Authored on: 26 September 2023
We are so grateful for the charity shop donations we receive from our many supporters. Most of these are dropped off in our shops, while some are picked up or even posted. But have you ever wondered what happens to them...? Here's a whistle-stop tour of the process.
After we've checked if they are gift-aided (tax-payers who sign up can help us generate 25% extra income), we carefully sort through the donations. We're always on the look out for something extra-special; perhaps it's a great brand, an antique, an unusual book or a special piece of jewellery. We then spend some time researching the item to work out the best place to sell it and the optimum price. We sometimes receive dirty items, and while we're able to clean dirty bric-a-brac, we don't have washing facilities for clothes, so anything that can't be cleaned or is damaged is sold by the kg to a recycling merchant, or it ends up in the bin.
Clothes are tagged, hung & steamed, to ensure they look their best. Anything with a plug on it has to be PAT tested before it's sold. Then everything is labelled and priced ready for the shop floor; our aim is that everything for sale makes the most money possible for our charity while offering great value-for-money to our customers. If we have space and the stock is seasonal, it will go straight out in it's department, ensuring it looks the best it can. If not, we'll store it or send it on to be sold in another shop.
It's a lot of work to get everything ready and our charity shop teams work really hard to ensure our shops are filled with lots of lovely things for our customers to buy. We absolutely couldn't do this without our amazing teams of volunteers who do much of this work in all 6 of our charity shops.
So next time you pick up a T-shirt, or a book or a lamp, or a pair of shoes, you've can imagine the journey it's been on!