How do I donate to a charity shop?

So you've done a clear out and have a load of things you don't like/want any more. They're too good to throw away but you don't know what to do.

So here is all you need to know about how and what to donate to a charity shop.

 

Image: Cope Galway

Do I take it to the shop, or will they collect?

All charity shops will take donations in the shop. Just bring your donation along in a strong plastic bag or carrier.

Please make sure your donations are clean. Broken, dirty items or items beyond repair will be a cost to the charity shop to dispose of. If in doubt, give your local charity shop a call. Find a shop here

Some shops offer a collection service so give your local shop a call to find out.

Charities who offer a collection service are: Age Action, Cheeverstown, NCBI

What goods do they take?

Most charity shops are classified as General in our listings. This means that the charity shop will accept donations of the following:
Clothing - Women's men's and children's
Footwear
Bric a brac and small household/kitchen items
Household textiles (but not pillows or duvets)
Books, CD's vinyl, videos and games
Toys (but not usually soft toys)

Large items of furniture are not accepted, but small items sometimes are, best to check with the charity shop first.

There are also charity shops that specialise in certain types of goods.

Furniture shops accept donations of large and small items of furniture. Most will offer a collection and delivery service, sometimes at an extra charge.

Mattresses, duvets and pillows are not accepted by charity shops for health and safety reasons. 

Mattresses are accepted by some civic amenity sites for recycling. Check with your local site. 

Electrical goods are not accepted at most charity shops.

Bridal and special occasion shops will accept donations of pre-loved bridal, debs, evening and special occasion wear.

Book shops will accept all types of books as well as CD's, vinyl, videos and games.  

What happens to my clothes that the charity shop can't sell? 

How do I know if it's a genuine charity shop?

If the charity running the shop is a member of the ICSA, they will have this sticker prominently displayed in their window.

ICSA membership window sticker

If they are not members of the ICSA then ask if the shop is run directly by the charity and if they are registered with the Charities Regulator.

If they are making a donation to a charity out of the profits of the shop, then they are not a genuine charity shop as defined under the Charities Act 2009. Sometimes a cheque is displayed in the window showing which charity the shop is supporting.