Monday, December 1, 2014

Love Me Some Charity Shops

 The charity shops here are like thrift stores in the U.S. but there are differences.

In the states you mainly see large Salvation Army and Good Will thrift stores with only a few smaller ones, if any.

Here, the charity shops are much smaller and there is a larger variety of them to browse.

 Most are of regular store front size (boutique size and not Marks and Spencer size).  There are often six or more conveniently located near each other on one of the city's shopping streets.  They are not located in strange more industrial areas where rents are lower as they often are in the U.S.

The charities they support are quite varied.  For example one shop might be raising funds for Air Ambulance, another for Age UK, or cancer, or heart disease,or autism, or cat rescue, or prevention of cruelty to animals, or a local charity dear to the hearts of the town's residents.  You get the idea. They run the gamete of worthy causes.

As you would expect, larger cities may have quite a few shops to browse.  But, I have also found two or three in what I would consider small villages.  They are abundant.

The staff of the shops, across the board, are very friendly and nice and we usually end up chatting once I open my mouth and speak and they realize I am not a native.  It is also nice to see shoppers, virtual strangers to each other often, helping each other to find just the perfect coat or sweater or whatever.  It always helps to have that unbiased second opinion.

What you will find and how much you will pay differs widely from shop to shop and town to town.  I have found some shops (some of my favorites) where EVERYTHING in the shop is £1!  Now there is a place for retail therapy with out a lot of guilt.  Others seem to go a little too far in the other direction and their prices quickly convince me to move on.  But, since there is always another shop just around the corner or just around the bend of the canal path, moving on is no hardship.

Every shopping trip is like a treasure hunt.  Will I find another pair of Clark shoes, never worn, for £5?  Is their another pair of Bass leather ankle boots out there for £6?  Will they have more yarn or buttons for me to craft with?  How about movies or music to enjoy?  One never knows and that is often one of the best parts.

store front small
friendly staff
varied charities
treasure hunts
£5 bass leather ankle boots

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