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to think that charity shop workers should not take all the best stuff for themselves?

(305 Posts)
gramercy Fri 15-Jan-10 12:18:48

I admired dd's friend's coat. Her mother duly informed me it was a Boden coat which her mother had got from the charity shop in which she volunteers. "I gave mum a list of the brands to look out for - so she can pick them out when stuff comes in. I've got loads of good things."

I know this goes on, but I really don't think it's on. Even if the volunteer pays a nominal price, it means the shop is deprived of stock, and if the shop only stocks horrible old tat then people won't bother to go in. You can't imagine a boutique, say, allowing its staff to buy all the prime stuff first so there's nothing left to attract customers.

Chandon Fri 15-Jan-10 12:56:59

I agree.

but you can´t do anything about it...

people are like that!

TheDevilWearsPrimark Fri 15-Jan-10 13:02:49

Well I don't begrudge them that perk, so long as they pay the same price another customer would. they work there unpaid after all.

I used to work in a restaurant, my perk was I could go in with friends and order any starter and main course (for up to 4 people) for free, we just had to pay for drinks. I never took the piss with this perk, and don't see why 'normal' customers would have begrudged us it.

CrosswordGeek Fri 15-Jan-10 13:04:54

My Nan is one of those people blush

I think YABU, all jobs have their perks and volunteering should too. They still pay for things, although I think my Nan gets a discount because of 20 years of service!

lockets Fri 15-Jan-10 13:05:28

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gramercy Fri 15-Jan-10 13:07:19

I just don't think it's on when the shop has lots of manky old stuff for sale and you know that anything decent is being syphoned off behind the scenes.

And I hope the volunteers are paying properly for items they take.

famishedass Fri 15-Jan-10 13:10:27

I agree with you completely. No one would object if the volunteers took a few nice things now and again.

What is mean though, is that fact that they take ALL the nice stuff for themselves and yes, they'll make a rod for their own backs because all the charity shops round here have nothing but shite in them and no-one bothers going in.

And they do take stuff they don't want as well as stuff they do want. Then they sell it on ebay


TheDevilWearsPrimark Fri 15-Jan-10 13:11:35

gramercy maybe you go to the wrong shops if everything is manky.

I very much doubt the staff take everything they can, or if the managers would allow it, they do actually run these shops with hope of making a profit you know.

gramercy Fri 15-Jan-10 13:18:41

I've always been a keen patron of charity shops. But I really think they've gone downhill lately. I read that people donate much less (e-bay/car boot sales) and I think that the professional pricers system is ludicrous. They look on e-bay and see, for example, that a certain book fetches £20, so they'll price it up as £20. They can't seem to understand that e-bay's customer base is, well, worldwide, and in a charity shop your customer base is only who is browsing in that small area.

So when my suspicions are confirmed that if anything decent does turn up, the volunteers are nabbing it (and using a wish list as per the woman at school, no less!) I think charity shops really are shooting themselves in the foot.

Sassybeast Fri 15-Jan-10 13:19:13

Gramercy - charity shops are run as a profit making business but rely heavily on the goodwill of volunteers to give up their time to help. The managers of charity shops are however paid. If volunteers have the perk of getting some decent stuff do you really begrudge them that ? I've yet to see a charity shop filled with 'manky' stuff - perhaps if you feel so passionately about the way the shop you speak of is being run, you could volunteer to help sort it all out ?

gramercy Fri 15-Jan-10 13:22:59

Goodwill of volunteers? Grabbing grannies, more like.

I know not all charity shop volunteers are like that - the people who work in the local Oxfam bookshop are great; they really know their subject (almost every subject in fact!) and about the charity.

AngryFromManchester Fri 15-Jan-10 13:24:37

yabu, her mother volounteers. If you are that jealous then volounteer yourself

famishedass Fri 15-Jan-10 13:24:45

The managers know their staff buy items. They see them leave with said items at the end of the day.

In fact, the managers buy up all the good stuff too. That's if it hasn't already been got at by the people who come to collect the charity bags from outside your house. Now they definately look dodgy!!!!!!

AngryFromManchester Fri 15-Jan-10 13:26:58

I can't spell volunteerblush

gramercy Fri 15-Jan-10 13:31:55

I'm not jealous. But if I donate things to a shop, I'd like to think that they were being put up for sale, not leaving through the back door in Edna's shopping bag.

A while ago I gave a load of dh's TM Lewin shirts to a certain charity shop. Then the next day I had some more things and dropped them off. Not spotting dh's shirts, I asked if they had any men's shirts (and they couldn't have missed them because they were all on hangers from the cleaners) and the woman said they didn't have any. I casually asked if any had come in that week, and she repeated that they hadn't got any. Well, I never gave anything to that shop again. I wish I'd complained, but it was a small independent shop and probably the manager nicked the shirts.

AngryFromManchester Fri 15-Jan-10 13:48:43

They are being put up for sale and someone is still buying them. The end goal is still the same.

AllFallDown Fri 15-Jan-10 13:50:05

Or maybe, gramercy, your DH's shirts were sent off for cleaning and sorting, as usually happens in charity shops, and so the next day they were indeed nowhere to be found in the shop. I take tons of stuff to our local charity shops, and it usually takes at least a week to make its way to the shelves.

More to the point, as long as the stuff is paid for, who cares? The purpose is to benefit the charity, after all.

cat64 Fri 15-Jan-10 13:54:14

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SkipToMyLou Fri 15-Jan-10 13:56:39

Well I got a gorgeous Jaeger coat from a charity shop recently, so to be fair not ALL charity shops can be like this!

TootaLaFruit Fri 15-Jan-10 13:58:03

As someone who used to get massive perks in her old job (in magazine health and beauty department where we would be send hundreds of product samples a week) I can tell you that you actually do get bored with taking stuff home all the time. Colleagues and friends would be amazed at the stuff that we left in the office cupboards rather than take home, but believe me the 'buzz' of getting perks that others would die for wears off pretty quickly.

So what if the volunteers have first dibs on items, provided they pay the usual customer price? I can guarantee it doesn't mean they will take home every nice thing that comes into the shop. I have found some truly fabulous babywear in charity shops, the kind of stuff that if I volunteered in that shop, would have come straight home with me. But the workers have obviously seen it all before. There are bigger things to get worked up about than others' perks.

cat64 Fri 15-Jan-10 14:10:18

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gramercy Fri 15-Jan-10 14:15:40

Some people evidently don't get bored with the 'perks'. It was reported in the local paper that a lady who worked in one local charity shop failed to turn up for work for three weeks. The police went round but since she wasn't there, they went away and everyone assumed that she had gone to stay with someone and hadn't said anything.

A further search literally uncovered her whereabouts. She was buried under the mountains of clothes she'd brought home from her shop. So huge was the pile of stuff that the police hadn't found the poor woman the first time.

LouIsOnAHighwayToHell Fri 15-Jan-10 14:31:18

Well in the area I live in there are a lot of well off people who donate their designer labels to the charity shops in the area. I have taken some of my bosses clothes in (YSL, Dior etc) and never have they been on the racks. I did ask once and apparantly the 'nice' clothes get sent to the more funky shops in London and we get left with the manky stuff as we are near to a lower socio-economic area.

AllFallDown Fri 15-Jan-10 14:37:52

Well, Lou … they get sent where people will pay more for them. Again, that's surely appropriate isn't it, since the first duty is to raise money for charity?

dittany Fri 15-Jan-10 14:38:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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