Finding Gems in Charity Shops

Anyone been to Big Bad Wolf? I just went there this morning and found some pretty good deals. Most of them are good deals, actually. If you’re asking, Big Bad Wolf is a book sale event where you can get cheap new books (for half price or even less). Located in ICE, BSD. Long way ride, indeed. But if you’re a bookworm just like me, the event is worth coming to.

And yesterday I started watching the brand new netflix series: Girlboss. I have watched it up to episode 5 and I’m going to continue watching. Because it’s damn good. There’s not too much romance (well, at least until episode 5) and it’s very real. Very 23-years-old-woman’s life; hate becoming an adult, confused, and continuously searching for things that we really do want to do in life – for the rest of our life. Well, basically it’s about a girl who manages an e-bay business. She goes to charity shops and then looking for some treasures. Once found, she sells it online. (I hope this isn’t too much of a spoiler).

So, those 2 things have reminded me of what it’s like finding gems in charity shops. When I was living in Manchester, I’m quite a fan of charity shops. If you’re wondering, it’s a place where people give their unused stuffs and then the shop re-sell it with cheap price. All the money that comes will be given for charity. I wonder if this kind of business model can also be implemented in Indonesia.. I believe we all have too much clothes in our wardrobe which are rarely worn, too much books on the shelf just for collection, and too much stuffs in our house just because we think someday we might need them. Don’t we?

There are so many charity shops in Manchester. Got one just right in front of my hall door. They sell clothes, shoes, books, kitchen utensils, home appliances, and so on. There are more charity shops in Didsbury. Charity shops are standing side by side.

Isn’t this charity shop very cute? (Source:

My friend, Agnes, is the one who told me for the very first time that I can actually find gems in charity shops. Honestly I’m a bit skeptical about buying clothes in charity shops (what if the previous owner got a skin disease or has been wearing it so recklessly?). So I never did. But I did check them out, I moved from one aisle to another just to look at the clothes the try them on in the fitting room. And there were many good stuffs, indeed. I just need to be patient.

It’s a bit like gambling, actually. You never really know what you’re going to get. It’s either you find nothing or you find something really-really good that makes you scream “so much win!“.

Since I didn’t buy clothes, I bought another thing from charity shops. Books. Mostly cook books. I got Gordon Ramsay’s cook book with his signature on it for less than £4. So it’s around IDR 80,000. Isn’t that amazing?? The charity shops have various kinds of book, but they may not have all. I also bought Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point from a charity shop.

I kinda miss strolling down Didsbury road, going in and out of charity shops, and then being overly satisfied when I found good stuff for a cheap price. Or maybe I just simply love the experience of shopping in charity shops, seeing the vintage goods, having short conversation with old people in the shops (because the customers are mostly elderly people that would gladly comment “oh that jacket looks good on you, love”), or maybe I just like the idea of people in Manchester are not ashamed of buying secondhand goods. On the plus side, if someone buys something from charity shops, she’s also doing a charity, right?


Well, something good is sometimes found in the most unexpected place, isn’t it? 🙂


♥ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia


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