Get in quick for treasure
You may not have realised, but op-shopping has a lot in common with wildlife photography.
It’s all about what time you get up in the morning, and you never get a second chance. We hardly ever get more than one of an item, with the exception of shoes, and even then not always. So grab that jacket, toaster, vase, book, USB charger or teddy bear today. Tomorrow it may be gone.
The only time we have had two of an item donated they were two lovely, snuggly cat dens and they sold within hours, both to the same family.
So the remedy is either getting in early, or using layby. Layby is a tricky issue. Should we or shouldn’t we? The goods take up a fair bit of space under our counter and they could have been sold in the interim. We have taken an executive decision that we do hold goods for customers, but about half of the customers who ask us to hold something for them don’t come back. The other half are our dependable regulars who know what they have put aside and when they need to pick it up.
Officially, we hold goods for eight days. If you put it aside on a Tuesday it goes back on the shelf at the end of the following Tuesday. We’re ruthless about this — well, fairly ruthless. Ruthless-ish. There is a bag of sundries under the counter put aside by an artist a long time ago, but we can’t bring ourselves to put them all back because the young man has paid us about half of the money.
Paid it without haggling. We are a fundraising shop, and like other charity shops we exist firstly to raise vital funds for a cause we believe in. We love hearing “keep the change” and the sweet tinkle of coins in the koha tin. But we also regularly hear “two dollars? I’m not paying that!” or “Will you take 50 cents for it?” or “Can I have these six for $10?” New Zealand didn’t used to be like that, but this trend is obvious in other countries, too. The Cheep Shop is true to its name, cheap and cheerful. If you are really strapped for cash, you can use layby.