I love charity shops. There are a couple of main reasons why: it’s for charity (spending with a bit of a feel good factor), it’s cheap (good for the wallet), it’s environmentally friendly (reducing waste to landfill and decreasing the need to manufacture more stuff), and it’s often a bit more unique (older fashions not currently in the shops) (assuming there can be relative levels of uniqueness).
I asked for hints on twitter on how to make the charity shopping experience even better and got some cracking advice:
@Helen_R: Look at everything with a creative eye – you may not like what it is now, but think what it could become. Also, if you think it’s not worth what they’re asking for something, it probably isn’t.
@Woollythinker: When trying on, mentally add a zero to the price. Or you may end up buying “cos it’s a bargain” and then never wearing it.
@jimsyjampots If it smells, it will probably always smell. If it’s too big but you love it, take it in/wear with a belt because it’s worth it.
@erzsebel: Go somewhere posh. As a student in Leeds, Harrogate wad always rich pickings.
To these I would add:
Be wary of the shadow shopper. Sometimes when doing a large number of charity shops in a go, your movements can become synchronised with another person doing the same route. This mostly becomes a problem if they are obviously looking for the same thing as you, but can sometimes be dealt with by changing your route slightly (eg by leapfrogging the next shop and coming back to it later).
Don’t disregard the children’s section. Some gems can get put on the wrong shelves.
Try things on. Most charity shops have changing rooms, and you don’t want to take something home that doesn’t flatter.
And one last thing that I’ve just thought of: take lots of reusable bags with you, as with all shopping trips you can come home with an awful lot of plastic bags if you’re not careful.
I’m sure there are loads more tips out there, feel free to share them below.