Wednesday, 23 September 2015

ms-havachat's scouting charity shops

Do you enjoy scavenging thru second hand shops, looking for a bargain?

Do you love a good sale or do you avoid the crowds?

I'm not a bargain shopper, nor have luck at sales. I'm the bunny who's attracted to the non-sale items, or what I like in the sales racks aren't my size. Too impatient to rummage thru racks and racks of clothes, if the store isn't displaying 'my' colours what's the point of walking in?

Lots of my friends are great shoppers. They know how to find a bargain. They also know how to work the coupons from loyalty or frequent flyer programs. Even when we shop together, they somehow manage to find what they want/need at a great price, and I'm stuck with full price or not finding anything at all.

After coffee with the girls last week, we strolled up the High Street looking in the shops and came across a charity shop. I'm not really into charity shopping. Not sure why. Happy to donate things, but not a buyer, which is mad cos several friends LOVE charity shops and have bought some stunning items.

What a surprise!

The shop we went into was set up very well, with designer clothes, bags, shoes and accessories displayed very well. There were a couple of change rooms and the sales ladies were very pleasant. They invited us to go thru our wardrobes and cupboards and bring in anything we no longer needed. If their shop didn't put it into stock, it goes into their warehouse for other store managers to consider.

I bought a faux fur lined coat with a huge hood for £15 and a Jane Hopkinson black leather bag for £5 to replace the ridiculously heavy one I bought at TKMax. There were several other items that took my interest but as we're still purging it seemed silly to bring things into the house at this point in time.

Since being back in the UK, and exploring several High Streets in the local vicinity, I've noticed there's a LOT of charity shops, possibly to the demise of local retailers. Such is the growth of this retail sector, there's even an Association.

They reckon there are over 10,500 charity shops in the UK and Ireland!

Between all the various Hospices, Cancer Shops, Kids Charities, animal shelters, hospitals, homeless shelters etc, there's big competition to stock the right items and attract a buying public.

When you think about the paradigm shift to recycling, regifting, redesigning etc it makes sense that these shops are on the increase. In addition to the fact that you can find expensive brands at  inexpensive prices.

Guess just because it's last season, or it might not fit anymore, or you're tired of it are all great reasons to donate it to a Charity shop. From what I'm told, traditional charities like the Salvation Army, Red Cross etc have too much stuff which is odd, cos you'd think with all the talk of flat or falling economies, people would be spending more time in Charity Shops - maybe they need a marketing campaign to lift their image?

Years ago, I schlepped my corporate work wardrobe to a Recycling Shop in the eastern suburbs of Sydney only to be told it wasn't 'exclusive' enough for them to take, despite the shop I bought them from being two doors down! I ended up donating it all to a charity a friend was involved with that helped train young, unemployed women get a job - dressed in my power wardrobe they were sure to be a hit.

In Dublin, we filled bags for a women's refuge.

There's no way my things would be on sale in the shop we went to, but I'm more than happy to be a shopper there.

Are you a bargain shopper?
What's your best bargain buy?
Are there many charity shops where you live?
Do you donate or shop at charity shops, or both?

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