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Charity shop issues

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Charities
24 replies 3.6K views


  • Bogof_BabeBogof_Babe Forumite
    10.8K posts
    What sort of valuable stuff are you talking about? If it's ornaments these are not to everyone's taste, most people don't want dust-attracting clutter these days, so it's only going to appeal to collectors or re-sellers, otherwise you'd have it taking up space for months.

    If it's designer wear, handbags etc., surely a quick Google of anything you're in doubt about would reveal the sort of price range you should start at.
    :D I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe :D

  • Another perspective - you're in an area of high depravation, and this person has a full time job. They then go to work early every day to go sourcing and probably spend the majority of the rest of their non-work time either listing, packing, sending or researching items for eBay.. 450 listings is a lot and would take a long time. It's not easy money, maybe they need the extra, maybe their full time job doesn't quite cover it? A lot of resellers are struggling with debt.
  • edited 21 November 2019 at 9:32PM
    StumpyPumpyStumpyPumpy Forumite
    1.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic
    edited 21 November 2019 at 9:32PM
    bigbill wrote: »
    I would if I knew what was worth a lot more than we are asking but time and lack of knowledge stops me checking.
    This is nonsense, You have the perfect learning tool and you are already using it but seem to be learning nothing. It is called... eBay. You are already stalking this person, you know how much they buy these things from you for and you know how much they are selling for: how can you possibly claim a lack of knowledge?

    You can ban someone from your shop for any reason but to do so because they have a better grasp of prices than you do is churlish and petty. Plus, what happens if their expertise is unique amongst the people coming into your shop? You ban them, you don't sell the items. Is that what you want?

    I will give you a direct illustration of the above: A few years ago a charity shop near me had a miniature 4 fold silver picture frame listed for £50. I recognised it but didn't buy it and neither did anyone else. After a month or so they dropped the price to £40. A month later they dropped the price to £30. And when they dropped it to £20 I bought it. I sold it on to an antique dealer for £50, who had it in their window for £150. Do I begrudge the dealer for doing that? No I don't: I got my profit, he can have his. Do I feel I cheated the charity shop? No I don't. They couldn't sell it for 6 months until I bought it: they got some money. Would I ask for more money from the dealer if I found another one? Of course I would. That is learning.

    The second hand market from rag and bone all the way up to Bond Street Antique dealers is a meritocracy. Knowledge is king and knowing how much something is worth is only useful if you also know where you can sell it. If your charity doesn't have an eBay shop then a) they should - it's free with lots of assistance to get you started; and b) you cannot directly extrapolate eBay prices to your shop prices because you do not have access to that market. You can however use those prices as a guide. If you can't do this then you can't maximise your shop's income and maybe they need someone better suited to run the shop. It is a skill that not everyone has and there is no shame in stepping back and letting someone who can do it do so.

    Come on people, it's not difficult: lose means to be unable to find, loose means not being fixed in place. So if you have a hole in your pocket you might lose your loose change.
  • bigbillbigbill Forumite
    902 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    Lots of good ideas and info thanks for all, will think long and hard on these many thanks.
  • euronorriseuronorris Forumite
    11.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper PPI Party Pooper
    Why don't you have a look for professional eBay re-sellers in your area, and ask them if they would come and have a look through newly donated items once a week to pick out and sell the highest selling items for you on eBay. They will take a percentage of the sales, I believe, but you should still see a better return than you currently are.
  • Barny1979Barny1979 Forumite
    6.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Ban someone who is a regular customer, who is paying exactly what you are asking for the items, seems a perfect customer! Ridiculous idea.
    2013 - 313 AFDs, 2014 - 289 AFDs, 2015 - 321 AFDs, 2016 - 276 AFDs, 2017 - 276 AFDs, 2018 - 240 AFDs 2019 - 285 AFDs 2020 - 181 AFDs to end of August
    MFW Challenge 2019 - £1809/£1809, 2020 - £1791.09/£1750
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
    6K posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    POPPYOSCAR wrote: »

    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.

    I largely agree but the OP's point (as I understand it) is that the aim is not just to sell items for as much as possible to make money for the charity. There is a secondary aim to sell items at a fair or low price to deserving customers in the "deprived area".

    Worthy as that may be I do wonder how practical it is. OK, they may well be able to spot somebody who comes early every day looking for bargains to sell on, but I bet plenty of less regular customers also do this in a more minor way?

    Equally, how do you know that the main "offender" isn't actually in a very tight financial position himself. Maybe he badly needs to supplement his income too and should be commended for making the effort?

    Finally, volunteers and staff getting the pickings is rife in some / many charity shops. However, many struggle for volunteers and might not get them without the perks.
  • eddddyeddddy Forumite
    10.3K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    If you suspect that some donated items might have some value, maybe you could start listing them on ebay auctions yourselves with a lowish start price.

    (If you're wrong sometimes, and some items don't sell on ebay, you've only lost the listing fee - which might be around 30p. And then you can try selling them in the shop for 50p.)

    But don't forget the cost of postage and packing materials, and the time involved in packing stuff and visiting the post office.

    I know that your goal is to help the local community - and a £5 toy could have made a local child very happy - but perhaps you could make even more local children happy, by selling the toy on ebay for £50, and spending the £50 appropriately.
  • diggingdudediggingdude Forumite
    2.1K posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    My friend does this and makes a small fortune from it. I couldn't be bothered with the effort it takes though. Nothing you can do to stop it. If it isn't him it will be someone else
    An answer isn't spam just because you don't like it......
  • mjm3346mjm3346 Forumite
    44K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    The various "flog it" type shows on TV include items people have got from car boot sales, charity shops etc where they have not just brought the item to sell when they think the item is worth far more than the asking price but in some cases they have haggled the price down as well. - Sometimes there is encouragement from the presenters like "there are still bargains out there if you know where to look" - Your customer appears to know where to look.

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