Charity shopping

When did charity shopping become so expensive?

Call me old fashioned but to me the idea of charity shopping is that one person clears out their accumulated belongings, someone gets a bargain dirt cheap and the charity receives a profit to help its cause – win win win, no?

I may sound tight-fisted but anyone who knows me will tell you that is the last thing I am. Or I may sound like a misanthrope against doing good for the vulnerable, but that isnt true either. I am all for charity – I have been a volunteer admin for the last six months at a national charity – but why do not charity retailers realise that if they priced their items more reasonably they would raise their profit, and their annual turnover?! We are in a period of austerity after all; a time where everyone has to tighten their belts, not least the people using charity shops.

Take clothes shopping. I have seen clothes in charity shops from Primark priced the same and higher than is possible to buy them brand new! I saw a coat yesterday that was once furry but now completely matted marked up at £8 I saw another coat that was £30. You can buy them for less on the high street. I’ve seen books being sold dog-eared for £3 when you can buy them online for less.

I have discovered a charity shop (Barnados) that sells everything for 99p! No matter what it is, it goes for that price. I like this concept – I think other charities could learn from it. I must spend a fortune in that place, far more than I ever have in any other charity shop and that is because I feel like I am getting a bargain – the whole idea behind buying from a charity shop.

I donate my belongings to charity on a regular basis. I do this rather than going to the effort of selling on eBay. I always donate to Barnados, not because I especially want to support the work they do over other charities (though I do), but because I know that when they sell my stuff on they will be doing it reasonably.

What do you think? Do you think its good business sense for charities to price up second-hand items as high as they can get away with, or would it be better to have a low pricing policy? Are you a buyer of charity items? Is something priced low more likely to tempt you than something more expensive? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


The Tygrine Cat by Inbali Iserles & COMPETITION!!!!!!!

the-tygrine-catThe Tygrine Cat by Inbali Iserles is an exciting fantasy story about a cat seeking his destiny, which pre-teens upwards will instantly become absorbed in. The book description explains:

Lost and alone, Mati seeks acceptance from a community of street cats at Cressida Lock. But Mati is no ordinary cat…and the mysterious assassin on his trail knows it. Mati looks different, with his golden eyes, large ears and russet coat. He also acts differently – he anticipates danger with bristling whiskers; hears voices from the feline spirit realm that he cannot understand. To defeat his enemies, Mati must unlock the secret of his true identity. In doing so, he must learn to harness an ancient feline power – a power so deadly that it threatens to destroy not only his friends but every cat on earth…

I first came across The Tygrine Cat when Iserles was recommended to me by a friend. I wasnt sure what to expect at first because young adult fantasy novels are not usually my ‘go-to’ literary genre. However, as you have seen from my previous reviews, I am always open to new reading experiences.

The first thing I notice in The Tygrine Cat is the beautiful prose. For a first novel, Iserles expressed a great talent for writing. Not only because the writing flows artfully, but also because it is completely accessible to people at all reading levels. I would imagine everyone from the age of 10 years upwards would benefit from this story. Not only is it the story of a cat, but also of the self, identity, friendships and life journeys. If I were still a young girl (sadly I am not!) I can imagine that this novel would be one that could instill a love of reading in me. Moreover, in my late thirties it is one that excites me still.

Iserles has a shockingly accurate insight into the life of a feline. This is perhaps the one thing that stands out the most. I often found myself wondering how you develop such imagination that it can lead you so deep into a character of another species – to the point that its hard to imagine anything other than a cat wrote this story. Clearly Iserles has a deeply ingrained love of felines and has spent a lot of time in their company.

Right from the beginning of this novel I was hooked. Every chapter is intriguing, full of wonder and rich with prose that completely disables your ability to put the book down! As the book progresses foreboding seeps in with the knowledge that the book is getting closer to conclusion; although you fall in love with Mati and the others, and want good things for him, a selfish part wants the story to go on forever.

I cannot be the only reader to think this way either, as Inbali Iserles went on to fulfil wishes for the young and older alike with The Bloodstone Bird, and then a sequel to The Tygrine Cat – The Tygrine Cat: On the Run.

Her website is accessible at and you can purchase her books here on Amazon.

Not only this but Inbali Iserles has generously offered two signed books to give away in a competition. In order to be in with a chance of winning these books please do the following:

– Like this post

– Leave a comment stating the name of the main character in The Tygrine Cat.

And please ‘Like’ Inbali Iserles’ Facebook page here. I really recommend it!

*The competition will close on 12/07/2013 at midnight GMT. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email. Open to UK residents only.