Gransnet forums


Donations to charity shops

(90 Posts)
Riverwalk Wed 21-Apr-21 07:45:11

I heard a report of how much it costs for charities to dispose of unsaleable goods that are basically dumped on then - this charity spent £30,000 last year dealing with inappropriate donations.

Hospicare Devon

A friend told me that the shop she volunteers in regularly have to go through bags of dirty and tattered clothes, including unwashed smelly socks.

Yesterday I dropped off some good quality, saleable clothes at a local shop and there were umpteen bags marked 'rubbish' piled up outside awaiting collection that the staff had had to sort out - sticking up was a pair of battered ancient tennis rackets with many of the strings missing and chunks out of the wood!

Instead of going to the tip people are burdening the charity shops - just why? hmm

M0nica Wed 21-Apr-21 08:01:13

I suggest because many tips are charging to dispose of the most innocuous waste, more people are using tips (a good thing) and as a result you often have to queue for ages to use them, charity shops are in town centres and it is easier to drop off a couple of bags at the charity shop when you go past it on the way into a town centre or supermarket than drive several miles to some out of the way industrial estate to queue to use the tip.

I do realise that tips are in out of the way places for obvious reasons, but some people are just too lazy to take he time to drive there.

Urmstongran Wed 21-Apr-21 08:01:55


Lucca Wed 21-Apr-21 08:03:30

Same reason people,don’t bother to return shopping trolleys to the correct place!

AGAA4 Wed 21-Apr-21 08:07:52

Outside our little charity shop in the village someone had dumped a 3 seater sofa. It was in poor condition and not saleable.

Witzend Wed 21-Apr-21 08:11:55

Not that it’s any excuse, but around here anyway, you have to book a slot at the tip, so it’s not as easy as it was.
Dh is a regular tip-goer, but even he forgot about his slot the other day.

I have loads of stuff for charity shops, inc. stacks of recent paperbacks I won’t read again, but thought I’d wait until the initial rush is over - and then take stuff a bit at a time.

Cunco Wed 21-Apr-21 08:16:10

I heard a similar story from a friend who volunteers in a charity shop. Sadly, members of the public include all sorts, some not very charitable in what they donate or their willingness to pay even the small amount often charged in charity shops.

Oldwoman70 Wed 21-Apr-21 08:16:43

Having worked in a charity shop I agree with the OPs comments.

We used to have someone who once a year would bring in a bag of dirty children's clothes - including dirty underwear. Never bought anything just used us as a dumping ground.

The bins behind the store were regularly filled with unsaleable "donations". The "ragging" bags were also quickly filled - but at least some money could be made from those

If you wouldn't wear something which is dirty and with holes in it - why would you think someone else would buy it?

MerylStreep Wed 21-Apr-21 08:19:39

How many times have I written about this on GN.
You can not believe the rubbish that’s dumped on us.
Dirty pants and knickers. A bra covered in blood. Food!!!
That without the usual broken toys, clothes covered in dog hairs, pictures with smashed glass. And on and on it goes.
The air is beyond blue when I open some bags 😡

Froglady Wed 21-Apr-21 08:21:09

Some of the charity shops also collect clothes etc that are not suitable for selling in their shops but they can sell on as rags and get money for them.

Witzend Wed 21-Apr-21 08:23:13

Here’s the reverse of people taking dirty old clothes to charity shops.
Someone I used to know was a compulsive clothes shopper, but only of anything (new) that was vastly reduced in a sale.

As a result she had piles and piles of new, unworn clothing in the house, and one day her dh got so fed up he took piles and piles of brand new, unworn clothes, to the tip.😱
I was so bloody angry that he couldn’t be bothered to take it to charity shops.

keepingquiet Wed 21-Apr-21 08:27:34

Also people buy too much stuff they don't need. Sometimes I say this to people and the reply? 'What's need got to do with it?'
People are greedy and lazy. I am on a web-site where people proudly show photos of stuff they buy with no intention of using or wearing. 'Couldn't help myself again!' is a common comment. Also, 'I bought this and got home and realised I already had one,' is another.

Grammaretto Wed 21-Apr-21 08:36:21

I am really quite shocked to hear that that Hospice charity are having to pay to have clothes taken away. I have taken unsaleable clothes to Oxfam but explained that they are for WasteSaver who collect from the back of the shop and the charity receives some money for the rags. I was told it's turned into car seat covers or the like.

Our Council claim that nothing we put in the bin is sent to landfill.
From their website:
The contents of your grey bins are delivered to a local Energy-from-Waste facility.
Waste is burnt with the heat used to drive a steam turbine to generate electricity.
Scrap metal is removed by magnets for recycling.
A future plan is to use the residual heat in local housing.

Witzend Wed 21-Apr-21 08:40:56

Our tip has a bin for textiles that are not fit for charity shops. Now and then I’ve used it for e.g. items with stains that won’t come out, or that are just too worn.

kwest Wed 21-Apr-21 08:41:21

I don't imagine any of the Gransnet community would dream of dumping dirty or unusable items at a charity shop but I did read on another site aimed at young mothers that one young mother was depressed and could not face washing her children's clothes who asked people not to judge her but asked what she could do. I was astounded by the number of people who suggested that a charity shop was a better option than throwing the clothes away. Why would they expect people who volunteer their time to sort through other people's dirty washing?

Jaxjacky Wed 21-Apr-21 08:41:41

As others have said, laziness. Charity shops, advertising on ‘free’ sites or in the worse cases fly tipping. Witzend our tips are booking only too, we find it better, no big queues, in and out.

Grammaretto Wed 21-Apr-21 09:09:25

I worked in a charity shop when I was a young mum and I was surprised at the selection of clothes that were put out for sale, chosen by an older generation.
They seemed to be more impressed by the cleanliness of the garment than the style.
So for example, an unironed but trendy American child's dungarees would be put in the waste whereas a spanking new crisp polyester untrendy sailor suit would be proudly put on display.
I chuckled (and grabbed the dungarees)

Calendargirl Wed 21-Apr-21 09:16:23

Our local hospice charity shop, pre Covid, was staffed by mainly elderly ladies, and that was reflected by the display window.

Another charity shop in a nearby village, RSPCA I think, had a display window that looked like a very upmarket department store.

I would have absolutely no talent at window displaying, but admire those who do, and this must result in increased sales.

Greenfinch Wed 21-Apr-21 09:34:07

I much lament the virtual demise of the jumble sale where you could get rid of the items that were too good for the tip but not good enough for the charity shop.

MerylStreep Wed 21-Apr-21 09:34:34

My problem is with ‘some’ volunteers who just don’t know branded names and what they sell for on eBay. We sell a lot on there.
We have a lovely man who comes in regularly and buys all our men’s shoes. He sends them to family in Iraq.
We have a lovely lady who loves sewing cushions. When we get duvets we rip out the stuffing, I take it to her and she supplies all the material for the cushions for us to sell.
So it’s not all bad 😁

M0nica Wed 21-Apr-21 15:29:17

Most charity shops have, at least, a part time trained manager. A friend worked part time as an Oxfam shop manager and she was trained to be awake to both closing styles and antiques..

I think it is a bit ageist to suggest that just because volunteers are elderly they are no longer interested in clothes or fashion and are unaware of current brands.whether for children or adults. Yes, some will be, but they were probably the same at 30, 50 and 70, but many will be still shopping with style in mind, including for Gc and GGC.

Sara1954 Wed 21-Apr-21 15:45:39

I can’t honestly say I’m surprised, you often see bags piled up outside of charity shops.
Our problem around her is actually finding somewhere to take things, I haven’t been to every one in the town, but all the usual ones I go to have signs up saying they aren’t accepting donations at the moment.
We were fortunate that one of the grandchildren’s schools, sent out charity bags, so a lot of items went there.
Also, books have always gone to the NT second hand bookshops, but that hasn’t been happening.
Even before lockdown, I found charity shops to be very picky. I sorted out a lot of toys from the toy room, all in really good condition, not played with too often, I had to go to three charity shops before anyone would take them.
My daughter has now started advertising locally ‘Free’ just come and collect on Facebook, you’d be amazed at what she’s got rid of.

Calendargirl Wed 21-Apr-21 15:50:38

I wasn’t suggesting the elderly ladies weren’t interested in fashion or clothes, but their idea of window displays is an outfit suitable for a wedding,( Mother of the Bride) plus hand knitted baby matinee jackets, and a few jigsaw puzzles.

Our local hospice shop was one of the first charity shops in town, and the volunteers are, on the whole, retired ladies of a certain age, who started helping there 20 odd years ago when they were first retired, and still go, mainly to have a meet up and cuppa with their friends.

Sarnia Thu 22-Apr-21 10:56:24

Laziness. Perhaps the charity shop staff should empty bags in front of the donor and anything unsaleable be given back to them.

Tizliz Thu 22-Apr-21 11:53:12

This is what our local shop does. Empties everything out on the counter and if not acceptable goes back in the bag and given back