Charity Shops Will Save You A Pretty Penny

Charity shops are a great way to save plenty of money, especially during these recession racked times and also during one of the most expensive times of year – Christmas!  Here are some top tips on how to get the best out of charity shopping – save money for yourself whilst giving to charity.
1) Really search through the rails.  There are so many different items that a quick glance is not enough.  It is not like a highstreet store where there are lines of the same thing.  Each thing is different and like anywhere, the best is normally squirrelled away at the back.
2) Don’t judge an item on first glance – you could add it to something you already own, accessorise it differently or even customise it with some simple stitching or a few glue-gunned-on pieces from a haberdashery.  Choose Charity Shops
3) Check the labels.  If the item started life at a ‘cheapie’ store and you are buying it second hand then chances are it is no longer worth the money you are planning on spending on it, plus it might not have much life left in it.  You can pick up some fantastic bargains from charity shop, so keep your eyes out for brand new items still with tags, or designer/high end high-street pieces.  They are out there.
4) On that note, go to the charity shops in more affluent towns.  The richer the area the better the pickings, and although the items may be a little more in charity shop terms, a brand new Zara skirt or Whistles dress for £9.99 is still an absolute bargain!
5)  With Christmas on the horizon you may find you discover other great items in your favourite charity shop, not just clothing, such as homeware and kids toys.  Again, the nicer the town the better the quality.  Some shops have even started buying in their own range so you can buy brand new items such as wellington boots, umbrella’s, cutlery, paintings, handbags and so much more, at a fraction of the original cost but still brand new. 
6) Oxfam is an obvious choice, as is perhaps Cancer Research, but smaller local stores can be found in towns too.  They might have an different angle such as a specific vintage and retro section, whereas the larger ‘highstreet’ charity shops may not be able to be so choosy and will just take anything to sell regardless of quality.  Also, the prices may be cheaper and you are helping a local store to raise funds.
7) Try going a little further afield.  London towns have quirky little side roads and areas such as Brick Lane or Old Street, which may just stock some hidden gems.  Every large town has somewhere like this so search them out.  
There are some absolute bargains to be found out there in the charity shops – you don’t need to spend much or buy brand new to look good or on a great gift.  It is such a buzz finding something designer for £5 or £10, and in the long term it will help you will save a fortune.  
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