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Charity shop issues

in Charities
24 replies 3.9K views
bigbillbigbill Forumite
923 Posts
Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
Looking for some guidance?

I run two busy charity shops in an area of high deprivation, we sell items donated cheaply ideally for local people with little money.

Any income goes towards running our busy local office which I also run, I along with one other I sort and price donations which there are plenty but I have little time to check if anything is valuable or not.

The shops are 100% run by volunteers myself included.

We have a certain person who turns up everyday at opening time and buys various items that have just been put out for sale that they are able to recognise as under priced or valuable, which you could say we get what we ask for them but we are small and need the items away quickly to make room and help local people with cheap items.

However they put almost everything they buy from us on Ebay and although they work full time they seem to be making a very good second living from doing this as I follow them on Ebay.

The issue is I want to ban them as this is not what I feel we were set up to do, although I have been over ruled by my committee who say we get what we ask for these items so leave it alone and I can understand this, but I would expect a decent person to tell us if we have under priced an item something they have never ever done in all the years.

Tonight I checked and they have listed a toy that they bought today for £5 and it sold almost instantly for over £50 on a buy it now sale on Ebay as well as other items they have bought only today and sold today which all came from us giving them a total profit from item bought today at over £100.

They have over 450 items on Ebay now all buy it now with over 75% coming directly from us the remaining 25% from other charity shops and car boot sales I suspect, the fact they have feedback at over 2500 speaks volumes on the amount of selling they do as they never buy on Ebay only selling.

What do you suggest:

Should I leave it?

Should I ban them anyways?

Should I walk away and leave as it is pi**ing me right off?

Report them to HMRC?


  • FlugelhornFlugelhorn Forumite
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    Quadruple the price on the label and then offer everyone else 75% discount
  • bigbillbigbill Forumite
    923 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    Flugelhorn wrote: »
    Quadruple the price on the label and then offer everyone else 75% discount

    I would if I knew what was worth a lot more than we are asking but time and lack of knowledge stops me checking.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    See if you can recruit a knowledgeable volunteer to help out with pricing, and even putting stuff aside which will sell better elsewhere. I know many of the large 'chains' do this.

    I don't think you should go against the decision of your committee and ban someone. That could lead to some very bad press.

    Are you aware of the Charity Retail Association? Would they have advice / suggestions?
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • pramsay13pramsay13 Forumite
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    If you are in the charge you have the power to ban someone, but you have taken this to your committee who have decided not to ban the person so you can't go back on that now.

    Either suck it up or spend a bit longer sorting through items and if anything is of value either increase the price or even set up a shop ebay account and sell things that way.
  • Get someone in who knows what things are worth to sell on eBay for you, sell the high priced items and put the eBay money towards more practical necessities for the people you're trying to help?

    I both work in a charity shop and buy to sell from charity shops (never my own, conflict of interest and I do eBay for our shop) - you can't really stop it.
    You could try appealing to them and explain the aims of your charity. Most charity shops nowadays are not set up for the people who buy the goods, they're for the charity to make money, so there's not a whole lot wrong with buying something at the price they want and selling it on for more.
  • spadooshspadoosh Forumite
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    If youre putting pricing labels on stuff then its your own fault. If you dont know the value of something, dont price it. When that specific person asks how much, always come up with an arbitrarily high value.

    Id just assume anything they want to buy is worth something and then overprice it.
  • suki1964suki1964 PPR Forumite
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    You need to recruit someone who does understand what they are pricing up and price accordingly if you don’t have the time , or you up your prices across the board, and then reduce down after a week if not sold

    Not everyone shopping in CS are on their uppers. Many can afford to pay more and as you have found , a lot of stuff is ending up on eBay at much higher prices and getting sold
  • I did some work in a charity shop run by a friend some years ago. They used to have a reference file for anything that was valuable, and could refer anything to head office if necessary. So in theory most of the valuable items would be identified, and then usually moved to shops in more affluent areas to make more on them.

    At least that was the theory. I remember there were a couple of old dears who always seemed to be there to receive goods, and they ensured they had first pick of the best stuff. They thought it was a perk of their voluntary work and used to put things through the till for a pittance. I'm sure that it goes on in many places. Needless to say, I don't bother with it now.
    :dance:We're gonna be alright, dancin' on a Saturday night:dance:
  • thepurplepixiethepurplepixie Forumite
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    If they turn up at opening time I wouldn't put the new stuff out till they have left the shop.
    Make £2020 in 2020
    January Total £1099.77 :j Year todate total £3769.29
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    Why on earth does it matter.

    They are not stealing from you.

    You are selling something at the price you ask for.

    Our local charity shops have a section for the more valuable stuff and price it accordingly.

    Why do you not do the same. It only takes a bit of research.
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