The charity Oxfam has reported up to a 10% rise in sales through its shops, thought to be a result of more people trading down for Christmas in the current downturn. Most popular sellers are second-hand Christmas decorations and second-hand books.

However donations to charity shops generally have suffered as more people find they can get good prices for their unwanted stuff by auctioning it on web-sites such as e-bay or are holding onto it longer.

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