Charity Shops/Charities

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  • Makes me sad that in this day and age I cannot afford to buy an item from a charity shop because the price has been hiked up because its M&S or what ever. I am at the poorest point of my life and the whole original ethos of charities helping the poor has more or less gone.. it makes me mad!!

    When does a charity stop being a charity and becomes a business?

    Should charities effectively have tens, if not hundreds of thousands in the bank and invested? Any charity should technically be running almost on empty when it comes to funds in the bank, surely a sign that they are doing exactly what they profess to be doing - helping the needy.

    I wonder if its time to change charities status's .. when they stop being such and more so a well oiled business making serious money..

    Used to love charity shops.. now I go in and browse looking at price tags and all I mutter under my breath majority of the time is *forfucksake*!!!

  • Hi, I live in west Cumbria and have issues with the pricing of some of the items in local charity shops I put this down to having to pay staff because of the shortage of volunteers. Saying that though I had 180 hours of community service to do a few years ago and an option was to do 2 six hour shifts a week, I served at the tills sorted and priced stock plus drove the van for pick ups, obviously I wasn't paid but 3 staff were.

    There is a new cancer research shop opened this past month and they have a set pricing system of 1 2 or 3 pound per item and its a busy shop because the pricing is sensible

  • I totally agree with you CT, my local Oxfam shop in Keswick is just plain greedy on
    pricing, apparently the Keswick shop is the most profitable Oxfam shop in the uk,
    I only go in there to buy books they are quite cheap in there but everything else
    Is ridicules, we have a saying in Keswick that only the rich can shop in there,
    unfortunately they are a business and only interested in making money and
    not helping people.

  • I think the point of these shops
    Is that you can make an offer at which you can afford!

    I really liked a pair of salt n pepper pots, just little ones, that had come from Australia with aboriginal design on them and thought they would be a nice reminder of my recent trip out there.. but they wanted 6 quid for them.. would have happily payed say £3.. but I doubt the hospicare shop would have taken an offer.. I offered them something I could afford for a coat I liked for my daughter.. she said, its just new on the rails and someone will pay that for it.. I just said oh thats a shame, I like it, but I cant afford that .. it was tough titty for me .. :(

  • I volunteered for the British Heart Foundation for around a year and half, although I loved it and made some great friends I must admit the prices sometimes seemed steep, especially for books. They also had a strict no negotiation policy. I think it's down to the organisation, the smaller charity it is the better the prices seem to be.

  • I have also volunteered in a charity shop.. a small independent one and he kept his prices low.. keep prices low, stock moves quicker, stock refreshes quicker, people dont get bored coming in and seeing same stuff that wont sell.. there are a couple in town that are very reasonable and these are the ones I frequent the most .. :)

  • Dont get me on big charitys really bein big business. Apart from me undies evrythin I am wearin comes free fromwot ppl leave by the collection bins. Oh an me socks come from the poundshop bins!!

  • The CEOs and other directors of the big UK charities, like those in the States, get huge salaries, which is one reason charities are run as businesses. The charities are not obliged to disclose how much these high-flyers get, but some indication can be gleaned here:…aid-more-than-100000.html

    So we see between £60,000 and £184,000 for many, nice work if you can get it.

    The spurious argument often trotted out is that you have to offer big salaries to get the most efficient people. This doesn't hold water, either. There are many professions and trades where you can know the job well and do it as efficiently as the best, but you don't get this sort of money.
    If you were really in it to help because the charity means a lot to you, you would be happy with a decent living wage. So prices in charity shops are kept high to pay for the people at the top; those who do the donkey work at the bottom hardly get more than the national minimum wage.

  • I've worked for a charity before and I was paid a salary of 21k for 30 hour week, on a tapering salary contract. It was up to me to generate funds for the coming years and also for a employed assistant and all our office costs etc. I was good at my job and brought in/raised far more than was anticipated. The charity I worked for had a director on a crazy high salary. The aurgument was. He knows far more people in high places and with one formal diner, meeting, he did generate as much if not more than all the staff combined. That's why charities are big businesses these days. A charity shop on a high street still has overheads. Even if Staffed with volunteers, income is still going to be modest.
    I do agree they charge too much for some items these days. But they also stock less and hope to attract a different clientele, with money to spend and donate.
    Car boots are the place to shop for clothes, books tat etc. Vote with your feet if you want the best affordable deal.
    If you could buy good designer gear in a charity shop, chances are someone will make a business out of buying it and selling it on eBay.

  • I've often wondered about the morals of buying from charity and selling for profit. Can't get my head round it. You're buying from it you're funding a charity which is good but but your also profiting from it.

  • I've often wondered about the morals of buying from charity and selling for profit. Can't get my head round it. You're buying from it you're funding a charity which is good but but your also profiting from it.

    Nothing wrong from my point of view, you pay what they ask for it, it is then yours to do whatever you want with it. :)

  • My partner Is a manager of a charity shop, working 6 days a week with less than 2 weeks holiday a year working for minimum wage and most days working alone due to shortage of volunteers. Overworked she then has to make the shop profitable, her wages need to be covered and the rent for the store. Just because it's charity doesn't mean they have cheap rent, the landlords treat the shop like any shop with greedy pockets wanting the charities money.
    When you consider the weather as a factor too, people aren't shopping on miserable wet and cold days. Can't just shop online from a charity shop so footfall is a critical factor. On top of that people think charity shop means they should sell for any amount of money because 10p is better than nothing. If they all had crazy low prices we would have NO charity shops as they wouldn't even break EVEN let alone make a profit to go to the actual CHARITY to help people. Each year large numbers of shops close due to making too many losses. If you think a charity is being greedy, please look at the top brass with high incomes as THEY are the greedy ones but remember when you visit a charity shop that has one paid manager that works their arse off to turn a profit just to SURVIVE as a shop and keep doing business. This isn't even accounting for quality of donations and time wasted by staff having to sort through donated goods only to find that it's all trash, ACTUAL trash. We're talking lazy people that take a bag of used tissues, pieces of paper, empty bottles all kinds of genuine trash with zero items that are sellable.

    And no manager gets a decent living wage, you get more to work at McDonald's than run a shop with zero support from the charity upper management.