Charity shops are found in just about every Western country, and can often be known by the name thrift shop or op shop or hospice shop. They are a social enterprise run on behalf of the charity seeking to raise funds.
The basic principle behind charity shops is that they are selling goods which are donated to them for free by members of the public. Community minded people donate anything of value to a charity shop for free and the charity shop can sell it to raise funds.
There’s no doubt the model works of that’s why charity shops are so popular in so many different countries and support so many charities.
In the US there are some major operators of thrift shops and these include the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Goodwill industries and Arc thrift stores. Between these organisations they run a wide range of charity shops throughout the US.
As well as this there are a number of different charity stores run by some smaller and less known organisations such as the Bethesda Lutheran community in the upper midwest.
And local charities can also operate local thrift shops for their own needs.
The most common way for charities to run a charity shop is to own the shop but to contract someone to run the business as an independent business under contract. They are licensed by the charity which provides the merchandise to run the business and business sells the merchandise thereby making a profit. Some of this profit goes back to the charity. This avoids the necessity for the charity to own and run each of the individual shops which would be a much larger enterprise requiring much more hands-on.
Just like many other businesses many thrift stores have gone online. For instance Arc thrift stores now run a website where you can sign up and receive member discounts, special offers, coupons and contests, just like you can do with many other online businesses.
You can use the website for much information about recycling your second-hand goods through the stores. You can find stores, look at store promotions, get online discounts and even join a club.Continue Reading...