It’s ok – I admit it. I op shop A LOT. And I get great bargains! Sometimes I’ll be wearing an outfit and someone will ask where I got something and I’ll realise almost everything is thrifted. It’s a good feeling.
If you’re on the hunt for a bargain buy, the first thing to do is get to know the op shops in your area. If you drop in every so often, you will get a feel for what they stock, the quality and the normal prices.
Not all op shops are crated equal! Some may have a larger clothing stock, others may have more bric-a-brac or furniture. They can also vary wildly on price.
If you’re shopping specifically for clothes (and I think most op shoppers generally are), knowing your size in the most popular labels really helps. For example, I know I’m not the same size in a Katie’s top than I am in an Autograph one.
The other thing that will be a game-changer for nabbing a bargain is knowing the different brands and labels, and what they are worth. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be a fashionista – just knowing that a shirt from say Jacqui E would have been more costly retail than one from Millers helps!
Hot tip for new players: get to know the labels of the cheapest chain stores. Eg. Emerson is from Big W, and Avella is their plus-size range.
Check it twice
It may sound a little obvious, but really thoroughly checking the item you’re about to buy is vital. If it’s clothing, look for holes, stains and stuck zippers. For knick-knacks, really have a good look for cracks or signs of wear. This minimises your chances of a dud purchase!
At the end of the day, the keys to successful op shopping are probably consistency, skill, knowledge and a little luck. The latter is what makes it so fun! You never know when your next bargain will appear.
In the last 3 months I’ve purchased tops for less than $5 each that I know retail for over $50. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them and I don’t really care if they’re secondhand!
Have you got any op shopping secrets to share? Leave a comment below!