

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Sun 08-Sep-19 19:13:22

and we check on the internet sold prices, we're not daft)

I hate this theory. By all means check it on sites like Ebay to see if it is worth more than a normal teapot. But for the love of god can charity shops please remember that Ebay has millions of buyers all over the world and your shop is limited to the footfall in your town.

Just because it sold on Ebay for £20 doesn't mean someone in a small town is willing to pay the same amount!

WaterSheep Sun 08-Sep-19 19:14:14

So if we have a teapot which is worth a bit (and we check on the internet sold prices, we're not daft) and are debating whether to stick it out at £20 or £15

If you work for a large chain they usually have an Ebay store. I understand wanting to make the most for an item, but if an item has value widen the target market and put it online. Very few people will be looking to pay £20 for a teapot in a charity shop.

funnyfeeling Sun 08-Sep-19 19:14:49

Most in our city centre are verging on too expensive but there are now 3 that sell all clothing items for £1. I was speaking to someone that works in one and she was saying that because of the price and the quick turnover of stock their profits are through the roof.

Blackcountrychik83 Sun 08-Sep-19 19:15:15

This year especially I'm finding charity shops are outpricing themselves. A lot of the time you see them on ebay pricing items then they will mark them up for a similar price. Normal high street folk are not gonna pay it. We have one on our high st doing 5 books for £1, 5 items of kids clothes for £1, it gets the custom is, whereas some now are getting ridiculous.

supersop60 Sun 08-Sep-19 19:15:36

Oxfam near me has started a books-only shop. Even the tatty paperbacks are £2.99. Ridiculous. They're cheaper on Amazon.

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