Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The great charity shop debate!! ;-)

Now here is a massive one for debate ... and I mean massive!!

You need to read this article, above, carefully!

Firstly, it begs these questions: 

1.Are charity shops there to make as much money as they can for their charities? 

2.Are charity shops there to help the local poor and needy in that particular area?

3.Are charity shops there to aid ebayers/vintage sellers etc to make as much profit as possible?

Secondly, just look at that headline!! 
If that’s not persuasive journalism, I don’t know what is!!

Bearing in mind the original idea of a charity shop, I don’t see that the charity shop
is any more greedy than the customer! Why should someone come along, grab a bargain
and then make a massive profit when they go away and resell it?
Why shouldn’t the charity shop benefit too? Have we forgotten the meaning
of the word ‘charity’?!

It makes me laugh because any of us who do vintage fairs can often be heard
complaining when customers try to get something at a lower price... 
yet here we are, on the other side of the fence, grumbling about charity shop prices.
Charity shops are a business, fighting for profits, just as we do. 

The fact is, that it all comes down to greed; greed on both sides, I think!

However, the ‘vintage thing’ has a lot to answer for, doesn’t it?!

I wonder how many of us, who frequent charity shops, actually look at the name
above the door as we enter or leave the shop and think about which charity
we have just helped? 
I bet there are many of us who never stop to look because we are quickly considering
what a bargain we’ve just found and what profit we can make on it! 
Rubbing our hands in glee, so to speak!!!

I think the debate re charity shops is a huge one! 

Many say that they are way too many shops in our towns. (Newton Abbot has plenty!)
Many say that they fill a space that would otherwise remain an empty shop space. 
Many say that enough of the money doesn’t filter through to the charity concerned
and that managing directors of charities are vastly overpaid.

Me? What do I think? Well, exactly as I have said above. I can see both sides
 of the argument but meanwhile, as I am contemplating further....

I reckon there’s nothing like a good old fashioned jumble sale!!
When I was teaching in Exeter, the jumble sale was a feature of the school calendar!! Every term!
Way hay!! I will never forget it!!
Our classrooms were in pairs and we had the choice...
to 'man' the jumble sale OR teach TWO classes for the afternoon!

I'll leave you to decide what I did! ;-)

The jumble sale! Bring it back! Umbrellas at the ready, let the battle commence!!



Andi's English Attic said...

Having witnessed a few punch-ups at the car boot, I think jumble sales may incite even more violence than they used to.

Happy New Year to you and yours. xx

KC'sCourt! said...

I'm afraid at the moment I will not go into any charity shops because they are far too expensive for anything. I do give to one charity once a year though (Royal British Legion).
I can see both sides of the argument, all the things you have pointed out. The charities need to make money, but charity shops were there to help others with reasonably priced items.
I do not go into charity shops now because a couple of years ago I was not allowed to purchase a dress that was on the dummy in the window. The dress was suitable for something I was doing a few weeks later, and having been to other shops there was nothing to match it. I even offered to put a deposit on the dress I would go back but the answer was still no! I wrote a letter to head office about what had happened and they did apologise.
I blame a certain Mary Porteous for the way charity shops have gone.

Josie-Mary said...

Don't get me started on this! Having joined the charity world in July I can't believe how many people complain about the prices. I sell handbags for about £2 but I still get told I'm over priced! I have dealers in all the time looking for gold/silver to sell on, also people selling on ebay. And of course the vintage dealers! I don't have a vintage section & try not to over price these items, I look on ebay first & price about £10-£20 lower so the sellers can still make money. However this is not good enough for some! I thought shopping in charity shops was not only to get a bargain but also help that charity. It cost £1.200 to run our animal shelter each week, with 9 shops we're just covering this but it does mean there's no room for improvements. I would also like to point out that I get min wage for managing the shop & my staff all do it for nothing!!! Anyway…. rant over!

Linda Gilbert said...

Happy New Year Sally. I have read that article and I am with you I can see both sides of the argument.
I too remember the school Jumble Sales. In 1976 I treated myself to a new hooded cardigan. A rare treat in those days. I had a PE lesson in the hall during the last period on the Friday before the Jumble Sale on the Saturday morning. You have guessed it .... What a bargain. Do you remember Keith's walking boots at the Decoy Jumble Sale. Such fun xxx

Anonymous said...

Cans of worms - Going cheap or at exorbitant prices.

If one donates an item then it is for the benefit of another, either directly or indirectly. It should not matter what happens to that item or what the resale price is. If that point does not sit well with one's conscience then one has the freedom and the right to make other decisions and choices, such as to sell in the free ads and then donate the cash. That is the only way one has any right to expect control.

Let us remind ourselves that charity shops are businesses that are managed by qualified people. I would expect them to do the very best for their cause. Such managers would have noticed exploitation ages ago and are merely seeking to address the issue.
If items were sold ridiculously cheaply then the media would be reporting different stories; that is their way. Some benevolent people might be deterred from giving.

One will never be able to prevent another from turning a quick buck. This practice is not exclusive to visitations to the charity shop. People scan the free ads, markets, online, car boot sales and skips, for financial opportunities. Legitimate businesses look to buy at keen prices and then retail in order to make a profit.
That is business and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, whether it is moral to exploit charity shop prices is another question. One cannot vet then bar entry to those who appear to be less than needy! One has to trust that a fair price has been set, then paid, then the profit returned indirectly back to the cause. Is it not unreasonable, to expect that only the poor are to enter such shops? Who would decide? How would you feel if challenged?

Tell me, how would you answer this:
If a poor person found an item of gold in a charity shop, say worth at least £150, but the manager sold it way below this to the poor person, who having no need for it, but recognising its worth, then took it to Cash Converters and made a healthy profit, would we be castigating the manager or the poor person? How would the media report that?

Don't forget that there are other charitable causes such as the Sally Army who offer practical solutions directly to those in need.

Yes, there will always be greedy people amongst us but that should not dissuade any of us from doing what little we can to help, be it donate or pay a little more. Let us not be deterred.
We all have a conscience, so let us use it and not worry about those who don't or won't. They will have their price to pay too at the time of reckoning.

Happy New Year to one and all.