The Sad Demise of UK Charity Shops

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Colin Geer, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. Colin Geer

    Colin Geer Subscriber

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    Just so you guys know what it's like here in the dear old UK, recent rules and regulations regarding safety certification now forbids (or makes practically impossible) the sale of anything that is or might have contained fuel, including stoves and lanterns. I purchased a SIGG clone from such a place ONLY because they had no idea what it was and the box made it look like it might be a foot pump! Electrical items now have to be so rigorously tested that most charity shops (thrift shops) don't bother as there's no-one trained and available to perform the tests. I was given a brand new Dualit toaster last year because it failed the test procedure so many times they gave up! I only got it because they know me and they put it aside. Electrical table lamps and floor standing lamps now have to have 2 certificates.... one for the plug end and one for the light end!

    There was a time when I really enjoyed mooching around charity shops seeing what I could find but now all I see is books, clothes and trinkets... plus a few pots and pans, but not cast iron ones because 'nobody wants them so we throw those in the skip'!

    Oh, and just last week I heard that at least one UK charity organisation now crams all the stuff they cant sell into containers and ships it all out to the US. So next time you guys over in the States find yourself in a thrift shop or any other junk shop/rummage sale, think of us. We'll be here looking through racks of second hand shirts and outdated trousers.

    Bloody marvellous!
     
  2. shueilung.2008

    shueilung.2008 Subscriber

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    So, shall we need a permit to die?

    Bloody idiot burocracy all over the world trying to justify their existence!

    Regards

    Enrique
     
  3. Trojandog

    Trojandog United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Unfortunately, most charity shops are now run as retail chains by highly paid management teams. It's all corporate speak and image branding. They then charge £3 for a paperback book and more for a used Primark shirt than it costs new in the Primark stores!

    I have a friend who volunteers for a large well-known charity. He tells me that 75% of the stuff that is donated never reaches the shelves. It goes off to big central sorting warehouses where it's baled and sold in bulk to dealers for selling at huge profits in Eastern Europe and Africa.

    Luckily, we have a local animal rescue charity shop that is run by enthusiastic local volunteers. All books 10p, all clothes £1.00. Masses of electrical goods sold dirt cheap as 'untested' and 'as seen'. They take about £500 a day. Always busy and people are keen to donate because they know that the stuff won't be sold in bulk to dealers who ship it to Romanian and Nigerian street markets.
     
  4. Colin Geer

    Colin Geer Subscriber

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    Where are you Tronandog? I'm in the car ready to pay a flying visit! Ha ha
     
  5. monkeyboy

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    i just deleted what i wanted to write, a rant about a well known so called mega thrift corporation here in the states called G---will
    but anyway, yeah the so called mtc. bumped up their used book prices to $3.00. i've never ever found a stove or lantern in any of their shops as i suspect these items were siphoned off as soon as they came in the back door either by the employees for their personal use or for the mtc. to resell in one of their 'botique' shops or online stores.
    i donate books and goods to "The Salvation Army" or "Habitat for Humanity" stores only. i think what's donated locally to these stores stays local. i did get a nice old Coleman 425 for $2.00 from Habitat a few weeks ago. only reason i bought it was to gift it to a young person who wants to start camping and i could make sure it was in working order before they used it.
    i bet there are lucky people who find old Optimus 8R's and 111's in thrifts here in the states but i'm not one of the lucky ones.
     
  6. monkeyboy

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    this small community i live in sent a Box truck full of bottled water amd clothes to New Orleans when Katrina hit the coast.
    i found out from folks in New Orleans later that they had no use for them and the clothes were dumped in a landfill because so many tons of clothes were donated from around the country.
     
  7. Colin Geer

    Colin Geer Subscriber

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    I'm no conspiracy theorist, really I'm not, but it sometimes feels like we're being cornered from all angles. In the UK, charity shops now only sell rubbish, the postal service and courier services are getting stricter about what they transport with the very real threat of items being crushed if they get worried, camping shops no longer sell what I call proper stoves any more, and anything of any quality costs so much it's beyond most people's reach. Take the simplex kettle, the correct price for a new one from the manufacturer is over £200!

    Combine this with the fact that donated items are routinely siphoned off before the public get a chance to see them and it begins to feel like we're being manipulated.
     
  8. geeves

    geeves New Zealand Subscriber

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    NZ is much the same so expect this worldwide. At least here it is legal for a non qualified but competent person to test and tag electrical gear. The hospice shop my wife works in has a volunteer do the testing. They were shown how by another volunteer who might of been shown by an electrician. This volunteer signed off the competency. In reality this isnt as scary as it sounds because an appliance tester pretty much does the work for you so the test is only a look at it plug it in and push a few buttons. Not like the old days with a megger and multi-meter. If it passes its tagged and sold if not it goes in the bin. Appliance repair does require a registered person. Other charity shops just cut the plug off and sell for spare parts only.
    Ive yet to find a stove in these shops although the wife knows I have first refusal on ant stove they get
     
  9. dogface

    dogface United States Subscriber

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    Stop dealing with any "official" entities if possible. Charity, as I practice it, is the money/goods passing from my hand to the one in need, the end user. I deal in cash with people selling me things/services so they can do as they will with the money, no paper trail, uncle sugar's sticky fingers never touch it to steal it.

    Bureaucracies are analogous to cancer, in that they exist to grow, forever, and displace/destroy everything they come in contact with. When they begin, they usually serve some justifiable purpose, but they quickly grow beyond that and ofttimes the original purpose is completely lost. Remember, bureaucracies are people, see what they become in a group-think environment. As individuals they can be fine people of good intent, but as a part of the group, they become problematic.
     
  10. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

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    @dogface :clap::clap::clap:

    Well put! Exactly right! Cancer indeed!
     
  11. dogface

    dogface United States Subscriber

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    Analogies, very useful. Thought patterns, philosophies, ideologies, like infectious entities, the virus, the bacterium. Once a person's mind becomes infected, he spreads it to others, and their minds become infected in turn, then spreading like wildfire throughout a society, and nearly impossible to eradicate save by counter "infection" by competing thought patterns. This is why the battleground of ideologies resides in the world of education, with propaganda being the most useful/favored weapon in the arsenal. Beating people into submission, killing those who think differently, never works in the long term, and the attempt always has unintended negative consequences. This is why I get so tired of the primitive screw headed rhetoric that emanates from the extremes of the left/right paradigm in western culture.

    Analogies work/are because everything is connected, however tenuous our ignorant understanding of it all is. Everything is of the "box" (just a useful term for lack of better), of the actuality of this reality. This is why our technology mirrors our physical reality, everything being some mirror image of everything else to some degree. Given the truth of this, man's artificial divisions of things must needs be closely and honestly examined, and by the doing so, many are found to be without logical reason, simply beliefs based upon desire, manifestations of egotism being played out in the world as if they were physical reality.

    After a while it begins to seem that we are trapped in some sort of twilight zone of immaturity, ignorance, and madness from which we will never escape. This leads me to adopting the strategy of the mouse for survival, albeit a mouse with a poison fang, that can be used only once before utter destruction, that is, to hide, endeavor not to be noticed by the powerful, to always avoid physical confrontation, to live in the shadows as the manswarm plays out its madness unto utter destruction.
     
  12. Colin Geer

    Colin Geer Subscriber

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    Wow, Dogface, that was deep but I found myself nodding as I read. The feeling of being trapped in the Twilight Zone is getting worse from my perspective and seems to be hard to avoid, although I do pretty well one way and another.
     
  13. dogface

    dogface United States Subscriber

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    I understand, I have the same effect on my wife. Perhaps that is my calling, helping poor insomniacs to find relief.
     
  14. Colin Geer

    Colin Geer Subscriber

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    As Basil Brush would have said, Boom Boom!
     
  15. Jim Lukowski United States

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    From monkeyboy "i just deleted what i wanted to write, a rant about a well known so called mega thrift corporation here in the states called G---will".

    That chain/charity will not even accept GPA's in my area. Anything that runs on any kind of fuel is a no-no. Sad really. Habitat for Humanity has no such rule, but I don't see GPA's there. Our large retail chain, Walmart, began putting liquid fueled lanterns on clearance around two years ago because of the lack of interest. In the end, they were selling for $15 to $18. A couple of months ago, they put Coleman Northstar propane lanterns on clearance for $11. Propane isn't selling either right now since folks new to camping want LED. So, just what the heck are these people cooking on? Did I miss an announcement about LED stoves now being available? I hate to see this stuff and the history behind it going by the wayside.
     
  16. geeves

    geeves New Zealand Subscriber

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    Its hard to argue against led camp lights. 2 aa batteries and you might not light up the whole camp the way a tilley would but it is all the light you need for a weeks camping especially as most "normal" folk only camp in the summer. Also leds are so reliable no mantles to play with no lighting instructions etc. No soul but most people dont need soul
     
  17. Giri

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    Well, the Seattle Goodwill has stoves on eBay fairly regular.
    Or, at least they claim to be Seattle Goodwill.

    So far in Canada, no restrictions on electrical or GPA in my area.

    Though, things rarely show up - right place right time.
    I've purchased a Coleman 286 lantern and a Turm alcohol stove in the local thrift shops.
     
  18. monkeyboy

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    good model
     
  19. monkeyboy

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    hahaha. yah, i did get a 220 from a Habitat for Humanity in Oregon for $2.00, it was back by the dumpster laying on its side. i just happened to walk over to the dumpster to have a look. i'm sure i saved it from the crusher.
     
  20. skorpiius

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    I have never come across a Habitat for Humanity store but apparently there's 2 here in town, I'll have to check them out. Those UK regulations are insane, here Goodwill will often have a 'works' sticker on an electrical device, and the other shops don't even test it seems. Very relaxed here I guess. So far.