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.