Second-hand vinyl: September roundup

This past month I’ve noticed a few more charity shops selling second-hand records. I’m not sure if this is because they received a bulk donation or if more shops have noticed there is a market for old vinyl. Either way I’ve become the lucky purchaser of a few gems (in my opinion) and all at a bargain price.

I picked up this single from Alison Moyet for just 50p at the British Red Cross shop in Bath:



Then I spotted these three albums in a £1 bargain bin outside a charity shop in the town where I work:




The Howard Jones album is from 1985; Curiosity Killed the Cat is from 1987 (I had the cassette version of this album) and the Blow Monkeys’ singles collection is from 1989. There’s also been an interesting BBC Series about pop and fashion which should still be available on i-player. The last episode of ‘Oh You Pretty Things’ focused on the 1980s and, in particular, the style of the Blitz Club/New Romantics, OMD, Duran Duran and – later on in the decade – Soul II Soul. So these albums are the perfect musical accompaniment.


As a way of closing the loop of purchasing and donating we also freecycled our old record turntable which was useless to us without amp and speakers but went to a good home where vinyl is once more being played.



Clothing clear out


Without any nagging my girls have decided to clear out their wardrobe and drawers and donate a lot of their clothes to charity. They have recently received two separate bags of clothing from different friends. We are very limited on space (one wardrobe for the five of us, a drawer for each of the younger girls’ clothes plus separate smaller drawer for underwear and pjs) so it really does have to be a ‘one in, one out’ rule.

Usually I get hold of the clothes before the children get home so that I can cull the donation before it enters the house (sorting out those outfits that are too big, or we have too many of already). But these bags arrived during the holidays and were welcomed with squeals of delight as they spent a couple of hours trying on new outfits. But in return they decided to make space for these new garments by getting rid of those clothes they no longer need. We now have two large bags to donate to the cothing bank at the girls’ school. (The clothing bank is very useful when I have to get ride of clothes now and don’t have the time or transport to take to a charity shop, or the patience and success with selling on ebay or facebook sites).


Do you sell or give away unwanted items?

I guess this question is sort of the reverse of what this blog is about. That is I have been trying to chronicle my love of all things that are acquired second-hand. This can be from charity shops, jumble sales, or online sites such as Freecycle or Freegle.


A beautiful pile of clothes recently given to us by a friend

But when people are generous enough to donate their unwanted items to these outlets does it go against ‘second-hand etiquette’ to sell these things at a later date?

I previously posted here about my failed attempts at online selling, through both Ebay (selling a maternity dress for 99p) and local facebook sites.   The inspirational Annie from Kinder by the Day  recently blogged about Random Acts of Kindness that are free to do. One of them was letting people get a bargain on Ebay, which is a refreshing alternative to the drive to make a profit from selling on this site.

With three daughters I am the lucky recipient of bags of clothes from friends. Those items that are not needed are passed onto others, given to charity shops or donated through clothing banks. A friend recently gave us some beautiful clothes from Joules and Monsoon. Because I know she is a very generous person, and to save the embarassment of a conversation about giving her some money for them, I texted her later to say I’d made a small donation to Save the Children as a roundabout way of saying thank you.

Yet as I write I am also attempting to sell some good quality  clothes that were given as gifts, and the girls have now outgrown. As it didn’t cost me anything to buy these clothes is it right that I try to make money from selling them? I am also going against my previous promises and planning to keep any money I make.

Yet a recent trip to Bath showed that charity shops in the city are looking for stock, and they are not the only ones (see here). With easy access to online selling sites and so many of us strapped for cash is it right that we overlook these outlets when getting rid of unwanted items? Or should we all be doing our bit to complete the circle and make sure that when we purchase from them we also donate?







Second-hand books: April roundup

This month (April) we seem to have acquired a few new (to us) books. Youngest daughter picked up two books from charity shops over the Easter holidays:

Husband picked up a bargain Stephen King from the library sale:


Plus I got two books to read (when I get the chance as the pile by my bed is growing):

I particularly want to read the Tove Jansson book as I loved the Moomin series as a kid and this is a part-autobiographical novel.

Finally I picked this book on the Tudors for my eldest who has some homework to do in history:


I don’t know if you can read the label on the book but I picked it up from the British Heart Foundation shop and it says: “Read me then bring me back again.” This is a simple reminder that, even if we buy second-hand books, we can re-donate them so that they become third-hand or fourth-hand. I also dropped off some books with the Oxfam Bookshop in Bath and they had a plea asking for more stock so I must remember the ‘one in, one out’ mantra I am trying to apply to all our book purchases.

Holiday reading

It is less than one month before we go on our BIG holiday, camping in the South of France. We are travelling by train all the way which I am very excited about. We will be limited by space as we will be carrying rucksacks (adults) and small backpacks (children) but I still want to pick up a few things for the girls to read and do on the journey (we have already had the i-pad debate and agreed to leave it at home HURRAY!). I am very resistent to buying comics for the girls for the holiday as a) they have loads of unread ones already and b) I hate the plastic tat that is attached to them (I once had a holiday job sticking this plastic tat to comics and got paid a measly piece rate for it). Instead I am looking out for second hand books which are cheaper and less throwaway. So far I have collected:

IMG_8349holiday-themed reading books for two of the girls by their favourite authors.

IMG_8350These workbooks look slightly worthy but I know middle daughter will really enjoy working on them.

Although I have just dissed children’s comics one of the few I make the exception for is the ‘Jacqueline Wilson’ magazine which eldest gets on subscription and really enjoys reading. It does come with stickers/book/pens attached to the front but this ‘tat’ is slightly more worthwhile than the cheap, moulded plastic that is on a lot of the kids’ comics.


I was also fortunate enough to come across a pristine second-hand copy of Jacqueline Wilson’s autobiography, ‘Jacky Daydream’, which eldest has now read cover to cover:

Not bad for £1.29 from local charity shop!

Not bad for £1.29 from local charity shop!

Now that she has read it we might re-donate it to a charity shop and maybe some other child will pick it up for her holiday reading!.What do you do with books you have picked up from charity shops once you have read them? Do you keep them or pass them on?