Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Charity Shops

What do you think of when you hear someone mention 'Charity Shops'?

Old clothes that are out of date and not wanted?
Where old ladies shop and spend most of their time?

As true as those reasons may be, when looking in charity shops you may only find one item that is worth getting and other times you may find the whole shop is what you want.

If you are determined to find a bargain second hand I would recommend that you have the following in your bag: 

Change - as not all charity shops have card machines.
A List  - of things you hope to find on your phone or a notebook you carry.
Tissue/Wet wipes -  as shoes and bags may be marked.
Socks - you don't want to be trying on other peoples shoes bare foot in case they have a fungal infection.. or worse
Anti-bacterial hand gel - well if your second hand shopping you don't know where items have been. 

Keep it regular
It will take a certain amount of dedication for this charity shopping lifestyle. Many people think you can’t just wander in twice a year and hope to strike gold ,when little trips and random pop-ins are the best way. If you work in a town centre or near why not have a nosey look on your lunch break or, if you have time, after work? 

Wash what you buy
This is a key rule to be broken at your own risk. The world of second hand shopping is full of unknown origins of how items came to be there, a tragic death? sickness? If your in need of more convincing, visit AMP minizine and read some true stories of charity shop nightmares.

Look at the labels on the clothes
What might seem an amazing top, could be one previously from Primark that if it has already been worn it may not last much longer. The labels to look out for are the unknown brands or ones you know are of good quality.

Don’t judge each item from first look
Just because it looks like the scraps of last lessons fashions doesn't mean that it is. Think about it, combining it with something you already own and giving it a bit of re-vamping with some killer shoes and accessories it will look bang on trend.

Be creative
The smallest bit of customising can give an item new life. Adding some studs, gems or ripping it slightly could make one boring bit of fabric into a fabulous creation of your own. Half the time when charity shopping you will find something that you have fallen in love with at first sight and needs no more tampering or customising.

Don’t go for the obvious
We all know about Oxfam and The British Heart Foundation, but the more well known the chain the more expensive trying the local hospice or a smaller charity is most likely to get you the better bargains. Not only is it likely to be cheaper but you can know your money is making a big difference locally.

In the long run charity shops aren't just there as a source of cheap clothing and furniture but they are to help support and raise money for a cause. Sure the low prices are attractive to the customers but I like to hope part of the reason many people shop in charity shops is to give something back.

Happy Shopping Fellow Shopaholics!

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