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In this post I thought I would share with you some of the things I have picked up this year, in my local charity shops. I am blessed where I live as we have 9 charity shops all within walking distance of each other. Three of the shops are for local charities, but the other six are for the bigger charities.
As stated in my last post, it is amazing what you can find if you look hard enough. I haven’t been shoppiing for a while, so this is just a snapshot of what you can find at a fraction of the cost of buying new.
My town has: Oxfam, Thames Hospice, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Helen and Douglas House, Blue Cross, Sue Ryder Homes, Forces Support, and WADE (local day Centre). The Oxfam in my town is one of the eleven nationally that can sell electricals as we have the volunteers who are willing to test them for us (pat testing, it is illegal to sell electricals if this has not been done.) hence why many shops will not take them.
I frequently go ‘charity shop hopping’ as my daughter dubbed it. As it is possible to find all sorts of things at bargain prices. This is the act of visiting all the charity shops on one shopping trip to see what we can find. The best day to do this, is usually a Monday, assuming of course that the shop is open on Saturday, as obviously the weekend is when they get the most donations through.
It is not a good idea to just visit one day a week either, as charities get donations constantly and therefore if they are on the ball, the stock will be changing regularly. I find I tend to look around every time I go into town.
I have found a 100% Silk Skirt, that was on a 50% off sale rail and therefore from the original price of £5.00 it was discounted to £2.50, I didn’t realise, and obviously none of the staff had noticed, until I got home, that the skirt was 100% silk. To be fair that doesn’t happen that often but very occasionally you’ll be lucky.
I have also been lucky when looking for shirts for my husband, as he likes them with a breast pocket so he can put his glasses in it (only needs them for reading) Our British Heart Foundation, has a bargain rail where everything is £1.00. So far I have managed to find him 3 shirts for that price, and there is nothing wrong with any of them.
Below are photos of some of the other things that I have found in various charity shops ranging from £5 to £10. I have items from Marks and Spencer, New Look and Jacques Vert (which I thought was expensive when I looked at it!, it cost me £7.99, new it would have been £69.99, who pays that much for a T Shirt ?!)
From Top to bottom, left to right are as follows: Cardigan M&S £4.99, Cardigan M&S £4.99, New Look Midi Dress £7.99, unknown top £5.99, Cardigan Edinburgh Wollen Mill £5.99, unknown Trousers £6.99, All of these #foundinOxfam.
Unknown Cardigan £7.99, Jacques Vert T Shirt £7.99 from Cancer Research UK.
M&S Cardigan £5.99 #foundinOxfam.
The 100% silk skirt came from Sue Ryder discounted from £5.00 to £2.50. That was just pure luck.
As you can see from the above, there is good quality clothing out there to be found. The Marks and Spencers items would have been around £25 if you’d bought them in store, and the Cardigan from Edinburgh Wollen Mill could have been anything from £20-£30 or even £40.
The only thing I would say, is if you see something you like, and you don’t know if it is the right size, try it on, especially if you like it. It’s no good looking at it and saying I’ll buy it later, as quite often they don’t stick around that long.
The dress from New Look is an absolutely gorgeous blue and is my favourite colour. I tried it on and was surprised that it fitted, so I purchased it. During the hot weather we’ve been having I have worn it out, and had nothing but compliments about it. If I’d bought it new, it would not surprise me if it had cost around £20.
I know people are very sniffy about charity shops selling second hand items at fairly high prices. What you have to remember is that they have to rent the buildings they’re using, there is usually a target that they need to reach for head office, and add to that that if you look above, actually they are not expensive, it just depends on your point of view. There is no way on earth I would have paid £30 or even £40 for a cardigan, but having said that I also wouldn’t have paid £69.99 for a T Shirt either. Most items are checked to see their actual value within the shop they were purchased from, and then the item is priced accordingly. Very occasionally as with my skirt, things will slip through the net, but that’s the exception these days not the rule.
This is recycling at it’s best, and it does two things, it saves you money and it helps others out in the process. By purchasing from charity shops (which are no longer run like Jumble sales as they used to be) you are saving the environment, helping the charity raise funds, and saving yourself money and this does not only apply to clothes. It applies to many other things too. I have never understood why people get really sniffy about 2nd hand clothing, especially when it comes in, in good condition, and a lot of the time brand new with tags.
Want it, Try it, Buy it. Don’t wait or it’ll be gone.
See you next time.