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Oxfan getting my goat...

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  • #16
    The trouble is that many charity shops are not run like proper retail businesses. As a result, things like the high cost of inventory don't occur to them. Similarly static non rotated stock will, after a short while, stop people coming into the shop.

    The better run shops will run stock rotation, price reduction and eventually stock culling to keep people coming in the door to see what's new or cheaper.

    The issue of the RC book is a little silly. First up it is a price 'guide'. it is not a pricing bible...and we can all find simple inconsistancies in there between their guide pricing and the 'street' value of a record. What the book cannot keep up with it a record whose value suddenly shoots up - for example the recent public flirtation with erm, The Firtations - and it is not designed to do that in the first place.

    Personally, I'm always happy to go to places that are strictly 'by the book...' as it means for example that 'Gentle Rain' will end up in the £1 bin. The charity shops in particular are always going to be several steps behind the keenest collectors, because they rely on the knowledge of their volunteer workers.

    I picked up a copy of the 'Simon Sound' LP in Oxfam last week for a quid. I had previously picked up another in a different Oxfam shop for £4. Both prices I thought fair enough to purchase at. So you're a volunteer doing the pricing at Oxfam and that turns up in a donation, what would you price it at ?
    Matt Hero

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    • #17
      I just got back from pricing up records.30p a throw as that is the worth of the one's I have witnessed.
      I don't use the dreaded book as I believe £25 could be spent so much better on vinyl.
      And You can always go the borders and use there's.Or do as I did last year and went on holiday to my friends and read her's cover to cover.
      The only things I found today where 3 carlini's world of strings LP's, james last copcabana LP with chilli con carne on it.And a boulevard release called 1000 strings with a song called turkish flutes on and some song with sexy in the title.Does anyone know if its any good.I know its a lot to ask from a boulevard LP.
      Have to go back on monday though as we couldn't get into the garage where they store the rest of the records.
      I pay the normal price with a £1 knocked of for my efforts.
      And I haven't been in the position of finding a record of any worth so I can't comment on what I do.
      there only noodles michael...

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      • #18
        Originally posted by [b
        Quote[/b] ]Personally, I blame all those people who used to say 'I got this record for 50p in a charity shop, and it turns out it's worth £150!'
        Spot on Lord Thames - I know for a fact that is exactly what changed the pricing structure for Oxfam here in the North East...

        The lady in the Oxfam shop told me that it was some fella from Redcar who found a rare 60's single in the local Oxfam shop worth a good couple of hundred quid - and ended up in the Evening Gazette proudly displaying his treasure and beaming from ear to ear...

        So, we've him to thank!

        If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

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        • #19
          On my lunchtime travels I picked up a United Artists library LP (it's got a track called "At the Disco" on it) plus about 15 interesting - looking early 80s US 12"s (including a 1981 Disconet release with the original DJ Newsletter still in the sleeve and what looks like a Mexican disco 12&quot.

          "Call it a tenner then" sez the girl working in the shop.

          Now that's the kind of charity shop I like.
          Endless Tripe

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          • #20
            Originally posted by [b
            Quote[/b] (emperor tomato ketchup @ April 23 2004,10:29)][I'm not really buying this. They are charities not business. Oxfam are using the money to help people who'se lives are always going to be a hell of a lot shitter than ours even if we have to pay £3 for James Last lps. If pricing Moody correctly means a fw more wells in the Sudan it seems pretty petty to complain about it.
            Interesting Point that, I'm glad someone mentioned it!
            In the past I have told staff they have over priced their records, only to be told that "some guy" prices them for them.

            Recently tho, i look at it as a little donation to charilty or I'll just leave it if it's over priced.

            They recently reduced their prices in Durham Oxfam, hopefully this will clear some of the Stagnant stock.
            I think in the end it will level itself out because if they price it too high they won't shift it.
            http://www.facebook.com/weekendsun
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            • #21
              Originally posted by [b
              Quote[/b] (scriptfliper @ April 23 2004,17:01)]
              Originally posted by [b
              Quote[/b] (emperor tomato ketchup @ April 23 2004,10:29)][I'm not really buying this. They are charities not business. Oxfam are using the money to help people who'se lives are always going to be a hell of a lot shitter than ours even if we have to pay £3 for James Last lps. If pricing Moody correctly means a fw more wells in the Sudan it seems pretty petty to complain about it.
              Now I know what I said was a little over the top. And yes Oxfam does a lot of good work.
              But also, I had a friend who worked for Oxfam, not as a volunteer in a shop but as a paid manager. And he got to know the ins and outs, as he was trained up by the regional manager. He ended up leaving because they were so shady. He said that the image that most people have of Oxfam is, the amazing charity work they do around the world, but the shop, and how its run, is a completely different matter. He now refuses to shop there.

              Now that just one guys opinion, and I'm not saying its gospel.

              But the shops are businesses. You only have to compare your local Oxfam to your local CatpeeProtection League to realise that.

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              • #22
                all this talk of Oxfam meant that i made a special trip to a local branch.

                i was very surprised - it was full of mostly classical and then, guess what, lots of weird records. there was very little British music at all, except bad 80s stuff. nothing *at all* that would have made the RC guide, but lots of odd foreign stuff instead! all for quite expensive prices for charity records - 2.99 to a fiver.

                anyway, got a private press Oz jazz trio record from 1983 for 2.99 so it can't be all bad...
                http://www.blaxploitation.com
                Chops for show, groove for dough.

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                • #23
                  Cambridge Oxfam, yesterday...

                  Bomb The Bass 'Unknown Territory', less than mint - £20

                  WTF?!? I don't see any point in getting into a pricing discussion with the guys in the shops but I came very close...
                  You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

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                  • #24
                    I think on the whole that if Oxfam are going to take on the professional dealers, they'll have to be adhere to proper standards - and they should expect to be treated with the same suspicion and cynicism as any dealer who overprices their wares. Their (undoubtedly) good work has probably led people to be a bit easier on them, but if they're going to start messing with the big boys, they'll have to do things properly, or get a bad reputation.

                    I'd be interested to know just how much of Oxfam's cash goes to the causes they support anyway, and how much of it goes on admin - I'm not casting aspersions on them, but at the same time those shop re-fits, new logos and TV ads in the middle of 'Countdown' can't come cheap, can they?

                    I do have to wonder why they're getting into the collectables business at all - I've seen so many shops go under in my time, I reckon it's a bit of a mug's game. There's one place near me that's had the same Lady Penelope FAB 1 it its window for at least six years, priced at £35 - the only time anybody's shown any interest was one bloke who thought when the woman at the counter said 'Thirty-five' she meant pence! Just because it has a high book price doesn't mean you'll ever shift the damn thing.....

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                    • #25
                      Places like Oxfam should (and maybe do) auction anything they think is worth a few quid and knock out the rest for cheap. People go to charity shops expecting bargains. It doesn't matter how much something is worth to a serious collector.


                      Originally posted by [b
                      Quote[/b] ]I'd be interested to know just how much of Oxfam's cash goes to the causes they support anyway, and how much of it goes on admin - I'm not casting aspersions on them, but at the same time those shop re-fits, new logos and TV ads in the middle of 'Countdown' can't come cheap, can they?
                      They have a reputation for pissing money away. I don't know how true it is but I was talking to someone the other day who refused to shop at Oxfam because he said he claimed the directors all have huge expensive cars. I have no idea if that's true and personally if some money is going to help people it's better than none. I may have to dig around for some info actually.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by [b
                        Quote[/b] (Lord Thames @ April 26 2004,13:19)]There's one place near me that's had the same Lady Penelope FAB 1 it its window for at least six years, priced at £35
                        Probably warped to fruit bowl dimensions by now too...!
                        http://wakeupanddie.com
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                        • #27
                          I got into an, ahem, "discussion" with one of the volunteers at our Oxfam music shop in Glasgow (which I occasionally help out in) who reckoned that punters should be happy to pay over the odds for records because it's for cheridee... Don't think my opinion that they should price stock competitively with other "real" record shops (especially since they get their stock for free) went down too well.

                          I reckon someone at their head office should lay down some guidelines, because the fluctuation in policy between areas seems to be huge and bringing the shops name into ill repute.

                          There, that's my tuppence worth... until this old chestnut crops up again. How about a sweepstake? I reckon it'll be in about 7 weeks
                          There MUST be a Hymns-A-Swingin' in this box...

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by [b
                            Quote[/b] (Nick Cope @ April 26 2004,13:31)]
                            Originally posted by [b
                            Quote[/b] (Lord Thames @ April 26 2004,13:19)]There's one place near me that's had the same Lady Penelope FAB 1 it its window for at least six years, priced at £35
                            Probably warped to fruit bowl dimensions by now too...!
                            Erm, I'm not sure it's rekkid Nick (strange to think there's other things to buy out there   ).



                            Anyway, tangent time - saw a record marked up with a £30 tag at the weekend and, included on the sticker, was a claim along the lines of 'This type of thing fetches mad money on eBay'. Well flipping well sell it on the 'Bay then!!!

                            You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by [b
                              Quote[/b] (Mr Divine @ April 26 2004,13:34)]I got into an, ahem, "discussion" with one of the volunteers at our Oxfam music shop in Glasgow (which I occasionally help out in) who reckoned that punters should be happy to pay over the odds for records because it's for cheridee
                              Gah! This is exactly the point I was making above - if you're going to start acting like a proper shop, you should be bound to the same terms and conditions as proper shops. You wouldn't go into a newsagent and pay twice the price for a paper just because the owner's mum needed to pay for a new wheelchair or something, would you?

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                              • #30
                                Funnily enough, there's a variation of this on ebay itself, in the fairly common 'great for a collection or to sell for profit' tag that crops up in descriptions. Ho hum...

                                As for Oxfam, I think it is a bit of a no-win for them. The truth is, when you're in a charity shop you're in a 'looking for bargains' headspace, because let's face it, if you're out & about looking to spend £20 or £80 on a record you'll be going through the racks of a shop with substantial inventory, won't you? Not three boxes of Jim Reeves/Winnifred Atwell/old MFP classical LPs just on the off-chance they'll have a decent record for £35...

                                And they can't have it both ways - either they're proper shops selling at proper (secondhand) prices or they're 'charities' depending to a large degree on goodwill. The problem with Oxfam is that the seem to be trying to have it both ways - maximise profits, but expect customers to cut them the slack on condition etc. Hence the irritation, I think.
                                a giant steam-powered turntable in warwickshire plays six foot cement recordings of Prince Albert's speeches to the rejoicing populace

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