Sunday, 13 July 2014

A Guide To Charity Shops In London: Preface

It's something I've been meaning to do for ages; write about my favorite charity shops in London. Some of my faves get a few name checks in my outfit posts but I've never really written about the best places to go for what etc. A common tip is to go to a affluent area where the donations will be more expensive/less worn. Whist this for the most part works, I've seen some awful stuff in Richmond, raggy clothes I wouldn't even donate, let alone buy. I have also read that the big charity shops move stock around, with all the best stuff going to fashionable areas (ie East). Which makes sense, in posher areas the residents don't want to buy from charity shops and in more normal areas people aren't willing to pay extra for/have never heard of Dries Van Noten. This actually makes one of my top tips for a bargain to seek out smaller and local charities shops, where they haven't got the facilities to shift stock around London or even keep hold of it for too long. They tend to have lower prices and a bargain rail to get rid of stuff that's not selling.

Lots of charity shops are over run with Primark stuff. I can never bring myself to buy Primark in the charity shop, looks like I'm a label snob in that way. I also hate it when Primark/George/Florence &Fred stuff is priced up at what it probably cost new/more than that. Overpricing in Charity shops is something that bothers me. I understand that they are there to make as much money for their charities as possible but if something is just too expensive for me then I'll walk out of the shop with out buying anything and the charity doesn't get anything. I guess it must be a hard balance to strike as they don't want to under price themselves. Most charity shops are run by savvy people now, rather than the little old ladies of stereotypes who wouldn't know how to price Prada. That doesn't mean you can't pick up the odd bargain design  find and it's all the more pleasing when you do (Hello Jil Sander wool trousers for £7 in Wood Green). Sometimes I actually feel really guilty when I get a mega bargain, I feel like I've stolen from charity! I quite often see rare items with a little print out from eBay next to it, showing how much it goes for on eBay and what a bargain you're scooping, which if you ask me is fair play. They've done their research to get a fair price. A lot of charity shops know they can charge more for Topshop and Asos. I hate when they want the same sort of prices they'd charge for designer (yes I've seen a Topshop dress priced the same as a DKNY one). I will usually mention in my guide if they know they can charge more for certain high street labels. I think that £6-8 for a Topshop top or skirt is pretty average with another brands skirt being £4-6. Some charity shops have clicked on to vintage too, I love it when they have a separate section for vintage stuff. This usually means paying extra but it's so much easier that I just don't care. Some think people will pay hundreds for something that just isn't that great. And some charity shops it's best to think of as vintage shops with a good feeling about giving some money to charity as that's what they are in terms of quality, selection and price. And some charity shops look at a big shouldered bright coloured 80's dress or a super ugly Christmas jumper and think 'who'd want to buy that?' and sell it cheaply. I'll also tell you what charity shops I think are like that. I'll try to write down prices for items so you can gauge how expensive the shop is. I've also started to notice a lot of charity shops getting in high street design samples, which are usually a good purchase and sometimes you can figure out where they were supposed to go. 

So my first guide will be for Notting Hill.

Do you have any good charity shops to recommend or have you written a guide to charity shops? Is there a part of London you think I should write about? Please share, I love a good chazza shop.

1 comment:

Hips Like Cinderella said...

I live in Muswell hill and there's some great charity shops there and in Highgate! Not too pricey and can find some pretty cool stuff! Xx

Hips Like Cinderella

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