29.7.11

Charity shop etiquette...


 Yesterday I went for afternoon tea. This morning I woke up with a wee hangover. Ooops. Anyway, I had today off and was keen not to waste it, so made I myself do something with my day of freedom. So what can you do when you need some fresh air AND perking up? Well it has to be a charity shop crawl doesn't it.

So I set off in my comfy Primark ballet pumps and hit the pavements of Norwich. It was a reasonably successful day.  A couple of cute 70's day dresses, which will be photographed asap so I can add them to Project 365.  I bought a lovely sea green wicker linen bin, it has a sheet of glass on the lid and the badge inside says 'Sirrom'. It's very Loom like, I need to do some research into how old it is. A quick search on Ebay has found some almost identical and they are listed as 40's/50's  but I think later, my first thought when I saw it was 60's maybe? If anyone knows, share your thoughts. It cost £7.99 and when I asked the lady in the shop if she could pop it behind the till as I looked round, she took it out the back and said to another helper ''See? I told you'' So I'm guessing there was an earlier conversation about what the price should be. Proof I suppose that tat to one person is someone else's treasure!







 I also got a couple of new books, although the shelves really are groaning. I picked up a book called 'Modern Etiquette' By Moyra Bremner. It's not particularly old as it was first published in just 1989 and this edition is 1992. I thought it would be interesting reading, and after randomly opening a page, there I was standing in the Chaz Boutique, surrounded mainly by O.A.P's, reading about the etiquette of sex, contraception and protection. (It's the first page I looked at! I swear) I think this will have to be a post on it's own, the book I mean, not the etiquette of safe sex......


I was thrilled to purchase a  book that looks at the life of the very glamorous comedic actress June Whitfield (Terry and June and Absolutely Fabulous) It's crammed full of pictures. I used to love Terry and June when I was tiny. It's going to be a fascinating look through her life in British television. When I was little I used to have a collection of Lady Bird books. Now two titles hold bad memories for me, ....it was the illustrations.... some are really quite dark and frankly a bit freaky. One of these was Rumple Stiltskin... The other book is a Lady Bird ABC book. I haven't found that one yet, but I feel that I need to, so I can lay to rest those childhood nightmares.

Rumple Stiltskin, proof that fairy tales are dark and scary!

So now I want to pose a question about charity shop etiquette:  Do you ever haggle over the price? I wouldn't dream about it and I have NEVER witnessed anyone doing this.... until today. Not once, not twice but THREE TIMES!!  In three separate shops, three different people. The results? Well they were interesting........

Shop one's reply to the haggler was:

This is a charity shop, the items are priced individually, it doesn't matter if you want three things. Someone will pay the price on the items, we don't give discounts. (At this point the haggler persisted) The shop lady went on to explain that it's a charity to help children, volunteers work in the shop for free, they don't do discounts and the price to pay would be the combined price of each item.

All explained very politely but very firm towards the end. The shop lady's answer was just as I would have expected and I was surprised someone would even ask. Then I was in another shop....and it happened again!

Shop two's response to being asked to knock some money off for a couple of items was:

Poor attempt at whispering by shop lady ''errmmm I could take £2 off for you?''  

Shop three's reaction to a discount?

The same as shop two! Lot's of lowering of voices as a deal was struck. I actually loitered in shop three *much* longer than I needed to, just so I could find out what happened.What do we think of that? Would you haggle? I really can't decide how I feel about it.
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22 comments

  1. Fab finds :D. I wouldn't dream of haggling in a charity shop especially when a lot are reasonably priced already. They aren't an in door car boot sale. Maybe it's in peoples minds be cause they are second hand goods that it's part of the package, free to haggle. I wouldn't dream of asking for discount in a retail store either, although I have seen that happen to. I don't think it's always taken into account the behind the scenes expenses etc.

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  2. If I find a fault I will point it out and ask if the marked price is correct. Most of my local oppys are rip-offs so I don't feel bad for asking if I think they've overlooked something.

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  3. Love your basket and no I dont haggle I think once you could do that but now people have things riced and its for charity and you should only buy th eitem if you think its what you want to pay,I leave what I think is too much but sometimes will goi back after thinking on it.

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  4. Nope, I would never haggle at an op-shop. I think it's bad form to do this even though the prices are going up...the takings are for charity after all.
    On a happier note: I was in an op-shop yesterday, basket full of stuff, when out of the blue the op-shop lady called out "everything is half price ladies!" Brilliant!

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  5. I don't haggle in charity shops. For all the moaning about prices (which seems the latest trend online, along with 'people should only donate vintage gems not primark'- erm, people donate their old clothes?!? It's a charity shop not a personal stylist) they are undoubtedly still cheap and at the end of the day the cash goes to charity. I might forgive a poor OAP, young mum or poor student trying to get a bit more, I'm guessing the biggest hagglers are fully employed thrifters and that's just bad form.

    BTW my gran had a 50s version of that basket, she kept towels in it (hmm, random TMI). But sorry, dunno about value!

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  6. Hi my dear-good find on the linen basket, I have a couple that are similiar but are lloyd loom ones. I also have those ladybird books too! I wouldn't haggle in a charity shop either, they are still cheaper than high street and its for a good cause too xx

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  7. Lovely finds, I thought the laundry basket was a 50's Lloyd Loom at first glance, (I have a larger version without glass top) and I would never dream of haggling in a charity shop, however we often have customers in the shop I volunteer in that expect to have money taken off as a matter of course. Bearing in mind we sell things at much lower prices than the other shops on the street, this really annoys me! (I pay the price asked for my items)X

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  8. grrr, my mac doesnt want to load your pictures...annoying as I'm very curious about the laundry basket. On the subject of haggling...I suck at it, and at some markets I've asked the price of something, then genuinly walk off to keep looking at other stalls and the seller bring down the price with me having no intention to do that in the first place :S so yes I suck. At a charity shop it seems a bit strange to expect already discounted items to sell even for less. But Ive worked for high-end brands and even then every day I had people asking for discounts...and offended looks when I refused as we were not a market...

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  9. I attempted to haggle a few weeks ago. A well worn Monsoon jacket was priced at £10, and filthy. I tried it on and the ladies who work there said it was lovely on me. I asked if they reckon it'd come clean with a good handwash, they said 'maybe'. My mum was with me, and she used to volunteer at the shop. I said "ooh, £10 though". The worker said "how much do you think its worth?" awkward.... mum piped up how about a fiver each?
    So we paid the tenner, and the worker said "I think it was slightly over priced to be honest".
    It's all about your relationship with the staff I reckon. They know me well, know I shop for me, not to re-sell and they know I donate goods generously, over £200 made from stuff I donated last year.

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  10. My views reflect those of most others on here- you don't haggle in charity shops, unless there is a fault you think they haven't seen and taken into account in the price already. Charity shops still have to pay for overheads such as rent and admin etc, its just cheeky to expect money off when its anot-form-profit organisation. High street shops, however, are totally different, mark-ups are huge so ALWAYS ask if you are buying in bulk/high value items or their are faults (however small)- you never know what you will get!

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  11. I have never haggled in a charity shop...but threre have been times when I have thought some items have been grossly over-priced...I suppose haggling doesn't hurt. It could be the difeerence in the shop selling an item slightly discounted or having it there gathering dust.

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  12. I'm with the others and wouldn't haggle in a charity shop, it just seems like bad form.
    The worst thing I overheard was a woman demanding a discount on a pair of still tagged M&S Autograph trousers (marked up at £4.99) because they were too long for her and she's have to get them taken up. Thankfully she was given short shrift.
    Another thing that drives me mad is people expecting their kids to be allowed in free to jumble sales. It's never more than 20p and it's for charity for heaven's sake.
    The linen basket is lovely. x

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  13. When I STOPPED going to thrift stores 10 years ago, the prices were becoming unbearably high, and all the good stuff was obviously lifted (stolen) at the point of donation, because you never, ever found something that didn't have a chip out of it or something on it broken.

    All the broken and chipped stuff was priced as if it was perfect and in a high-end antique shop, meaning outrageous.

    They would give a Senior citizen discount so I always had Mom with me and she would pay and get the discount, but the prices got so high I just stopped going. :(

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  14. I would never haggle at a charity shop, but that is partly due to the fact I'm terrible at haggling. I must also add that the "charity" shops where I live are actually for-profit organizations, so not all of the money raised goes to charity (they buy their stock from a charity organization, but they keep the profit). I also agree with the other comments that mentioned how expensive these stores are! I quite honestly saw a dress at one that was marked at $20 (and it was in very poor condition) when I know it cost about $15 when it was new!

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  15. My goodness I would never haggle in a charity shop, bootfairs/markets yes as they are private sellers, but charity? No.

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  16. I love your post and blog so much!!!.))

    I need your help. I spend another survey but this time with another question.
    "Where do you prefer to shop? What is your favorite shopping center?"

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  17. It's no way ok to haggle in a charity shop!! Cant believe some people have the cheek!

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  18. Hello Im a new reader and just had to comment. I have heard people try to haggle in charity shops and it makes my blood boil. My local hospice shop staff have said some people get quite abusive too. The manager once told me her plug in air fresheners have been stolen before now! Unbelievable behaviour.
    On another topic, lovely blog. x

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  19. I might double check a price with a member of staff if the item was obviously damaged, same way that I would in a normal shop or a vintage shop. If they want to people to buy it then it should be on the rails in decent condition as far as I'm concerned. That's a hypothetical opinion though, as I've never actually had to do it in a charity shop. I don't have any qualms about doing it elsewhere though.

    Normally if I consider something in a charity shop overpriced by my standards then I'll just leave it there. I'm sure less stingy people than me will happily pay the marked price for it and that's the best way forward for the charity.

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  20. For me haggling is reserved for antuque fairs, carboots and jumblesales. Never in a charity shop. If I think something is overpriced, I leave it where it is.

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  21. I'm very much with most of you on this, I wouldn't haggle, not in a charity shop. There is though no harm in pointing out defects in case it's been missed when they decided the price.

    Maybe the workers in shop 2&3 are to polite to say no?

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  22. I manage a chairty shop in a fairly properous area and yes they do haggle !! infact we probably get some one every day asking "what is your best price " and then we answer whats on it with a smile .. Items can slip through with faults and we do appreciates customers pointing this out to us . We are nothing without our support and on the whole most customers pay the asking price ..

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