mycharityshoplife’s rough guide to successful charity shopping

  • Think about location: Any charity shop can have amazing finds but think about the area’s demographic, e.g. are there many families (good kids stuff), students, professionals etc, as a (very) broad guide to style, quality, brands, diversity of items.
  • Give yourself time: The best items will not be immediately apparent. Be prepared to leaf through every dress of your size on the rail, and check shoes you like for their size. Items aren’t always in the right place or labelled correctly – but it’s all part of the fun.
  • Try things on: Of course, only where practical. Most charity shops provide at least one changing room, but you could be waiting ages.
  • Don’t settle for ill-fitting items – because you think you’ve got the best bargain ever – unless you are a talented seamstress or you like pain. If the item doesn’t fit properly you will be re-donating it in no time.
  • Don’t haggle – it’s a charity shop! They are trying to raise money for their cause.
  • Bring some donations – for an all round feel-good experience and strike up a relationship with some of the most friendly and interesting retailers on the high street.

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