Friday 30 November 2012

Money for old coat

Nice weather we're having! The Husband and I indulged in a little lunch yesterday with this view. Oh hurry up summer. I neeeeeed you...

So yesterday morning the Prince and I headed for one of the most exciting parts of our week - the Thursday toddler group. It's in a lovely church, you hand over £1.50 and you get to drink as much tea and coffee as you can handle. And chocolate biscuits. And your child plays happily for two whole hours.

You will often find me hovering by the biscuit tin, while I pretend to be hunting down a clean mug (but we all know I actually just want to snaffle one last Chocolate Digestive. Just one last one. Okay two.)

You will also find me talking to the Only Dad There. He is a dad of three and on the days his wife works, he has the kids and then they swap. This Dad and I are the tiredest parents at toddler group (is tiredest a word?...) We have a Sleep Off, basically. He tells me about his bad night, I listen in sympathy and then I share mine.

We are the toddler group zombies - we both freelance and work into the early hours. While all the other fresh-faced mums skip around fretting after their children, he and I are prising our eyes open and making our sixth coffee. There are grunts and we compare tiredness. I usually win but this week, on two hour's BROKEN sleep, Only Dad There won hands down.

He practically fell asleep during the Hokey Cokey (oh yes, we know how to live, it's like a baby rave) and his eyes got smaller and smaller. Then he stopped talking. I don't think he was really awake any more.

So he won. I lost. But I gained in other ways (ie sleep I s'pose).

The whole reason I am telling this story is because on the way to Thursday toddler group, something in the Scope cherry tree shop caught my eye:

A stunning vintage Yves Saint Laurent woollen coat. With velvet collar and cuffs. Very cute. A size 10-12 but hey, one can dream of it fitting over their gargantuan baps.

As delightful as it was, something had caught my eye even more, however.


 Yep. £150 for a coat from a cherry tree shop. What do you think of this? Is this reasonable? Would YOU buy a second hand coat for this much money? If not why not? What would you pay?

Anyway the manager came out as she saw me taking a pic of it as it stood proudly in the window.

(and let's be honest here, she knows my face pretty well now!)

"Hello you, do you want to come in and try the coat on?! she asked, hopefully.

So I walked into the shop and I told her how shocked I was at the price and that I wouldn't be trying it on (let's forget the fact I probably wouldn't be able to even get it on) and I couldn't fathom why cherry tree shops charged extortionate prices for vintage designer items (of course I called it a charity shop to her, otherwise she would think I was nuts. Which I am, but again that's not the point).

She explained a regular customer brought it in. His wife died recently and he'd bought her the coat as a present many years ago and it cost him a small fortune. He didn't want someone to pay a mere tenner for a coat which he felt could raise much more money for the charity. He requested that the manager tried to get as much as she could for it.  So that's what she was doing.

I asked her to let me know when it sold, and how much it sold for. I am just interested in this whole thing.  It is such a charming coat but isn't the point of a cherry tree shop that you get bargains and you support a charity. Is this coat a bargain at £150? The manager said she saw two identical coats online selling for £300 so she felt £150 was reasonable.

I admit I was beginning to see her point. But not enough to buy it.

What's the most you've spent in a cherry tree shop?


DresdenFae said...

That is a lot for a charity shop. Maybe they should put it on eBay themselves. I don't think I've ever spent more than a few quid on anything at a charity shop.

Vintage Coconut said...

I see this sort of thing happen in alot of our shops. Usually the said item sits for quite some time before someone makes a lower offer which finally get's accepted when they realize they woun't get their asking price. But who knows maybe because of it's brand it will sell for the asking price. "Let us all know if you find out" =D

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

GOOD AFTERNOON GEM! Oh that poor dad, he was so tired! I admire what you do. Children, freelancing at the late do you do it? I do all my art in the early morning and that is why TODAY I missed coming here first thing.

Oh dearest, that coat is stunning! I would say that the price is equivalent to our HIGH END "cherry tree shops" - we call them thrift stores out here, but we have some that are situated in very affluent communities and there you can find such items as MINK COATS and designer clothing. I stay away from those shops an figure I will go to a regular store. But that is a gorgeous color and with your eyes? That would be beautiful.

Well, back to my work in the basement!!! Love, Anita

Anonymous said...

It isn't about how much you can ask for it as there are plenty of well off and yes quite mean people looking for a bargain in a charity shop who will easily afford that thinking they have a bargain.

What annoys me is that there are people depending on charity shops for clothing etc. If even that is not affordable (and even ordinary items often are not) then what is the point?

This coat is a rare exception going for that price and I understand why as they are trying to oblige the donator (it might have been better though to sell it through eBay and give the proceeds). No normal frequenter of charity shops will buy it, rather, a smug person who could probably afford it new.

I hate how it has become trendy for people to buy from charity shops as relatively well off people snaffle up all the bargains because they are cheap for them leaving the poor literally destitute as the prices are simply too high.

If people didn't pay the money then the prices wouldn't be asked. They get the asking price as vintage bargain hunters are pricing the poor out of the market. Not very charitable at all but then they only have themselves to blame when the prices keep going up.

Charities should care about their customers as they are often in need of charitable support too. They shouldn't just be concerned at the money being raised for their cause. I like the Salvation Army because they look after everyone. They are not greedy and they do good work too. I've had to leave many charity shops as I can't afford the £5 or £7 they are asking for a simple top.

I read of bargains such a £1 for a man's shirt. I don't know where from as they are very lucky. Here they go for no less than £4.50 and often more.

Gem said...

I don't know who you are Anonymous but I completely agree with you. Good points all round!

Pink Milk said...

Would I buy that coat for £150? Personally, no, but that's because I'm not a fan of high-end designer clothes and have never spent that amount of any coat. There are those who do though and I really hope it sells.

Anonymous, charity shops were indeed ORIGINALLY set up to serve the poor but I don't think that has been the case for a long time. They are retail outlets whose main aim is to raise money for their cause in a competitive market.

I think a lot of people who shop in them nowadays do so for ethical reasons, irrespective of how much money they may or may not have, and that should be encouraged. Those same people are probably responsible for donating far more items than they buy.

I don't see why charity shops can't benefit from selling designer clothes alongside their other items if people are kind enough to donate them. Now that clothing can be bought from supermarkets and the likes for a £1 or so at a time, I'm sure charity shops are only too keen for those of us who want something a bit different to 'snaffle up' their bargains.

They're my thoughts on the matter anyway!!

Hope you're well flower and you get the chance to catch up on your sleep soon.