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Overgate Charity Shop

From Kevin W

Monday, 23 September 2013

Incredible how charity shops seem to have lost the way with their pricing!

Of course I know they are raising money and awareness for good causes. But who is creating the prices in the Overgate Charity Shop?

Totally overpriced clothing books and furniture! Mostly what has got me to write and have a moan on here is the ridiculous prices they have out on kids toys! My little girl wanted a tiny teddy bear that would cost only 3 or 4 pounds new in a box. Someone had obviously done a jumble sale and and had put a 20p price on it.. But when I got to the counter I was told it was not one of their price tickets and its in actual fact £3!

Under pressure I bought it to avoid a burnout with my little one! Seems greedy and makes me wonder if someone's making /profiting of on a big salary? I also heard a woman "out the back" checking the price on e bay of a pair of Shoes! Why?

From Jack Hughes

Monday, 23 September 2013

This would be the same shop that quite recently had a second hand dartboard in the window for £50. Apparently the high rents-and-rates in Hebden Bridge are to blame for high prices in the town's charity shops, or so I was told by a worker in another establishment. I'd recommend a trip to Sowerby Bridge or King Cross to find bargains.

What really gets my goat is the amount of perfectly saleable stuff that one local charity shop throws in the bin to be taken to landfill. Other charities are crying out for secondhand goods, so why does this organisation not pass on goods presumably deemed insufficiently high-end for their bijou boutique? Ah well, at least the price tags on their vinyl albums give us record collectors a regular giggle.

From Anne H

Monday, 23 September 2013

I would argue that they have the pricing more or less right because customers continue to buy stuff from them and the shop is surviving while others have closed. I'm very pleased for them because they are a wonderful cause.

I don't know if they do this, but I could understand if they wanted to put a minimum price on toys in order to avoid the shop being filled with a large number of low value items that simply take up space.

On the other hand, jumble sales and car boot sales often need a large quanitity of items to fill the space on the stall, and make it look busy and attractive, even if the small toys themselves are priced very low.

If you want to buy toys for 20p then maybe a car boot sale is the place to look. But leave Overgate alone - they are doing a brilliant job!

From Graham Barker

Monday, 23 September 2013

I think the Overgate shop prices are fine, especially their CDs at a pound apiece - much cheaper than other charity shops. I've found several jazz gems there, though I wish I didn't have to virtually lie on the floor to browse. (To be fair, few charity shops do a good job of displaying CDs.)

Pricing in charity shops must be a highly inexact science and some things turn out to be just plain bad buys, so you have to be philosophical and expect some rough with the smooth. Overall I've had far more great bargains than duds from all the Hebden charity shops.

I'm uneasy though about the boutiquey style one in particular has adopted. The prime purpose of charity shops is to collect money for the charity, and you do get the feeling that this is being forgotten when the shop looks as though it's had a lot of money wasted on it.

From Andy G

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Hello everybody. This morning, a friend of mine sent me a link to this thread and suggested I contribute.

Rather than write something new, I'll share a section of blog post I wrote a year ago... my writing has probably improved since then, but my passion for the subject has diminished.

So here it is, the sad and sorry blog post I wrote about Hebden Bridge Hospice:

Years ago, this particular charity shop was an Aladdin's cave for bargain treasure hunters. It was messy and it was overstocked, it was staffed by pensioners who often had little idea what they were selling, let alone how to work the cash register properly.

For all it's mess, it had charm. The bargains were cheap, and they flew out of the shop. Some customers came back twice a day to find newly put out gems amongst the teetering piles and the groaning rails.

And for all the incompetence of the staff, it really worked. It was the highest earning charity shop for the Hospice it serves, and it was messy and overstocked because it was loved, and people donated constantly.

Then somebody made a decision. They decided that it could be made better; they decided to employ a manager!

The new manager came in with something of a problem. Her employers wanted her to raise the income of the shop, and for this admirable achievement; the shop would pay her £16,000 per year.

So… from starting out, she had to raise the shop's income by £16,001 before her work could begin to be considered a success. To do this, she decided to make the shop a little classier. (It's in an affluent town after all, with plenty of classy folks).

She cleared out the overflowing stockroom, she halved the stock in the shop, she made the place light and airy as had become fashionable, she phased out most of the retiree volunteers, opting instead for younger faces, and she immediately doubled all the prices.

Almost immediately, customer numbers dwindled. There were fewer bargains to be had amidst half the previous stock, and people went in less and less. There were still some people prepared to pay the prices though; they still weren't as high as in Oxfam.

However, fewer customers meant fewer donations, and steadily the quality of the stock dwindled. It became normal for there to be very little turnaround, and stock languished on shelves and rails where previously it had flown out. There are currently DVDs and CDs that have been picked over for years, and the remaining permanent dregs are unlikely to ever be sold.

The manager moved on after a year. On to bigger challenges running a new supermarket.

The replacement manager, oh the challenges she was faced with: a dwindling customer base, dwindling donations, and still tasked with improving the shop's income.

She re-fitted the shop, dead posh now. Raised the prices, really quite pricey.

Some prices, sometimes, are higher even than retail. Raised the class of stock, more selective. Less stock on shelves; same donations.

And where on earth do all the poorer quality donations go? Well, a while ago, the manager gave an interview in the local paper, and asked the townsfolk to stop foisting poor quality tat donations on her shop, because she was having to pay out £2 per bag for disposal.... £100+ a week.

So 50 bin bags a week, full of unwanted donations going to recyclers and landfill!

Now, I vaguely know a man, lives on the fringes of society. He found one night last summer that their yard was left open, and he went a-rummaging through their rubbish piles, came away with some stuff that he thought might go well on his car boot stall. Went back the next night, and the next, and so on for a whole 2 months. He filled a room with stuff from that yard, stuff which otherwise would have been pulped and smashed and dumped and incinerated.

He got oil paintings and horse brasses, toys and books and computer equipment, china figurines, ornaments, vases and plates; tools and furniture and oh so many other things. He's been selling them ever since, and he estimates that he's made over £2000 from it all, with quite a bit of it still to be offered up to his car boot customers.

Now I can't condone his theft, and really I should report it to the correct authorities, but for the life of me I can't remember his name and I never did know the whereabouts of where he lived.

After the interview, a few recycling companies stepped forward to take the excess off her hands for free. But really, re-use is better; it requires less energy and is much better for the environment.

Quite sad really.

From Paul D

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Difficult one this as the cause is good but the means are embarrassing. Overgate risks becoming local shorthand for overpriced tat much of which actually smells quite stale and actually is often just dumped there. The prices are of course linked to maximising revenue for the essentially good cause, but at the expense of reputation it seems. Avoid at all costs perhaps?

From Paul Clarke

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

I have a lifelong love of charity shops and I like nothing better than having a wander round them on a Saturday.

Overgate is my least favourite as the stock isn't really my taste but I don't think it is particularly overpriced. Although three quid for a soft toy is clearly OTT but on the whole it is par for the course.

Age Concern is great for books. RSPCA is OK. Shelter not great on stock rotation. Tia has good book section. Forget Me Not is worth the trek past Marcos.

I'd say the pricing across the stores is pretty uniform and reasonable with the odd exception and Graham is right pricing is not an exact science. Like him I have far more great bargains than upsets like the soft toy shocker.

I'm assuming Graham is referring to Oxfam when he mentions boutique but I wonder how much of that was covered by the insurance money after it was flooded?

The bottom line is that bargain hunting is great fun and you are also supporting a charity. I think the chazzers round are great and we should also thank the volunteers who keep them going.

From Stacy B

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Well, I am the manager's daughter of Overgate Shop in Hebden Bridge and although I'm quite awere you people have nothing better to do with your life than slag off a charity shop that comforts people while they are dying. I would advise you to speak to someone higher to put your problems across. There is nothing wrong with anything here. In fact, we have proved the complete opposite. Takings, customer reviews and the number of customers reviewed every day just show what difference my mum (Ann-Marie) has made. If you are not already aware the cost of living has risen and so there for everything else goes up around us.

From G Golden

Sunday, 29 September 2013

I feel people should be able to express their views here. The discussion on pricing is not a reflection on any of the other work the hospice does.

I don't shop in Overgate because I feel many items are overpriced.

However, the shop always seems busy, which suprises me, but if it's working that's good for Overgate.

I think we all want a successful business that is raising money for the excellent cause of Overgate Hospice.

Perhaps some people on here are concerned this is not the case.


From Graham Barker

Sunday, 29 September 2013

What on earth is happening here? In decades of trawling charity shops up and down the land it's never crossed my mind to rate them on price or pass judgment other than express a bit of concern (which I now regret) about the leanings toward glitziness of one of them locally. They're all fine. Overgate is fine. They're charity shops, not Tesco. They raise money for good causes. They're not perfect but they never can or ought to be perfect. I think most people understand that. They're run by volunteers and perform a useful service for both buyers and donors. Things have come to a pretty miserable pass when critics queue up to whinge about them by name. Maybe it says more about the whingers than about the shops.

From Dave R

Monday, 30 September 2013

As someone who does have better things to do with my life than 'slag people off ' but also likes to contribute to debates on Hebweb, I think that the issue here in being taken personally, has subsequently been blown out of proportion.

Yes, charity shops do a sterling job in raising funds for their organisations. Yes, they are mainly staffed by volunteers with a paid manager.

Some people will however, look at the price increases and therefore the demise of such shops, as being the result of them having to pay these managerial costs.

As Stacey points out; prices everywhere are increasing, so we should expect to see this reflected in charity shop pricing.
But, I feel the issue originally raised here of price v quality, is a valid one and one that is becoming more evident in ALL charity shops in ALL towns.

We are all tightening our belts, we give less to charity. The popularity of e-books; music downloads; local buy/sell sites; etc. all mean that there is less to give to such shops.

Consequentially, stock is often depleted. Most of the charity shops display 'urgent'requests for donations.

Overall though, they are still value for money, still worth a good rummage and if you don't like them don't go in.

On the other hand - open debate should not be dismissed as slagging off worthy causes.

From Laura Golding

Monday, 30 September 2013

I am the Fundraising and Retail Manager at Overgate Hospice and I have to say I am rather concerned about the comments on this forum and therefore i wanted to respond to a few of them.

The pricing structure in our Hospice shops are always decided upon by looking at other charity shops in the area, making sure we remain competitive whilst raising as much money for the Hospice as possible.

In terms of the comments about waste and landfill i would like anyone with any concerns to - please contact me at the hospice. However I would like to alay your concerns by explaining that all items that do not sell are sent to our other shops or sent for recycling which we receive money for. Therefore only a small amount that cannot be recycled are sent to landfill.

The comments regarding the staff in the shop, our shop managers and volunteers work very hard. Many of the volunteers have worked there for years and all do so to help raise as much money for the hospice as possible.

I would also like to respond to Andy G's comment about 'someone' entering our yard. The yard at the shop is never left unlocked and any items in that yard are the property of Overgate Hospice and are either waiting to be recycled or sent to another shop again to raise money for the Hospice. I will therefore be reporting this matter to the police.

Thank you to all the contributors for your comments about our shop in Hebden Bridge. As mentioned if you have any worries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks

Laura Golding, Fundraising and Retail Manager

From Eleanor Land

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Since I moved here I have donated many items to Overgate Shop in Hebden Bridge. All the items have been of good quality and I hoped the charity would make a reasonable price for these items. I think we need to remember that the aim of this shop is to make money for their cause, and in my opinion that is what they do very well.