Why do people shop in charity shops?

Many people shop in charity shops because they want to support the activities of the parent charity.

A growing number of people use charity shops because of the environmental and ethical benefits of the reuse of goods, rather than buying completely new goods, or dumping used goods.

Other people shop in charity shops because they like the range of goods available. Many charity shops stock clothes, furnishings, crockery, CDs and videos which are no longer available in other stores.

Many people visit charity shops to pick up retro and vintage clothing in particular.

Charity shops are also popular because the prices are often lower than other shops, even commercial second-hand shops.

Where do the goods in charity shops come from?

85% of goods sold in charity shops are from donations.

Some shops sell ‘bought-in’ goods. These are new goods which are sold for profit. From our surveys, we know that the average charity shop sells 6% new goods.

Many shops sell only donated goods, but others sell both bought-in and ethically produced ‘fair trade’ goods.

However, a shop must sell wholly or mainly donated goods in order to retain its status as serving a “charitable purpose”.

What do charity shops sell?

Most charity shops sell ladies’, men’s and children’s clothing, artworks, hand made craft items, books, toys, ornaments, kitchenware, dvds, music, computer games, furnishings and bric-a-brac. Some charity shops also sell furniture and electrical appliances, and some are specialist shops, such as bookshops, bridal or music.