Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Burwood RSPCA finds: pony books, tea cosies and a suitcase

I visited the Burwood RSPCA op shops today, and found a couple of goodies in the posh bric n brac shop:

Pony novels for tweens. $5 each. So much more cooler than Saddle Club. I've stopped reading pony novels but I'm sure someone out there wants to read Rebel Pony.

Hand-embroidered tea cosies for $10. The second one was prettier but it had a couple of stains on it, so I left it behind. :(

White suitcase in good nick for $12. This one's put on hold for a friend. I hope she likes it.


Anonymous said...

Lovely treasures that you share with us. And it is generous of you to also divulge the price you paid for the items.

My concern is that many op shops have become like retail outlets. I refuse to pay hefty prices and will frequent only those charities that do not have paid staff and high rents. As this fact is definitely reflected in their pricing.

Because of my financial situation I refuse to pay more than 50 cents for a book in an op shop as I can get my secondhand books at the local library for around 25cents each.

Thuy Linh Nguyen said...

I think pricing is important too but sometimes I am so in love with the item that I will buy it.

I don't see many books going for 50 cents any more at op shops. Most go for around $1 or $2. Church garage sales, on the other hand, are great for books. I picked up a pedal bin, a stack of books, and a paper roll holder for $7 at the church garage sale in Vermont. It was great.

But I'm curious to know whether anyone else has any op shopping ethics/quirks? An atheist friend of mine doesn't like how I support religious charities (i.e. Salvation Army) by buying stuff at their op shops. I'm not religious myself but I don't have an issue with this as I'm getting things in return for my 'donation'.

Jayne said...

One op shop I mentioned about 12 months ago still has outlandish prices for its goods, is becoming so cluttered people can barely walk in the store and I know many of the items are still sitting there from 12 months ago when I contacted their head office.
A really refreshing remark was over-heard at the Lions Shop in Murrumbeena the other week when 2 ladies were discussing pricing some almost-new donations that had just been brought in -
"This is an op shop not a retail outlet, the stuff needs to be priced to sell not sit here gathering dust."
Hear, hear!

Word verification =sellity -Blogger has a sense of humour lol.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I acknowledge that if 'you love' an item you really will have to pay the asking price and I have done that before but very rarely.

I really do not judge other people making a choice on what to pay or not to pay. My beef is with overcharging generally when like the lady at Jayne's op shop inferred turnover is more lucrative than junk sitting around getting dusty because it is too over priced.

It would be great that a site like I Op I Am been an advocate for op shoppers to petition its bloggers and make contact with stores who overprice to the point of ridicule.

Thuy Linh Nguyen said...

You raise a valid point. Too many op shops overprice, making their goods unaffordable for the people who actually need them. Did anyone read the Leader newspaper article comparing op shop prices with the Reject shop? (http://leader-news.whereilive.com.au/news/story/high-price-a-given/) I thought it discussed this issue nicely.

Suzan said...

I support the Salvation Army not because of the religion but because they do so much good for the poor and disadvantaged. I like a 2 minute walk away from the rspca opshop - they have some crappy prices and there is an opshop lady there that tried to make me pay 25 bucks for a dress. I just blinked and asked her if she knew it was an opshop and she just shrugged and said they have to pay rent. I do hate it when opshops charge too much though, it's ruining the entire idea. Worst priced opshop ever is the Salvation Army in Camberwell. INSANE pricing and bitchy sales staff.

Joanne said...

Its a complex issue. Some op-shops have raised prices because they figure they should be the ones to make the profit, rather than the many people now buying from ops to resell online.
I agree with the comments that this attitude leads to pricing items out of the range of the truly needy. I've also read that huge amounts of good clothing are destroyed or sent for rags from the op-shop warehouses because of the glut they receive. It seems crazy that they wouldn't rather sell it cheaper and get something for it.
In our area, (Geelong) the cheaper op-shops are in back streets or quiet suburbs. The expensive ones are in or near busy shopping strips. I don't pay high prices at op-shops.

http://abebedorespgondufo.blogs.sapo.pt/ said...

Good blog.

Revving the Engine said...

Hi Joanne

You're right, stacks of clothes are chucked every day. I used to volunteer at an op shop in my home town.

My task was to sort through the clothes looking for stains and missing buttons. Anything that had a blemish was chucked.

Stuff that was cotton was sent to a local business owner to use as rags, some summer gear was sent away to africa to be warn by locals, and some stuff was put on the shelves to be sold. But by far the majority of the donated goods were chucked into a massive monster skip out the back that was emptied every week.

I'm not talking about the regular sized skips that are about as long as a bicycle and foot or so higher. I'm talking about a skip that was the size of a couple of vans.

Massive wastage. Especially since they could have sent their rejects on to other op shops in town who didn't have such stiff standards.

jules said...

I love the suitcases!

Gina E. said...

Oh that's awful... I mean about all the things being chucked out. What a wasteful society we are.
I've only been to the RSPCA opshop twice, and found a few items that I thought were overpriced. Those teacosies would normally sell for a couple of dollars at other opshops; I'd only pay $10 if I found them in an antique shop and if they were in spotless condition. Thuy, you should have bought the other teacosy if you liked it so much - an overnight soak in Napisan probably would have removed most of the stains!

Thuy Linh Nguyen said...

Gina. E.: Hmm. Despite the overpriced tea cosies, I still shop at the RSPCA because I like supporting the organisation. But I have seen cheaper tea cosies floating about...

Joanne and Revving the Engine: I didn't realise that there was so much wastage. I'll try to donate my clothes to a smaller op shop next time. Joanne, how are the op shops in Geelong? I've never done a trip down that way.

Thuy Linh Nguyen said...

Suzan: Agree. Camberwell Salvos is v. pricy.

Anonymous said...

A fortnight ago I was in an op shop and asked the price of a broken lamp base. The op shop lady said she did not know and asked the other op shop lady who said $5.00.

I told them no thanks as it was broken and I did not know if my hubbie could fix it.

The ladies put it back on the shelf and there it remains as of yesterday broken without a home or at least someone to try and make it could again.

I would have been happy to pay $2.00. This amount is a donation to this charity and it has knocked it back. And broken junk remains on the shelf.

Anonymous said...

sorry about my typo above, I mean for 'someone to make it GOOD again'

Also, my donations of clothes and bric a brac go to the smaller non-retail strip op shops. Like those that run out of old church buildings with ladies that encourage and enjoy haggling. I love it when the ladies say 'it is donated so why would you charge too much' What joy when I visit these op shops and do 'thrift therapy' with these good hearted women.

prashant said...

I can get my secondhand books at the local library for around 25cents each.

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