Normally I don't get the time to browse in charity shops but recently I decided to combine exercising my wonky knee somewhere with lots of places of interest to stop and look.
Byres Road in Glasgow has a very laid back Westend vibe with fab restaurants, cafes and bars, boutiques, everyday and speciality shops as well as a number of charity shops. Its sometimes referred to as the desperate mile if you're on a pub crawl, though definitely not advisable while on painkillers otherwise I'd have keeled over and been classified as a traffic bollard, or hazard!
Oxfam has a dedicated bookshop AND a couch so this was definitely worth a visit and a little rest. I was chuffed to pick up a Kirstie Allsopp Crafting hardback for £4.99 which seemed reasonable enough and had a browse of their other books and dvd's but was quite surprised at some of the prices.
I saw a Belinda Jones novel I hadn't read but thought it was rather overpriced at £3.99 especially as it was a used mass market paperback. When I checked online, amazon have it new for £1.50, used for 1p and £3.49 for kindle. I know book prices are fluctuating wildly due to the whole e-reader impact and resellers, and there are also the ethics of supporting authors and charitable endeavours which I strongly support, but something is not quite right here.
When I moved house I donated what probably equated to perhaps 3-4 tall bookcases of books, most read but some new to a charity which supports homelessness. I fully expected them to be priced attractively but would have been rather annoyed if they had overpriced them and retarded sales that fund the charity.
Oxfam wasn't alone as I noticed the prices were quite steep in another that I visited. They had some nice cut glass/crystal wine glasses but at £38 I'd be looking to buy them new, shiny and boxed from a department store not loose and with some scratches. In their window they has a pair of ladies shoes for £72.99 which blew me away. On closer inspection they were well polished Ferragamo's, in an older style similar to those worn by the Queen, but they were very obviously used with the distinctive imprint of the previous owners foot spread and bunions.
It is nice to go into a clean and well organised charity shop, and to feel you are supporting their cause, but quite another to feel you are paying a premium for used items donated in good faith. This may be limited to this area as they can possibly demand higher prices. If it works then I wish them well but question whether I'd pay these prices when I can buy new items cheaper which come with guarantees and refund policies.
Is this a Byres Road phenomenon, or am I so out of touch with modern charity shops that this is the price of charity?