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    • 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 2
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 16th Jul 17, 2:40 PM
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    MrsLurcherwalker
    I usually pop into the charity shops when I go in to town and last week the BHF shop which is usually very expensive had lots of items in a 'sale' at half price, the original price being crossed out with a very large cross on the label. If they'd started at that price I feel there would have been no need for the sale!!!
    Go forward with the vision even if no one else can see it!

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    • MoaningMyrtle
    • By MoaningMyrtle 16th Jul 17, 3:18 PM
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    MoaningMyrtle
    Whenever certain charity shops have 'sales' they are packed, the staff will cram anything and everything onto the rails eg creased, dirty, shabby. it will sell for £1.00 (every item will be £1.00) this is twice a year in Cancer Research, it lasts a few days. I would take a risk for a £1 item but not a £6-7 one. They also have 1/2 price sales in one of our village charity shops, again it proves to be very popular.
    A minute at the till, a lifetime on the bill.

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    • avogadro
    • By avogadro 16th Jul 17, 3:44 PM
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    avogadro
    the place will now be staffed by unemployed people on 'placement' (and some of them are downright grumpy about it!)
    Originally posted by Prinzessilein
    I thought Workfare (or whatever it was called) had been done away with? Is it possible to find out which companies/charities are using welfare claimants for free labour?
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th Jul 17, 5:36 PM
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    Pollycat
    I usually pop into the charity shops when I go in to town and last week the BHF shop which is usually very expensive had lots of items in a 'sale' at half price, the original price being crossed out with a very large cross on the label. If they'd started at that price I feel there would have been no need for the sale!!!
    Originally posted by MrsLurcherwalker
    Our BHF is expensive.
    I usually look at their sale (half price) items and think 'yeah, knock another 50% off and we might be talking.'
    • MMF007
    • By MMF007 16th Jul 17, 6:02 PM
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    MMF007
    I thought Workfare (or whatever it was called) had been done away with? Is it possible to find out which companies/charities are using welfare claimants for free labour?
    Originally posted by avogadro
    Apologies for butting in to thread but I can tell you that my SIL had to work 3 weeks at a branch of a well known Italian style restaurant for no pay. She had been made redundant 2 months earlier and was getting unemployment benefit. Was clearly NOT at risk of becoming long term unemployed, but still had to provide free labour. Thankfully, due to previous work and her determination she found work herself, which she loves!

    back to topic - yes, I cannot believe CS are charging £4.99 for a cheap, nothing like new t-shirt. I have stopped even looking in Sue Ryder near me. I know the point is to make funds for the charity but over pricing is not the way. I wonder if CS are now more about getting the taxpayer subsidy, gift aid? Everytime I donate it is the first thing the staff say to me, before any thank you. I feel they need a better approach because many of us do not earn enough to be able to gift aid, and have to say this to justify why we are not gift aiding!
    I have changed my work-life balance to a life-work balance.
    • Jane2112
    • By Jane2112 16th Jul 17, 6:38 PM
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    Jane2112
    Just jumping in with my thoughts and I agree with you that CS are getting more expensive - well the 'main' one are. Some of the more local e.g. hospice, local animal ones etc are more reasonable priced.
    Many years ago I worked at a 'price point' oxfam branch, where everything was one price e.g. ladies top 99p - didn't matter if it was M&S or George. It was the most successful CS in town.
    Once in Oxfam Kendal I overheard a customer complaining about the price of vinyl records to which he was told "We have an expert come in to price them"!! Well their expert is way off.
    I am much more careful with my money these days. Often think - I could make it for that price.
    Jane 2112
    • Islandmaid
    • By Islandmaid 16th Jul 17, 6:46 PM
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    Islandmaid
    Our local Hospice has several shops around the Island, they are now like boutiques after a refurb a couple of years ago - the prices went up to match, so I don't bother anymore - I send all my decent old clothes to the local church as they still have 'proper' jumble sales at least twice a year with any profits going to community projects etc
    Last edited by Islandmaid; 16-07-2017 at 6:55 PM.
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    • TravellingAbuela
    • By TravellingAbuela 16th Jul 17, 7:08 PM
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    TravellingAbuela
    If they don't watch it the main stream charity shops will outprice themselves. They are already much quieter, with far less customers in our part of the world. The hospice and local charity shops, with more sensible prices, are taking their custom away from them.

    There was a Greyhound Rescue shop nearby which attracted lots of customers with its realistic prices and sale rails. The council, in their wisdom, increased their rent. It was impossible for them to pay the increase and leave any profit for the charity. So they had to close. The shop re-opened as an E-cig place. It closed again after a few weeks and is now boarded up. So now the council have lost the rent altogether and the charity lost some much needed income. Wise move eh council?
    "If you dream alone it will remain just a dream. But if we all dream together it will become reality"
    • Mr_Singleton
    • By Mr_Singleton 16th Jul 17, 8:54 PM
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    Mr_Singleton
    I buy all my clothes at charity shops and I've noticed the prices going up these last few weeks.
    Originally posted by dandy-candy
    Just a quick reality check here.... maybe said through gritted teeth.

    The purpose of charity shops is to help those less fortunate than ourselves...people with cancer or maybe people starving or at risk of starving to death in a foreign country maybe child refugees fleeing war zones.

    So,

    The purpose of a charity shop is not to provide people living in a first world country with dirt cheap clothing thus enabling them to avoid the £1.99 Primark t-shirt made in a far eastern sweat shop by people working 15 hours a day in horrendous conditions because thats such an obvious example of retailers profiteering.

    So deep breaths everyone remember Kama and there but for the grace of God.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Jul 17, 10:15 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Totally agree Mr S with most of your comments, especially about sweatshop conditions. .

    .However, ....... their new business models don't appear to be working. By insisting on a national pricing structure and not taking into account local circumstances the more expensive ones are pricing themselves out of business.
    • sulphate
    • By sulphate 16th Jul 17, 10:34 PM
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    sulphate
    I noticed this when I was pregnant with my son, baby vests etc £1 each in charity shops, not exactly good value when you can get brand new multipacks (5 per pack etc) for a fiver in supermarkets.

    I donated a bag of clothes to a charity shop about a year ago and the girl at the till couldn't have been less grateful, acted like it was an inconvenience to take the stuff (all good quality clothes) and didn't even say thank you. I don't go in there anymore.
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 17th Jul 17, 7:46 AM
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    VfM4meplse
    I think Pollycat is spot on about hospice shops being the best value for money. They have books out at the front for 30p each / 4 for £1, and I never leave without a good thick bundle. They also have their other stock at reasonable prices, and what I would describe as mad prices when on sale.

    The worst shops for prices: BHF, Barnardos and CRUK although the latter vary; I think local staff have more discretion over pricing.
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

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    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 17th Jul 17, 8:01 AM
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    Pollycat
    Just a quick reality check here.... maybe said through gritted teeth.

    The purpose of charity shops is to help those less fortunate than ourselves...people with cancer or maybe people starving or at risk of starving to death in a foreign country maybe child refugees fleeing war zones.

    So,

    The purpose of a charity shop is not to provide people living in a first world country with dirt cheap clothing thus enabling them to avoid the £1.99 Primark t-shirt made in a far eastern sweat shop by people working 15 hours a day in horrendous conditions because thats such an obvious example of retailers profiteering.

    So deep breaths everyone remember Kama and there but for the grace of God.
    Originally posted by Mr_Singleton
    Do we need a reality check?
    I think we're all aware of the purpose of charity shops.

    A number of us have pointed out flaws in the marketing policy of some charity shops.

    And I've already mentioned that several local charity shops that have spent what must have been not inconsiderable sums of money on refurbishment have since closed.
    That would be money that could have been spent on 'less fortunate than ourselves...people with cancer or maybe people starving or at risk of starving to death in a foreign country maybe child refugees fleeing war zones' instead of trying to make their shops more like GAP or Monsoon when a lot of us have been buying from disorganised, fusty-smelling charity shops for years.

    Maybe you should be taking those who manage charities to task instead of people who actually contribute to those 'less fortunate than ourselves...people with cancer or maybe people starving or at risk of starving to death in a foreign country maybe child refugees fleeing war zones' by buying items from charity shops.

    I think charity shop managers are doing a disservice to those generous people who donate items - include me in that number as I have regular clear-outs - by over-pricing items.
    It is they who are not doing the best for the charity they serve, not the people posting on here.

    It's not about getting something dirt-cheap, it's about business reality.
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 17th Jul 17, 8:24 AM
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    JackieO
    My DGS Jack volunteers at the local Marie Curie CS bless him during the school holidays, he actually sorts out the stuff that goes on the rails.
    The ladies there adore him and will put aside anything they think Jack may like

    He is a pretty broke 17 year old and yet he still pays to going rate for his jumpers from them he doesn't mind as he says its far cheaper than trying to buy clothes on his weekend part-time job.His next brother up Ben is at Uni, and Jack and Ben are almost the same size and similar tastes in clothes ,so what Jack doesn't have, Ben will snap up. He says their shop is the nicest one out of the 6 that are local to us ,and its true .Its reasonably priced,spotlessly clean and doesn't have that musty old clothes smell that a lot have, and the clothes are all in good condition.
    The stuff that is not at its best is bagged up and goes for rags.They sell few books and as there is a second-hand book shop locally they seem to get few donations

    We also have a church charity bookshop locally which raises funds for the church and their books are not too badly priced.There are two Sense shops almost opposite each other which seem to price stuff at really silly prices, and the stuff seems to sit there for months .most folk pop in,look around and then leave again I agree the Hospice shops are pretty good at pricing stuff,perhaps sadly its because they need the money so desperately.

    Islandmaid the CS in Cowes High Street the Earl Mountbatten one is pretty good for records/LPs etc, and two of my DGS like to browse around when we are on the island.

    DGS Ben's ex-g/f bought a terrific weatherproof jacket in there a couple of years ago ,barely used (no doubt donated after Cowes Week ) for a couple of pounds, and when she got back to the holiday house she found a two pound coin in one of the pockets as she too was a penniless student she got a real bargain that day .

    I am in favour of CS and have over the years bought a good few things in there,but it does seem a bit short-sighted to have stock just sitting there doing nothing and earning no cash. Sue Ryder's shops I have found have been usually crammed full and not a lot of stuff seems to sell because its over-priced. Shame there seems to be so very few Jumble sales any more though as they were great places to get odds and ends and quirky things
    Last edited by JackieO; 17-07-2017 at 8:27 AM.
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 17th Jul 17, 8:44 AM
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    Pollycat
    I believe I've mentioned before that our Air Ambulance sells clothes, shoes & bags for £1.
    It's absolutely rammed every time I go in there - unlike a lot of the other charity shops.

    So maybe BHF, Age UK, Oxfam etc should take a look round at their rails that have stuff that's been there for weeks and have a rethink about pricing policy.

    It's not about getting a cheap bargain, they should be maximising their income to use it for the benefit of the people they are supposed to be supporting - and having clothes that have been donated at no cost to them hanging around isn't the best way to support people with needs.

    On a slightly different subject, has anyone noticed that some of the national chains now sell new goods?
    A lot of it seems to be tat (imho).
    • Bigjenny
    • By Bigjenny 17th Jul 17, 8:58 AM
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    Bigjenny
    Our AgeUK shop sells everything for £1 we also have a Sue Ryder shop where everything is £1, local Hospice shop is not too bad on prices. Oxfam has shut but plenty of other CS shops.
    "When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us" Alexander Graham Bell
    • elona
    • By elona 17th Jul 17, 10:39 AM
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    elona
    avogadro

    I am so glad you posted as I have just ordered four tee shirts in the sale. Instead of fifteen pounds each they are now £4 each

    As the weather is getting much warmer having several tee shirts in a cool material that will wash nicely will be a boon especially at those prices.
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    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 17th Jul 17, 11:42 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Do we need a reality check?
    I think we're all aware of the purpose of charity shops?


    It's not about getting something dirt-cheap, it's about business reality.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    Well said Polly. Hope you don't mind me chopping your reply down but I think you have hit the nail on the head there.

    As someone who has volunteered in one of the chains I was appalled at the waste and lack of business acumen shown by those in Head Office.

    I always felt that the local branch manager should have been given far more autonomy. They know the area, the prices that it can stand, what sells well, what languishes on the racks, how to drum up business with local initiatives and seasonal marketing.

    Most of the chains have a dating system at work, roughly a month on the rails. (You can tell the dates, its shown on the tickets)

    If it doesn't sell then it gets bagged up and sent to another branch. I really can't see the point. It's a lot of work for no financial gain. Yes the volunteers aren't charging for their time so they are not spending money on staff wages for that task but It is still an inefficient way of going about things. It would be more fruitful to just price it according to local market conditions and get the sales.

    A quick turnover, with new stock being displayed more regularly would also maintain customer interest and increase footfall which of course would lead to more sales.

    When I worked on site selling new build houses I had to look good but my clothes got wrecked very easily. I used to buy all my posh suits from a nearly new shop which specialised in high end labels. I used to buy suits which would normally cost £200 to £300 for around £30 to £50.

    There is a huge difference between a nearly new shop and a chazzer but It seems that some of the national chazzer chains are trying to aim for the the same market, hence the store refits and higher prices.

    They should stop trying to compete on that basis and go back to their original model, i.e. Pile it high and sell it cheap. It's hardly rocket science......and let's face it most charity shop customers couldn't give a fig if the shop itself looks a bit "tired". So refitting the shops to make then look like high street stores is a complete waste of money. As long as they are clean and hygienic that's all matters.

    Re the fusty smell. It's usually worse when the shop has old carpets.
    Replacing with vinyl or laminate reduces it but laminate in particular can be slippery when wet, unless you can have an area by the door for proper non slip coir matting or similar to soak up the moisture. A bit of a health and safety issue I am afraid.

    Our shop had old carpets ........we kept the door open as much as possible.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 17-07-2017 at 11:45 AM.
    • kboss2010
    • By kboss2010 17th Jul 17, 11:42 AM
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    kboss2010
    I, too, find that local hospice charity shops are much better value. I barely go into chain charity shops anymore because they just aren't good value for money.

    I agree that charity shops are there to raise money for charities but if customers wanted to give them money for nothing, they'd just give them the money as a donation. The purpose of having shops is that charities provide a good value product that they are given for free in exchange for money + potentially being able to claim a tax rebate (gift aid).

    If the products you sell are poor quality and/or overpriced, people won't buy them & your shop ceases to have a good business model. That means less profit, poor stock rotation, more waste, more products in landfill than being reused and also pricing the poorest in society out of affordable clothing. Not everyone uses charity shops by choice.

    Now that I'm working, I begrudge paying high st prices for poor quality clothes regardless of how much you pay and choose charity shops because they're less wasteful & more environmentally-friendly than buying new but, while I was a student & then unemployed while looking for a job, I had no choice.
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    • maman
    • By maman 17th Jul 17, 11:48 AM
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    maman
    Just a quick reality check here.... maybe said through gritted teeth.

    The purpose of charity shops is to help those less fortunate than ourselves...people with cancer or maybe people starving or at risk of starving to death in a foreign country maybe child refugees fleeing war zones.

    So,

    The purpose of a charity shop is not to provide people living in a first world country with dirt cheap clothing thus enabling them to avoid the £1.99 Primark t-shirt made in a far eastern sweat shop by people working 15 hours a day in horrendous conditions because thats such an obvious example of retailers profiteering.

    So deep breaths everyone remember Kama and there but for the grace of God.
    Originally posted by Mr_Singleton

    You seem to forget that there are people in this country who are 'less fortunate than ourselves' and rely on CSs to clothe themselves and their families. Plus the pricing structure that leaves stock on the rails which could be raising money for the needy at home and abroad isn't successful.

    The worst shops for prices: BHF, Barnardos and CRUK although the latter vary; I think local staff have more discretion over pricing.
    Originally posted by VfM4meplse

    CRUK locally seem to be able to offer lower prices in poorer parts of the city so, I think, there must be some discrepancy.
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