Britain’s top cities for charity shopping

Savoo has conducted a study to find out Britain’s most charitable cities. We take a look at the results and a couple of bargain-hunting tips they suggest.

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With lockdown restrictions easing, charity shops and second-hand stores are reopening across the country. Money savers and online fundraisers Savoo conducted a study to identify which UK cities and countries are the most charitable. They also highlighted tips to follow when bargain hunting and charity shopping. We take a look.

What is the purpose of charity shops?

Charity shops sell donated or second-hand commodities to raise funds for charities. They create new jobs and enhance community life, especially those with low resources.

How many charity shops are there in the UK?

The Charity Retail Association estimates that there are around 11,200 charity shops in the UK. A massive 84% of them are in England, while 8% are in Scotland, 5% are in Wales and 3% are in Northern Ireland.

Which UK cities are the most charitable?

Savvo analysed the 20 most populated cities in the UK and looked at the:

  • Average number of Google searches related to charity each month
  • Number of charity shops according to Google Maps
  • Average rating given to charity shops by customers
  • Average weekly household expenditure on charitable donations

The results indicated that the most charitable city in the UK is Brighton & Hove, followed by Nottingham, Belfast, Coventry and Edinburgh.

However, London appeared to have the highest number of charity shops, followed by Nottingham, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester.


Is the UK a charitable country?

Average monthly searches for the term ‘charity’ place the United States as the most charitable country, followed by the UK. However, looking at the GoFundMe donors 2020 list, Ireland comes first, followed by the United States, and the United Kingdom is in third place.

Based on the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) World Giving Index, the UK is the 7th most charitable country.

How do you get good stuff at a charity shop?

Finding an item that meets your needs, in good condition and at a fair price can sometimes be challenging. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from paying a visit to a charity shop. You could find items that you can’t find anywhere else at favourable prices.

Buying from a charity shop also means that you contribute to a cause that adds value to people’s lives and lessens environmental impact. Here are a couple of tips for successful charity shopping and bargain hunting.

1. Plan ahead and do your research

Once you know what you want to purchase, it might be wise to consider specialised charity shops first. This could save you time and effort and increase the chances of you finding what you want.

Before you visit the shop, finding out the initial price of the item you want to purchase could be worth your while. Online marketplaces might be a good place to start. This helps you get an idea of how much that second-hand item might cost, and you can haggle based on the initial price.

2. The best time to visit a charity shop

Weekdays, especially in the morning, might be the best time to visit these shops. Any new stock will be out on display and ready to buy. Taking advantage of such times could help better your chances of getting good-quality items at a reasonable price.

Additionally, becoming a regular visitor might increase your chances of finding things that have just arrived. It might also be wise to make the staff aware of the kinds of things you’re looking for. They can be on the lookout for your taste and contact you.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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