Friday, March 18, 2016

Price of everything and the value of nothing?

Delightful antique child's chair donated to our Burleigh St shop
There's been some controversy recently about the efficiency of charity shops as sources of funds.

Shops inevitably have substantial running costs because their landlords are businesses which will only be interested in letting properties at a full market rent and the same applies to suppliers of necessary utilities such as electricity, phones etc.

Stock may be sourced from donations, but a substantial amount of effort is involved in sorting donations into things that are suitable for sale in the shop and those that can only be sold for recycling. Most will need some cleaning or steaming to remove creases  before offering for sale—it's not simply a matter of sticking on a price-ticket and waiting for customers.

At the moment I reckon I spend about 25 hours each week doing backroom work in our shops and the latest batches of requests for help with veterinary treatment costs made me wonder approximately how much time I need to put in for each individual animal.

The average price of goods in our shop works out at £2 per item so we need to sell 100 items to cover each treatment (again based on average cost). That means it takes me roughly one evening's effort to cover one animal's treatment.

It does make me feel rather cross when people who should know better claim that the RSPCA doesn't deliver any services at all.

We need more shop helpers—if you might be able to volunteer, please email

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