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snobby charity shops

(111 Posts)
etheltbags1 Sun 01-Mar-15 12:24:51

am I being unreasonable to think that charity shops have gone 'snobby'.
At one time you could root around in a 50p box and unearth a jumper that with a good wash would last for a long time. Books were coppers and so what if they had a bit of 'dog ears' the story wasn't affected.
The volunteers were friendly and would have a little chat but what a change nowadays.
The clothes are all colour co-ordinated (as if we cant see for ourselves what colour we want), the books are all next to new and cost £2 at least.
Everything is fashionable and nothing old is in sight. The staff are the worst, all dressed up smartly and looking down their noses as you go in the door. They pounce on you as soon as entering and ask if they can help, just as in a normal shop. That's not what most charity shoppers want, we can go to a shop selling new items anyday, we want a good root around to seek a bargain.
They will not take anything, no sheets, towels, underwear or socks. My aunt was in tears as she tried to get them to take bedding from her late sisters house, all clean and unstained and very good quality.
They will lose custom with this attitude, anyone agree with me.

Riverwalk Thu 04-Feb-21 10:48:39


When we sold our second home we gave all the furniture to a hospice charity shop, it was big name furniture in good condition, thousands of pounds worth. We did not even get a thank you.
Charity shops are definitely not what they were years ago.

That's very annoying Harrigran.

I used to donate to Scope but the local one has closed - they somehow barcode the goods and you give your name and email when you donate. Many months later you would receive an email detailing how much your goods have raised.

It was nice to know how much your castoffs had raised!

Boz Thu 04-Feb-21 10:38:54

Apparently, Charity Shops have been overwhelmed with stuff during lockdown. We have all been having a clear-out. My local shop has a sign saying that can't receive any more stuff.
They are dumping grounds for a lot of people. The canny manageresses put good stuff on ebay, which is a good idea.
I like them for old china and I have a friend who is a size 8 who picks up lovely vintage items that women have kept in their wardrobes hoping to get back to that size but finally given in to middle-age spread!

nanna8 Thu 04-Feb-21 10:13:41

They are not allowed to sell unwashed stuff in the op shops here. They would be closed down immediately if they did that. All electrical goods have to be checked for safety,too. They are never smelly, someone would report them to the local council if they were. Small ones seem to be better, I agree . You can get great craft items and wool for very low prices . Some of the posh areas have good designer clothes for very low prices.

mercedez Thu 04-Feb-21 10:08:19

I found the ladies serving in my local charity shop in tears as they had been told to put clothes in the rag bag if unsold within 2 weeks, they were holding up some beautiful clothes and said we can’t do it. They were further told not to have any sale rails, apparently charity shops have so much stuff this is their way of getting rid of it. Well the ladies rebelled and had a £1 sale rail which was a great success.

LittleDot Tue 02-Feb-21 00:19:00

I must be snobbier than them then! I find charity shops, smelly, the clothes are ghastly and they don't suit me in terms of how they are laid out. I have found a few cute jewellery items, but I'd never wear old shoes worn by another.

Redhead56 Tue 22-Dec-20 13:26:19

Our local Help the aged charity shop has just reopened the ironic thing is that nothing in it is second hand. It sells everything mostly stationary and Christmas gifts nothing whatsoever pre owned.

harrigran Tue 22-Dec-20 12:27:17

When we sold our second home we gave all the furniture to a hospice charity shop, it was big name furniture in good condition, thousands of pounds worth. We did not even get a thank you.
Charity shops are definitely not what they were years ago.

Ailsa43 Tue 22-Dec-20 11:57:12

There are less and less good items being donated to Charity shops, since people can sell their items for free on FB directly from their homes....opr buy directly from someone elses' home
No trying to lug a heavy bag or piece of furniture from a car park far from the nearest charity shop in town , only to be frustrated when you get there to be told that they're not taking any donations that day..

Sarnia Tue 22-Dec-20 11:20:35

Like many posts on here, I enjoy a good old rummage, undisturbed by assistants. A few weeks ago I took a bag of girls pyjamas to a local charity shop. All washed, ironed and in good condition to pass on. The assistant stopped me on the threshold, holding up her hand as if she was stopping the traffic and with a martyred expression and a sigh, begrudgingly agreed she would take them but she was snowed under with contributions. No thank you was forthcoming. A different story when I took 2 bulging bags of clean toys to the Red Cross charity shop. I was thanked profusely and told how many parents had been in asking for toys in good condition. I know where my contributions will go in future.

Redhead56 Tue 22-Dec-20 10:54:22

There is a dual carriage way in an affluent area of Liverpool both sides are occupied with charity shops. The shops themselves have designer clothes in with designer prices.

They usually pay reduced rent and rates and don't pay vat. I briefly worked for a charity after Uni years ago most of the money they raised went on publicity and admin. Which is expensive but it made me wonder how much went to the needy. I don't go in these shops because it's not my idea of a charity shop.

timetogo2016 Tue 22-Dec-20 10:37:19

The British Heart Foundation actualy put the good stuff on e-bay which i think is wrong as the local public should be offered them first.
And they over price many things as do most charity shops do.
and i agree,some of the staff are horribly rude and the managers are on a damn good wage,i know that as my x sil was one and yes things do get stolen or not even put on the shop floor.

BlueBelle Mon 21-Dec-20 21:32:51

No I don’t agree at all ethelbags I don’t recognise the shop you are referring to in the original post the charity shop I work in sells all paperbacks for 50p cds are 50p and DVDs are 75 p 1000 piece jigsaws are £2.00 and 500 pieces are £1.50

Toys often nearly new are rarely more than £2 to £3 if something is retro or we know it can get more than a few pound on the shop floor it goes to eBay
Children’s clothes go between £1.50 and £2.50 and I don’t recognise the shop in the original post We do colour coordinate and keep it looking very smart and clean all toys are tested to make sure they work The volunteers are all lovely and never ‘meet’ people at the door we have one person on the till the rest of us are too busy sorting things out

We do sell good bedding but are not allowed to sell duvets themselves we sell sheets duvet covers pillow cases curtains etc
We don’t sell knickers but decent clean bras are in a 50p bin
Everyone is so friendly with lots of regulars we always get complemented on what a lovely shop it is
So guess you are very unlucky, is this a city shop ? we are a small/ medium size town

Blossoming Mon 21-Dec-20 21:31:44

There is a place near here where they will take virtually any clean and useable clothes, furniture and other household goods. They help people who have nothing to set up home, such as a family who lost everything in a fire or a homeless person moving into a flat. I like that kind of recycling.

Urmstongran Mon 21-Dec-20 21:14:52

I read through a few posts then thought - hang on I know that poster has changed her name ... then noticed this is a resurrected thread from 2015!

M0nica Mon 21-Dec-20 20:33:03

Never been in a snobby charity shop in my life. Even in a local town where a row of charity shops have designer clothes and exquisite accessories, I have never met anything but really friendly people running them. I bought a beautiful 1960s Jaeger linen dress there for £40 and considered it a bargain.

Try comparing the rise in charity shop prices with the rate that prices as a whole have gone up. You will find that they they are roughly in line. When books were 6d in a charity shop, a new paperback was 5 shillings. Now, when a new paperback can often cost up to £10.00 or more, £2 for a secondhand one seems quite reasonable.

The reason Charity shops do not sell visibly worn clothes is because there is little or no demand for them. Most people will simply not even consider buying a garment that isn't in really good condition. So there is no point in a charity shop keeping such garments, so few customers want them. The same applies to china, glass, bricabrac. We run a small antiques stall and we have found the same thing there. No one now will buy a piece of porcelain, no matter how pretty, if there is the slightest chip or small hairline crack. Once there was always someone keen to buy such pieces because they were so much cheaper.

Individual charity shops know what they can sell and what they can't. I recently took a whole load of stuff to a charity shop. They didn't want 2 rugs 'because rugs do not sell' and they didn't take the books, because they had so many in the storeroom. That struck me a eminently reasonable. So I went to a shop in another nearby town, who were absolutely delighted to take all my books. The rugs, DS decided to take.

annodomini Mon 21-Dec-20 13:31:28

Yet another thread dragged up from the past. In this case from 5 years ago. Things may have changed in all those years.

Lucimay Mon 21-Dec-20 13:01:14

Our local charity shop is fabulous. It has very friendly staff. They are very helpful. It is a Sue Ryder - link to it: Hope it helps!

Leticia Sat 07-Mar-15 22:47:38

Not quite true- I will search if I am looking for something in particular, but not just generally.

Leticia Sat 07-Mar-15 22:46:23

I just won't search through a mixed rail - not if there is a lot on it.
I have got some good things in jumble sales when helping and having to sort. As a customer it is all too off putting.

annodomini Sat 07-Mar-15 20:56:04

If charity shops won't take your furniture, try Freecycle/Freegle. You can firnd your local organisation on line.

etheltbags1 Sat 07-Mar-15 19:59:51

I was unaware that they pay rent on these shops, where I live they get the shops for free from the local council for a short time and when the lease is up they just move on. The shops get all donations free and volunteers are free with maybe only the managers who get paid, apart form heating and lighting what overheads do they have.

Yes it is nice to see colour coordinated rails of clothes but seriously does this make us buy, If we cant see something in we like in a mixed rail then do we really want it, also I don't have a problem washing something, in fact I wash everything even if it looks clean.

I thought was lovely when I went in to a salvation army shop and I was chatting to the volunteer, when a man came out from the back room and thanked her very much, she told me he is homeless and calls about once a month to get a wash and he leaves his clothes in a bin liner and they give him a completely new outfit for free, he was smelling of aftershave and one of the volunteers had trimmed his hair.

However I miss the old days of the jumble sale where at the end you could fill a bag with as much as you could for 50p, you might find that half the stuff was rubbish but once I got 3 summer skirts and 3 pairs of trousers for 50p and the rest I sent to recycling. I used to work for the salvation army and when they had a jumble sale coming up I was allowed to pick a bag of my choice but I always made a good donation and a system like this works, if the staff steal from charity shops they should be allowed to pick something for a small donation that would help stop stealing.

Leticia Sat 07-Mar-15 07:25:58

I went into a lovely Oxfam shop yesterday. The window was beautifully dressed and it was spacious inside with the clothes sorted into colour and sizes- the books etc were all in a good state and there was no smell. Prices were reasonable. That is what I like. I won't even go into them if overcrowded, muddled and smelly- unless I have just one particular thing that I am looking for.

Katek Fri 06-Mar-15 22:32:37

All the ones I know have matching suites, usually a 3 seater, 2 seater and a chair/cuddle chair. This is what we had-haven't actually had a settee and two chairs combination for years.

FlicketyB Fri 06-Mar-15 19:41:49

How very old fashioned. I have never owned a matching three piece suite and many people over many years have chosen to mix and match rather than just match. Young people in particular rarely buy three piece suites.

Greyduster Tue 03-Mar-15 18:23:38

Like Katek, we tried to give a very good G Plan 3 seater sofa to a charity shop. They wanted to know if we had the chairs to match it but we had only bought the sofa to go with two existing recliner chairs. As it wasn't a complete suite, they declined it! We offered it to a homeless charity and they snapped our hand off. I do think some charity shops are their own worst enemy sometimes.