It's all about the thrill of the find as you rummage through the rails and snoop your way past the shelves on the hunt for interesting, unusual and one-off items.
And at one Glasgow charity shop you could be more than likely to strike gold. A Hermes scarf, Jimmy Choo shoes and a Gucci watch are just a few of the items up for grabs at the first-ever Salvation Army auction, at its Dumbarton Road shop tomorrow.
Nearly 200 items are up for grabs including a trophy presented to Rangers player Dougie Gray during the Empire Exhibition of 1938, which will be sold along with an oil painting of the legendary player.
"We got a phone call to do a house clearance and when we were sorting things through the back we recognised the shape of the trophy," explains Denise Waterson, manger of the Dumbarton Road branch.
"It was rather dirty, so we cleaned it up, did a bit of research and found out it had been awarded to Dougie Gray, the longest-serving Rangers player. We're very excited about it."
The shop is a cavernous space, home to everything from clothes, accessories and books to sofas, beds, dressers and dining tables that arrive in a steady procession throughout the day.
But it's a room at the front of the shop, with windows that overlook the street and entrance, that contains some very special items indeed.
Behind the locked double doors is an Aladdin's cave of prized pieces – interesting, unusual and each with their own story to tell.
There are covetable collectables, curiosities and kitsch. Some are valuable, others not so much, but they are all loaded with sentiment and nostalgia.
"There are some really fantastic treasures that we're sure will appeal to collectors, whether you're into designer fashion, stylish antiques for your home or beautiful jewellery and accessories," says Denise, who has worked for the Salvation Army for 17 years.
"We're a charity shop, we're not professional auctioneers, so obviously we're trying to raise as much money as we can which will be ploughed back in to the Salvation Army. We want it to be a fun night, that's the most important thing.
"People want to help the charity, they want something unusual and if they've never been to an auction before it's a great way to start, isn't it?"
Denise carefully manoeuvres through the room – ducking to avoid bumping her head on the highly-sought after Guzzini standing lamp – to pluck pieces from the window display. She returns with an oversized Ralph Lauren Safari decanter, her favourite piece. "You don't see many of them about," she says and points out the striking fan-print Hermes scarf that comes in its original box.
The room is tightly packed with something to catch the eye at every turn.
A brown crocodile trunk is stuffed with toys, books and games including a Gabrielle Paddington Bear, while shelving units are stacked with gleaming silver and decorative glass.
For those interested in interiors, there are three pieces of Art Deco ceramics by designer Clarice Cliff, an Ercol dresser, globe table and reproduction womb and ball chairs.
Retro and antique items nestle side by side, everything from pocket watches to pianos, bagpipes to binoculars, a rocking horse to a rocking chair and cameras, clocks, china and cutlery.
Hornby and Duplo trains are stationed in their original boxes and framed gold discs by Elvis and The Beatles hang on the wall. Even two kayaks and a vintage cinema seat have somehow found their way into the auction.
All the items have been donated by members of the public, businesses and other organisations, including Salvation Army shops around the country.
For fashion fans there is a men's Vivienne Westwood ring and necklace and a silver Gucci watch, and for the ladies, black Jimmy Choo shoes (size three-and-a-half if you're wondering) and a wonderful vintage silver charm bracelet that has been donated by Denise herself.
Denise says there has been an excellent response to the auction and she expects between 150 and 200 people to turn up on the night. Doors open at 91 Dumbarton Road at 5pm and it's set to run for two hours from 6pm.
"We've had a lot of interest in the guitars and piano, the vintage leather chair and the limited edition gold discs," she says.
"I listen to people standing at the window and they go 'oh, my granny had that' so there's a lot of sentimental value. One woman is desperate to buy the Blackie children's annuals for her grandchildren.
"There's no value to them but she wants to read them the stories that she had."