Thrifty shoppers can find designer clothes and shoes at rock bottom prices if they look at charity shops in the right places.
According to one expert, you can get a Vivienne Westwood T-shirt and Yeezy trainers for as little as £20. But these gems are easily missed if you do not know where they are usually kept.
So The Sun spoke to Joe Weybala, shop manager at the British Heart Foundation, about how to smell them. Best deals in stores.
Ms. Vebala manages a team of seven salaried employees and 25 volunteers at the charity’s Manchester Piccadilly store.
She has spent seven years looking after the store and its employees, keeping stock on the shop floor, serving customers and arranging shop windows to entice customers.
From revealing the right time to shop for the best bits to when to look for flash sales, here are her top four tips.
But since store layout and the way stores are run can vary between chains and branches, you won’t be able to use Ms. Vebala’s tips in every instance.
Charity shops saw a nearly 7% increase in sales between June and September last year, according to research by the Charity Retail Association.
It said the sale was made by customers looking for more cost-effective ways to buy their clothing and essentials.
Ms. Vebala herself has noticed that the shops have become busy.
“People shop with us for many different reasons,” she said.
“There has been an increase [in shoppers] – and many more since then covid.,
If you want to test Ms. Weibla’s shopping tips yourself, you can use bhfStore locator tool to find your nearest one.
head for cabinets
The best deals can usually be found stored in glass cabinets scattered around stores.
This is where high value items are kept, so they cannot be taken easily.
“We get really good stock all the time – we had a bin bag full of Vivienne Westwood T-shirts that we sold for £20, but I think they were £80 or £90 at full price,” Ms. Vebala said.
“We also found some expensive and limited edition trainers from Nike, Adidas and Yeezy. Some cost maybe £450, and we sold them for £85.
“Glass cabinets are where we keep amazing stock like this.”
Be sure to check the back – they’ll usually be cabinets with expensive items donated like Doc Martins, designer sunglasses and jewellery.
“Don’t be afraid to ask us to open the glass cabinets,” said Ms. Vebala.
right time to shop
Bargain hunters will want to set their alarm if they want best deals.
You’ll also want to visit your local store on specific days during the week.
“Morning is best to pop in,” said Ms. Vebala.
“Monday is when we reorganize the shop floor and get a huge injection of stock.
“Fridays are also big stock days before the busy weekend arrives – a great time to go is during the afternoon.”
when the flash sale starts
It’s not just the high street shops that have big sales – charity shops do too.
Ms Vebala said stores often have end of season “flash sales”.
This is so that stocks can be moved quickly to make room for the new season.
“Sometimes we get excess stock and we may decide to hold bank holiday flash sales for the customers,” she said.
Flash sales can also happen off the cuff if a large delivery is made – so they are sometimes easy to miss.
That’s why shoppers should follow the Instagram page of their local charity shop.
“VIP lock in dates, new drops and flash sales will be advertised on Instagram – so stay close to your shop’s social media,” she said.
location, location, location
If you’re looking to buy yourself designer clothes that are barely a year old, your best bet is to head to the shops in cities and near universities.
Ms. Veblen has worked for BHF in many different areas, and noticed that the quality of donations varies depending on your location.
She said that international students often donate “luxurious” clothes to stores after they graduate.
While you can donate new clothes with tags to fashion companies in cities at local charity stores.
“You’ll find 10-year-old clothes on trend items instead of clean ones,” she said.
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