Sunday, 25 November 2012

Charity Shops...

A typically ridiculously priced item in the shop window of our local 'charity' shop
..are making me mad.  Yes its time they got a good dressing down. Before I start, here's a few definitions of the word 'charity' in case charity shops had forgotten. Maybe they should stick these up in the back room and have a gander prior to plucking up prices for items out of thin air:-

 'generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also: aid given to those in need'
 'an institution engaged in relief of the poor' 'public provision for the relief of the needy'
'an organisation set up to provide help and raise money for those in need'

So what's the big deal? They're on the high street raising valuable monies for the various different good causes. The people that work in these shops give their time for free although as I understand it the manager gets a salary. Well I'll tell you what the problem is - its all a bit one sided isn't it.  Whilst some people pop into a charity shop to find a bargain (fat chance of that if you live down my neck of the woods) a lot of people shop in charity shops because they don't have a pot to piss in. Yes, the needy. Remember them charity shops? People you are meant to help.  These people actually go to charity shops to find clothes, shoes and gifts because they can't afford to buy these items new. They might as well buy this stuff brand new as far as I'm concerned. Have you seen the price tags on most items in charity shops these days? No? Well pop into one the next time you're in your local high street. It is a disgrace. There needs to be a massive overhaul of charity shops and a code of conduct as far as I'm concerned. 

Quite frankly charity shops are taking the piss. Its outrageous. Manky teddy bears in the shop window priced at £5, old used cutlery sets priced up at £25 quid and I kid you not, the other day, I saw a tatty old party dress marked up at £45!  I mean you could buy all this tat brand new for less money. Is it any wonder that their sales are down by over 20% and donations have dropped massively. Get your shit together.
Now maybe they think that by putting a stupid price on items people will bid them down to the price they actually want. How many people do you know would bid down a charity shop?  Its not really the done thing is it. You'd feel a bit mean seeing as its for charity and all. In fact, I tried it recently and was told in no uncertain terms that "we do not accept offers, the price is the price". Clearly the charity shop couldn't give two hoots about your social situation can it now. 

Charity shops have rested (much like the French did with their cuisine) on their laurels for far too long. They are ungrateful and mean. You can't leave stuff outside, they won't put local fund raising (like our school's Christmas Fair) posters in their windows and rubbish customer service is guaranteed. I now just put all my old clothes into the school's 'rag bag' collection bin. The school gets over £1,000 for this each year so up yours charity shops.

On Friday, I very nearly walked into our local charity shop and had it out with them.I walked past and I stopped dead in my tracks. It was the same charity shop that has a snow globe (see above) marked up at £25. Now not only is it more than you would pay on ebay you can't actually take it until 22nd December as it makes up their window display. What shop in the world would say yes we do have this in store but you can't take it home with you? See what I mean. I digress.

In the shop window sat a second hand wooden dolls house of reasonable size. Guess how much. £150. I could not believe it. You can easily get a giant wooden dolls house brand new for less money. Oh, and if you want to spend £150 on a second hand dolls house you can't take it home until 22nd December.  That dolls house should be priced at £20 max so that a person that has little money could get a great Christmas present for a child.

Update - February 2014 - today I tired to buy, over the phone, a wicker basket (okay it was a Fortnum and Mason one but so what!) from my local charity shop. It was in their window display yesterday. The chirpy lady on the phone told me its not for sale and is no longer on display. WTF?!! So let me get this right you have a basket that I'd happily pay £20/£30 for, its not even in your shop window anymore, but I can't buy it?!  Are you seriously telling me you will never come across something that you can use as a little picnic table ever again that you have to have a stock pile of props?  STOP cherry picking items.

Charity shops can you please get a grip - yes you are raising money but you're also meant to act charitable to the people in need. And you are meant to sell the items that people generously donate to you. 


  1. I had a row in a certain charity shop that shall not be named about an Ikea item they had for sale which was 50p in Ikea (yes 50p) and they were selling it for like £1.50 something. I took the liberty of showing them the item on my phone in the Ikea website to prove a point! lol (didn't help they didn't see my side of the argument at all)

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one that has noticed this!! I wonder if it was the same shop I will fb you - they really do need to start thinking about being charitable themselves x

  3. Great post. We have a mixture in my local town. Certain stores are definitely to be avoided. Second hand baby vests for 99p each. I can get a pack of new ones cheaper in the supermarket. Insane! We have others which are reasonable and also have a charity 'clearance store' where everything is no more than £1 an item and you can fill a carrier bag of children's clothes for £1. They seem to only have the better makes in this too and I've had some great bargains. It's very strange. I do try to donate to charity shops though but I donated 2 bin bags full of baby boy clothes about a month ago to the shop nearest to where I live. They still haven't appeared on a rail in the shop. It really makes me wonder what they have done with them! It was all lovely clothes in great condition too.

  4. Hi thanks for commenting - one lady on twitter said she couldn't find a winter coat for less than £45 in her local shop! That's just disgraceful. I wonder too where your clothes went and paying 99p for a vest is just explotation. I emailed the said charity shops head office - wonder what their response will be. My husband made the point that maye charity shops upped their prices when people bought something for pence then made a fortune on ebay. It doesn't make it right though that they now whack on stupid prices. Its hardly charitable!