Charity shops-what do they do with the things they can't sell?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Ebay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales
11 replies 13.4K views
needmoneyadviceneedmoneyadvice Forumite
57 Posts
I hope I've posted this in the right section, so sorry if I haven't.

My question is what do charity shops do with the things they can't sell? Do they pass them on somewhere else or just throw them away?

I'm curious as I do give things to charity shops but sometimes I know I give things they probably can't sell in the shop, e.g. clothes which have faded etc.

I hope people don't mind me asking, it's just I do like to do my bit and not be wasteful but I just wondered whether I should be saving people time and just throwing it away myself.

What do other people do with their old clothes etc?
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Replies

  • mykidsmum_2mykidsmum_2 Forumite
    214 Posts
    hi, my mum manages a charity shop and I can tell you that any clothes that aren't sold in 10 days, they get sent to the 'rag man' (the charity gets paid per bag weight, so still make money) and anything they can't sell i.e broken toys, ripped books gets chucked . Any clothes items that are stained, ripped or dirty go straight in a 'rag bag' so the shop will still make money.
    hope that helps
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  • Marty_JMarty_J Forumite
    6.6K Posts
    I'm sure even the things they can't sell, there will be someone somewhere who will be glad of it. I would like to think they would pass such things onto the relevant organisations, but I guess every charity shop is different.
  • Our local BHF asks us to give any clothing regardless of quality/condition so that they can get the money from the rag man, as mentioned above.

    Also BHF now do gift-aiding so that they can claim back the tax from the Government, which I am happy to subscribe to
  • iieeeiieee Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    When I worked in a scope shop, clothes that didn't sell after a certain period of time (I think it was about 3 weeks) got rotated around other branches. Any clothes that didn't sell after 3 rotations, or were damaged or dirty, got sold as rags.

    I also lived above a different shop when I was a student which was alongside quite a few charity shops, and can vouch that a lot of old bric-a-brac, books etc do end up in the bin. On Sunday mornings numerous people would show up in the back lane and fill up their backpacks with it. What happened to it after that I have no idea..!
    :www: :: MFi3 ::
    Original mortgage free date ~ January 2030 :sad:
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  • jasmineswhiskersjasmineswhiskers Forumite
    2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    iieee wrote: »
    On Sunday mornings numerous people would show up in the back lane and fill up their backpacks with it. What happened to it after that I have no idea..!
    Probably went off to the local car boot sale!
  • Thank you all so much for replying. Can I ask a stupid question-what does the "rag man" do with all the unsold clothes? I know the answer is in the title but what would the rags be used for? I'm really sorry if it's a stupid question but I'm curious.

    I would really appreciate anyone who could enlighten me. Thank you very much.
  • jonboothjonbooth Forumite
    81 Posts
    I'm a volunteer at a local medical charity shop.The unsellable clothing and shoes go to a "rag man"(Textile Recycler)To the best of my knowledge,most of the rags go to make cleaning cloths for factories,garages,etc.We get about £2 per black bag,and it makes up about 20% of our income.No idea what they recycle shoes into,though(I'll ask the next van driver I see.) Surplus books go the the local hospital,if suitable;other shops may have a different arrangement.Tatty books and unsaleable bric-a-brac will eventually end up in the bin.
  • didi_nodebtdidi_nodebt Forumite
    203 Posts
    100 Posts
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    Depends on the rag man....not all the clothes are rags...the ragman is just a terminology...I know a couple that collect from charity shops and sell at local markets in london and if they cant sell them they recycle by trading them on to european traders.....
  • Joe_RJoe_R Forumite
    19 Posts
    jonbooth wrote: »
    I'm a volunteer at a local medical charity shop.The unsellable clothing and shoes go to a "rag man"(Textile Recycler)To the best of my knowledge,most of the rags go to make cleaning cloths for factories,garages,etc.We get about £2 per black bag,and it makes up about 20% of our income.No idea what they recycle shoes into,though(I'll ask the next van driver I see.) Surplus books go the the local hospital,if suitable;other shops may have a different arrangement.Tatty books and unsaleable bric-a-brac will eventually end up in the bin.

    Oxfam (where I volunteer) deals with a company called Waysaver, which pays similar rates - I'm informed they sort the stuff into over 30 different categories in order to squeeze as much money out of it as possible.

    It might be the case that if you wanted to pay more than £2 for a sack then a charity shop might sell you the bags rather than send them off elsewhere - try asking to buy bags of 'culled' clothing. Oxfam probably have a policy (they have lots of policys these days) that you can't do this, but I don't know for sure and I think many shops would be fine.

    Btw, culled clothing is the clothing that has been sorted, ironed, and put out, but hasn't sold for a few weeks and so is put into black sacks. This is different from the stuff that is never put out - there are an awful lot more bags of clothes which are falling apart, or covered in mould (if you are lucky) or various bodyily fluids.

    Also, consider that you might want to go futher afield that your local charity shop - the quality of goods that are donated to Oxfam shops in places like kensington and Chelsey are very different from the quality of goods donated in southport (where my family live)


    (do you think I use too many brackets)

    Joe
  • Round the corner from me there is a charity bin thing, its just a big metal box with a door on the front, and i put my old stuff in here. ..it goes straight to 3rd world countries... maybe look if you have one of these near you
    I :heart::coffee:
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