Charity Shops That Charge Too Much For Their Stock

@Janey1966 (24127)
Carlisle, England
December 4, 2012 10:40am CST
I realise that charities have to make as much money as possible in order to survive but one charity in particular is well..a bit cheeky if I'm being honest. The charity in question is the North West Air Ambulance. https://nwaa.net/about-us Now, they have shops in various places including Lytham. If you remember I went there a few weeks ago with Mum as it's not too far away from Blackpool. Lytham is fairly well-to-do compared to other Towns on the Fylde Coast but it still has poverty like everywhere else, hence the emergence of charity shops! I didn't bother going into the North West Air Ambulance shop this time round. Why? Because I spotted a framed painting in the window for £300 plus some posh dinner-service set for about £150, something like that. I don't know why but it wound me up so I refused to go in. Who's got that kind of money to spend? The idea is, you find a bargain that you KNOW is worth some money and (either) get it valued on 'The Antiques Roadshow' or sell it on Ebay. It's not right that it's the charity that's getting stuff valued and selling it at inflated prices. That's my opinion anyway. Do you see what I'm getting at? My guess is the person who 'donated' the painting didn't know it was worth £300 and they'd be a tad upset if they spotted the darned thing in the window! Usually, donations are made in good faith so you don't get financially rewarded..which is the whole point of course..but gone are the days when such items were £1 as opposed to £300 to buy. A few months before my latest visit there was a sign up that said, "Would the person who keeps stealing our stock please refrain from doing so?" Well, in retrospect, it's no wonder the stock is being nicked..no-one can afford it!!
5 people like this
11 responses
@p1kef1sh (45640)
4 Dec 12
People do give valuable items sometimes. Although I think that putting them in the shop window is not likely to attract buyers. Most people go to charity shops because they expect to get a reasonable item at a reasonable price. High value goods should be sent to auctions in my view; that way they are likely to realise the best possible price.
2 people like this
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
4 Dec 12
I agree with you there. Perhaps they were being lazy by NOT taking it to an Auction. There is one in St Annes, just next door to Lytham so they've no excuses not to bother.
@derek_a (10902)
5 Dec 12
Hi Janey, I've gotten very cynical about charities since tons of junk mail from them pour through my letter box. Now many are from charities that I have never heard of or given to, so that can only mean one thing, that my name/address are being sold on from charities I have given to over the post. I give to charity, but usually out of my pocket to street collectors. We have a Red Cross shop here that is very reasonable. We bought a computer chair like new for £20 as good as any I had seen that cost over £100.. _Derek
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@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
5 Dec 12
Hiya Derek! How I would LOVE to see a computer desk or chair for that kind of money. Good for you. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about. We get bags through the letterbox all the time from charities we have never heard of. Since I donated some poorer quality clothing than they're used to (it was John's) I've not had a British Heart Foundation bag come through my door. This proves beyond all reasonable doubt (in my view) that the staff get first refusal on the clothes, as I had donated some pretty top-notch stuff previously. None of it fit me anymore so it was a waste of time cluttering up the wardrobe.
@GreenMoo (11842)
5 Dec 12
I would rather see charity shops drop the prices of clothes, books and other mainstream things which people need and thus throw less away. I volunteered for a while in a charity shop and they used to throw masses of stuff away before it even hit the shelves. Baby clothes for example. They reckoned they wouldn't sell them, so they just ditched them. At the very least they could have offered them to another charity which could make use of them. I collected them all up at one stage and took them to a women's refuge, but that was only one van load and over the years I reckon they could have filled a warehouse. As for the picture you saw, could it be that the donator really did know how much it was worth? If I wanted to make a donation, perhaps if I had a valuable painting I could donate that because I didn't have the equivalent in cash? Just a thought. I mean, I bet you don't have a huge heap of cash just sitting handy but I bet there's something worth a few quid that you could donate if you really wanted to. See what I mean?
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@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
5 Dec 12
Yes, after thinking about this a bit more..you're right. There could be a really kind soul who came in with the painting and told them it's worth that amount of money. Never thought of it like that so I'm holding on to that explanation as it sounds better lol. As for the baby clothes. I agree with you, 'What a waste,' and it seems they couldn't be bothered finding out if they could be donated elsewhere. You did though.
@ZoeJoy (1395)
• United States
5 Dec 12
Well, they will charge what people will pay. Perhaps there are enough customers who will pay those high prices at the Charity stores. We all have to shop around and some people can only afford bargains. Perhaps, you are best to shop around for the best bargains. I also find that some second hand stores that support charities with high prices. I avoid those stores and shop else where. I can only shop what I can afford. All the best to you.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
5 Dec 12
It was such a shock to see that painting at £300. It was naff as well (but I suppose a lot of these things are worth a lot, it's all about personal taste) but I bet it's still there in the window the next time I'm in Lytham. Even the rich people won't part with £300 UNLESS the thing is worth about £2,000. Haha!
@cher913 (25891)
• Canada
4 Dec 12
we have some thrift stores like that. they have lots of variety but their prices are quite high so i tend not to shop there too much. i would rather support the one that is closer to my house. not much variety, so it is hit and miss when i go there but their prices are quite cheap.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
4 Dec 12
Yes, Mum has a Cat's Paws Charity Shop near her and she bought a jacket for virtually nothing. It will come in handy if it gets really cold. We got Flojo from the Cat's Paws Shelter and Mum's cats are from there too. They use the shop as a fund-raiser and many cat lovers volunteer to work there.
• United States
4 Dec 12
That is crazy for them to charge all that money for used belongings. I love the good will because they are reasonable with prices.
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@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
4 Dec 12
I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw the £300 price tag. I said to Mum at the time, "I think they need to drop a nought" and I still stand by that statement. £30 is about the limit someone would pay but £300? I bet it's still there.
@mariaperalta (19096)
• Mexico
4 Dec 12
I agree.. especially with most or all the stuff is given to them free of charge. makes not alot of sence to charge so darn much.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
4 Dec 12
I've stopped donating clothes to the British Heart Foundation as I've found out the best stuff goes to the staff and their families. It's not on.
@zralte (4186)
• India
4 Dec 12
Hey Janey, I see your point. I would never dream of spending more than £1 or so for each item in charity shops. I like the charity shops around where my in-laws live. There's the New Life Charity shop just a few miles where one can get new clothes for £2 or less. That is charity and I'm happy to contribute to that! £300???? nah!! same as you, would put me off too
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
4 Dec 12
Their clothes are still cheap but it's everything else..you know, the bits and bobs people come in for, specifically to get a bargain on (and there's nothing wrong in that), it's that they've changed. Round Mum's way if something is £1.50 customers will barter and get it down to about 50p lol. Mum nearly always pays more. Say something is £3 she will give £5 and say, 'Keep the change' and I think that's the way forward, then everyone's happy.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Dec 12
our local salvation army has WAY jacked their prices..a coat used to be $25,now $75 and up..somebody that's truly poor can't afford that-even with a voucher. and furniture? forget about it. when my mom worked there,they got huge crates of inventory every week-and they throw away a lot of donations that don't sell(or resell for rags)..i know they have expenses involved distributing,but they get it for free to start with,and that's a bit much.for $75,you might as well go to walmart.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
9 Dec 12
Exactly! And they wonder why not as many people use charity shops anymore. DROP THE PRICES AND WE MIGHT!
• China
6 Dec 12
It served their right that someone kept stealing their stock.They called the shops by the fine-sounding name of charity,in fact they took advantage of people' better nature to seek exorbitant profits.Nobody knows where the money they made has gone to.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
6 Dec 12
You're right there!
@BarBaraPrz (19805)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
4 Dec 12
I have that same feeling whenever I go into Value Village and see a pair of "designer" shoes in the showcase priced at $300, where I wouldn't pay 3¢ for them. I go in and look at the knick knacks, basically treating it as an expedition to the art gallery -- nice to look at but I don't NEED to buy.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
4 Dec 12
Well, I don't even go in anymore so neither do I lol.
1 person likes this