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What’s your best charity shop bargain?

(147 Posts)
Primrose53 Mon 17-Apr-23 17:19:05

I buy loads of books from charity shops and for 50p to £1 each I consider them real bargains. I read them, then take them to charity bookstalls at 2 local supermarkets for Teenage Cancer and a local special needs school so they benefit too.

My best ever bargain was a vintage Hermes headscarf which cost £1 and I sold it for £150 on Ebay! This weekend I bought some Vanessa Wu trainers for myself. £7 and like new and so comfy. They are animal print with bright red laces and my husband was with me and said “they are just you.” They are £70 online.

I found a Tommy Hilfiger navy down jacket absolutely mint condition for my husband a few months ago. £30 and they are £150 new. He was thrilled!

I know a lot of bigger charities now have Ebay listers working for them but you can still get a bargain if you look around.

biglouis Mon 24-Apr-23 12:06:11

I used to help sorting out the stock in a charity shop near where I live. Its a very diverse area and much of the stock comprised beautifully embroidered saris, dupattas and similar items. I used to select about half a dozen items and the manager would never ask more than £5 from me for them. Some I used for my sewing projects but I still have a big chest of them so they are going tinto my Ebay shop. I have only now got around to clearing out old stock.

I paid what was asked of me so have no problem reselling them for what I can get. Prices are dictated by the market and not by sentiment.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 24-Apr-23 12:13:11

So what would the items have sold for had they been exposed to the market?

Ailidh Mon 24-Apr-23 12:22:16

Musicgirl- glad I'm not the only Nathan lover!

Doodledog Mon 24-Apr-23 16:29:25

I love it too, but have never been lucky enough to see it in a charity shop. I'm very envious grin

Mintymoo Thu 25-May-23 22:28:44

I have never had a bargain out of a charity shop. I miss when you could get clothes for 50p.

Granmarderby10 Thu 25-May-23 22:42:27

The internet has done for charity shops.
The premises they run from are increasingly expensive and the managers have to be paid.
There is no such thing now as jumble sales at local church halls and community centres anymore, where everyone contributed something, baked some fairy cakes made tea and coffee, or fetched some houseplants to sell. I miss these, I suppose no one has the time.

Ladyripple Thu 25-May-23 22:51:04

No Jumble Sales! There are where I live in the Midlands and even more in Cornwall where my son lives.

biglouis Fri 26-May-23 13:30:04

A wonderful set of mid century lucite handled cutlery and some shot glasses which I kept for myself.

When I was more mobile I regularly did a tour of th charity shops in my nearest shopping center and often resold stuff on Ebay. There is no sentiment involved. Its just business - and my own knowledge for what will sell.

Sallywally1 Fri 02-Jun-23 08:03:30

I’ve found some wonderful bargains in my local St Christopher’s children’s shop. Lovely wooden toys for toddlers, a whole heap of clean duplo and a brio train set. I go in all the.
Charity shops and rarely come out empty handed. Another good find was a whole bag of ex-John Lewis wooden dolls house furniture. Now all I need is a wooden dolls house!

nadateturbe Fri 02-Jun-23 08:20:42

I would feel very guilty if I bought something cheap in a charity shop and made a huge profit on ebay. I would have to donate some of my profit to the charity.

Tenko Fri 02-Jun-23 10:35:06


I would feel very guilty if I bought something cheap in a charity shop and made a huge profit on ebay. I would have to donate some of my profit to the charity.

Me too

Patsy70 Fri 02-Jun-23 11:26:34

I volunteer at a local charity shop and any items of high value are sent to our eBay warehouse, so the charity benefits.

choughdancer Fri 02-Jun-23 13:55:06



I don't have a problem with anyone finding the odd bargain in a Charity shop and in effect, recycling it for personal use, in fact I've often done that myself, but I feel uneasy about those who trawl the shops as a business venture, and then sell items on on Ebay, sometimes at a vast profit. Yes, the Charity shop could do the same, but what it comes down to is the fact that some of the volunteers who man these shops don't realise the true value of some of the items which they price up. You could apply the same argument to Antiques dealers, whose profit-making is based on buying from someone who also does not recognise the true market value of the item they are selling, occasionally from a Charity shop. Yes, I enjoy watching the raft of Antiques shows which are so popular on TV, but again, sometimes feel just a wee bit sorry for the previous owner when the item they sold for a few pounds sells on for hundreds.. or more. I believe that the record profit was made by Paul Laidlaw who bought an antique camera for £60 and sold it on for £20,000. OK, no Charity involved, but I can't help wincing when I reflect that this could have been a life-changing sum for the previous owner. Many will just say, "tough", but that doesn't diminish my feelings of unease. Just my opinion.

The charity shop I volunteer for , the manager and assistant manager price up the items not the volunteers. They are both experienced in retail and google items they think are worth something . They also have people who specialise in certain areas and these items are put aside for them to check out.

It's the same with the one I volunteer in. It is so easy nowadays to look up the value of an item and price it appropriately.

Flaxseed Sat 03-Jun-23 09:42:08

I love a charity shop rummage. I have never found anything worth loads but I have bought some really good toys that I keep here for when my grandchildren visit. Some games still in their original sealed condition. Lots of Melissa and Doug toddler toys and tons of books.
I think I am a little bit addicted…..wink

Witzend Thu 08-Jun-23 19:14:11

Dbro and Sil found a little furry rocking pony in a French charity shop. Just the right size for Gdd1 at 12 months - they gave it to her for her first birthday, it was much loved and eventually well used by all 3 Gdcs. And was later passed on to dd’s friends once outgrown.
And they didn’t mind telling us it set them back all of €7!

margauxbordeaux Thu 08-Jun-23 19:27:59

Many years ago, we had travelled to the outskirts of Paris and we went to a flea market in the northern part of the city.

My husband and me, were browsing through the 2nd hand coats and jackets out of curiousity.

Well, we found a Donna Karan labelled black velvet ANKLE length coat with amazingly extraordinary padded shoulders and a shawl collar in perfect condition except the lining was slightly torn.

I asked the price .. And the kiosk gentleman asked me if I was French. I replied, yes. He said, the equivalent of 50 €uros.
We grabbed it.

The gentleman wrapped it very well and placed it is a wonderful shopping bag.

When, we returned home to Madrid, I had the coat dry cleaned and the lining redone and I still use it during the holidays and important professional events.

It is a masterpiece - very 1950s elegance.

Saltpetre Fri 09-Jun-23 11:39:06

I don't mind volunteers having first dibs, as long as items are paid for, surely a perk of working for nothing. My pet hate with charity shops is where they sort clothes by COLOUR and not size. So there are xx number of rails, one for blues, one for pinks etc etc, so you have to go through every single one if you are looking for something in your size. What the heck is the idea of this, and who goes into a charity shop to buy something of a specific colour? I usually can't be bothered, and prefer the ones where clothes are ordered by size eg rail of trousers in size order, rail of dresses the same etc. Seems very counterproductive to do otherwise!

Lizzies Fri 09-Jun-23 11:54:06

Many years ago when I was younger I had a dentist appointment straight after work. I went home to change my clothes as I had to travel by bus to another town only to find that my house keys were not in my bag. No mobile then and my husband was miles away at work. I went to a charity shop and found a skirt and blouse, changed in the public loo and caught my bus just in time. Best buy ever and I wore them for years.

Visgir1 Fri 09-Jun-23 12:36:45

I'm quite good at filling up charity bags which pop in the door with clothes not worn for a while.
Recently filled a bag, ( ashamed to say some still had price tags on them) but my DIL grabbed it and said could she put the clothes onto "Vinted".
Be interesting to see how it goes?

This will have affects on the local Charity shops as more people use these sites, with the younger folk just doing everything on line.

Ali08 Mon 12-Jun-23 13:24:11

I used to volunteer in a local charity shop and one day we found a huge blanket. It's one of those that could be a wall hanging type of thing.
I immediately asked if I could buy it, as my flat was an icebox and it would be perfect for when we had visitors or to keep my son warm?!
The managers assistant totally ignored me and offered it to another volunteer (her clique) who said it wasn't her kind of thing and said that I'd like it (at least the rest of the staff and volunteers were decent people).
Well this woman was having none of it, she just about forced it on the other volunteer!
But, when she was out of earshot, the other volunteer told me she really didn't want it and if I loitered after work until the assistant was out of sight she'd hand it to me.
I bought that huge blanket at the grand price of 75p, and it is still in use today - well, not today as its summer now, but you know what I mean!
It easily covers our 3 seater sofa, and warms all the GC on winter days,
and is, by far, one of the best things I ever bought from a charity shop or anywhere!!

Ali08 Sun 18-Jun-23 15:28:06


I am knitting squares for a local Dementia group to make cuddle blankets. Just recently my best buy was a bundle of various balls of wool from the nearest YMCA for £1.50. I was delighted as the other charity shops charge the same as the high street. Keeps the cost down for me and I can happily knit my squares knowing they will be very useful.

Hi. How would I find out about these types of groups, please?
I have a few random crocheted squares from practicing that I've not sewn together, I wonder if I could do the same with those?
I'm in Isle of Thanet, in Kent.