Get in quick for trea­sure

Whanganui Midweek - - NEWS - By ELLA GRANT

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.

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