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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I go back and pay for the mirror I broke in a charity shop?

MSE_Kelvin
MSE_Kelvin Posts: 340 MSE Staff
First Anniversary Photogenic First Post Name Dropper
edited 4 May 2021 at 4:13PM in Charities
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

I accidentally knocked over a large mirror and a shop volunteer picked it up. I pointed out some damage and he said it was fine, but as I was leaving, he came over with some moulding that must have broken off the frame and said I should offer to pay, claiming the mirror was worth £100. I was shocked - it was an accident and he'd said it was fine initially. So I walked away without paying - was I right?

Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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Comments

  • gothvixen
    gothvixen Posts: 36 Forumite
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    That's some mirror if a charity shop was asking £100 for it. Was the mirror placed carelessly so it could be knocked over easily? The least I would do is ask to speak to the shop manager and see how that discussion went, I would never just walk out. Could it be repaired if it's just a piece of the moulding? There isn't enough information to establish the necessary details but just walking out is a bad thing to do.
  • £100 is  a lot for a charity shop item. Surely they would be insured for occurrences like this?
  • hannerrbabes
    hannerrbabes Posts: 197 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    £100 is  a lot for a charity shop item. Surely they would be insured for occurrences like this?
    I worked as a charity shop manager and no, I very much doubt any charity is insured for a breakage of a second hand item that was donated 😆
  • Personally I think you should have offered to pay something towards the damage you caused.  Those of you that are saying it’s a lot of money for something in a charity shop; some charity shops do get expensive items donated.  I’ve only recently experienced this when buying a glass coffee table I loved the look of, from The Thames Valley Hospice for £80.  It compliments the parquet flooring and decor perfectly in my home.  I’ve since learnt that it’s 1960’s/70’s and being sold for anything between £2,700 and £3,500!  Will I be selling it...... NO I love it!
  • No you should not go back to pay for it and you should not feel guilty either.
    Charity shops income is mostly wages and infrastructure cost, very little ends up at the true charity box . They are required by law to have public liability insurance and this very often can come with a package of general insurance if they bothered to pay for it.

    You knocked over what sounds to be a large mirror, something which if it was being sold for that much could have killed a child had they knocked it over or got caught beneath it (remember the child killed in a shop displaying drawer chests that the child climbed using the drawers?) HSE now requires that such items heavy, large, glass etc. Are all safely secured. The mirror clearly was not and like it or not the charity shop themself are liable.
  • dekdee
    dekdee Posts: 4 Newbie
    First Anniversary First Post
    Isn't it bad enough you have seven years bad luck. The only consolation would be by not playing the lottery for this timescale.
    You'll be quids in.
    X
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,626 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker

    Charity shops income is mostly wages and infrastructure cost, very little ends up at the true charity box . 

    Perhaps you should read some of the published charity accounts before making these sweeping - and wholly inaccurate - statements.

    No you should not go back to pay for it and you should not feel guilty either.
    Charity shops income is mostly wages and infrastructure cost, very little ends up at the true charity box . They are required by law to have public liability insurance and this very often can come with a package of general insurance if they bothered to pay for it.

    You mean if they chose to use charitable donations to cover the premium?
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • Ramouth
    Ramouth Posts: 653 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    I would buy the mirror with the damage and fix it then either keep it if you like it or try to sell it on to get the money back.
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