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

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?


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 153 comments

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Nell, thanks you for verifying what I've suspected for years, that the "better" or "best" of donated items don't make it to the shelves or racks, but instead go home with workers who sort them, without being paid for. As you point out, not all charity (or thrift) shop workers do this, but too many do. Unfortunately, this is just part of the game and even requesting to be notified when an expensive item is sold, this isn't always possible if the shop is only a branch of a larger system like Salvation Army or Goodwill. Some multi-branch thrifts routinely send goods donated in one town to a branch in another, mostly to prevent the embarrassment of someone who gave you a unique item as a gift finding you'd donated it to the local branch shorly after receiving it!

A great hub nonetheless! Upped and shared! ;D

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Thanks Genee, I was shocked to be honest, when I started. And then I got so mad! I would always buy what I wanted from there, in fact the only time I took something for nothing was a pair of trainers purely because they were going in the bin, but later I felt guilty and put the money for them in the box, not because I was a goody goody, but purely because I knew it was the right thing to do, still makes me mad today!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I did not know that about electrical items, but the reason makes sense I guess. Interesting stuff here my friend. Why does it not surprise me that employees steal merchandise? Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age. :)

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Nell; I am really disgusted with our local charities. First; the one Christian place seems to give more to illegals than anyone and now it is common knowledge they sell these clothes every weekend! I was told and since then see it just driving by when I look for yard sales. Loads of clothing! So I stopped taking my gifts there. I give to Good Will but I think they charge way too much for things they get free and not only that but more than one of the stored I have gone in do not wash these clothes and that seems like such a health hazard to me! It is bad enough that if I do go in one of these stores I don't go near the clothes. I mean there is MRSA and all sorts of things that could be transferred on clothing. no?

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

I now give all my clothes and furniture to the gay lesbian alliance downtown because they come and pick it up for free, they are appreciative and really need it for resale at their thrift shop, they are the only place that will take furniture without charging you a pick up fee (can you believe the nerve to charge for a donation?). Many places will not accept even brand new mattresses, box springs, linens, or sofas because of the bedbug epidemic, and they want you to pay a pickup fee because gas is so high. Crazy.

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

Oh, how maddening, indeed, Nell! That is shocking, but I suppose in these times, I should not be surprised. Mad, yes; surprised, no.

Our local branch of Goodwill does sell electrical goods. I've been in there and seen stereos, mixers, radios and such for sale.

What galls me, though, is that they won't take perfectly good, "like new" mattresses...I once spoke with someone on the phone, and asked why. They did not have a better answer than "policy." I then turned around and asked, "So tell me, then: if you don't accept mattresses, how is it that you have them for sale in your store?" On the other end of the line ... silence ...

I got mad all over again today, when there was an article on our local news about HUNDREDS of donated books--some old, some possibly rare--had been dumped into a huge dumpster-sized recycle bin by a "friends of the library" type group at the end of their day's sale.

Voted up, useful and interesting...also shared!

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

There is a down side to everything. The darker side even permeates charity aggravating and depressing. There is always someone somewhere who can use donated items. Maybe they aren't good enough for second hand shops but with a little repair they could be "donated" to people in need, not a shop.

How sad people think they are "entitled", guess they have a lot to learn.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 2 years ago from USA

My son worked for one of these charities. It is a well known one that has stores all over the country, but I don't think I should mention their name. He told much of the same stories, except they broke the household items on purpose when they put them in the garbage container so no one could use them. This didn't set well me, since I thought they were supposed to be helping people.

mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

I donate many items to our local Goodwill. I've always thought they charge too much to sell the stuff, though. They do sell a lot of electronic things. When I downsized from my house, I donated many items to different charities around our town. They were glad to get my stuff.

Voted UP, etc.

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 2 years ago from USA

I figured that the workers would get first dibs on the items, as a perk of working there, but I thought they would have to pay at least part of the price, and at least note in the records that they got the item. Our stores do take electronic goods, furniture, shoes, even magazines. They wind up with a lot of air popcorn poppers, and now big monitors.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi billy, yes its pretty depressing isn't it? thanks as always, have a great day, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Jackie, Wow that's amazing! yep it doesn't surprise me though that the illegals sell them. its pretty expensive here too, some charity shops are amazing, others too darn expensive its stupid, we are a tiny town, but we have five charity shops within walking distance of each other! its mad! not sure about the MRSA the clothes should always be cleaned before use, at least that's what we did, maybe not all shops do it? thanks as always Jackie, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

HI Flourish, they charge? wow! what a cheek! sometimes it makes you so darn mad! thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Lizzy, most of ours don't sell electrical, maybe its a rule over here? we do have cheap second hand shops that sell electrical goods, but that's a different type of shop. as for those books, what?! I think people are nuts, and selfish, simple as that! thanks Lizzy!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Thanks mary, I totally agree with you, those things that are broken can be mended, and passed on to other charity shops or sold, makes me so mad, thanks, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

HI Barbara, what? broke them? that is so wrong! Yes they are meant to be helping people! what is wrong with them? thanks for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi mary6, its great that you donated, I always donate to the one I used to work in as I know its legitimate, thanks as always, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Millionaire, no, they just take what they want. Some shops do take electricals but I think most of the English ones don't, thanks for reading, nell

bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Nell, our charity shops (thrift stores) take and sell electrical and electronic goods in addition to furniture, clothing, housewares, brick a brack, artwork, bicycles, books - you name it. Normally if something doesn't sell right away, they mark the price down as each week goes by. Items that are not fit for resale are sent to the homeless shelters.

I'm sure theft goes on, just as it does in retail establishments, but for the most part our thrift stores do what they say.

Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

Fascinating. We donate a lot of things to Goodwill. I am just glad that we can give them to someone who can use them instead of sitting around our house.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk

Nell Rose

Good for you - I worked in a charity shop - doing the delivery and picking up of furniture from people both donating and buying the furniture. It was a backbreaking job with low wages, using our vehicle, paying our own insurance. The shop saved on their expenses by outsourcing it to plebs like me who needed the money. We saw horrendous poverty in the homes we went to and I wrote a hub about how greedy the charity shops can be. This should make people think twice about how and where they donate their goods.

someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 2 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Bought a 13in tv once at the salvation army only to find out that the sound didn't work when I got it home. All the tv's were all on and set to the same channel at the store so it was hard to tell if the sound was working on any particular set you were looking at! Store policy was no returns on purchases so be wary.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Well - I never! Good thing I read your hub. I kind of thought charity and honesty went hand-in-hand. Thanks for the first-hand look into charity shops and stores. Up and sharing. Audrey

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Thanks, Nell, for opening our eyes to these inappropriate acts. I can understand the workers falling in love with some items, but they are already so cheap, certainly they can pay for them. Their rules concerning electrical goods are good to know. Thanks for the information.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

I've often wondered what happened to my stuff when I hand it over at thrift stores. Now I know! Thanks for sharing!

MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago

I did not know this, Nell. I donate most of the things we don't need to Goodwill, and I agree that their selling prices are too high. I had an elderly friend who had been very prominent in our town, and in her old age lived in poverty on social security. (Her well-heeled kids didn't see supporting mama, so she said.) Anyway, she told me that when Goodwill got in donations of new clothes from a couple of high end department stores, they called her for first pick. She was able to keep up her appearance with expensive clothes at $10-$15 a dress or outfit. I thought that was nice because she was an educated woman and an asset to the community.

I'd rather donate than send our "out-of-size" things to the landfill. Some of the other agencies now have a pickup service, but sometimes items or bags placed on the curb are stolen. Mr. B and I have had some weight fluctuations in the last several years. I was told recently that the unwanted items didn't go to the ragman anymore. Very good hub. Voted up++

always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

My little town has a ' Helping Hand ' store where we all donate. It is kept in town and given to the needy, also in a little town just 6 miles away is a senior citizens center that takes clothing and anything else you want to give. I bought a beautiful fur coat there for 20 bucks then gave it away. I don't know why I bought it, greed I guess, anyway it was mink and the trought of killing an animal for fur makes me ill. I love to shop at a thrift store, not only is it smart, you save big bucks. I liked your hub. I was not surprised by workers taking items, many are just greedy by nature...

sheilamyers 2 years ago

Thanks for the information. I usually take my stuff to the local Goodwill. I always felt a little guilty thinking there were probably store workers who would take certain things without paying for them, but now I know it does happen. Also, I've never taken electronics there because the one time I did the guy helping unload the car told me they didn't take that stuff. I guess there's good and bad people working everywhere, but I'll still take stuff to Goodwill because most of of it does get sold and the money is used for a worthwhile purpose.

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Great article, Nell! I can't believe that people would steal from charity stores, but then it takes all kinds. Our charity stores here are called GoodWill. I haven't heard of scams with them, but you can bet I will be careful giving the items from now on. This is so good of you to relay your experiences as a way of warning us all. Voted up+ and shared.

Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

Oh Nell I never knew about this. It is awful that the staff were stealing away the stock and thus the money from the charity, in that shop and also that perfectly good items were thrown away like rubbish.

I am glad to hear that you had found that it wasn't wide spread practice.

Interesting read. :)

CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

I always donate to my local charity but I didn't know much on their operation until after reading this hub. It's also unbelievable that workers can just take stuff for themselves as they feel like it. Defeats the purpose.

I wonder about those electrical gadgets because I have dropped my old hair dryer, my obsolete radio/cassette player (still working) and a couple of table lamps and I saw them on the shelf. Maybe just in the UK? I'm pretty sure our local Goodwill and Salvation Army here takes them.

Very good hub!

PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

Hi Nell Rose,

I deplore greed, stealing and liars. The owners of the thrift shops should fire anyone who does not act in a professional and honorable manner.

The donations were for the people in need, but the greedy took a large percentage away from mothers and children and the elders; who were to receive the benefit of the donations.

What goes around comes around again to bite someone; and for the stealers I hope it is with sharp big teeth.

It takes a good person like you Nell Rose to try to show the errors of wrong doing; but sometimes it is not appreciated by the bad people.

Bobbi Purvis

WeeCatCreations1 profile image

WeeCatCreations1 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I've donated to different groups over the years. With larger groups, like Salvation Army, I knew I wouldn't see the items I brought into the store because I'd watch them load stuff onto a truck to a distribution center (whatever that meant). I always hoped that I was helping people with the donation and that others weren't taking advantage of this. I will continue to donate to charities that collect clothing, books, and home goods.

Lee Hansen profile image

Lee Hansen 2 years ago from Vermont

We donate to large charities (Goodwill and Salvation Army) as well as local churches, Mission shelter, women's safe house and whenever there's a call for assistance to meet a need caused by local disaster. I also shop the local charity stores and rummage sales - recycling is a way of life in our family. I did not realize there was "skimming" that goes on in the stores, though. That's disheartening.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi bravewarrior, that sounds like the real way to go, in my town they wouldn't mark down the price, it would mean less money and my town is one greedy sucker! really rich people make the whole of the shops so expensive including the charity shops! thanks for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Thanks Paula, yes I living giving them stuff too, in fact I read such a lot that they end up with hundreds of my books, the funny thing is that sometimes I nearly end up buying one of them back by mistake! lol!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

HI sally, well done for doing your bit too, we need more people like you, sometimes its a bit like walking through mud we go to all that trouble only to see the profits go out the window because of the theft, thanks for reading, nell

Scarlettohairy profile image

Scarlettohairy 2 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

Thanks for the insight into charity shops. I imagine this sort of thing goes on all the time.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Thanks someone, and yes that's my point sometimes they don't work, other times it works for a while then boom! and of course no returns too, thanks for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Audrey, thanks so much for reading, yes I was totally shocked when I started working there, I thought they would be honest but no!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Thanks MsDora, yes they are really cheap you would think that they would put their hands in their pockets wouldn't you? I feel that some of the believe its a free for all shop!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Thanks Jeannie, yes its good to check out the best charity shops, otherwise your effort may just go straight into their pockets!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Miz, that's great to know that lady was appreciated so much that they helped her, that's wonderful! yes my dress size goes up and down so many of my clothes go down to the shop too, thanks so much for reading, nell

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

Our Goodwill sells TVs and electrical items. Customers usually plug them in before they purchase them. But I could understand why they shouldn't sell them! Stealing from charity is not nice! You tell 'em Nell Rose! :)

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Ruby, that's so true, I think its because its easy pickings for them, and yes I totally understand why you gave the coat away, it was beautiful but the thought behind how it was made just makes our stomachs churn doesn't it? donating is a good thing, and if those people do take a few things its still worthwhile to give, thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi sheila, yes that's so true, not all shops have workers who take the stuff, well maybe they do, but I am sure most pay for them, thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi suzette, it was shocking to me, to be honest maybe I was a bit silly not to think people would take the stuff, but as long as I paid I felt better for it, thanks for the vote and reading as always, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Anna, it really came as a surprise for me especially watching them sneaking out the back and putting it in the lockers, talk about naïve! but I soon kept an eye on them and tried to make them feel guilty, thanks for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Cris, I think maybe it is just in the UK, and I bet its only certain shops that don't take electrical goods, the ones that I have worked in, and I have worked in three over the years never took electrical goods, thanks, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Bobbi, thanks so much, what got me was that the boss would stand there and let them do it! Even more surprising was the shock on her face when I paid for the stuff! unbelievable!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Cat, I am sure most people who work at these stores and distribution centers are totally genuine, a couple of books or dvds are fine to take, but anything that has been given that is bigger like a coat or expensive stuff really drives me mad when they take it, thanks for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Lee, yes its very disheartening, but don't worry I am sure its only a few that do it, I hope! thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Scarlett, yes you are probably right, but it still is so annoying and just so wrong isn't it? thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Linda, lol! I did! and they didn't like it much, but hey someone has to stand up to them! the look on their faces was amazing, as if to say, why not? thanks as always, nell

Ann1Az2 profile image

Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

Nell, I worked in one of those places, too and saw some of the same things you did. I just made it a point when I wanted something to either pay for it or donate clothing in exchange for it. Like you say, these places are in the business of helping those in need.

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Nell, you really hit a nerve, didn't you! As for charity shops not selling "good as new" mattresses, in many (or maybe ALL) states in the U.S., it's ILLEGAL for any store to sell used mattresses, only new ones still in the original factory wrapping. This law, however, doesn't apply to private individuals at yard sales, etc.

As for pricing in "Sally" and Goodwill, I've rarely found Goodwill items overpriced, but Sally's ALWAYS are. Sometimes even higher than the same item can be purchased brand-new in a regular store. On the rare occasions when I do venture into the local Sally (because I DO sometimes find a treasure reasonably priced), I usually "hold my nose" so to speak, ready for the inevitable sticker shock. The last time I was there, they'd had to add another rack in the clothing section because the clothing items they already had weren't selling, mainly because they were way overpriced. When I suggested to the manager that she hold a once-a-month "bag sale" - i.e. $5 for all the clothes one could cram into a standard paper grocery bag, which I often saw in the DAV (disable vets) store - she looked at me as if I'd just sprouted horns! Clearly holding out (or ON) for the money and not REALLY in a hurry to get rid of what was already on the (older) racks. Same for the tarnished-black **silver-plated** coffee pot whose lid was missing its knob. I had one exactly like it that I'd purchased at Goodwill for less that $7, so I nearly choked when I turned over the price tag and saw it was priced at $229 dollars! I'd already researched mine on the internet and knew it could be purchased brand new for no more than $70! This is just one example of why I wonder who prices Sally's items. Do they grasp that people who can pay $229 (plus 10% sales tax!) for a (real, not plated) silver coffee pot WILL NOT be purchasing it at a thrift store?

My mother refused to set foot in a Sally again after she donated a kitchen stove with the express instruction that it was to be given to any family who'd lost everything in a fire or natural disaster FOR FREE, but on her next visit found it sitting in the store with a price tag of $60. What incensed her most was not only was $60 way more than she'd paid for it brand new 20-some years earlier, she knew no just-lost-everything family could afford to pay even a fraction of that, which is why she'd specified it was NOT to be for sale.

Okay, off the soap box! Have a great day! ;D

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Ann, yes it does seem to be a worldwide problem, I suppose if something is there in front of them and they can get away with it, well, they will try to get it for free, its just not right is it? thanks for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

Hi Genee, thanks for coming back, I have never seen a mattress over here in a store, but maybe they do in the bigger shops. Oh yes forgot about the over pricing! some of the ones I worked in charge more money than the proper shops too! especially boots! for some reason they price them at about 25 to 30 pounds which is double the price of the shoe shop up the road! And 229 dollars? what the hell? that is just plain bonkers! In fact if it had been real silver the scrap price would be less than that!

And that's so wrong about the cooker, what the heck? some people let the power go to their heads over pricing, for some reason they think that the shop belongs to them, and the better prices and selling will somehow look good on them, its all about ego! yes its certainly coming out of the woodwork so to speak! thanks for the added info, just makes me more mad, honestly! thanks again, nell

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Nell, sorry to raise your blood pressure, but you're exactly spot on about "some people let the power go to their heads over pricing". It's for this reason that I now avoid Sally's red kettles in front of stores at Christmas. They have thousands of stores open year-round filled with goods THAT IF PRICED APPROPRIATELY - i.e. to SELL, not hoard - would make more than enough to support the charity part of their organization, and there'd be no need for the red kettles. Just sayin...

Mysticalmoon profile image

Mysticalmoon 2 years ago from Idaho Falls, ID

I am so glad that all the thrift stores here in my town do not do this kind of things. Additionally, I have owned several thrift stores and we have never done this things. I wonder why the bigger cities have this issue? Is it because greed, uncaring, and lack of honesty is so abountant in bigger cities?

Thank you for reminding me Niel of why I love small cities and I only donate directly to the charity that needs my items.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

There are shady things going on in all charities, or in any walk of life for that matter. My wife did volunteer work for a charity that distributed food to the "needy." She would frequently see "needy" women drive up in a Mercedez, wearing designer clothes to get their freebies. All the same for the most part the charities do great work, as you have said. Great hub!

Erin Mellor profile image

Erin Mellor 2 years ago from Europe

My local charity shops are well organised and run professionally. The "perk of the job" (although it's usually a volunteer post) is to get first pick, but only after an item has been priced. The internet has been working well for several stores. They check branded goods so no-one goes home with a $5 handbag that could sell on eBay for $100, and rare and collectors books now sell through Amazon, rather than dealers popping in and picking up first Editions for $1. Our local hospice has stores around the county and they sort for the neighborhood each shop is in - there's a designer boutique at the ritzy end of town, a baby store where young families live, and a games and entertainment place in the student area. It does have a paid central management which seems to deter people who only volunteer for what they can get or to book themselves onto a power trip.

ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

Good and important points made by you and your observations are correct to a large extent.

I do a lot of charity on a regular basis, but usually I give it to the needy directly. Only in cases of natural calamities I prefer to donate to trustworthy organisations. There are many out there, which are transparent about their usage of donations and other items.

Many thanks for sharing this useful hub and create an awareness on this topic!

Besarien profile image

Besarien 2 years ago

Thanks for the "insider info!" I try to be smart about the charities I support. That is not always easy to do. I love your idea about checking to see what is on sale before dropping stuff off.

I also think it is wonderful that you were a good example to your co-workers. Most people go along with the existing culture of their workplace, so as not to stand out or make waves, even to the point of letting it corrupt them. Sometimes all it takes is one person to turn those people back to the light. In any case, you should feel great about acting in accordance with your own beliefs. Really enjoyed this hub!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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!

klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

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!

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.

mothersofnations profile image

mothersofnations 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!

tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 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.

dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 2 years ago from Fontana

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

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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?

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Vellur profile image

Vellur 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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

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.

Charmain English profile image

Charmain English 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!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 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.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 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!

LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

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!!!

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 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!

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 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!

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.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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!

bethperry profile image

bethperry 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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

RachaelOhalloran profile image

RachaelOhalloran 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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

dilipchandra12 profile image

dilipchandra12 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.

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.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

carter06 profile image

carter06 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 know it happens but somehow you don't want to believe it right? great hub Nell..Cheers

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 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

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

HI Deb, yes that's so true, that's what makes me so mad about it, 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

Nell Rose 24 months ago from England Author

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

TolovajWordsmith profile image

TolovajWordsmith 23 months 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

Nell Rose 23 months ago from England Author

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

Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 23 months 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

Nell Rose 23 months ago from England Author

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

aesta1 profile image

aesta1 23 months 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

Nell Rose 23 months ago from England Author

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

old albion profile image

old albion 23 months 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!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 23 months ago from England Author

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

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months 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

Nell Rose 23 months ago from England Author

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

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 23 months 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.


Learn Things Web profile image

Learn Things Web 23 months 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.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 23 months 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 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.

Kierstin Gunsberg profile image

Kierstin Gunsberg 22 months ago

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.

heidithorne profile image

heidithorne 22 months 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!

Vellur profile image

Vellur 22 months 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.

Rui Carreira profile image

Rui Carreira 22 months 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.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 22 months 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!

tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 22 months 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

fpherj48 22 months 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.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

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.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

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

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

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

Rayne123 22 months 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


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

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

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 21 months 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!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 19 months 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.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 19 months ago from England Author

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

John Holden profile image

John Holden 18 months 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

Nell Rose 18 months ago from England Author

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

Colleen Diemer profile image

Colleen Diemer 15 months 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

Nell Rose 15 months ago from England Author

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

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