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Charity shopping is addictive, FACT! Once you start you won’t be able to shop. For me personally it’s the thrill of not knowing what you are going to un-earth and the bargains that you can get. If you have never been charity shopping then you are seriously missing out.
I used to manage several charity shops in the South East so I have seen first hand the bargains that can be had if you are prepared to look for them.
Here are my 10 tips for charity shopping…
Have a Rough Idea of What you are Going in For
Most charity shops sell a huge variety of things from tennis rackets to Tupperware and if you have some idea of what your looking for it stops you from feeling overwhelmed by the vast amount of stuff.
I always go armed with a list, this helps me to stay on track and not get sidetracked.
Use your Imagination
Sometimes when you are in a shop surrounded by a mixture of good items, retro items and should have been binned a long time ago items it can be easy to overlook an item that might look really good with extra accessories or a slight tweak here and there.
Check out the ‘Real’ Shops First
What I like to do before I raid the charity shops is go into a few high street shops first and find an outfit that I would like. I then trawl round the charity shops trying to find something similar but for about a quarter of the price. I get a real buzz from doing this as I hate spending money.
Always Ask if you can’t Find what you are Looking for
Having worked in charity shops for the past 8 years I know for a fact that charity shops get a huge amount of stock in and they simply cannot fit it all out on the shop floor. If you have something particular in mind that you are after then ask at the till if they have it in the back.
Make Friends with the Staff
If you get to know the volunteers and staff then you can ask them to keep an eye out for certain things and let you know when it comes in.
Always Checkout the ‘Smaller’ Local Charity Shops
Some of the best bargains can be found in the less well known charity shops and their prices are also generally lower.
The Kind of Town you Shop in will Reflect on what you Find in the Shop
If you shop in a very affluent town then you will generally find more designer labels and such like but you will have to pay more for them. So depending on what you are looking for change the town that you are shopping in to suit.
Take your Time
As there is so much to see in each shop it’s best if you have time to browse properly without having to rush around. Don’t take too long though or you may end up buying things that you didn’t really need or want.
Experiment with Sizes
Just because you are a size 12 don’t limit yourself to that size. Shop sizes seem to vary considerably, that and the clothes may have been washed a few times before and shrunk or been stretched. Try to aim for one size below your size, your size and one size above and then try everything on!
As I said already charity shopping is addictive, if you start to find yourself buying everything, just because it was cheap and you find that every surface in your house has something on it, it might be worth taking a break for a while.