Charities ... are they charities as they once were?

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  • So yesterday I went into a small local shop to buy some veg.. (a registered charity) I had a choice of organic or non organic.. I choose the cheapest.. non organic ..as its supposed to be locally sourced anyway.. £1.65 for a non organic cauliflower.


    On their website it states - **we try to make 'eating well' easier for everyone, especially people who are isolated and disadvantaged. **


    I feel particularly priced out the market and as someone who currently eats probably 3 times the suggested daily intake of fruit and veg, on a very low budget. Then that is not supporting or helping me at all. Charities are or at least used to be set up to help the poor and disadvantaged, so what has happened that now that the poor and disadvantaged are priced out as their budgets wont allow them to shop in the places that are meant to help them?


    When is a charity no longer a charity but more a blue chip company?

  • Is the purpose of the shop to provide cut price / at cost goods or to raise money for a cause?


    We have a charity shop locally that raises money for a hospice. In fact it has a number of stores very close to each other but one is priced much higher and the stuff inside is cherry picked because it is "vintage"

  • I think charities in general now do over price their stuff,especially if you have a specialist shop,ie your veg one.we ,not half hour ago were talking to a batty,but utterly lovely couple in a charity shop and were saying the same thing,how primark stuff is priced higher than when new!i think the use of the phrases you ve used,ie making things easier for the poorer,disadvantaged means the people that use their services,ie the people the shops are set up to help.so unless,like we have,you find a good cheap shop,that piles it high and sells cheap to get a good turn over,a lot of charity shops cater for the more money orientated do gooders..ladies that lunch xx

  • NickJ .. as I said and from what I have read its to help those isolated and disadvanted to eat well, with cooking and nutrition classes and their shop...


    also.. on looking up their charity on the gov website... their statement is this...ALSO RUNS A SHOP AND GARDEN IN AXMINSTER SELLING INEXPENSIVE FRUIT AND VEG.


    They dont belong to a chain, it is very local but I feel they are cherry picking their customers by the way of how full their purse is.. hmmmm


    and yes.. hospice care and others like them have warehouses where their goods are centrally stored, checked and priced then shipped to their stores for sale..


    Is the purpose of the shop to provide cut price / at cost goods or to raise money for a cause?


    We have a charity shop locally that raises money for a hospice. In fact it has a number of stores very close to each other but one is priced much higher and the stuff inside is cherry picked because it is "vintage"

  • RM yes.. your right.. sadly a true charity shop is now a rare find.. used to love the RSPCA one in Chard, but even now that has gone all upmarket.. stupid thing is, the stuff they get is free.. their profit on, even if priced at a quid is a 100% profit.. when I volunteered in a shop a few years ago, it was apparent that the quicker it left the shop the more the stock rotated and was refreshed.. I go into charity shops and in certain ones the stuff is still there.. same old boring.. it does not keep the shop fresh at all..


    The politics inside a charity shop whilst volunteering is incredible.. thats why I gave up, fed up of those do gooders thinking they know best.. and they dont.. and god forbid you do something which is *their* job to do.. bluddy hell!!!


    Perhaps its time to tackle this head on.. I need a challenge..


    When you go to the Council help surgery if you need it, you can get a voucher for the food bank.. I am now wondering if there can be a card scheme for charity shops which you can show to prove your income is very low and its a need.. hmmm ...


    I think charities in general now do over price their stuff,especially if you have a specialist shop,ie your veg one.we ,not half hour ago were talking to a batty,but utterly lovely couple in a charity shop and were saying the same thing,how primark stuff is priced higher than when new!i think the use of the phrases you ve used,ie making things easier for the poorer,disadvantaged means the people that use their services,ie the people the shops are set up to help.so unless,like we have,you find a good cheap shop,that piles it high and sells cheap to get a good turn over,a lot of charity shops cater for the more money orientated do gooders..ladies that lunch xx

  • the charity shops are run very much as a business these days, some of their stuff in the shop is priced at more than it cost new.

  • There is a very good charity shop near where I live. It supports a charity but It is not run by the charity. They have plenty of stock, I buy most of my DVD's there. The manager is paid a salary. I have often spoken to the volunteers about more reasonable DVD pricing.

  • The realistically they should be on same par as rest of business's ... I am of the mind that if a charity is a charity like it proclaims, their bank balances should be continually low and definitely no investments of hundreds of thousands of pounds.. if their bank balance is low it means its doing its job as a charity..


    the charity shops are run very much as a business these days, some of their stuff in the shop is priced at more than it cost new.

  • The wee mad charity shop we like is manned by older ladies, but they are a crazy bunch and love a laugh. It's really cheap in there, and it's always busy with a huge turnover of decent stuff, DVD's two for £1, books 40p, and they have big baskets of kids clothes at 40p an item or 3 for a quid.
    Across the road is a big Barnardo's, you feel under-dressed going in there, it's pricey,boring, and it's usually empty. Yet a couple of miles away is another Barnardo's run a lovely young hippy girl, and it's great in there, fun, busy and cheap :hippy:


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    charities don't stock my size of clothing so its a waste of time me going in.


    Are you a big lad then Haggers? :hippy:

  • I also worked in charity shops and know the score that you are going on about re old biddy hierarchy:Dbut that s maybe all they have in life.I also am sick of the hike in prices.Everyone scans on ebay now to see what to sell stuff at.Out of the way tatty ones are where the real bargains are and end of season like now they may mark down the winter gear to be rid of it.I gave up ,went tech and hit ebay, often cheaper than charity shops,but make sure you ask all you need to.I got a lovely old embroidered jacket for a tenner once but couldnt wear it due to the awful stink of fag smoke doused in Lenor to try and mask the pong.Type in hippy clothes ebay CH there are wonders out there and you sit with wine and cake in hand whilst your doing it.It would be good if vanwoman ran freegan courses.A remarkable lady gets loadsa stuff at times ,helps lots of people too.

  • Ha ha! The irony of it is I find stuff near the donation banks, on the floor. The councils or shops where the banks are sweep it all up and throw it away, so I might as well pick it up. Also, it's shocking what's in the charity shop bins, round the back. Clothing, kitchen stuff, all kinds of thing the charities don't think will sell so it goes in the bin.

  • I am quite prepared to pay a reasonable amount for something that is good quality and will last a while (fall to pieces with wear) but not for some run of the mill thing that is not worth it. I spend a lot of time in charity shops and do get some amazing stuff but it is getting harder and harder. Their pricing policies are all wrong but sometimes that can work to your advantage. I often find really good,originally expensive gear for a few pounds because it is priced under a generic Price for regular skirts, trousers or whatever.
    I try to set myself a day to hit a town with a lot of charity shops and really really look for first a fabric that catches my eye then the style then the price. Usually it can be adjusted to fit if just a little large or sometimes I find a dress and make a skirt or top using the part I like the style of.
    But,back to OP, yeah,they no longer seem to be operating any differently from profit driven businesses.

  • And...many actually lock these bins now ..and threaten you with the plod if they catch you peeking in ..just for a look.:whistle:If I was that well off why would i be looking anyhow?They would really rather see it in landfill.

    Ha ha! The irony of it is I find stuff near the donation banks, on the floor. The councils or shops where the banks are sweep it all up and throw it away, so I might as well pick it up. Also, it's shocking what's in the charity shop bins, round the back. Clothing, kitchen stuff, all kinds of thing the charities don't think will sell so it goes in the bin.

  • hahaha! Go girl! I´ve found clothing in all sorts of places. Outside the bins, in the countryside, in the streetetc. People just don´t care about their possessions any more

  • Charities have gone quite corporate these days, they charge to much and are obsessed with signing up the whole planet for gift aid cards. I remember the old days when charity shops were run by friendly old ladies and you could actually afford stuff in them, there are some items they just charge to much for. I know they want to raise as much as they can, but if you put prices to high you price out poorer customers.

  • The commercialisation of the universe means that many 'managers' are paid for their work, which is reasonable.


    Getting money for labour, sadly it means that 'proof' must be provided that they are 'effective'.
    The local hospice has about ten different shops across the borough.


    One is in a very tourist oriented place and sells a lot of books, so almost all their donations get sent to central.


    The one closest to me is run by a former BHS manager and looks like it! They throw away a huge range of stuff as unsellable.
    VHS tapes, audio cassettes, vinyl records... you know the sort of thing.


    The smallest shop, in one of the poorer streets sells exactly that sort of stuff, and you could fill a carrier bag and still get change from a pound. They don't have a manger. They don't have targets.It shows.


    The old market town has seventeen charity shops in the old high street. Decide what you want to buy, how much you want to pay that determines which one you purchase from.


    Things are different out here in the Shire though.


    :beard:

  • Charity shop managers do not earn that much, a lot of them are on minimum wage and some only work part-time, I think charity shops are slowly forgetting low wage earners/unemployed people in this country who depend on them for things they need such as clothing and stuff. They are to business orientated now.

  • Don't get me on big charities being big business. The rot set in over a decade ago, maybe two decades.
    Apparently, you have to pay the top people top money as they bring in the top money.
    Take off their massive salary from what 'they bring in' and see what's left. I bet you could make as much with several lower paid fundraisers.

  • We're talking about different things here though
    - should charities operate as businesses/pay big salaries to managers...?
    - is the role of a charity shop to provide cheap stuff to poor folk, or to raise as much as possible for the charity?

  • Obviously, the charity shops are to raise money. BUT. If they sell a Primark T-shirt for £3 that was originally three for a fiver, something's gone wrong somewhere.
    It wouldn't be so bad if they weren't selling clothes by the ton for export. Not for the poor, but so it can be sold on at a huge profit.
    Just don't tell me you are a charity, and please donate your hard earnt, if the only thing that's important is the bottom line.

  • Perhaps the status of charity shops has changed and as you said, now, it is just to raise as much cash for their cause. If that is the case.. any charity with more than one shop should be classed as a business and any discounts a charity can get on running a business should be revoked and they should pay just like any other business..


    We're talking about different things here though
    - should charities operate as businesses/pay big salaries to managers...?
    - is the role of a charity shop to provide cheap stuff to poor folk, or to raise as much as possible for the charity?

  • But as I said, Charity shops *used* to be so that poor folk could afford stuff they cant afford to buy new .. now its proper big business.. so where do the poor folk go .. poor folk are being priced out of the market.. the whole status of what a charity shop was for has changed.. yes to raise money for their cause but also to help poor people... hate saying poor.. but you know what I mean..


    Nothing more disheartening that going into a charity shop hoping to find something decent to wear and finding you cant afford it..


    I just think its time to re-classify what exactly a charity is, who its for and to what extent do they stop being a charity and on par with other business's !


    The charitable status isn't about how they raise money, it's about what they do with it.