Thursday, July 29, 2010

Charity shops

I have been surprised recently by the price hike in our local charity shops. I am very lucky as where I work is only a few minutes away from 5 really good charity shops. So lunchtimes at least 2 times a week is spend trawling round them. I have noticed that prices have starting to rise over the last few months but its still a good buy and I can still get a bargain.

Last weeks however I needed a new handbag, I have been having shoulder problems and so wanted to get a small cross over the body bag to ease the strain. There were 2 I liked one was perfect for what I wanted but was a very bright colour and had a badly ripped lining, which I could have repaired, I was going to get it, to see what I could do, until I saw the £6.50 price tag, had it not been damaged that would have been OK. But then I went next door and found a cord bag that was a bit tatty but not actually damaged but they wanted £8 for it. To some that may be a bargain, but when you consider that later that day I went to John Lewis and there was several different bags in the sale for £10, then it seemed no so good. Also a friend at work had to buy a suitcase on the high street for £10 when the ones she went to see in our local Charity shop were £7/8 and were not very pleasant at all.

I feel that they are no longer being realistic about there pricing. Oxfam as ever is still good and obviously keep an eye on what is going on in the rest of the market place. But I think the others do need to be careful that they don't loose customers or become unaffordable for those who can only afford to shop in Charity shops.


  1. I've definitely noticed this trend and I've had friends and family say the same thing. When I've spoken with others we thought it was a bit of a catch 22 situation.
    Obviously buying from charity shops supports the charity, but it does raise the question as to what happens to those truly need low price items and how do price rises impact them?

  2. Completely agree the money is going to charity but there's no need to hike the prices up as then no one can afford them. I was in one today and they were talking about how much money they took last week which I thought was really unprofessional.
    They still have to compete with the high street so like you said it's sometimes cheaper to buy new items!

  3. I've noticed this recently in my area too. There are a handful of great charity shops in out town but I've noticed the prices recently have more than doubled.

    The one thing I really noticed it on though was men's shirts. They just don't sell second hand in our town and languish for months, years even but I buy the odd nicely coloured one to make a dress or skirt for Chloe. They were always £2 a pittance really but they were only in the shop taking up space, but last weekend I went to have a look and they're now £5 each. I know I'm not a fan of places like primark, but it's understandable of that becomes the first choice over charity shops for people who don't have any other option.

  4. I find many of them are too commercial and polished so becoming more like the highstreet shops I try to avoid. Most of the ones near me are full of new things rather than second hand goods. sarah x

  5. Our local charity shops are really expenzive as they are in a big tourist area. I've found kids clothes which are twice the price that they are being sold in the shop new!! Ridiculous!! I can't even afford charity shop prices anymore which is a bit sad, they will just end up with loads of stock no-one will buy and that's not helping the charities is it!!??

  6. Yes, I agree with you. Our local cancer research shop will charge ridiculous prices for what they call 'designer' labels. They had two Radley handbags in there yesterday, nice but a bit scuffed on the base and handles, but they were both 35.00 each!!
    I did buy a new pair of Windsmoor white linen trousers (with the original swing ticket attached) for 9.95, as they were just what I was after and the ones in East, which I went out to buy, were 65.00 (not in their sale). So I was quite lucky there.
    I used to buy shirts, tops, skirts and jeans from CS's to use the fabrics, but they are too pricey now.

  7. We've got quite a few who've been "mary portered" and now insist on displaying their clothes in colour bands. It looks nicer, but what's the point in trawling through, spotting something gorgeous only to find it's yet another size 8?

    I'd rather have a rail of stuff in my size please!

    Pricing Tesco and Asda clothes at more than they'd be new is another silly idea.

    I recently had a clear out from my loft (if it's been in there years it's never going to be used), took some boxes down to a charity shop. After first 2 boxes the little old lady said "we'd like you to NOT give us anything else thank you".

    She actually turned me away. She didn't want to have to sort it all.

    Luckily the next shop was appreciative.