Life In A Charity Shop

As you may, or may not know, I spend a lot of my time working in a charity shop. I’ve been doing this job for pretty much 8 years, on and off and I love it. You never get two days the same.

Some people may know about the charity shop world already, either being a regular rummager or a helpful volunteer or possibly staff. For those of you who are a bit more new to this, here are some things to know…

  • Almost everything is donated, so no, we don’t have it in another size.
  • Yes, we will accept your donation most of the time but please have the courtesy to not give us your actual rubbish. It actually costs the charity to throw it away for you. If you’re unsure, please ask. We will take most items in sellable condition and general clothes and bedding for rags.
  • No, we haven’t washed it. Washing machines are expensive and time consuming. We sort, hang, steam and price. If we were to wash, then we would have to bump up the price and take a lot longer to get the clothes out.
  • No, we don’t like people to haggle. We are a charity and aim to raise as much money as we can. The items have been donated to us for this purpose and to reduce the cost would be disrespectful to the donor.
  • We are a great place to volunteer and make great friends! If you’re young and looking for a job, a parent who needs a bit of ‘me’ time or a retired person looking for something different to do then this is the place to be! There’s usually a happy, fun atmosphere and plenty of tea and biscuits 🍪 If you’re especially creative or have a particular interest in something that you think could be helpful to us, then great!
  • Shopping with us isn’t embaressing! In fact, we have loads of young and funky customers. They’re all looking for that quirky piece no-one else has. We also get a load of great high street and designer items (sometimes new with tags!). You’ll also be helping a wonderful cause and grabbing a bargain!


  • You would be surprised what some people donate! Used underwear, wet, stained clothes, used notebooks, sex toys, wigs, actual rubbish, opened food, broken toys… On the other hand, we get some incredible jewellery, designer items, great furniture. I quite often end up buying some clothes or bric-a-brac.
  • Our super team of volunteers is ever changing and we get some wonderful people. Everyone has their own story and reason for helping. It’s so interesting to hear about everyone’s lives! People can be so interesting…and surprising!
  • We have events too! Cake sales, Christmas stalls and Halloween fun. Any excuse for fancy dress and being silly.
  • We are always busy and looking for helpers to do varied jobs. There’s a lot more to do than you’d think! Till work, putting out and arranging stock, displays, rotating stock, taking donations, signing up Gift Aid donors, sorting donations, researching items, hanging clothes, pricing, steaming and more!
  • Fact- You have charity shops in the UK, thrift shops in the USA and Canada and Op’ shops in Australia and New Zealand Zealand. Some other countries have a few but not all.

So there you go!  Next time you’re passing a charity shop, pop in and have a look around… You might just pick up something awesome.


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