What's your fave charity shop?(24 Posts)
I'm dithering at the mo, because although I volunteer in two of the well-known ones, I still can't decide. Dilemma:
Sally Army for superb cheapness BUT the smell
Trinity Hospice for best stuff BUT it goes within moments
Barnardos for the lovely shop layout (all colour co-ordinated) and good quality items.
The local hospice shops for really cheap prices and great bargains if you are prepared to rummage.
Another vote for Barnardos. I find something I like in my local one almost every time. Plus the volunteers in there are niceness personified.
I don't have a fave as you can find fab bargains anywhere! To me they need to be in a good area with well off people who donate good quality clothes.
Well, I don't think you're allowed to buy from your own charity shop, so sally army! I live in a well off area where I've spotted brand new lk Bennett, vera Wang etc! Bought an armani top here last week for a fiver?!?!
My fave charity shop is Springhill Hospice Shop, 18-20 Wood Street, Middleton, Manchester. There is a great selection of ladies clothes, vintage, modern, designer wear at really good prices. There are also lots of clothes for bigger ladies 18+. There is also a selection of men's and children's clothes, bric-a-brac and shoes.
The manager and volunteers are really friendly and it has a really good feel about the place, best of all the money goes to a really good cause.
Ours are all awful. I used to be pretty much clothed in charity shop buys, but they are shocking now. £4 for a stretched and faded George T-shirt...no thanks. We do have a good local hospice furniture shop, I got my Ercol kitchen chairs from there.
I read somewhere that national charity shops allocate donated stock to the areas most likely to buy it - so, regardless of where it was donated, the nicest stuff ends up in the most affluent areas. Explains why the national ones near where I used to live were full of Primark, but the local hospice shop was much more varied.
Lol, I live in a very affluent area, but the shops don't have affluent stock. We only have Oxfam (pricey), Red Cross and a couple of local charities, which are really grim.
Callar oh really? That's good to know, I was a bit disappointed when I read it.
Our local Oxfams - dreadful for years - seem to have upped their game recently. I don't know whether they've just been getting better donations or whether they've changed their policy and have started to keep more of the good stuff.
The others are all still dire. I blame Ebay.
I agree about e-bay.
Barnardos, Sally Army and Age Concern are good. Local Hospice shops are usually good, too. BHF are overpriced.
I dislike shops that are organised by colour. I never go shopping to find a blue or a red. I go looking for a skirt or jumper so I want the shop organised that way. And they always have a sad little rump of oh-my-gosh-this-is-so-multicoloured-that-I don't-know-where-to-hang-it.
Yep, I buy all my 2nd hand clothes on Ebay. Also hate the organised by colour thing, size is the only sensible option!
I actually like organisation by colour as I've had my colours done so only look for specific colours in shops now!
Love cancer research, always good quality, great selection and well priced.
British Heart Foundation is always a sh1t show, so many things you can't push clothes apart on the rails, it's a nationwide thing. Every single one I walk in and soon leave empty handed
My local Claire House charity shop has nice stuff, all arranged in size order.
I've bought Laura Ashley, Karen Millen, Coast, Jacques Vert, L K Bennett things for just a few pounds each.
I always wash items before wearing, but the shop doesn't smell at all, so I think clothes must be clean already really.
My last buy, the other day, was a navy Zara blazer which is like new, for £4.99: I think it will go with lots of things.
I'm an Oxfam volunteer and we get some really good donations. Our wee shop is like an Aladdin's cave, especially when you get to go "through the back" and see the stuff that there's not room for on the shelves.
We do price slightly higher than other shops as it's all about maximising income for Oxfam. A top will be £3 - £8 depending on brand, coats £7 - £15, shoes and bags around £6 to £15. We are very fussy about condition though, we get so many donations that anything which is even a tiny bit bobbled goes in the rag bag. Lots of hte stuff we're given still has the tags on and if it's never been worn and has the original price we usually go for 50% of whatever that was.
We do get to buy stock as a volunteer but the general rule is that you don't price the stock you want to buy for yourself, and everything is written down in "the book".
British Heart Foubdation is crazy- I saw a bobbled old Atmosphere top in one last week for £12.99.
Hammersmith Oxfam is my new favourite, it's great, I got a brand new Hobbs dress for a fiver the other day, a Laura Ashley blazer for a tenner, a gorgeous silk kimono poolside thingy for £3. Shops closer to home in South West London are awful because they just tap everything into eBay to see what it could fetch there price up all the labels accordingly. Found a gorgeous French Connection jacket in my local Trinity Hospice last week, was about to pay the £12 asking price when the other lady working there whipped it off the cashier and said it ought to be sold at £25, so I left it behind.
We have a "pricing guide" which gives rough prices for items depending on the shop they're from. So a ladies top in very good condition would be £3.99 from a "budget" shop like Primark, Asda or Tesco, £4.99 from a mid-range place like M&S, Debenhams or Zara, or £6.99 if it were top-end high street like Boden, Hobbs or Phase Eight.
Which is fine, but it all depends on the volunteers recognising that "Atmosphere" is actually Primark and that "John Rocha" is a designer. Many of the volunteers I work with are lovely, but clueless about clothes and modern brands. Many are 65+ and their idea of a designer brand is Country Casuals. They don't know how to Google either. I have in the past whipped Julian McDonald evening gowns off the rails as they'd been priced at less than £7.
My local hospice one is my favourite. I agree about not knowing the brands. A under armour hoodie in my local was £1 and a atmosphere hoodie was £4.99. At that price they will just sit there and not sell. Also books that cost £1.99 in the charity shop that are all dog eared and used. In the other charity shop it's 3 for £1.
I recently went to Oxfam's online vintage hub. It was amazing.
Like PP have said, Oxfam is a bit pricier but there were some absolutely gorgeous things (most of which were too small for me )
The hub is not open to the public as such but you can book in as a group on an evening and have a good rummage.
They also get new items from M&SS, I got a lovely baby blue handbag (which was half the retail price).
If you search Oxstyle events and live near Batley in West Yorkshire it's definitely worth a look - I am planning a return visit in a few months
I think Batley's where Oxfam have their main recycling centre - that's where all the stuff which doesn't sell in the shops ends up. Oxfam also has several specialist shops around the country - there's a "boutique" shop in the south of Glasgow where most Scottish shops send their top end stuff and party gear. Lots of once worn mother of the bride outfits!
I also love the tie-in Oxfam has with M&S, I have had so many brand new bargains for the kids like school shirts and swimwear.
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