Generous customer spends over £600 at EACH charity shop

Generous customer spends over £600 at EACH charity shop

Volunteers at a Sudbury charity shop were left stunned after a shopper spent over £600 in one transaction, more than doubling the day’s takings.

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), in North Street, had made £472 as closing time approached one Friday, but a man collecting video games and consoles ensured the shop stayed open longer than usual, spending £48 on various items from the shopfloor before asking whether there was any additional stock.

Stephen Thorne, a semi-retired computer programmer who started volunteering at the shop in July last year to help beat depression, was behind the till at the time.

He explained: “I’d guess the customer was in his early 30s. He told us he collects outdated consoles and games, and I’d estimate he was in the shop about half an hour. He didn’t seem at all bothered by the prices being put on the items. The total of that second transaction was £604, bringing his total spend to £652. He said he’d likely return in case we had further items not already in his collection. He was the last customer of the day.”

EACH has a very successful eBay shop, the base for which is in Thetford, but all of the charity’s 42 outlets contribute to it and Katrina, a keen gamer herself who has volunteered at the Sudbury shop since it opened in July 2014, to help with anxiety, was working out the back at the time and had only just finished drafting the items to go online.

She said: “I’d spent most of the day PAT testing and listing the items for eBay. They were all boxed and ready to be made live online when the customer wanted a peek. They were almost pristine and he was very happy to find consoles so well looked after. We decided the prices based on my knowledge and what we knew from eBay. We didn’t shut the shop properly until at least 15 minutes after closing time.”

The items ranged from a rare Super Nintendo game for which the man forked out £120 and a Super Nintendo Entertainment System that he took for £100 to various Dreamcast, PlayStation 1 and Xbox games, plus PlayStation accessories.

Also helping broker the monster sale was Michelle Chambers, the former deputy manager who was working her penultimate week. She is daughter to Pat Cassidy, shop manager.

She said: “We frequently receive PlayStations in, but not to the standard of this donation. None of us have seen a purchase of this size before. The most has been £80-100 and the takings on a typical weekday vary from £280-400, depending on the weather. I’d like to say thank you very much to the customer for purchasing so much. The amount you spent will help the charity no end. We look forward to seeing you again.”

EACH is unable to run its shops without volunteers and is constantly on the lookout for more. Anyone interested in helping at the Sudbury outlet can drop by for a chat with Pat or call on 01787 379132.

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