To any one that says Charity Shops are a waste of time I beg to differ, If you have patience and a bit of knowledge about what things are worth there are some great bargains to be had.
My friends are all raving about the Fifty shades of grey books and having to buy them one buy one as a treat ( they average about £8 a book there are three in the series), I got all three for £6.
Obviously some one had read them and then handed it into the charity shop they are in great condition.
- Befriend the volunteers;
If you go into charity shops regularly and are a good customer and chatty to the volunteers they will look out for things for you, put things aside for you and even phone you if there are items you are looking for.
- Do prices differ?
I have found prices really differ depending on how well established the charity shop is, if it’s on the high street or down a little road out-of-the-way and what kind of town it’s in.
For example a well-known charity shop down the high street of a busy touristy town can charge more than say a village charity shop or one on the out skirts of a town that not many people visit.
- Are all the items in a charity Shop second-hand?
It’s a common misconception that everything in a charity shop is second-hand, alot of charity’s have shelves of ‘new goods’ which are donated by larger companies and are brand new, also items get donated that are brand new packaging and tags intact.
- What are things worth?
The internet is great for looking things up and seeing what they are worth eBay is also a good guide for second-hand items. I always go by the rule of thumb that if i can get the same thing cheaper new it’s not worth it, its second hand there should be a fair discount.If something is over priced and you know you can buy the same thing new cheaper – ASK… it’s not rude to enquire about a price, not all Charity Shop Staff are Price savvy.
- Can I barter in a Charity Shop?
I would always say YES unless your told other wise ask if you can make an offer, if something is damaged or you think it’s worth less than what it’s priced at.
- Take your own bag with you/bag for life.
Not all Charity shops are provided with carrier bags and rely on people donating them, bags for life are sturdy, better for the environment and you never know how many bargains your going to need to carry home.
- Give back
If you have a clear out remember the Charity shops especially the ones that aren’t well known they have less help.
Bigger Charity’s that are in chains tend to pass stock around, little charity’s have no one to pass them stock.
Make sure the items are clean and useable, if you wouldn’t give it to some one – don’t give it to charity. You’d be surprised to know how much rubbish is donated to Charity’s including broken and soiled items that the charity then has to pay to get rid of.
- Check to see if the Charity Shop you want to donate to
Has room to store your items
- Only some Charity Shops can take electrical goods
If you have electrical equipment to donate ONLY charity shops with registered electricians can take them to test they are safe before being re sold.
- Donating Large items such as furniture
Some Charity Shops run a collection service to collect clean useable furniture from you.
- What should I donate?Charity shops take most things from un opened food in date for hampers and Raffles to clean clothing and un opened toiletries, some specialise in say items for animal sanctuary’s. These could be things like clean blankets and towels, unopened and in date pet food, some charity’s collect old prescription glasses for third world countries and old mobile phones the best thing to do is ask what they have room for and if there’s anything specific they are collecting.
Happy Bargain Hunting and Happy Giving
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