Op shopping for beginners

I’ve spent hours upon hours calmly browsing and crazily digging through piles of clothes or books or trinkets over the years, so I think it’s worth giving a few of my own tips when it comes to op shopping.

  • Change rooms usually equal a cubicle surrounded by a sheet that doesn’t close so dress appropriately or bring a friend to hold said curtain. There’s nothing worse than trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans while trying to hold both sides of the curtain to maintain some shred of dignity.
  • However, if you do bring a friend, make sure they’re as into op shopping as you. If you plan on spending an hour looking at every single item, make sure they want to aswell.
  • Have an idea of what you want, but don’t focus on it. Generally the best stuff turns up unexpectedly and if you spend too much time obsessing over finding that one perfect item, you’ll feel disheartened pretty quickly.
  • Bring your own bag. Most op shops have a limited number of plastic bags and some have stopped using plastic bags altogether.
  • Don’t haggle. OK, I’ve seen some people do it and I’ve been offered a lower price when I mentioned I didn’t have enough money for that one item, but generally speaking, it’s not cool at all. Everything’s already cheap and I think it’s pretty rude to ask for an extra dollar off a $4 jumper. These stores aren’t out to rip you off – all the profit goes to charity! 
  • Yeah, that small rip is fixable and sure, all you need to do with that dress is make it a bit shorter, but will you actually do it? If you’re not inclined to sew, stitch or repair normally, you probably won’t do it. If it involves a sewing machine and you don’t own a sewing machine, you won’t do it. I still have a pile of clothes which I op shopped a year ago that require a little DIY.
  • If you’re looking at furniture, bring a tape measure and know how big the space in your room is (and how big your doorways are!). Also, if you want to avoid paying for delivery, make sure you or someone you know can get a trailer to the store within two days.
  • Shop on weekday mornings, preferably early in the week. This is generally when new stock goes on the floor and when there’s less people shopping.

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