Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Confessions of a Charity Shop Junkie

Hi, my name's Anna and I'm a charity shop junkie, an eBayaholic and proud of it. I'm going to take a brief interval from impulse buying like a mad woman and try to trick you into conforming to my way of life. Okay so we're talking shopping tactics not planning an armed robbery but I'm here to banish the stigma attached to buying second hand and convince you that you're missing out, just call me Mary Portas!

I've never really understood why some people look down on charity shops, in what universe is giving to charity something to be ashamed of? Don't fancy the idea of wearing someone else's clothes? Then wash them for heaven's sake! Can't bear the thought of rummaging through other people's old stuff? Think again - most charity shops organise clothes into size rails so it takes minutes to sift through your section. In the words of Macklemore, one man's trash is another man's come up - broken or damaged goods aren't accepted, usually it's all clothes people have grown out of or couldn't find space for on their floordrobe, but that doesn't mean you can't squeeze them in somewhere. Another common misconception is that all stock is donated by the public, when often businesses donate brand new items at much cheaper prices, and not only clothes but really cool homewares. The best thing about charity shop raids is that you'll always find something unique and even designer brands are cheap as chips.

I don't know about you, but my student budget barely stretches to a pair of socks from Urban Outfitters. Why splash out on this season's must have Topshop piece when the likelihood is, you'll find it in the same condition for half the price on eBay? I always check here before taking the plunge with an expensive find. The secret to eBay success is knowing exactly what you're looking for. If I see an Instagram pal wearing a cute jumper, in seconds I've asked what brand it is and conducted an eBay search for my size. You'll be surprised how often you'll find the very thing you're after. Accessories are no problem and jumpers are easy because you can get away with wearing a couple of sizes too big so there's more chance you'll find a suitable match, oohhh cosy oversized chic. The one annoying thing about eBay lately is the number of businesses clogging up searches with mass produced items. I usually stay away from these because the quality tends to be low and their 'buy it now' offers take all the fun out of bidding wars. This may seem an obvious tip but when it comes to bidding, wait until the last minute to swoop in when they don't have time to up their bid. As hard as it is to restrain from jumping in with a week to go and only one bidder, if you hold out you're likely to catch them off guard.

I've collected some gorgeous bits and bobs so to prove my point, here are some of my favourite                                                                   ebay and charity shop finds...

Teapot - Cancer Research UK, £1.49 (new)
Timberland boots - eBay, £50 (used) / New 
Urban Outfitters Jumper - eBay, £3.20 (used)        Urban Outfitters Jumper - Loros, £8 (used)  
Prom Dress (I'm second from the right) - Oxfam, £20 (used) / BUY MINE ON DEPOP

UPDATE: Since writing this post, the absolute gem that is Depop has blossomed into social media's favourite app. It's a mix between eBay and Instagram, sellers post photos of everything they wish to clear out (some well loved, some brand new) and anyone is welcome to make an offer. Most people accept swaps which is the best bit because you can bag yourself a new wardrobe and clear out yours at the same time for free - all you pay is each others postage! Depop also doesn't ask for seller fees like eBay so it's much more purse friendly. I've already received about 15 Depop packages in the post full of wonderful goodies including a Benefit brush, some Chelsea boots, a Hollister hoodie and the book The Lovely Bones - all without breaking the bank! My Depop account is @annabarnardwright so feel free to head over.


I hope this post has shown you that second hand items can be loved again and encouraged you to have a browse when you have a few pennies spare, happy hauling!

Love, Anna x