RE: CHARITY shops.
Due to Mr William Miller’s comments in Scarborough Evening News a few days ago, I feel compelled to respond to his comments concerning charity shops.
Every charity will do its utmost to find someone who has an interest in books or bric-a-brac, clothing etc to maximise profits. I personally got invited into a charity to deal with books only, and pricing books to satisfy all customers can be tricky.
What Mr Miller doesn’t understand is that Oxfam have a policy of pricing books at £1.99. Fiction and reference all start at this price. Head office demand that books of this category are priced no lower; in their eyes if it isn’t worth £1.99 then it will not be placed on the shelf. Children’s books and Mills and Boon are the only books that can be priced lower. I know first hand of Oxfam’s policies after working there for just over two years, and having to try to even up with the management to allow me to price books a lot cheaper. But head office don’t care if you have a passion for books, what big chief says - goes. But I will raise a question to Mr Miller - if four books, 1st editions, 1871-1872, Middlemarch by George Eliot complete (Mary Ann Evans) turned up leather bound, double bound gold gilt and near mint condition? How much would he put them on the shelves for, one or two pounds? Because he wants a faster turnover? These books would have to go into a glass cabinet with a lock due to shoplifters and the opening price should be about £500.
Would Mr Miller prefer to wait a little longer to achieve a higher price and raise more money for the charity or would he still prefer to have a faster turnover? He also needs to understand that other books can be rare and many a book dealer comes through these charity doors hoping to make a living out of this trade. I have personally sold books at a tenner all day and many a book at £50 each. I’ve also bought books at these prices as well.
Aggressive marketing does not appear in Oxfam or any other charities within these town shops; on the precinct maybe, by charity collectors. Also if he wishes to pop into Mind on North Marine Road and walk into the book department he will see all charities are not the same. Buy two get third (cheapest free), is a good deal.
Oh and by the way Mr Miller, a book is only worth what you can get for it: the golden rule in selling a book!
Ps- Mary Ann Evans sold for £400. Glad you weren’t on the team.
Scarborough Mind Charity
North Marine Road