p shops, short for opportunity shops (thrift stores), are quite common here in Australia, and they are amazing. There weren’t any op shops (that I’m aware of) where I lived in South Africa. I love op shops over here!
What is not to love?
I first went to the local op shop, Salvos, because I wanted to see if they have any clothes suitable for work, and they did not disappoint (photos below).
Also, when it got chillier here, I was still waiting for our container to arrive (and it still has not) and so I went to the op shop to get a few winter clothing items.
There were so many great finds. I found expensive brands that still had tags on them.
I love op shops because they sell bargains, and with the cost-of-living crisis, we really need it.
Usually, I go to Salvos because it’s the closest and most convenient, and the proceeds go to helping vulnerable people and families. Also, in Australia, if you’re from a disadvantaged background and you have a concession card, you get an even lower price when you shop at Salvos. They do a lot of good.
Also, op shops like Salvos keep clothes out of the landfill, so that’s great!
A few tips
There are a few things you have to keep in mind when you shop at an op shop. I have learnt these lessons the hard way.
Try the clothes on. Sizes can differ quite a lot across brands, so you’ll need to try the clothes on to get an actual sense of whether it fits, or is flattering.
Check them for stains or tears. Most op shops won’t sell something that is too damaged to wear, but they may allow small tears or stains that are not too noticeable. So, it’s important to check the garments and then decide if it’s something that you can repair or wash, or rather something to put back.
Don’t buy everything just because it’s cheap. Make sure that the items you buy are actually things that flatter you and that you will wear. It’s no use buying a bunch of clothes that you won’t wear.
Have a clear goal in mind. I find that when I have a clear idea of what I’m looking for before I go to op shops, the better I fare. Not only does it save money, but it also saves me time because I only look at those sections of the store.
Set a budget. This is a good tip for any kind of shopping.
Make sure you have enough time. Finding great pieces at the op shop takes time because you’ll be browsing through rows and rows of garments. Trying on clothes can also take some time, so make sure you’re not in a rush.
Try to go during a quiet time. The ideal time would be during the week, in the mornings. You may have to go on your day off. Also, around Halloween or when students are looking for formal dresses, it might be more crowded.
Wash the clothes before you wear them. For hygienic purposes, always wash the garments before you wear them. Actually, it’s something you should do no matter where you buy your clothes.
Here are a few pieces I found at Salvos and I love them. Most of these are for work (when I get a steady job one day), so that’s why it looks a bit old-lady-like.
Do you thrift? What is the coolest thing you’ve ever found at a thrift store?