World PoliticsSocial IssuesMilitaryEconomyUS PoliticsGovernmentActivism

What Charity Shops Don't Want You to Know About Your Donated Goods

Updated on March 24, 2017
Nell Rose profile image

Nell has worked in a number of Charity Shops and is familiar with the 'Behind the scenes' occurrences. She is now a full time writer.

Charity shops scam
Charity shops scam

Charity Does Begin at Home by Donating.

Most of us give to charity at some time in our lives. Whether it be a few dollars in a can on the counter of a shop or joining a charity where you donate each month.

It makes us feel better about ourselves and we know that the money is going to a good home or disaster fund.

The other kind of charity is when we donate clothes, books and anything else we no longer need to a charity shop or thrift store. And we do this because we know that those things that have been hidden in the back of our cupboards or drawers are actually going to make a difference to someone.

Sometimes we give goods and toys to charity workers who are going to take them abroad. Maybe those clothes are going to a war torn country or even a natural disaster.

Whichever way we give to charity we give it in good faith. We believe that those goods are going somewhere worthwhile.

But is it true? Do those donated goods really go to a good home, and does the money that we spend in those shops really get to where they are meant to go?

Nothing Goes to Waste.

I have worked in a couple of charity shops over the years, my job was a senior store sales assistant where I worked with a couple of other assistants.

The majority of the time everything went as it should. Donations poured in, and we all had to sort out the bags, decide where the clothes, toys and other brick a brack would go. Some had to be cleaned, others were ready for the shelf.

All the clothes that came in were automatically steamed cleaned whether they were clean or not. We were not allowed to put them straight on the shelves, so a lot of the time we spent out the back of the shop cleaning and sorting, making sure that everything was perfect.

Of course there would always be a garment that was not suitable for the shop, maybe it had a tear in it or a stain that we couldn't remove. Most of these were put in the bags by accident, so they would go into the rag bags ready for the rag men to take away.

Even these are not wasted, they are either taken to another charity shop or given as rags for cleaning use.

charity shop lockers
charity shop lockers

Perks of the job or theft?

But soon I started to notice a few things that bothered me. For starters there were a few assistants that believed they were entitled to some of the better goods.Without paying for them!

We all had lockers out the back of the shop, and many a time I would see one of them sneaking a brand new jacket, dress or shoes into the locker.

I actually confronted them one day and said, 'Did you pay for that?' their answer? 'Its one of the perks of the job'!

Yes I get that, to a certain extent. But only if you pay for it! Okay, if you like something then grab it as soon as it comes in, but the whole point of charity is the fact that these people have brought them in so that the money goes to charity. Not your pocket!

But still it went on. I would deliberately pick something up I liked, try it on, and in front of all of them walk over to the till or charity box and place the money inside.

Sadly it never rubbed off of the other workers! They thought it was good pickings for them. We probably lost lots of money because of their greed. Or should I say theft!

Don't get me wrong, this was not just in my charity shop, this is world wide. I heard about people taking the goods many years ago when my mother's friend worked in a charity shop. I was shocked. But that's not all.


Electrical goods thrown away in charity shops
Electrical goods thrown away in charity shops

Never donate Electrical Goods.

Did you know that all charity or thrift stores do not take electrical goods? Or should I say sell electrical goods?

Why?

Because they are not allowed to on the basis that if the goods are faulty they could either electrocute someone or just not work.

But most charity shops do not have this sign in their windows. They don't mention it to the people who are donating the goods, and they take them with a smile.

Why? So they can take it straight back home with them that's why! Sound systems, hairdryers, CD players, Televisions, they have all come through the shop I was working in, and yes straight out the back door into the cars of the people who work in the shop.

The other rather strange and disturbing thing about the electrical goods and also other goods such as ornaments, paintings and even really good quality handbags and shoes, is that they get thrown into the trash bin!

Why? Because nobody wants them. If its the electrical goods, they go straight in the bin if they are not wanted, but the other goods are thrown away if they haven't sold after a month.

Why are they not sent to another charity shop? Yep good question!


Expensive electrical goods thrown away in charity shop bin
Expensive electrical goods thrown away in charity shop bin

Thrown Away? Its a Disgrace.

I actually know someone who goes and takes the goods out of the bin, and sells them. Either for her own money, or most of the time, to give to charity. And she has even told the owner of the shop, which got this reply.

'Well you can do what you want, we don't care, once its in the rubbish its nothing to do with us'.

So, once again, why don't they just send the goods to another charity shop? Or maybe a local village hall could sell them for charity.

It doesn't take a lot common sense now does it? And I say good for that lady who takes it back out of the bin to sell it. At least its going to a good home, or another store.

The last thing to mention is how a lot of store workers give 'discounts' to friends and relatives. For example if one of their friends comes in and wants a jacket that costs approx 20 dollars, they will let them have it for 2 or 3 dollars. This is defeating the object! But hey its just another day at the shop, so why not scam it?

This is how a charity shop should be, with a good reputation.
This is how a charity shop should be, with a good reputation. | Source

Track Your Donations.

So now you know all that, do you still want to donate to charity? Yes of course you do, but here's a few tips on how to choose the right store.

  • Take a look around the store. See what's on offer, how long the goods have been there, should have a date on the labels, and then maybe see if they do sell electrical goods.
  • Really check what you are donating. Don't just give what you don't like. If nobody else likes it then it will end up in the trash.
  • If you take in a really expensive coat or goods, make sure you check over the next few days to see if its been sold, and if its not in the store ask who bought it. In fact put a label on it that says for the store to contact you when it has been sold. You can do this in most charity shops.

Carry on Donating.

I just want to add that the last charity shop I worked in did not do any of these things. They were great, well respected and monitored for bad behavior just in case anyone got out of line. The store I am talking about was a few years ago in the next town. They know who they are!

Charity is always a good thing to do. We know that people need clothing, money and medicines to help them. Don't stop donating purely on the basis of this article. Out of all the thousands of donations a day only a small percentage is taken by the charity workers, so even if you lose out on one item through the theft in the store its still worth giving to charity shops.

Charity donations bring a smile to those in need. And that's what counts.

*All info is based on UK Charity Shops and not USA or Overseas. The US do take in electrical goods, unlike Britain. Always check when taking your goods to the store.



© 2014 Nell Rose

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 8 months ago from England

      Thanks Brinafr3sh :)

    • Brinafr3sh profile image

      Brinafr3sh 8 months ago from West Coast, United States

      Hi Nell,

      Thrift store workers dipping into the donated items is strange. I thought they got the job to help those less fortunate to get the items. One benefit is that the person whom donates can still get a receipt for tax right offs. It's either throw items from home in the trash or donate to thrift stores, hoping their workers aren't the ones weeding through the items.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 8 months ago from England

      I AM A VOLUNTEER! if you read it right you would know! and that was not the point. thank you for reading!

    • profile image

      A Volunteer 8 months ago

      well while your at it why not tell everyone that a charity shop is not a dumping ground for people who are just too lazy to go to the dump and that includes their household rubbish mixed with their unwanted items ,,,,,and also customers who love to pull items off shelves and hangers and leave them wherever they like and parents who will let their children run amuck through toys and everything else (no respect) and throw them on the floor ,,,just a few things unpaid volunteers have to put up with besides doing other work so yea dig the dirt out on the thrift shops but while your doing that,,,,,, tell it all please .....................

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 9 months ago from England

      Thanks so much Laurie, I didn't know that. Where I worked it was 'thanks very much' till they got out the door and then straight in the bin! I would take it out, test it, and if I wanted it I wouldn't put the money through the Till it would go into the charity box, each to our own on I suppose, and its great that your volunteers pay for unsalable items. and thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      Laurie 9 months ago

      Just to add to what one of your other commenters said, there is no legal reason for charity shops not to sell electricals in the UK. They just have to be 'inspected by a competent person' and most businesses choose to PAT test to show that they have kept within the law. The training/equipment/admin that goes with this is probably the reason why most shops don't bother. I manage a charity shop in a town where we are the only one which can do this and it works well for us, but I suspect that if everyone started doing it then electrical donations would be spread so thin between all the shops that it wouldn't be worth it.

      As for the stealing (or quasi-stealing with 99% discounts etc.) I've no doubt its a problem in the sector but take heart that it doesn't happen everywhere. My volunteers even insist on paying for rag (unsalable) items that I would have to throw away but that they want to take home to repair.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 9 months ago from England

      Forgot to say. If its okay to dip your hand into the charity pot just because you have given your time for 40 hours a week, its okay then for me to collect money for charity and say, take 20 or 30 pound out each day then? think about it.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 9 months ago from England

      We all have our opinions, and I know what I know. And I have worked in charity shops for years too. I appreciate your opinion, but swearing? yeah that's classy!!

    • profile image

      Kevin James 9 months ago

      Total Bollocks! I volunteer in a charity shop and have done for the last 8 - 10 years. I once volunteered 40 hrs a week and hold down a full time job. Seriously when you give 40 hours for nothing that is classed as a perk like any job! Anyone here worked in an office and taken a few pens home or even borrowed the works internet on the weekends for googling crap? If so then tut tut tut that's stealing as well! Oh but wait it's your perk isn't it?

      Whoever you are that wrote this shit peehaps you should learn about the people that volunteer and why they do before you judge! In my defence I actually ask customers if they would allow me to have that toy or that item. They normall say yes so trust me don't judge what you don't fucking know!!!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 9 months ago from England

      Hi Charlotte, that's terrible! and my point exactly! I don't know why these people do it. I would prefer them taking it home, at least it gets used! A lot of these workers forget that charity starts at home! sometimes if an employee really needs something and can't afford it, and its going to be thrown away, well why not take it? charity is charity. to steal something as a worker when someone can buy it is one thing, but to break it so nobody can have it is appalling! thanks so much for reading, nell

    • profile image

      Charlotte 9 months ago

      Hi Nell ..can i say that i once worked in a charity shop , on my days off from School , i would help with the sorting of donated clothing, on this particular day i remember there been a black bin bag full of skirts and Tights ..they were all Black or Navy Lycra bodycon skirts and Thick Black opaque Tights ..teen agers clothing [school wear]..they were all washed/clean so i put the Tights in a box out for sale at 50 pence a pair , my manageress saw them ,told me these are not for sale ,and put all of them in the Rag Bag !! i thought well if they are not good enough to sell , they will do for me as school Tights , i saved them and put them aside till the end of my shift , only to find she [my manager] had cut them all up to prevent me from saving them..one of the skirts had just a slight tear , would have taken just 5 minutes to sew up ..but she just tore the skirt even more to make it unwearable and threw it in the ragbag !

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Thanks Colleen, sorry for the delay, long story! and yes I totally agree, its better to pass it on if its worth something, either clothes or goods, thanks nell

    • Colleen Diemer profile image

      Colleen Diemer 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi Nell, Great article! I am sad to say that this does not surprise me. It would have a few years ago but I have seen too much now to trust people. I just give my things directly to families,my friends,my relatives or hand them to homeless people or children at the orphanage. It feels good to know exactly where something is going. Some things have never been worn. Instead of getting a few dollars to sell something I paid a lot of money for I would rather pay it forward. Take care my friend. Colleen

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi John, thanks for your added info, maybe its just the ones in my town then? I will have to find out, thanks for reading, nell

    • John Holden profile image

      John Holden 2 years ago

      Nell, quick comment before i go to help in my local charity shop.

      Not all shops either refuse or dump donated electrical goods.

      We test them for electrical safety and to make sure they work and then sell them on.

      Goods that are not saleable are recycled.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Peggy, yes its pretty dire to think people do this, and in fact its still happening, I asked a friend who worked there the other day about it, she said there was a volunteer who constantly took stuff, but they couldn't quite prove it! so I said, get rid of her, but they haven't so far, not sure why, thanks so much as always, nell

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I worked as a volunteer counselor for about 15 years in a local assistance ministry that also ran a thrift shop and food pantry. I think that most of the volunteers there were honest and would pay for their purchases. It is very sad that there are people anywhere who would take advantage of the situation as you related in your story. Many charities rely upon the sales in thrift shops to augment their income to help the particular charity in other ways.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great tips, Nell, about thrift shops, whether you're buying or donating goods. I go to the Salvation Army and a local store to donate some of my mother's clothes (and mine too) that weren't needed anymore. Very helpful! Voted up!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Laurie, it does seem that many people can't keep their hands in their pockets these days! lol! thanks so much, nell

    • profile image

      Rayne123 2 years ago

      Hi Nell, another very very well written and informative hub.

      Funny I just now came across this hub. I had a hub written on charities but then removed it. I wanted to do more research and looking around. Soon I hope to have more ideas and hubs posted.

      Anyway there are so many charities I do want to help and have helped (maybe not in a big way that I want to, but even in small ways as you pointed out), but I myself wondered about some charities.

      I watched a documentary with my mom about a month ago, (not quite on charities, but something I would like to add to my research), it was about these so called companies that sell the best of best and how the clothes were made including walmart and and Joe Fresh, these labels look appealing to our eye however they were made by sweatshops in Bangladesh, under poor conditions and health risks to the workers, some as young as 11, sad as it is. This caused concerned when the building collapsed. It was quite disturbing to see walmart among these companies.

      Anyway the point I was making, it all looks so good but with everything going on, we really do not know what goes on behind closed doors.

      Sometimes I wonder if some employees actually pocket money when a donation comes in for children or animals. You would hope not, but with all we read and see one has to wonder.

      There are also a lot of good people in this world and these people are the ones that lead to the right thing to do.

      Very good hub again

      Laurie

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      lol! Paula! thanks everyone who read this and commented, sorry not been feeling good, I totally appreciate all your comments, thanks

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Oh paula that's amazing, good for you! and what a great idea! thanks again, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Its unbelievable isn't it Rui? thanks for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Thanks Kierstin, I will do that, thanks for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Thanks Paula, yes its amazing how much of the stuff disappears! I don't think there are totally honest people anywhere these days to be honest! horrible to say, but if someone places a freebie in front of them what are they going to do? sadly, this is what happens.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Awwww shucks, what blew my cover? The wings, my brightly shining Halo ...or the miracles I perform everyday by refraining from shooting A$$holes on sight? I need a new image.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Paula, I know you! You are one of the real life angels who inspired the series Touched by an Angel.

      Anyway, Nell, speaking of electrical items a year ago or so the Goodwills here stopped accepting television sets and CRT monitors because they were too expensive to dispose of...well they tried to stop accepting them but people continued to drop them off after hours so you still see them around.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Back again Nell, because I want to add something that I have done several times, which resulted in much self-satisfaction in terms of Charity/Giving.

      Because we all want to know that our donated items are being put to good use and given to the truly needy...there are simple ways to see to it.

      In a community, it is often obvious who the families are that are struggling. Using just a bit of discreet digging, we can locate these families. Then it's just a matter of putting a nice package together, clothing, household items, even canned goods. Enlist the help of a friend to simply make an anonymous delivery. The family is saved any sort of embarrassment and we can know that we helped. I did this a couple of Christmases for families in my community. You have to know how happy I was to pass them in the grocery store and see the little girl in the coat, hat and mittens I had put in the package.

      Every little bit helps!

    • Rui Carreira profile image

      Rui Carreira 2 years ago from Torres Novas

      This hub hurts my "Good" gene... I watched a documentary about this that made me sick - People were throwing perfectly good TVs, Bikes and whatnot to the thrash.

      Revolting!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Came back to read again, we never give a thought to whether what we donate is actually going to charity or not. Great hub and a valuable reminder.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      What also surprises many people is that fabric items that are deemed not sales-worthy are often sold by the pound for recycling. That's another way charities can make money... by collecting and reselling fabric scrap.

      One of the charity pick up services in our area does collect appliances. Though I can't verify, I'm guessing they might recycle them for scrap revenues, too.

      Thanks for sharing the behind-the-scenes insight!

    • Kierstin Gunsberg profile image

      Kierstin Gunsberg 2 years ago from Traverse City, Michigan

      Very interesting but to my fellow hubbers from the U.S., some of these points are not true of American thrift shops. I know I've seen electrical items for sale in my local Goodwill.

      If you have a Habitat For Humanity nearby, consider donating furniture and electronics to them (they'll even pick them up for you!) I know that they accept/sell them there :)

      Nell, maybe you could make a little edit to your Hub to let others know that your knowledge applies to European standards and regulations? It would be a bummer if those reading this confused those regulations and stopped donating those much-needed items in American states.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Unbelievable....I just had this conversation with a friend.....we exchanged some opinions on this yesterday & again today. It was like I special ordered your hub!

      I do definitely frequent many of these places. Salvation Army, Goodwill, Amvets, any sort of Charity establishment, as well as consignment stores, which are a bit different because they are actually a business & their profits aren't earmarked to Charity. Every Church around here has a clothing Bin for donations also. I usually ask where the clothes are destined and in most cases, I'm told it's 3rd world countries.

      My personal choice in Charities are those that benefit our Veterans. I must admit, ever since the one major Veteran's Charity was busted for fraud and theft and it was discovered that MILLIONS meant for Vets never went to them at all.....I am very leery.

      It just shouldn't have to be an issue for people who truly care and want to give...to be afraid to do so. The big question is always.....WHERE is it going?

      Your hub is very very enlightening. More people should speak up and out. Thanks Nell......UP++++pinned & Tweeted.

    • Learn Things Web profile image

      Learn Things Web 2 years ago from California

      We moved recently, so I donated a ton of stuff that various charities picked up instead of doing a yard sale. So, it's disappointing to read that this happens.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Since reading this hub a few months back, I've become more selective with whom I donate to. It's a good thing you've shared your experiences with us. I recall how shocked I was the first time I paid a visit to this hub. But now - nothing shocks me! Thanks Nell and votes plus sharing.

      Audrey

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Thanks again PS, yes that's a great idea, from now on I am going to do that, Angels back to you Xx

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Unfortunately this kind of activity where the goods do not go to those who really are in need is somewhat pervasive.

      A way around it is to give directly to someone who is in need or to have a yard sale and donate the money to those who need it.

      Thank you for bringing this to light.

      Angels are once again on the way to you this morning. ps

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Graham, thanks for reading, yes people will take whenever they can! and I hope you have a Happy New Year too, and thanks!

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Nell. You have confirmed what I always thought went on. It's life I'm afraid it's the way things are. If something is available it will be taken. On that sad note I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

      Graham.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      I agree with you aesta, we can't always keep an eye on others who are stealing, just make sure we are honest when we buy or sell these charity stuff, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I don't really know what to say. It is wrong for them to take advantage of their position to get the best goods for themselves. Greed is in everyone really and controlling this in ourselves is not easy. Still, this is deplorable.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Writer, that sounds amazing! you couldn't get anything free in my greedy town! in fact its like this in most of England! we could learn something from your neck of the woods! thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      This was a real eye-opener. Where I live, things donated to charity are given to people without charge and appliances are always needed (especially washing machines and refrigerators). I think that the management of the places you describe are responsible for the cultures they create. That's true of any business or non-profit company.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      That is different Tolova, I don't think we will ever really know where the goods go, thanks for reading, nell

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 2 years ago from Ljubljana

      Thanks for these interesting facts. Some of them were known to me already, but some are totally new and pretty shocking. I think charity shops are never just charity shops, they have very different missions as well. Everybody, who donates, feels good, because he/she likes to believe he/she helped somebody, what is of course good, but it's a bit selfish too. Workers have their own reasons, not just good hearts, and owners are definitely special story themselves.

      You actually opened a lot of starting points which may lead into very heated debate and if I may add another kind of charity which is pretty popular in our country - we don't donate used clothes, toys and shoes to shops, we just throw them into special bind, where they were collected by organization from different country, sold somewhere else and money spent for charity in totally different region. This is not only unclear distribution of goods and money, it's very alienated approach too. So we can feel good (we donated something after all), but don't want to know if this actually made any difference to somebody, or somebody just capitalize on our stuff. Not exactly the good will spirit, right?

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Polly, sorry it took me so long to answer, yes if they say that then they usually pay, I was just so shocked to see the blatant stealing, made me so mad! thanks for reading, nell

    • Polly C profile image

      Polly C 2 years ago from UK

      I took a few items to the local Sue Ryder shop once. I really like the shop, it does have some good things in. One of the items I donated was a wooden plant stand, which was in good condition but didn't fit anywhere in our house. The assistants in the shop thanked me, and one of them said, "I've got my eye on the plant stand." I think I know where that ended up! Although I'm sure she did pay for it, since she declared it in front of everyone else.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      HI Deb, yes that's so true, that's what makes me so mad about it, thanks for reading, nell

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      If it wasn't for donations, many people would not eat or even be dressed apropriately in the winter. Thanks for the heads up, Nell.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi carter, yes that's so true, we usually turn a blind eye to it, but after working there I now know where our hard work goes, and its not worth it, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 2 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Good on you Nell for bringing this to light..such a rip off isn't it when people do this..you know it happens but somehow you don't want to believe it right? great hub Nell..Cheers

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Eddy, thanks so much, and have a wonderful weekend, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi dilip, yes its much better to just give to others, but charity shops are great as long as they employ honest people, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

      Certainly an eye opener Nell and leaving much food for thought. Voted up and shared. Your obvious hard work has once again paid off. Each and every hub of yours is so interesting. Voted up , shared and wishing you a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 2 years ago from India

      An eye opening read, one more time in fact. I have gone through a similar article with possible reasons. I donate every year all the old clothes. They all go to other cities, probably i believe, and ends up in a sale rather in some donation. Tips are really useful, perhaps next time, it is wiser to donate things directly to needy may be.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Rachael, thanks for reading, yes you are right! greedy people will love to work there!

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      For those inclined toward kleptomania and sheer greed, I can see where working in a thrift shoppe might be enticing. I also had no idea about electrical items and often donate them to area thrift stores. I will now make sure "real people" get them before they go in the thrift box. Thank you for enlightenment.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Thanks beth, yes it was shocking to find out all of this, Its a wonder other charity shop workers haven't told, mind you, its because well you can guess! thanks so much for reading, nell

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 2 years ago from Tennesee

      Nell, you have confirmed something I wondered about - that some charity store workers hold back the "good stuff" for friends and family. I don't mind if they tell needy friends and family about items, but I think keeping items away from the public coming in rather smacks the very concept of charity.

      A very enlightening Hub, thank you for posting. Maybe this will compel donation-givers to keep more stringent tabs as you suggested. Not everyone in the world is as selfless as they are, for sure.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      lol! hiya Jo! you always make me smile! yes Its on the back burner as they say, I may write about it, as for those charity buyers yes if you have the money why not buy something new? talk about tightfisted! lol!

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 2 years ago from On planet Earth

      LOL @ your reply well i guess so rich people love to hold on to their dollars i don't know what for. Because when you die someone gonna frolic with your hard earn money. Why not spend it on yourself but some people just too cheap!

      How are you? I am yet to see the hub with your recent trip lol. "Waiting patiently"

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Thanks rebecca, glad you liked it, and thanks for reading, nell

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thank you for this Nell Rose. I know people who toss things without a thought. I'll bet this screams loud and clear. A better way~

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi anginwu, thanks for reading, glad you liked it, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Thanks Audrey, thanks so much for reading, I am sure the shops really appreciate it, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      HI Dianna, maybe in America they do, but not over here, its always worth asking or looking when you take stuff in, just to be on the safe side, thanks so much, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Thanks Genna, yes over here most of the shops don't do electricals. But do they tell them? do they heck! I was just so annoyed when I saw it, and I felt shame to take the stuff without paying I think that's why I yelled so loud! lol!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hiya Jo, you hit the nail on the head there! it is the wealthy that wants stuff for nothing in those shops! maybe that's why they are so darn wealthy! lol! thanks as always, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      HIya kitty, yes that doesn't surprise me, seems to be the norm in most of them, maybe that's why people volunteer! I was taken on as a paid worker, but many were just volunteers, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Thanks Peg, your ideas seem to be much better than the way they do it over here, the crisis shelter sounds wonderful! thanks so much for reading, nell

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 2 years ago

      Good to know the inside scoop of how it works in charity shops. I usually donate my stuff to AmVet. They come and collect them. Nice job.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Most of my donations in goods are either clothing or books--and I donate to repurpose the items as much as to help a local charity--so I just hope someone can use them--excellent article Nell!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I didn't know charity shops were not allowed to sell electrical appliances. Guess they must have been sued over some of those items. I have heard of associates sifting through donations to pull the best before distributing the rest. It's a shame!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Wow…this as an eye opener. Such waste is troubling; and the theft makes me wonder how some of the workers who feel self-entitled to these “perks of the job” can possibly do what they are doing. I am happy there are still people like you, Nell, who know what charity means. I had no idea that electrical items weren’t being used for charity – well, I should say those who actually need the charity. Interesting article, Nell, as always. The next time I donate I will have a few questions beforehand.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 2 years ago from On planet Earth

      Yes your right there are people working in these places just looking to fill their pockets or closet. Well dear sounds like something you would do walk up to someone asking if they paid for it? ROTLFLOL ha ha ha. Nell your something else, but my kinda woman i'd do the same. People can be to blatant and bold face about these things.

      Make it worst if people who have taken these items are wealthy or middle class "CAN AFFORD" , IT's FOR THE LESS FORTUNATE NOT YOU!!!

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 2 years ago from the Ether

      I worked in a charity thrift store for a few years as a teenager, and sadly all of these things were taking place there too. Fortunately the place still made a lot of money for those in need. Thanks for sharing!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      How interesting, Nell. I'd often suspected that the best items went away to internal workers, but your story tells of blatant disregard for the true meaning of charity. I like to donate to the women's crisis shelter where they let the residents pick from the items for personal use. There's also a private donation place that directly helps the homeless with clothing and items for their needs.

      Back in the day, places like Goodwill actually hired the handicapped to restore items and provide valuable work for those in need. Now, they are picky and won't even take items like furniture.

      I've furnished many homes with items from thrift stores. This eye-opening exposé lets us know to be selective when donating.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Charmain, that's terrible! did she say she would pay for them? even so, she should have taken the clothes, put them on display then bought them, not put you in that position! I don't think she should have done that, someone should have a word with her about how it works! thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Charmain English profile image

      Charmain 2 years ago from Northern Virginia

      I had a terrible experience with donating clothes. I was dropping off clothes for charity and the cashier asked if she could take them for her granddaughter. I was absolutely mortified, because I felt like she put me in a very awkward place. I told her this was for those in need and I am not sure of her current situation, but did not feel comfortable giving her the clothes. All that to say I did not go back to that location again!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      @jamagenee, I didn't know that about the mattresses. Years ago I bought a "rebuilt" mattress for my teen-age son at a charity thrift store. They claimed it was rebuilt, but all they had done was put a new cover on it. The nearly bare springs hurt his back so bad that we tossed it after about 4 or 5 months. I'm glad to know they can't sell that junk anymore.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Vellur, thanks for reading, yes it was a shock to me too to see them take it, there is always someone on the cadge as we say over here, as for electrical goods, I do think some shops do it, but not many in my town, thanks so much, nell

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Stealing from a charity shop is the most despicable thing to do. The workers do not have a right to just take away an item that is donated. Did not know about the electrical items. Great hub and an eye opener. Voted up.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi diane, great to see you! lol! yes and they get there before me too! thanks so much, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Jo, thanks for reading, yes it certainly opened my eyes too, we did get designer clothes in, and guess where they went? lol!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi mothers, thanks so much, yes they should always be taken elsewhere, not thrown away, its beyond belief! thanks so much, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Thanks maggs, I really appreciate you reading this, and yes I do believe that the older people do it automatically without thought for themselves, most of the people who work over here in charity shops are doing it for nothing, just volunteers as I was in my first two charity jobs, I have never worked for an animal charity but I do give to animals as they are so worthwhile, thanks so much, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Thanks Besarien, I really appreciated your comment, and yes I should have done that! but as you say it would be bad for their families, but oh wouldn't that take the smile of their faces?

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      Nell, I shop at those stores. You mean someone is getting to the good stuff before I do???? Shame!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Nell, now I know where all the designer labels goes.:) Seriously, I feel really disappointed, but I guess there will always be a few who spoils it for the rest. A real eye-opener.

    • mothersofnations profile image

      Mothers of Nations 2 years ago

      Very informative article. I agree that unwanted items should be sent to another shop, or even better, donated to shelters but not ever thrown out unless it truly cannot be used. God bless you.

      Voted up!

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 2 years ago from Sunny Spain

      Unfortunately in every walk of life there are people who will take advantage of their positions. Some how though it seems worse when those taking advantage are doing it in a charity.

      I have done my bit in the past, but we were volunteers and did not get paid. Any hours we put in were at our own expense. Any costs in getting to and from the shops also came out of our own pockets.

      I am glad to say that most of the people that I have worked with in these situations have been willing and generous souls. and if they did see something that they liked often put in over and above what it would have been priced as in the shop.

      In Spain where I now live there are not many Charity shops, but we are involved with an animal charity. The lady that runs the charity puts in long hours sorting cleaning and organising the donations.

      My family and our friends help sort and sift the donations that come in. Some go straight to the bins. Here in Spain we have bins for everything, including clothing. The stuff that goes in the clothing bins goes in our case to help battered women's refuge so it is not wasted.

      But all the time and energy is given freely and every penny raised goes towards saving and rescuing animals. My daughter has worked for various charities over the years. In two of them she was in charge of volunteers, that staffed the charity's shops.

      Most of her volunteers came from my age group and none of what you mentioned went on. Maybe it is peculiar to our age group Nell our set of values and way of looking at things.

      It is sad that there are people like those that you worked with that didn't see what they were doing was stealing. Thankfully though there are still more out there that are like you, salt of the earth people who go out of their way to put more in than they take out.

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      Having integrity and caring about the needy makes you sane in my book. :)

      I have always tried to teach my son to think for himself and to set a good example instead of following the crowd like a lamb to the slaughter. I am going to get him to read your hub and tell me his thoughts when he gets home from school. Luckily, so far, he is natural at being true to himself, as are you. Some people just never learn that lesson or they do, but learn it the hard way.

      With your old co-workers, I would have been tempted to run a hidden camera by the lockers, turn them into HQ, or if that didn't work, plaster their foul deeds all over the internet. I don't think I would have done that because I'd worry that their families would suffer- but tempted, oh glory yes! I would have been mightily tempted!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi klidstone, yep that's the one! I get the feeling that they think they are kids in a candy store, all freebies! these days they just don't get it! its mainly the younger ones I have to add, not so much as the older stalwart ones who are used to doing it this way and the right way! thanks so much for reading, nell

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 2 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      I've heard of this happening where I live. Someone told me once that the employees would always put aside the nice stuff and bam, right into their cars. Wouldn't even make it to the floor.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Besarien, thanks so much, I did try to make them feel guilty but sadly they just looked at me as though I was nuts! lol!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Chitrangada, thanks so much for reading, that's a good idea to give to the needy directly, that way you know it gets to who really needs the goods, thanks, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Erin, that sounds like the kind of thing we need over here, someone who will keep an eye on how and why the goods are sold, maybe we need to change the way they are run over here, and as I said before, I am sure its not all over, just a few shops that do this, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Mel, that's amazing! and very disturbing! some people have no shame! but yes most charities do great work, so this is in no way knocking them, they are awesome, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Mystical, that's great to know that you owned some thrift shops and all your employees behaved themselves and worked as they should, one of the shops I worked in was in a big town, but the others were in small villages, so sadly it was as bad there as the big towns, but as I say most of them are fine, pity they can't all be like that, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Genee, not sure what the red kettles are, but I imagine its for collecting funds? but yes I agree with you, they just need to re price their goods, its just disgusting! There was a woman who was in charge back in the day in the next towns shop and she was a nightmare! I used to go behind her and change the prices!