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  • FIRST POST
    • dandy-candy
    • By dandy-candy 15th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
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    dandy-candy
    Charity shops getting expensive!
    • #1
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
    Charity shops getting expensive! 15th Jul 17 at 9:04 PM
    I buy all my clothes (besides underwear and shoes) at charity shops and I've noticed the prices going up these last few weeks. Skirts are now priced around £6 when I used to pay £3-4. Even the Primark and George seem to be more secondhand than they were new!

    I've new started buying my clothes at car boot sales where it's usually £1-2 per item

    Has anyone else found the prices going up?
Page 1
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 15th Jul 17, 9:05 PM
    • 22,848 Posts
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    VfM4meplse
    • #2
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:05 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:05 PM
    I buy all my clothes (besides underwear and shoes) at charity shops and I've noticed the prices going up these last few weeks. Skirts are now priced around £6 when I used to pay £3-4. Even the Primark and George seem to be more secondhand than they were new!

    I've new started buying my clothes at car boot sales where it's usually £1-2 per item

    Has anyone else found the prices going up?
    Originally posted by dandy-candy
    Its something that is raised regularly on the chazzer thread. We take a pride in the bargain factor. Seek it and ye shall find, at the right price.
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • elf06
    • By elf06 15th Jul 17, 9:10 PM
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    elf06
    • #3
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:10 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:10 PM
    I've not been in any charity shops lately so as not to tempt myself but I know from walking past windows that they are getting a little dearer here too. I saw a dress (albeit a M0ns0n or similar) in the window for £25......£25!!!
    Emma

    Aug GC - £1/£130
    NSD - target 18 days, so far 0
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 16th Jul 17, 8:15 AM
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    JackieO
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 17, 8:15 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 17, 8:15 AM
    When I was up in Cheshire in April on holiday my friend and I went to Alderley Edge on the way back from a day out,just to see how the rich live There was a CS in the main street that had dresses priced at £45 + didn't look that great to me and I have never understood the draw of designer labels anyway a dress is just a dress, you either like it or not
    Quot Libra,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
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    Pollycat
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
    I agree, prices do seem to be going up in charity shops and some major charities seem to have lost the plot in pricing stuff.

    I find hospice shops price more attractively.

    Our local Air Ambulance seems to be a clearing centre for other AA shops 'can't sell' items and sells clothes, shoes & bags for £1.
    I've picked up some bargains there.

    My wardrobes are full to bursting (99% charity shop) and it's a case of 'one in, one out' so I only buy when I see something I really want.

    Price of books is my biggest gripe.
    Our local Barnados sells used paperbacks for £1.99. These are the run-of-the-mill Harlen Coben, Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Lee Child, Sophie Kinsella etc that you can pick up anywhere for less than that.
    The Hospice shop - less than 50 yards up the road price them at 50p or 75p.
    Madness.

    I posted on the 'charity shop bargain' thread about our local Barnados refusing to take books as 'they get about 250 a week but only sell about 20'.
    Well, when paperbacks are priced at £1.99 each & the hospice shops 50 yards away sell similar books for 50p to 75p it's hardly surprising, is it?

    They would have room to put a table out with books for 25p and I'm sure they'd turn stock round pretty quickly.
    I sometimes question the business acumen of some charity shop managers/area managers (shakes head in disbelief).

    ETA:
    Follow the link in VFM's post to see my latest bargains.
    Last edited by Pollycat; 16-07-2017 at 8:34 AM.
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 16th Jul 17, 8:50 AM
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    thriftwizard
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 17, 8:50 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 17, 8:50 AM
    The trouble is, most of the big "chain" charity shops are bound by national pricing policies which can't be varied by local managers. The prices are set at national level and that's that - for example, a top has to be £3.99 or it doesn't go out onto the floor at all, even if it only cost £2 to start with! Some of them have "outlet" shops where everything is £1, £2 or £3, which is much more reasonable, but there aren't any anywhere near us.

    One misconception I've come across is that they don't pay any rent. They may get a rebate on the business rate - it looks better for a town to have an open charity shop than a boarded-up shopfront, and better to have some money coming in than none - but they pay full rent, and in an area like ours where business rents are sky-high, they have to cover that rent, and the salaries of any paid staff (usually the manager) or close their doors. Hence even the little local charities charge high prices for stuff, but that's usually where you'll find the best bargains, as they're not suffering from policy-makers who are used to paying London prices.
    Angie

    GC 06/17: £250/£500
    BulkBuy Purse 2017:£328.40/£420


    Money's just a substitute for time & talent...
    • Floss
    • By Floss 16th Jul 17, 9:45 AM
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    Floss
    • #7
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:45 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:45 AM
    I think part of the increase in prices is down to rising overheads for the shops, but also because demand for the charities' services is sadly increasing too along with rising costs, therefore the previous £3-4 for a skirt won't buy quite so much now, and those £3-4 must spread further.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th Jul 17, 9:46 AM
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    Pollycat
    • #8
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:46 AM
    • #8
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:46 AM
    The trouble is, most of the big "chain" charity shops are bound by national pricing policies which can't be varied by local managers. The prices are set at national level and that's that - for example, a top has to be £3.99 or it doesn't go out onto the floor at all, even if it only cost £2 to start with! Some of them have "outlet" shops where everything is £1, £2 or £3, which is much more reasonable, but there aren't any anywhere near us.

    One misconception I've come across is that they don't pay any rent. They may get a rebate on the business rate - it looks better for a town to have an open charity shop than a boarded-up shopfront, and better to have some money coming in than none - but they pay full rent, and in an area like ours where business rents are sky-high, they have to cover that rent, and the salaries of any paid staff (usually the manager) or close their doors. Hence even the little local charities charge high prices for stuff, but that's usually where you'll find the best bargains, as they're not suffering from policy-makers who are used to paying London prices.
    Originally posted by thriftwizard
    If I were a manager of a charity shop, I'd be talking to the other managers in my area and be lobbying the head office about silly pricing.

    It might not work but it's better than shrugging your shoulders and saying 'it's not down to me to set the prices'.

    Prices that an affluent area might bear, a small pit village won't.
    It's really not rocket science.

    Better a donated item be sold for £1 or £2 than sit on the rack priced at £3.99 for 4 weeks then go for rags.

    I buy virtually all my clothes from charity shops and have regular clear-outs.
    All my stuff goes to our local hospice shop because I want to support them.
    But if I saw a George or F&F dress that I'd donated on the rack for £7.50 when it probably only cost double that new, I'd say something to the manager.
    • firebubble
    • By firebubble 16th Jul 17, 9:55 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 159 Thanks
    firebubble
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:55 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:55 AM
    Interesting about the pricing policies. I think prices are definitely going up - at the same time as 'quality' is going down. The stuff is in good repair, but I've noticed over the years, that charity shops are getting better and better about sifting through what they receive, with the good stuff being sold elsewhere where they can get more cash.

    On the one hand, it's totally reasonable that they want to maximise the value of what they get, but this policy seems to have trickled down from designer/true vintage/wedding dresses to through high end High Street down to mid-range High Street such as M&S level stuff, with the result that there never seem to be any real bargains anymore in the shops themselves, just rails of George at Asda for twice the price it sold for new!
    • caffinated_geek
    • By caffinated_geek 16th Jul 17, 10:19 AM
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    caffinated_geek
    The prices at my local charity shops are mixed but they have been going up for years. I work on a high street with 5 second hand shops and when they get something new in it's often priced at £5 or more even if it's primark. Because they don't sell much at these prices all of them have a pound rail or 50p rail which is where I end up getting all my clothes. One of them has 1.99 per item or 10 items for £10 on all clothes in store. I still get some really good bargins, my favourite book is Good Omens and I got a first edition hardback for £10 in one of the charity shops.
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 16th Jul 17, 10:27 AM
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    McKneff
    Too many of the fat cats getting massive Salaries.

    Car boot sales are the best value.
    When i dont want them anymore or they dont fit, they go to the Charity shop where they charge 4 times what i paid for them
    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
    • Grumpelstiltskin
    • By Grumpelstiltskin 16th Jul 17, 10:30 AM
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    Grumpelstiltskin
    I went in one national charity shop which had a rail marked 'Designer' Items included M & S. BHS etc. and expensive.

    I heard 2 workers talking saying they were following Head Office instructions, they had been given a full list of what was considered 'Designer' but were not happy with the policy.

    I notice now the 'Designer' rail has gone.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th Jul 17, 10:43 AM
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    Pollycat
    The prices at my local charity shops are mixed but they have been going up for years. I work on a high street with 5 second hand shops and when they get something new in it's often priced at £5 or more even if it's primark. Because they don't sell much at these prices all of them have a pound rail or 50p rail which is where I end up getting all my clothes. One of them has 1.99 per item or 10 items for £10 on all clothes in store. I still get some really good bargins, my favourite book is Good Omens and I got a first edition hardback for £10 in one of the charity shops.
    Originally posted by caffinated_geek
    That's a really short-sighted policy.

    I doubt that anybody is going to buy a Primark item for £5 - fooled by the 'Atmosphere' or 'CedarWood State' label - when it probably only cost £10 to start with.

    They'd be better putting it straight on the £1 rail.
    I think these £1 rails bring people into the shop and they may just find something a bit more expensive that they want to buy - which is a bonus for the charity.
    • caffinated_geek
    • By caffinated_geek 16th Jul 17, 12:09 PM
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    caffinated_geek
    Only 3 out of the 5 second hand shops on the high street near me are charity shops the other 2 are second hand shops, they look identical, get all the stock from donations and are staffed by volunteers but the money goes to the owners.
    • avogadro
    • By avogadro 16th Jul 17, 12:11 PM
    • 2,948 Posts
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    avogadro
    The trouble is, most of the big "chain" charity shops are bound by national pricing policies which can't be varied by local managers. The prices are set at national level and that's that - for example, a top has to be £3.99 or it doesn't go out onto the floor at all, even if it only cost £2 to start with! Some of them have "outlet" shops where everything is £1, £2 or £3, which is much more reasonable, but there aren't any anywhere near us.
    Originally posted by thriftwizard
    That is interesting to know.

    I no longer shop in charity shops, but prefer to shop in the sales. For example, you can get nice t-shirts in Milletts at the moment for just £5

    https://www.millets.co.uk/womens/womens-clothing/shirts-t-shirts/osa:view-sale-items/

    It makes no sense to pay £3.99 for a used top when you can get a quality brand new one for not much more.
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 16th Jul 17, 1:46 PM
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    Prinzessilein
    Having lost a fair bit of weight, I have had a few items of clothing to dispose of...I chose to donate many of them to a local charity shop.

    We have a fair number of charity shops in this area. One of them has recently been taken under new management - many of the volunteer staff have been told their services are no longer needed, a dynamic new manageress (on a full salary) has been drafted in, the place will now be staffed by unemployed people on 'placement' (and some of them are downright grumpy about it!), the place has been 'refurbished' and prices are going up.

    The place I choose to donate to is different....lovely friendly staff who actually chat to the customers. Prices are set at a reasonable level - just low enough so that you still feel you are getting a bargain!...the manageress even arranged free home delivery to an older woman who bought a dining table....The stuff I donate never seems to stay on the racks for very long...in fact my old fleecy dressing gown never made it that far! (The staff knew someone was looking for an extra large gown for winter nights and let her know when one came in)....This shop is visited by quite a few people on reduced incomes (we are most assuredly not an 'upmarket' town - no designer labels here!) and some of them are definitely feeling priced-out of other charity shops. (Another reason I donate here...I like to know that my old clothing is going to someone who will appreciate them!)

    My main gripe price-wise is with books. I collect books, and used to trawl the charity shops , and picked up some absolute 'steals' for my shelf. (I collect School Stories, Guide Stories and Evangelical fiction for Children - Sunday School Reward type of thing)....Some years ago I could almost guarantee I would not leave empty handed...these days I am lucky if I find a tatty paperback reprint. Someone who worked for a major charity shop told me that they were told to put all 'likely' books to one side, not on the shelf....and an expert would come and cream of the books worth more than a few pennies and they would be sold on to specialist shops. ...I accept that this means the charity gets a higher profit, but it makes collecting for an impoverished amateur much more difficult - and MUCH less fun! (It was a real thrill to go in and rifle through the book box in the hope of finding something good!)
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th Jul 17, 2:08 PM
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    Pollycat
    Having lost a fair bit of weight, I have had a few items of clothing to dispose of...I chose to donate many of them to a local charity shop.

    We have a fair number of charity shops in this area. One of them has recently been taken under new management - many of the volunteer staff have been told their services are no longer needed, a dynamic new manageress (on a full salary) has been drafted in, the place will now be staffed by unemployed people on 'placement' (and some of them are downright grumpy about it!), the place has been 'refurbished' and prices are going up.

    The place I choose to donate to is different....lovely friendly staff who actually chat to the customers. Prices are set at a reasonable level - just low enough so that you still feel you are getting a bargain!...the manageress even arranged free home delivery to an older woman who bought a dining table....The stuff I donate never seems to stay on the racks for very long...in fact my old fleecy dressing gown never made it that far! (The staff knew someone was looking for an extra large gown for winter nights and let her know when one came in)....This shop is visited by quite a few people on reduced incomes (we are most assuredly not an 'upmarket' town - no designer labels here!) and some of them are definitely feeling priced-out of other charity shops. (Another reason I donate here...I like to know that my old clothing is going to someone who will appreciate them!)

    My main gripe price-wise is with books. I collect books, and used to trawl the charity shops , and picked up some absolute 'steals' for my shelf. (I collect School Stories, Guide Stories and Evangelical fiction for Children - Sunday School Reward type of thing)....Some years ago I could almost guarantee I would not leave empty handed...these days I am lucky if I find a tatty paperback reprint. Someone who worked for a major charity shop told me that they were told to put all 'likely' books to one side, not on the shelf....and an expert would come and cream of the books worth more than a few pennies and they would be sold on to specialist shops. ...I accept that this means the charity gets a higher profit, but it makes collecting for an impoverished amateur much more difficult - and MUCH less fun! (It was a real thrill to go in and rifle through the book box in the hope of finding something good!)
    Originally posted by Prinzessilein
    The bit in bold is common in our area.
    2 charity shops that underwent refurbishment have now closed.

    Now, why would that be, one might wonder?
    Because you put the soddin' prices up, of course!
    Not a good use of charity funds.

    OK, stepping down from my soapbox - anyone reading this thread who doesn't already post on the 'charity shop bargains' thread, come on over & join us.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Jul 17, 2:14 PM
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    lessonlearned
    I used to volunteer for a charity shop which was part of a chain.

    The charging policy set by head office. The shop was in an area which simply could not stand London prices.

    The manager used to have several run ins with head office over the pricing policy but her hands were tied. They had an area manager who used to do random spot checks......

    Oddly enough when we had half price sales the rails were cleared within days.....

    As for books....why turn them away. Just slash the prices and get rid.

    Better to sell 4 For £1 than have them marked at 1.50 or even higher and have them sit there indefinitely.

    The other thing that really used to get me is that only "perfect" stuff could be sold.

    Why not have a 50p rail for items that need a minor repair. Yes they get rag money but the charity would make more from the 50p rail than the rag man.

    The other thing that people might not be aware of is that the council charge commercial waste rates for rubbish collection, no discounts for chazzers.

    Every time the chazza chucks stuff away they pay for waste disposal. So why not display slightly damaged bric a brac etc at bargain basement prices and get something.

    A few years ago I picked up a beautiful Denby vase at a school fete for 10p. It had a small chip out Of the lip. It still held water ok, I just turned the damaged side to the wall so no one ever saw it was not perfect. . It looked lovely. Surely it's Better to get 10p or 20p for a slightly damaged item than the shop have to pay for its disposal.

    Some of them seem to have no business acumen whatsoever.....

    Ps books.....the chazzers do get "pulp" money for the books that are too damaged to sell but it's not much. One local independent charity shop I know had a load of quite tatty books. They decided to sell the big fat paperbacks for 5p and the big hardbacks for 10p.

    They were snaffled up by people who had wood burning stoves.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 16-07-2017 at 2:32 PM.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th Jul 17, 2:23 PM
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    Pollycat
    Sadly (for the recipients of the charity funds), I fear we're preaching to the converted, LL.

    But if we can see it, why can't the charities themselves?

    On the subject of slightly damaged items, I tried a maxi dress on but noticed it had frayed at the side hem almost at the bottom.
    I pointed it out to the staff who immediately said they couldn't sell it.

    As I would have needed to take it up (I'm small) & that bit would have been cut off, I was prepared to buy it.
    I asked what they would do with it & they said it would go for rags.
    I suggested they threw it on the floor & I'd pick it up and donate £1.
    It took the assistant a while to catch on but in the end, we were both happy.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Jul 17, 2:35 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Great story Polly. Well done on your quick thinking.

    Yeah the items I'm talking about are say a button missing....(there is often a spare one anyway) or a broken zip or a hem that's come down. Silly little repairs that take no time to fix.

    One day we took in a stunning pale pink silk dress - turned out to be a famous designer one, whose name escapes me. It had a tiny mark. We couldn't sell it so I gave them a donation. I gave it to my niece who wore it to her school prom. She was ecstatic. No one spotted the little mark.

    Similarly a pretty little Laura Ashley sun dress, perfect except for one shoulder strap had come unstictched. It took me a couple of minutes to sew it up. She loved that dress.

    Another time a pair of riding jodhpurs......again just a few stitches on a seam. Jodhpurs don't come cheap, again my niece was thrilled.

    These were all destined for the rag bag had I not rescued them. Such a waste. I'm sure plenty of people would have been happy to pay £1 for them.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 16-07-2017 at 2:45 PM.
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