Yeah, I did wonder about charity shop - but I've never seen cookware in a charity shop before... doesn't seem odd to you? I'm not sure that I would pay for second hand pans, but then again there is the student market as you've mentioned.
An induction hob is electric (rather than gas) but works using magnetism rather than direct heat, and so the actual 'rings' on the hob don't get hot, only the pans themselves. It's supposed to be as controllable/instantaneous as gas. But much, much easier to clean than a gas hob as it's just one sheet of glass.