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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 3
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 17th Jul 17, 11:54 AM
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    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.
    Originally posted by maman
    This is what I don't understand! My nearest is in a middle class area and is also very reasonably priced, thanks to the manager.

    Go to South Woodford - admittedly an expensive part of the area - and the prices get much higher. Yet go to East Ham, which is swimming in poverty and the prices match South Woodford. Bonkers but my feedback to CRUK fell on deaf ears. (Ditto Barnardos in Wanstead, which again has silly-billy prices).
    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!
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 17th Jul 17, 12:24 PM
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    lessonlearned
    As you say - bonkers.

    We may be a first world country but we still have plenty of pockets of deprivation where people genuinely struggle to feed and clothe themselves and their families.

    Charity shops should gear themselves up to prevailing local market conditions not have prices set at arbitrary levels by Head Office Honchos in their ivory towers.

    One of my abiding memories was when I once did a car boot sale. I had a load of clothing from my boys. I was quite hard up at the time and most of their clothing was only lightly worn because they were growing so fast. I needed to try and get a bit of cash for it rather than donate it.

    A man came to my stall with his son and daughter. You could tell just by looking at them that he had fallen on hard times.

    I had plenty of boys clothes so no problem there but I could see the girl was in desperate need too. I ferreted Around and found some things which could be regarded as a bit more unisex and showed them to her. Her face lit up and she asked her dad for reassurance that they would be ok for a girl.

    I let them have bag full of stuff each for just a few quid. Her dads gratitude was very humbling and the joy on those kids faces will remain with me for ever.

    Yes poverty may be relative and I doubt that anyone in the U.K. Is as poor as they are in third world countries but there is still plenty of hardship. And there are still children who are desperate for warm winter clothing.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 17-07-2017 at 12:27 PM.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 17th Jul 17, 1:42 PM
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    My absolute pet hate is Wordsworth Classics being sold for more than their original 99p price- they were deliberately published at this price to make great literature cheaply and widely available.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 17th Jul 17, 2:01 PM
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    NineDeuce
    Inflation?
    • YorksLass
    • By YorksLass 17th Jul 17, 6:55 PM
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    YorksLass
    Does anyone remember a TV series from about 8/9 years ago featuring Mary Portas who, at the behest of the Government of the day, overhauled Save the Children charity shops? Her mission was obviously to help the charity make more money for its cause but I can't help feeling it was at the cost of alienating the volunteers as well as drastically increasing the prices of goods offered for sale. She was very critical of the quality of donations from the public, store cleanliness and the lack of business acumen of the staff. Maybe this is where the rot started and other national charities followed her example.

    I have 6 charity shops in my neighbourhood, all with varying prices. The latest one to open - a hospice shop - is reasonably priced, stocks good quality items plus they have new goods on sale too but these are somewhat overpriced IMO. The Mind shop is pretty good pricewise and seems to have a good turnover as does the slightly dearer CRUK. The others - Oxfam, BHF and Jewish Welfare - are expensive. One of them (I can't remember which) sometimes has "sales" (usually books) when you can find bargains. All of them have a definite lack of men's clothing and what little they do have is generally poor quality.

    I'm in agreement with other posters that it's better to price goods sensibly and have them sell, rather than have them stagnating on rails because the prices are too high. As others have pointed out, there is still genuine hardship in this country and many people use charity shops for exactly that reason, not through choice.
    Be kind to others and to yourself too. Life has its ups and downs, use the ups to overcome the downs!

    Dec £0/£160 0/28 NSDs
    Nov -£2.60 Oct +£9.92 Sep +£42.85 Aug +£84.62 July +£7.98 June -£3.13 May +£10.37

    • SDG31000
    • By SDG31000 17th Jul 17, 7:26 PM
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    SDG31000
    I work for a chain of charity shops and I have to agree with some of the comments.
    I try to keep things at a reasonable price and its only things like expensive pottery, jewellery etc that are sold somewhere else. Men's clothes just aren't donated in the same quantities as women's clothes and we struggle to keep the rails filled. Things stay at on the rails for 4 weeks and are then reduced to half price.
    However I see it from the other side as well. I get people arguing about prices with me on a daily basis, even when something is 50p. We also have things stolen every day. Funding for just one of the projects we support has recently been cut by £150,000 per year and that money has to come from somewhere else. The demand and need for what we do has gone up in leaps and bounds and we are struggling to help everyone that needs it.
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 17th Jul 17, 11:18 PM
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    VfM4meplse
    My absolute pet hate is Wordsworth Classics being sold for more than their original 99p price- they were deliberately published at this price to make great literature cheaply and widely available.
    Originally posted by Out, Vile Jelly
    I caught the 2012 Danish version of Kon-Tiki the other week (I believe it's still available on the iPlayer) and decided I would like to read the book, so duly P'inned it.

    I was amazed to see it in a thrift shop (admittedly not a chazzer) and equally so to find it priced at £5 - it's a thin and very old paperback, the RRP on the back was 80p. For that price I'll stick to the library.
    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!
    • Floss
    • By Floss 18th Jul 17, 7:30 AM
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    Floss
    I caught the 2012 Danish version of Kon-Tiki the other week (I believe it's still available on the iPlayer) and decided I would like to read the book, so duly P'inned it.

    I was amazed to see it in a thrift shop (admittedly not a chazzer) and equally so to find it priced at £5 - it's a thin and very old paperback, the RRP on the back was 80p. For that price I'll stick to the library.
    Originally posted by VfM4meplse
    That may well have been my dad's copy, cleared from my mums house in 2005! Were any of the others there too?
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 18th Jul 17, 7:45 AM
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    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.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    I don't mind at all, LL - and I agree with everything you say too.

    Does anyone remember a TV series from about 8/9 years ago featuring Mary Portas who, at the behest of the Government of the day, overhauled Save the Children charity shops? Her mission was obviously to help the charity make more money for its cause but I can't help feeling it was at the cost of alienating the volunteers as well as drastically increasing the prices of goods offered for sale. She was very critical of the quality of donations from the public, store cleanliness and the lack of business acumen of the staff. Maybe this is where the rot started and other national charities followed her example.
    Originally posted by YorksLass
    I remember that programme.
    Our STC shop was refurbished.
    It's been closed for a couple of years now.
    Well, that worked well, didn't it.

    I work for a chain of charity shops and I have to agree with some of the comments.
    I try to keep things at a reasonable price and its only things like expensive pottery, jewellery etc that are sold somewhere else. Men's clothes just aren't donated in the same quantities as women's clothes and we struggle to keep the rails filled. Things stay at on the rails for 4 weeks and are then reduced to half price.
    However I see it from the other side as well. I get people arguing about prices with me on a daily basis, even when something is 50p. We also have things stolen every day. Funding for just one of the projects we support has recently been cut by £150,000 per year and that money has to come from somewhere else. The demand and need for what we do has gone up in leaps and bounds and we are struggling to help everyone that needs it.
    Originally posted by SDG31000
    I'd never haggle about prices in a charity shop.
    I might point out that a high priced item has a flaw - I looked at a Betty Jackson maxi dress which had been taken up very badly, still decided to buy it and mentioned it to the assistant as I know this shop (Hospice) are very keen on checking stock quality.
    She said 'it must have slipped through' and knocked some money off.
    I'm a regular customer though and donate regularly.

    Shocking that anyone could steal from a charity shop.
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 18th Jul 17, 8:23 AM
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    VfM4meplse
    That may well have been my dad's copy, cleared from my mums house in 2005! Were any of the others there too?
    Originally posted by Floss
    It was a real collection of odds and sods found an eclectic shop in South Essex. I get the impression that it may have been part of a job lot at a car boot sale.
    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!
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 18th Jul 17, 8:24 AM
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    Prinzessilein
    My Mum haggled once in a charity shop...a British Heart Foundation furniture store...we were furnishing a new flat for me. (Circumstances meant that I was moving with practically nothing...I DID buy a new bed....everything else was second hand)...One item - a rocking chair was somewhat overpriced...we had looked at it before - a few times - and decided it wasn't worth the price ticket -especially as it needed a bit of work on the upholstery....On the day we went to buy the stuff for my flat Mum asked about the rocker...the assistant pointed out that they had to sell for the ticket price, so Mum asked for the supervisor. She explained that we were buying quite a bit of furniture (sofa...tables...chests of drawers...book shelf) and as the rocker had not been sold in almost 2 months, perhaps an agreement could be reached? The supervisor was more than willing...and even offered an extra bonus of free delivery for the lot as we had bought so much!

    Generally speaking though, I would not haggle in a Charity Shop...in fact I have been known to pay extra! As I have said, I collect books. On the increasingly rare occasions that I find a book I will sometimes pop a little extra into the tin by the till - especially of I feel it is very much under-priced. (Sometimes they fall through the 'experts' scrutiny and the shop doesn't realise the book's value)
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 18th Jul 17, 12:37 PM
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    VfM4meplse
    Shocking that anyone could steal from a charity shop.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I was walking past my local CRUK last night when I noticed someone had dumped 3 huge crates of books outside last night (ignoring the sign in the window). I had a quick look through those in the top crate and thought I could make use of some of them. I've also been told that this chazzer doesn't take bulk supplies of books when I've tried to donate in the past, so I tweaked my plans for the day and arrived there at 9.30am. When I arrived, I found they were still outside the shop, albeit a few items lighter. I can't help but think that someone may have seen me looking at the books last night and then helped themselves

    The SA hadn't even noticed the crates, and she wasn't happy about it given that she'd struggle to sell many of them. So I helped her carry them into the shop, and picked what I wanted: all academic / careers books, which I intend to donate to a school library next term.

    I'd never haggle about prices in a charity shop.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I used to agree with you, but some staff have no commercial sense. I was given a silly price for the books by a completely different member of staff, who had no idea that these books had literally just come in off the street having been raided overnight by persons unknown. Luckily when I offered a price for a bundle of books, it was accepted - the original SA is realistic and I gather had also had a disagreement with the other one over "retail differences" before I arrived that morning. They have very different ideas on how to run a business.
    Last edited by VfM4meplse; 18-07-2017 at 12:40 PM.
    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!
    • Floss
    • By Floss 18th Jul 17, 7:33 PM
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    Floss
    It was a real collection of odds and sods found an eclectic shop in South Essex. I get the impression that it may have been part of a job lot at a car boot sale.
    Originally posted by VfM4meplse
    A bit too far from mum's leafy Cheshire suburbs to be realistic! I did enjoy watching the TV shows back in the late 60's / early 70's.
    • Teacherspet54
    • By Teacherspet54 26th Jul 17, 9:11 AM
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    Teacherspet54
    Changing times
    As with lots of charities they are BIG BUSINESS now. I still support them by buying, but donate regularly to my local Salvation Army shop. They have always been reasonable & do such a good job helping homeless people. As stated earlier along this thread, car boots are often much cheaper, I have even seen charity stalls there........better because overheads are cheaper & no fixed prices either, sellers can charge appropriately. I have always said "Nobody should be wanting these days with everything available cheaply at car boots & charity shops"
    • itsbeenalongday
    • By itsbeenalongday 26th Jul 17, 9:39 AM
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    itsbeenalongday
    I volunteer in a hospice charity shop and over the past few years have noticed that although there are more and more donations - often 30+ bags a day - the quality of donations is definitely going down. Lots of cheap, disposable clothes - Primark, H&M, M&Co. Often "good" clothes are sold online in preference to donating. I think the bar is set really low too for some people who think its ok to donate filthy, stained, cat-haired, smelly clothes - lowlights include stained pants with sanitary pad, sicked-on baby clothes, ear waxed cotton buds and a bag of dog poo (I'm hoping this was a mistake..). Folk are using charity shops more so there are more people looking, but there are still fabulous bargains and it is worth asking if you are looking for something particular as there is often stock in the back - waiting to go out - so talk to the staff and tell them what interests you. Prices are theoretically set by higher management as a guideline but they don't cover every single brand of course and the manager will set the price. Charity shops would love to sell lovely, well cared for, beautifully made clothes but can only sell what is donated - often it is not worth sorting, steaming and pricing clothes that will just sell for £1, but can be sold as rags. Stock gets stolen all the time which is hugely disheartening for donor and charity shop but extra security would cost more and so up the prices. Tricky one.
    • osbornbiscuit
    • By osbornbiscuit 26th Jul 17, 10:47 PM
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    osbornbiscuit
    I too help out in a local charity shop and can't believe what some people donate both good and bad. Yes there are some wonderful bargains to be had and also like the previous poster some are down right disgusting. The smell can be overwhelming and you do worry every time you put your hands in pockets to check. I have pointed out in other charity shops if something is frayed or missing buttons and been offered reductions. By rotating the stock people see fresh stock. When your town has 5 or more charity shops donations can be few and far between and people tend to donate to something that they can relate to. Donations like money can be in short supply. My manager does have discretion on pricing and I know that the charity shops in town do talk to each other and will often see what is working well and implement changes. In our town CRUK and Salvation Army are brilliant and BHF do have the odd bargains. Scope is dirty and smells and I won't go in the shop.
    In our shop we do have our regulars and the volunteers will point out suitable clothes for their requirements. I think it is the same in all walks of life there are good and bad shops. Choose one you feel happy with and get to know the volunteers.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 27th Jul 17, 7:54 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I don't know whether it counts as an indirect form of getting expensive - or whether this is something that has always happened.

    I very rarely buy any charity shop items - but have got a few items of clothing recently (to do until I lose some excess weight).

    Out of that - two of these items have turned out to need repair. It's not just needing something very minor (like sewing on a button or re-attaching a few inches of hem that have come down). It's been two noticeable things and that have needed to be done before the garment could be used. One was to do with belt loops on a trenchcoat style raincoat - and that meant the raincoat cost £9 more than bargained on (payment to a clothes alterer to do it). I've just bought a skirt with a zip in and found the zip is faulty and a friend is going to replace it for me - but tells me a new zip is probably going to cost me about £5.

    Will charity shops please check over donated clothes to see if they've been given to them, despite needing a repair that most of us will be unable to do - and then dispose of any they find (rather than putting them on sale)?

    I did wonder whether to just throw away both items - as the owner should have done (rather than donating them) I guess it's all part of what the last two posters have said - ie people will donate clothes they should just throw out.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 27-07-2017 at 7:56 AM.
    #MeToo

    Ain't neva gonna learn to be a good "woman"
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 27th Jul 17, 8:23 AM
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    Pollycat
    I don't know whether it counts as an indirect form of getting expensive - or whether this is something that has always happened.

    I very rarely buy any charity shop items - but have got a few items of clothing recently (to do until I lose some excess weight).

    Out of that - two of these items have turned out to need repair. It's not just needing something very minor (like sewing on a button or re-attaching a few inches of hem that have come down). It's been two noticeable things and that have needed to be done before the garment could be used. One was to do with belt loops on a trenchcoat style raincoat - and that meant the raincoat cost £9 more than bargained on (payment to a clothes alterer to do it). I've just bought a skirt with a zip in and found the zip is faulty and a friend is going to replace it for me - but tells me a new zip is probably going to cost me about £5.

    Will charity shops please check over donated clothes to see if they've been given to them, despite needing a repair that most of us will be unable to do - and then dispose of any they find (rather than putting them on sale)?

    I did wonder whether to just throw away both items - as the owner should have done (rather than donating them) I guess it's all part of what the last two posters have said - ie people will donate clothes they should just throw out.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    That's really disappointing - but maybe it happened because you're not a regular charity shop shopper.

    I always check every item I buy.
    My Mum says I'm bobble-obsessed.
    I feel down the front of a garment, especially round the bust area and also round the side-back where cross-body bags can rub and bobble the fabric.

    I check the inside underarms or crotch area if it's trousers.
    I check the inside 'care label', it can give a good indication of how much it's been worn if it's faded.

    I check if it's been taken up. I don't mind shortening hems on skirts, trousers or dresses but prefer to do it myself from the original starting point than from somebody else's higgledy-piggledy attempt.
    I also check zips.

    Finally, if it's a patterned dress or tunic, I turn it inside out as it's easier to check for holes on the reverse side.

    Maybe my actions are OTT for an item that doesn't cost very much.
    Hello. My name is Polly and I'm a bit OCD. My sister says (jokingly I think) that I should get out more.

    And I would never have donated items that needed repair.
    • Luna68
    • By Luna68 27th Jul 17, 11:51 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Luna68
    prices
    We have 3 charity shops in the town 3 miles from were we live
    there was 7 they had stared charging more,people stopped buying from them
    Over priced themselves i think
    I give all my stuff to Fresh fields they sell at decent prices still lots of bargains to get
    a Age UK think will be called not sure is going to open in few weeks i will give them some things to help start them off
    have to admit I do love charity shopping well its either that or E bay
    cant afford get new
    expect underwear
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 27th Jul 17, 12:06 PM
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    Pollycat
    Hi to all the (fairly) newbies who've posted on here.

    For fans of charity shopping, just to let you know there's a long running thread here;
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3859129&page=327
    where people post their bargains.
    You might be interested enough to share your bargains.
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