Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Going to the Head ... Office, that is.

I think we've all noticed prices in op shops rising in recent years and this is understandable, to a certain extent, with now paid staffing, rising utility costs, rent, etc, forcing charities to up their prices to meet their over-heads and running costs.
But one particular op shop I haunt has raised it prices quite high in the past 18 months, since paid staff were introduced.
I don't mind paying that bit extra for something in good condition, a genuine collectable, a complete set of something, a complete kid's game or the like, but this shop had become very unrealistic with it's prices and we noticed stock sitting there for 6 months, or longer, simply because of the unreasonable price tags.
I looked up the phone number for the charity's head office and, in a friendly manner, explained what I had noticed at the shop.
The woman understood what I was saying immediately and thanked me several times, stating that if I hadn't brought it to their attention they'd have never known.
Sometimes the charity isn't involved in the day-to-day running of the op shop and things can easily be missed or communications to shop managers can be misunderstood.
Sometimes just a phone call might sort out a mess.


Anonymous said...

having op shopped for the past 14 years , i know exactly what you mean. Op shops that were set up for charity and selling to those in need are now researching cost of items on ebay before pricing putting many items out of reach of battlers. I have noticed in all op shops that I have been in the amount of volunteers dibbsing items and many leave the stores with bags full. A few old dears with hearts of gold are genuine and volunteer as a service to needy. But my experience and I wish i had been filming this is that most of the volunteers have alterior motives.

trishhunterfinds said...

Its all so very true, and another thing that I have noticed, is that as the fanbase of opshops continue to grow, and with shows such as antiques roadshow and collectors being so popular, people are tending to give less, as they're holding onto items and thinking before they throw away, incase they too have something valuable.

butterfly baby blue said...

How true!! 25 years ago i went into the local op shop with my sons bassinet, which he had outgrown...it was in great condition, i was a very young mum and things were pretty tight...they swapped the bassinette for a porta-cot, no money changed hands. I would quite often take my preloved items there and the volunteers would stop me at the door and tell me that i wont have to pay full price for whatever thing i chose.
That IS PURE charity,It would never happen these days.
About four years ago i was struggling again, lol it seems to happen in cycles! I did work for the dole at a large Op Shop (Australia Wide) most of the volunteers...("good christian women", not my words these came from the supervisor) left each day with literally car loads of goods. It was to me, almost a criminal offence,for the most part I stick to garage sales, markets or smaller OpShops where I know the pricing is reasonable.
The larger stores seem to have a standard price for everything eg. a stained, faded tshirt will cost the same amount as a newish one.
Also with so many empty shops and ware houses, why are the larger charities building there own stores?

Anonymous said...

yes, all too true i am afraid. most times the items are able to be brought at a $2 shop for much less than the op shops. i am quite selective of what i buy as a lot of things can be found cheaper on a bargain table, clean and new. i also think ebay has had a huge impact on op shops as people are now selling for themselves on ebay rather than donating.

Barb said...

I must admit I am amazed at what gets donated - as someone who runs an op shop. I'm constantly thankful and amazed at the generosity of the community around Fairfield where our shop is - we get amazing stuff constantly (so much so that we can't put all the good stuff that we get out!). All the same I do think ebay has made a difference to the more expensive items people want to get rid of.

Gina E. said...

Well done Jayne - like most of us here, I know of several shops where the people running them set their own prices because they think they can get away with it.