Beauty, Fashion & Style

Op Shops

Beauty, Fashion & Style

Posted by: Assaya

12th Dec 2014 11:01am

Op shops have traditionally been run by charitable and church organisations. Some like Salvos and Red Cross, have gone upmarket, whilst Goodwill and Vinnies still look homely.

1) Which image of Op Shop do you prefer and why?
2) What do you think of small private Op Shops and their pricing?
3) Would you like to see smaller private Op Shop franchises form that help raise some proceeds to go to a variety of different charities and good causes?

Comments 94

Ashleigh32083730
  • 3rd Mar 2021 10:43am

I prefer the homely type. I love op shopping and creating a new style of old clothes and the smaller shops definitely have the best pricing and sometimes better stuff. I also think the smaller shops give more back to charity than what they keep which is nice to know when purchasing. It would be great to see more smaller op shops popping up!

sen
  • 22nd Oct 2015 01:03am

l have been volunteering in a op shop for about 3 years , and in that time l have been amazed, at the change that has taken place .gone are the days you could walk in to an op shop and find a bargain ,the bigger op shops like salvos and vinnies unfortunately are all about money they even call them self a retail out let no longer a op shop . l don't know about the smaller run op shops .but l can assure you that the bigger ones are no longer about chariety.

Ray
  • 29th Sep 2015 05:32am

Bigger Op shops have the ability to Increase the range f items on offer.
Smaller op shops can be cluttered and difficult to negotiate.. But if larger are not competitive they will lose custom. The Op shops rely on large volumes and quick turnover, and they are usually very successful.
Ray

Ray
  • 14th Feb 2015 09:36am

I live in a small town and op shops provide a very use full service, However one has gone upmarket, and has started advertising on the Radio,(salv. Army) rest are small and we support these

Assaya
  • 28th Sep 2015 01:23am
I live in a small town and op shops provide a very use full service, However one has gone upmarket, and has started advertising on the Radio,(salv. Army) rest are small and we support these

Hello Ray!

So good to hear that you support your smaller Op Shops and how disappointed you are with the commercialisation of Salvos. There seems to be a strong American influence with all the waa waa waaa marketing hype that is very un-Australian. Keep supporting who you believe in and who would benefit the most!

Mickey
  • 10th Feb 2015 12:50pm

Many of the op shops I visit in my area are clean and tidy and have easy exit to items. I have found many things like clothes,bed linen, books etc which where in very good condition. Some of the private and up market op shops are to expensive for what they sell..
You can buy things cheaper at your local department stores which are new and never used

Assaya
  • 28th Sep 2015 01:19am
Many of the op shops I visit in my area are clean and tidy and have easy exit to items. I have found many things like clothes,bed linen, books etc which where in very good condition. Some of the...

Hello Mickey!

How good does it feel when you find good quality items at reasonable prices! Keep voting with you feet if you find overpriced shops. They will either sink or swim if they get the message,,,

adelaidegirl
  • 9th Feb 2015 11:16am

I love all op shops but probably Savers and the salvation army ones are the best , I think depends which area you live in to the difference in pricing , some little op shops can be cheap and others can be quite expensive I have seen some prices where I have walked out because they are just too dear , you can actually get cheaper clothes at kmart

Assaya
  • 28th Sep 2015 01:16am
I love all op shops but probably Savers and the salvation army ones are the best , I think depends which area you live in to the difference in pricing , some little op shops can be cheap...

Hello Adelaidegirl

I'm from Adelaide too! Why are Savers and Salvos the 'best'? I certainly agree with the socio-economic factors that affect pricing in different stores depending on where they are located, and how highly priced some items are when compared to brand new prices - sometimes for the SAME item!!!

I too vote with my feet when some private shops charge 'new' prices for their clothing. Their rents may be high, but customers are no fools either.

Motherparrot
  • 7th Feb 2015 05:18pm

Recently we took lots of items to several op shops, all good condition and still usable. a few of the op shops wouldn't take any of the items, others picked through and only took some things. They only want stuff to sell for money, not give items to those in need. Now I am a member of a sell/buy type group on facebook and on many occasions I am happy to pass on items for free, in the knowledge that they will be used and appreciated and helping at a grassroots level.

Assaya
  • 28th Sep 2015 12:59am
Recently we took lots of items to several op shops, all good condition and still usable. a few of the op shops wouldn't take any of the items, others picked through and only took some things. ...

Hello Motherparrot!

I was really surprised to learn how rude some charity shop workers are! If items are offered in good faith, how demoralising to have your donations 'picked over' and then rejected! Money makes the world go round - but so does empathy and plain good manners! I help out as a volunteer to raise money for the health services in Fiji. It's easier to sell items to raise the cash for them to buy an ambulance rather than send them an ambulance. Yet I also know that the organiser collects expired or out-dated equipment which is posted directly. And that stiff has resulted in many saved lives!

Motherparrot
  • 7th Feb 2015 05:17pm

Recently we took lots of items to several op shops, all good condition and still usable. a few of the op shops wouldn't take any of the items, others picked through and only took some things. They only want stuff to sell for money, not give items to those in need. Now I am a member of a sell/buy type group on facebook and on many occasions I am happy to pass on items for free, in the knowledge that they will be used and appreciated and helping at a grassroots level.

freyjamoon
  • 5th Feb 2015 04:10pm

Im an avid secondhand, garage sale and market person. I like some op shops but i prefer the smaller usually church or community run ones. They seem to have the more realistic prices on. Salvos etc i find are getting severely overpriced and i know first hand they actually pay a person to value collectables and jewellery now as well. I have seen a 2 seater couch that might come up with a good steam clean and they price at $100, Ive also noticed they have started with 25c on the end of each item now, it all adds up.

Assaya
  • 28th Sep 2015 12:50am
Im an avid secondhand, garage sale and market person. I like some op shops but i prefer the smaller usually church or community run ones. They seem to have the more realistic prices on. Salvos etc...

Hello Freyjamoon!
I totally agree with your comments! I also know the 'upstairs' gods keep raising the benchmark profits on their shop minions and move or fire them if they fail to meet the unrealistic expectations. SO prices go up - and they fail to recognise that they are hurting the poorer customers who rely on cheaper prices to help clothe them with reasonably stylish items. Oh and how ANNOYING is that 25c!!!

Pickles
  • 5th Feb 2015 02:25pm

I have shopped at Op shops for many years, because I am an elderly lady I find that ordinary shops do not cater for my age group, I now volunteer at Mission Australia op shop and we have merchandised our shop to look like a everyday item shop and not a junk shop, our policy is if you would not wear/use in your home it is not displayed, some of the charities are definitely becoming selective which I think is a shame, nothing is wasted or dumped (unless it is is so bad no one would use it) at Mission Australia
as we send items to Africa and Fiji

Assaya
  • 28th Sep 2015 12:43am
I have shopped at Op shops for many years, because I am an elderly lady I find that ordinary shops do not cater for my age group, I now volunteer at Mission Australia op shop and we have...

Hello Pickles!
Your Mission Australia Shop seems like it really rocks and has it's priorities well sorted and organised! Knowing that you send to Africa and Fiji illustrates what I certainly believed myself happened with some donated items so that people had new clothing and toy options. Something essential but I also fun to look forward to. It has restored my faith in honest humanitarian activities. Thank you :-D

mtg
  • 5th Feb 2015 01:21pm

I prefer church groups that run them. I have a nice one near me, its run by older ladies that wash an iron clothing and all priced cheaply. I buy lot of toys for my grandkids there. All money goes back into the community with no overheads.

Assaya
  • 28th Sep 2015 12:27am
I prefer church groups that run them. I have a nice one near me, its run by older ladies that wash an iron clothing and all priced cheaply. I buy lot of toys for my grandkids there. All money...

Hello MTG -
It seems like you are a very lucky lady to have such a great source of goodies to share with your grand children.

I have 2 questions - have you ever thought about volunteering? And if so say, and you became a volunteer, what would be the attraction?

Mammabear
  • 5th Feb 2015 12:39pm

It matters not where the money goes to me but more of what I can get! I shop at the closest to me but one which is opposite a Salvation Army store. I do not shop at the salvos because it is run as a business with paid workers and store pricing. I shop where there are loyal volunteers and where I know I won't be ripped off. I have donated to the salvos because my op shop store closes over the Christmas holiday period, unlike the commercial salvos store which trades commercial hours/days.

Assaya
  • 28th Sep 2015 12:22am
It matters not where the money goes to me but more of what I can get! I shop at the closest to me but one which is opposite a Salvation Army store. I do not shop at the salvos because it is run...

Hello Mammabear!
LOL - I love your opening statement! I suppose if you get what you want, then it matters little what they do with your money (except pay workers?) As an unemployed person, it was interesting to hear the views of Centrelink who dislike organisations that (ab)use volunteer labour because the Govt ends up paying for them... Volunteers are mainly either aged or unemployed so they are benefit recipients - the latter scheduled to do volunteer services - up to 30 hours a week for around $350 per week ($11.66 per hour). That doesn't seem very fair because it is far below basic award rates!

Luvmydogs
  • 5th Feb 2015 10:49am

One of our local op shop stores is absolutely great & I pass on everything I can to them, especially when cleaning out the wardrobe to make more room for new purchases! But seriously, it is amazing how much money they raise for the local community. Different organisations rely on them to a certain extent each year for the grants they receive so, although this isn't one run by a church, it is run by the local community & I'm all for supporting it & having the money they raise go back into the community. As for the clothes, etc - I've picked up some bargains at times but it can be hit & miss, depending on what you want.

Luvmydogs
  • 29th Sep 2015 05:43pm
Hello Luvmydog!
What I learn from these replies is very important, so what I learnt here is about loyalty. What makes one of your Op Shops great (but not the other)?

The three op shops here in our local area are both run by volunteers & not paid workers so everything they make is a profit for them. You don't really know where the money that the ones run by churches goes to & that is why I prefer the community one as 100% of the money raised goes back to the community - after they've paid any overheads like electricity, etc, of course!

Assaya
  • 28th Sep 2015 12:12am
One of our local op shop stores is absolutely great & I pass on everything I can to them, especially when cleaning out the wardrobe to make more room for new purchases! But seriously, it is...

Hello Luvmydog!
What I learn from these replies is very important, so what I learnt here is about loyalty. What makes one of your Op Shops great (but not the other)?

frannymanny
  • 5th Feb 2015 10:46am

I love op shops. Our town has a population of 4000 and we have three op shops.
One is for the local Primary School and is staffed by volunteers, mostly members of the local Community whose children have left school or locals who have no connection with the school. There is a very good supply of stock donations and the prices are low. For example all clothing is $1 a piece unless it is on a rack with marked prices. This rack is much smaller than the others.
The second is a bigger and more expensive shop run by MS. They also have racks outside the shop where everything is $1
The third is run by the Community Care Network and they have low prices except for items which are clearly worth a lot more This op shop also has a plant Nursery.
They are all kind of homey and some of us volunteer in more than one of them.
So...I love my local op shops and everywhere else seems pricey compared to them.

frannymanny
  • 28th Sep 2015 06:49am
Hello Frannymanny!

How lucky you are to have those 3 options so available to you. I'm glad to learn your community is so proactive in their volunteer services too and that the prices are...

Yes Assaya, the great thing is that we know exactly where the money is going and what it is used for. For example the school op shop funds enough special needs teachers and teaching assistants to make sure that children have an excellent outcome and can hit the ground running when they graduate from primary school.
The care network op shop funds counselling, financial literacy , help with bills and a variety of other services. We have a number of single parent families who move into the area because of lower cost housing and community support. No one should fall through the net. It also helps if these families get a chance to contribute to the community by volunteering in some capacity , that way people become friends and value eachother. One young single dad told me that he likes to walk up main street because people will greet him and his daughter by name.

Assaya
  • 28th Sep 2015 12:03am
I love op shops. Our town has a population of 4000 and we have three op shops.
One is for the local Primary School and is staffed by volunteers, mostly members of the local Community whose...

Hello Frannymanny!

How lucky you are to have those 3 options so available to you. I'm glad to learn your community is so proactive in their volunteer services too and that the prices are realistic - which means affordable and a joy to spend!

dollymay
  • 5th Feb 2015 08:23am

Hi Assaya. The larger op shops like Vinnie's. Salvos etc should be invastagated to where all there money goes. All the staff are working voluntary. No wages. They have large soup kitchens to give food to the poor. All this has been donated.the hampers that they give to people are all donated. I believe the tip fees for them is free because they call them selves a charity. The rent would be half prise. The clothes for the op shops are all donated and cost the earth to buy. The blankets they give to the poor in winter are all donated. So the money from the op shops where does it go to. Years ago if you were hard up you would go to a charity and say you needed a fridge they would give it to you to help out. They do t do that now. They do 't give anything away. You go to centre link. They give you a cheque for the goods you then go to Vinnie's and buy what you want. My daughter had to go through this process. so who at the top is getting rich on peoples goodness.

Assaya
  • 27th Sep 2015 11:59pm
Hi Assaya. The larger op shops like Vinnie's. Salvos etc should be invastagated to where all there money goes. All the staff are working voluntary. No wages. They have large soup kitchens to give...

Hello Dollymay.
You have raised some excellent questions. I can only contribute to some answers such as a comparison with Salvos. Salvos spend over 5 BILLION dollars on dumping rubbish donations" They only pay their Managers, Part Time and Casual staff. The Vinnies in my neck of the woods charges higher prices than Salvos, so sales are sluggish. I think these organisations need to make their profits, costs and donations more transparent to show the community and government departments exactly how and where the dollars go.

Ziah
  • 4th Feb 2015 11:34pm

I avoid Salvation Army Op-Shops because of their bigotry and poor treatment of the LGBTIQ* community, but other than that, I rarely shop at any Op-Shops because they never have my size in clothing, and I have yet to see any household items in good enough condition that I like that go with what we already have to warrant buying them. I also make a lot of my own bric-a-brac and decorative items, and prefer undamaged household goods. I also try to live as minimalistic as I can and prefer to only buy new items when the old ones are totally worn out or broken beyond economic repair.

As for smaller, private op-shops - we have them in our local area (but they're all still attached to various churches) and they're all overpriced and poorer quality than what is offered at the larger stores. They never throw anything away, they simply offer damaged goods at reduced prices...and they still never, ever have clothing in my size.

I currently favour our local RSPCA op-shop, but mostly for donations. I have bought a few dollars' worth from them over the years, but not in the last year.

Ziah
  • 5th Feb 2015 12:10am
Hi Ziah!

I like your open honesty and can see that you're a shrewd shopper with high standards. I agree that some of the church Ops have substandard goods on offer and that the...

20-24. I have never been able to get anything from any charity store in my size (except tents that I wouldn't use as rags). I've been op-shopping for the better part of 25 years, and I've gotten a grand total of three items of clothing from op-shops (and nothing for at least 15 years). Admittedly I don't exactly look every week (or even every month) and likely miss a lot as it comes in and goes out fast, but even the few stores who claim to have "larger sizes" start their "larger size" range at size 14 and end at size 18...cutting out three-quarters of those who are sized over size 14, and something like 40% of our local population!

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 11:49pm
I avoid Salvation Army Op-Shops because of their bigotry and poor treatment of the LGBTIQ* community, but other than that, I rarely shop at any Op-Shops because they never have my size in clothing,...

Hi Ziah!

I like your open honesty and can see that you're a shrewd shopper with high standards. I agree that some of the church Ops have substandard goods on offer and that the presentation is amateurish. Perhaps that is their appear for some.
Overcharging seems to be a big bug bear for many Op shoppers.

Out of curiosity - what is your size? I am curious to know because I am surprised that there is a limitation in clothing for you.

Sincerely - Linda

jules06
  • 4th Feb 2015 10:24pm

I have to say i absolutely love a little tiny op shop in Bridgewater in the Adelaide hills, it always has great bargains, if you buy a lot of things they give you further discount. Best thing of all is that all its proceeds' go to the Bridgewater cfs.. They own the little shop so apart from electricity & h2o & the dumping of any junk people leave (which peeves me) as dumping fees for these charities are huge!! Anyway they have few running expenses & i know anything i donate or purchase goes directly to them assisting in upkeep & purchase of new fire fighting equipment to fight fires in my local community.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 11:42pm
I have to say i absolutely love a little tiny op shop in Bridgewater in the Adelaide hills, it always has great bargains, if you buy a lot of things they give you further discount. Best thing of...

Hi Jewels!

I know THAT little shop! It's so cute and country! I shopped there many times and the bargains were fantastic. And the CFS deserve a BIG acknowledgement. I don't live in the hills anymore but my memories always will... :-D <3
Kind Regards - Linda

Bernd
  • 4th Feb 2015 09:12pm

Dear Assaya
Op shops are a necessity as they provide a place to recycle furniture, clothing and other items instead of giving them to friends and family who don't want them.
They are also there for needy people, and people who like to be well dressed with out pay for main brand pricing. Endevour and Smith Family are two great charities who we support by buying things off them and recycling things that we don't want.
It would be hard for smaller private shops to exist because of high over heads.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 10:03pm
Dear Assaya
Op shops are a necessity as they provide a place to recycle furniture, clothing and other items instead of giving them to friends and family who don't want them.
They are also...

Hello Bernd!

Your comments hold truth and good observations. Thank you for including Endeavour and the Smith Family. They have been undermentioned.
High overheads kill off many small businesses, but with careful planning, sourcing the right locations, diversifying and considering alternatives, some small shops are thriving and expanding...

Kind Regards - Linda

ninna
  • 4th Feb 2015 07:34pm

We have several op shops where I live & Vinnies by far the best, store well laid & not cluttered. The clothes are all in good condition & a great ranger, could easily setup a new place for those looking for 2nd hand furniture, linen & kitchen wares. Their prices are fair & well thought out so that people are not buying up all the good stuff only to resell elsewhere at a profit. The smaller Op shops here tend to be crowded with old stuff that you might have seen in yr grandmothers house when she was young, but I have still found some good buys in linen & some have never been used before.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 09:58pm
We have several op shops where I live & Vinnies by far the best, store well laid & not cluttered. The clothes are all in good condition & a great ranger, could easily setup a new place for those...

Hello Ninna!

I like you observations and good comments. It seems like the smaller Op shops are a bit like museums filled with interesting relics - but some wonderful treasure finds as well. It's like winning the lottery!
Kind Regards - Linda

Bridie
  • 4th Feb 2015 07:30pm

1/ Both have their good sides - you can find great bargains @ excellent prices if you look hard enough and are there at the right time.

2/ Some small private Op shops are real treasure troves at minimum costs...others (not all) are no-go areas for me as they offer some rubbishy goods at horrendous prices...

3/ Great idea as long as it's well controlled and supervised correctly.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 09:15pm
1/ Both have their good sides - you can find great bargains @ excellent prices if you look hard enough and are there at the right time.

2/ Some small private Op shops are real treasure...

Hello Bridie!

Thank you for your feedback. Great points and good ideas. And I couldn't agree with you more. Thank you :-D

Regards - Linda

None
  • 4th Feb 2015 07:00pm

I prefer Vinnies, they are cheaper than the others and also have good selections. I usually just buy clothes, but the Salvation Army shop nearby has more furniture - type stock.
I don`t know any small private Op Shops in my area so I can`t compare..

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 09:13pm
I prefer Vinnies, they are cheaper than the others and also have good selections. I usually just buy clothes, but the Salvation Army shop nearby has more furniture - type stock.
I don`t know...

Hi None...

Vinnies is definitely cheaper than Salvos now. Goodwill used to be similar to Vinnies and now there is Savers. There is also Red Cross and RSPCA. There are not too many small operators and many closed due to a lack of marketing or poor positioning. Thanks for your thoughts :D
Kind Regards - Linda

Beanie69
  • 4th Feb 2015 06:43pm

I usually go to the op shop round the corner for convenience and because there prices are reasonable and their stuff in good condition. I remember a few years ago I went into a op shop that had been donated a two seater leather couch and they had $450 on it, I won't shop at that "charities" shops anymore because their prices are off the planet for somewhere that their stock is donated to them. I also like to support the SPCA op shop for obvious reasons. I was always under the impression that people donate to these kinds of shops and the stuff is sold for a reasonable price to fund raise for their cause. Most pricing on clothing nowadays is more expensive than k mart or the warehouse for brand new stuff!

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 09:09pm
I usually go to the op shop round the corner for convenience and because there prices are reasonable and their stuff in good condition. I remember a few years ago I went into a op shop that had...

Hi Beanie!

You're spot on! For some reason many of the larger chain shops think that certain materials and Brand Labels automatically warrant higher prices. Personally I couldn't care less about that sort of stuff because what counts is what you like - and can afford...

The big Kmarts, Targets and BigW's have got bulk buying power and my eyes roll when I see brand NEW items like a singlet selling for just $2... nothing is worth anything much these days. I wonder if it's due to the underpaid Asian workers and the real rate of unemployment that our communities are enduring now...

Kind Regards - LInda

skiman
  • 4th Feb 2015 05:52pm

havent been to an Op Shop for years, many near me have closed down

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 09:04pm
havent been to an Op Shop for years, many near me have closed down

Hi Skiman...

Time to check out one soon I guess. Yes it's sad to see them close down. Usually due to overheads and lack of diversification. Here in Adelaide we had numerous Goodwill Stores close up. I think it was due to financial mismanagement...
Regards - Linda

JK
  • 4th Feb 2015 05:30pm

I guess I am just a shopping junkie! I do not care who owns the shop, I will look around in them all; also love boot and garage sales. I have dealt with a local (Bader and Normandy) privately owned shop that mostly handles baby and toddler clothing and items. Her prices are reasonable, though some times higher than I would like, I have always received top end customer service. She even takes resealable clothing and some times toys and offers an amount in trade on current stock. I believe she would pay cash, but only one or two days a week. As for raising money for charity, I have seen the annual budget for a few larger charities; there are not that many that do not pay outrageous salaries to their upper staff while others volunteer to work for free.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 09:02pm
I guess I am just a shopping junkie! I do not care who owns the shop, I will look around in them all; also love boot and garage sales. I have dealt with a local (Bader and Normandy) privately owned...

Hi JK!
I love shopping junkies! You keep the world spinning :D :D :D

As for salaries - yes it's Chalk n Cheese. Those at the top I have seen cause grief to those on the lower ladder rungs - seemingly to justify their own positions. It's sad to see such inequality for no good reason... :-(

Kind Regards - Linda

bpar
  • 4th Feb 2015 05:12pm

My favourite Op shop in one that supports the RSPCA. I also visit the Salvation shop when I need to purchase knitting needles. I have seen Op Shop franchises open and close in my area. Whether or not Op Shops are in certain areas depends on factors such as whether or not there are shops available in the area that will charge the charity and affordable rent. I have seen shops in the area that have been vacant for long periods of time but still not utilised by any business.

bpar
  • 4th Feb 2015 09:52pm
Hello Bpar!

I like RSPCA too but I object to them using the money to euthanise animals after their time in 'jail' has run it's deadline. A better program may be to foster animals until a...

Yes I did know that some shopping centres charged rent based on what buisinesses earn. My local shopping centre does and has a high turnover of shops.. It seems as though there are two places for op shops. Older shops that have become run down or church halls. You rarely see them in modern shopping plazas.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:57pm
My favourite Op shop in one that supports the RSPCA. I also visit the Salvation shop when I need to purchase knitting needles. I have seen Op Shop franchises open and close in my area. Whether...

Hello Bpar!

I like RSPCA too but I object to them using the money to euthanise animals after their time in 'jail' has run it's deadline. A better program may be to foster animals until a suitable owner is matched... but back to the franchise thing... if the franchisor does not properly train and support a prospective franchise, then they are set up to fail - which is wrong.

This is where I am prepared to invest my time, energy, experience and knowledge to help gain a valuable head start to any interested person who would like to strike out on their own - without wobbly knees when they do! Marketing and support are ongoing - of course :-D

As for empty shops - some landlords must have more $$$ than sense, need a tax right off - or just live in a different financial planet or are dumb and just don't care! Rents can be ridiculous. Did you know that the shops in shopping centres are charged rent based on WHAT they sell and their profit margins are calculated right down to every card or coffee that they sell to calculate what they can afford in rent. It's not based equally between shops.

Cheers Linda

ebro
  • 4th Feb 2015 05:08pm

best op shop in Melbourne is in Bridport St Albert Park

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:47pm
best op shop in Melbourne is in Bridport St Albert Park

Hi Ebro!

Tell us why you like it!
Cheers - Linda

beanbagdan
  • 4th Feb 2015 04:39pm

My only experience is Melbourne and regional Victoria.

We love the Sacred Heart Mission Op Shops in Chapel St & St Kilda, Salvos East St Kilda, Savers in Sydney Rd and Vinnies in Hawthorn....but the BEST Op Shop is Epicentre in Echuca. Awesome layout and shop design, amazing selection of everything imaginable at great prices.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:46pm
My only experience is Melbourne and regional Victoria.

We love the Sacred Heart Mission Op Shops in Chapel St & St Kilda, Salvos East St Kilda, Savers in Sydney Rd and Vinnies in...

Hi Beanbagdan!

Thanks for sharing! It just shows that's it's worth taking a feather out one's cap and get a few inspirations from well organised shops that seem to being something right by their popularity!
Cheers - Linda

Jaynestel
  • 4th Feb 2015 06:46pm
My only experience is Melbourne and regional Victoria.

We love the Sacred Heart Mission Op Shops in Chapel St & St Kilda, Salvos East St Kilda, Savers in Sydney Rd and Vinnies in...

My favourite Op Shop is the Sacred Heart Mission Op Shop in Hawthorn. They have an amazing range of goods at great prices including $2 books and a dollar bin that contains all sorts of wonderful bargains. It is really worth a visit for those that love Op Shops.

Mondayitis
  • 4th Feb 2015 04:31pm

I love op shops period! I like both - the orderly the upmarket op shops and rummaging in the small messy shops. Some of the Salvos are expensive and you need to know your prices because what they are charging particularly on some of the clothing is not worth it IMO. Smaller non franchised shops are cheaper but its not so easy to get what you want and then sometimes I will pay a bit more for good quality clothes it's worth it. I do hope the smaller op shops survive against the franchises, I donate my goods to them and buy from them as often as possible.

Mondayitis
  • 4th Feb 2015 09:17pm
Oh Mondayitis - I take my hat off to you!

Good on you for helping the smaller shops. I guess if you find the item that you like, and if you can afford it, then it's good to know that you...

There was an op shop in the wealthy suburbs of Melbourne that was charging from $50 for ladies wear (yikes). A big outlay in an op shop for me is $10.00 lol

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:44pm
I love op shops period! I like both - the orderly the upmarket op shops and rummaging in the small messy shops. Some of the Salvos are expensive and you need to know your prices because what they...

Oh Mondayitis - I take my hat off to you!

Good on you for helping the smaller shops. I guess if you find the item that you like, and if you can afford it, then it's good to know that you would be prepared to pay a little bit more. But it has to be a reasonable price charge.

I was in an Op shop which had a lovely top, but it was $35. I came back after my payday a few days later - only to find that it had been sold (sigh). Philosophically I thought well - it was not meant to be and someone else deserved it more....

Keep up the good job of donating!
Cheers - Linda

ang
  • 4th Feb 2015 04:31pm

I currently work in a op shop. ( I wont say for which company) I think they are losing what the original focus was suppose to be for and that was raising money for the welfare of others. they are becoming like retail shops and prices are getting too high. I will be only working in this particular shop for a little while longer and I feel the workers are there purely to be paying managers and supervisors their wages. there is no communication to workers. They don't actually make a lot of money about 5 % once all costs are taken out. Id rather put in my time where I know far more is going to welfare groups and good causes.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:39pm
I love op shops period! I like both - the orderly the upmarket op shops and rummaging in the small messy shops. Some of the Salvos are expensive and you need to know your prices because what they...

Hello Dougmnstr!

I'm so glad to learn how you were able to benefit from Vinnies. That is meant to be their purpose. Sadly the rise in costs (power, insurance, petrol, wages, etc) meant that costs had to be passed on to the buying public - rich or poor, for better or worse. Perhaps it's time that a bit of clever and wise Business Planning and budgeting can see those 80's values return!
Kind Regards - Linda

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:32pm
I currently work in a op shop. ( I wont say for which company) I think they are losing what the original focus was suppose to be for and that was raising money for the welfare of others. they are...

Hello Ang!

You're such a trooper - and I appreciate your open honesty. I TOTALLY agree with what you are experiencing. Always remember that Workers get Paid and Fired, Slaves can be Bought and Sold, but the Volunteer is a Gift that is often unappreciated.... I hope you find a more meaningful purpose.
Kind Regards - Linda

Anonymous
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:24pm
I currently work in a op shop. ( I wont say for which company) I think they are losing what the original focus was suppose to be for and that was raising money for the welfare of others. they are...

I totally agree with your comments angela,i did volunter work for 5years for st vincent de paul shop in christchurch after being on a taskforce green scheme to repaint one of there shops,i was looked after very well and they appreciated my efforts and hard work,all there items were very cheap to buy and if you were on a benifit they helped with furniture,food grants and clothing.im now living up in whangarei due to have losing my flat in the chch earthquake,most of the op shops up here have put there prices up on everything ,yet everything is donated to them,alot of customers have also commented about there pricing policy ,op shops are not the same as they were back in the 80s .

dollymay
  • 4th Feb 2015 04:28pm

Op shops are far to expensive now. There just like a second hand shop. Prices are the same. Years ago they use to help the poor. Now thereout for there own gain. Smaller op shops would be good to start. Give vinnies and the like a run for there money.

Ros5455
  • 5th Feb 2015 03:24am
Op shops are far to expensive now. There just like a second hand shop. Prices are the same. Years ago they use to help the poor. Now thereout for there own gain. Smaller op shops would be good to...

The local salvo op-shop is pricy as you say but I now frequent the local church run op-shop where 100% of funds raised assist that church. I often walk out with shopping bag full of infant & young childware for $5- the lot & does not take much for me to spend on my grandkids till my cash is done.... value for money there..

My own children grew up loving the op-shop gifts there nanna would get for them each week (as a volunteer she did the sorting & selling so came across good stuff she would then purchase to spoil her son grandsons & d-i-law & that op-shop went franchise early last year so prices trebled straight away & she gave it up).

l0lapx
  • 5th Feb 2015 12:06am
Op shops are far to expensive now. There just like a second hand shop. Prices are the same. Years ago they use to help the poor. Now thereout for there own gain. Smaller op shops would be good to...

Hi all,
Dont know where the previous posters live, but sounds like greedy areas, I have been going to Op-Shops for years, In Melbourne, North East Vic, South East Vic and most states in Australia, and havent seen a musty op shop in years. The ones I have been in are paradise, full of things you dont find in shop, loads of variety, yes occassionally there are new items overpriced, but the money does go to those who are worse of than us. No one has to buy those items.

The volenteers do a great job of washing and cleaning items, sorting them, and sending to recycle all items that are not sellable.

The worst part the the donations people just throw in bags and expects others to sort them out for them.

And of course a lot are in places the do not have wheel chair access, but I have never seen an op shop that has book shelves so tall, a husband couldnt get to the books, the volunteers are most older people who are not that tall and they have to stock the shelves etc.

I enjoy all the op-shop no matter who runs them, the ones I know all support different causes, raise funds to help with schooling, cooking classes for kids in schools, and the list goes on.

Of course I live in a country/rural area in Victoria and we have op shops that support so many different causes, not must Vinnie, Red Cross, Salvos, Life line but oodles of others, schools, churches, Lions club, only real problem is government regulations, so now you cant help people with beds, mattress and lots of other needed items, only clothes, manchester and books and shoes.

Pity about the over regulation. I hate commercial shops so I am very happy to have Op-Shops to find unusual and interesting items. Am sorry the others have such lousy sounding places in their areas.

Jeska
  • 4th Feb 2015 11:03pm
Op shops are far to expensive now. There just like a second hand shop. Prices are the same. Years ago they use to help the poor. Now thereout for there own gain. Smaller op shops would be good to...

a lot of the op shops are expensive these days because they are ran by the corporation (salvos and vinnies for example).
alot of the time you can buy brand new clothes (from best and less or similar store) for the same price the salvos and vinnies are charging.
but there are a few that are still ran by the individual church or small organisation and they set their own prices.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:27pm
Op shops are far to expensive now. There just like a second hand shop. Prices are the same. Years ago they use to help the poor. Now thereout for there own gain. Smaller op shops would be good to...

Hi Dollymay!

I like what you wrote and it's VERY encouraging - thank you for your thoughts! Thumbs Up!
Linda

Jezemeg8
  • 4th Feb 2015 04:12pm

I used to love shopping in op shops, but unfortunately now that I am mobility impaired, few are accessible to me. I have no preference with Op shops frankly, large or small, upmarket or 'homely' most have great bargains and offer valuable financial support to a number of charities.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:20pm
Hello Assaya,
I am unable to use change rooms etc in shops to try on clothes, but I can dress myself at home. Currently if I do shop somewhere I check their returns policy and then purchase...

Hi Jezemeg8
Having choice is of paramount importance, that's why a mobile service is a viable option. Whilst a web site is handy, being able to touch, see and try on in the comfort and privacy of you home is probably a highly desirable preference.

Sizing too can be tricky as I can fit into some size 10 garments yet can't even squeeze myself into what is labelled as Size 16... how nice would it be not to have the hassle of returning to a shop just to return one ill fitting item.

Watch this space as I am working with a lovely couple in Melb who are developing options for people in your situation. :-D
Cheers - Linda

Jezemeg8
  • 4th Feb 2015 07:29pm
Dear Jezemeg8,
Sorry to hear about your immobility status. Does that also impair your ability to dress yourself? The reason I ask is because we have 2 new options being developed for people...

Hello Assaya,
I am unable to use change rooms etc in shops to try on clothes, but I can dress myself at home. Currently if I do shop somewhere I check their returns policy and then purchase the clothes, taking them home to try on there and if they prove unsuitable I return them.
Yes the service that you mention may be suitable as long as one has the ability to choose garments one may be interested in (viewing them on a website etc) and selecting approximate size (as you no doubt are aware a 16 at one store can be equivalent to a 14 at the next there is no uniformity).
I live in eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 07:13pm
I used to love shopping in op shops, but unfortunately now that I am mobility impaired, few are accessible to me. I have no preference with Op shops frankly, large or small, upmarket or 'homely'...

Dear Jezemeg8,
Sorry to hear about your immobility status. Does that also impair your ability to dress yourself? The reason I ask is because we have 2 new options being developed for people such as yourself, as well as aged, frail and interned.
There are new styles of clothing being made in Australia and a visiting mobile service available. Is that something that may interest you? If so, in which city do you live in?
Kind Regards - Linda

Jezemeg8
  • 4th Feb 2015 04:31pm
Unfortunately, I am not doing well.

I'm sorry to hear that you're not doing well Anu, I pray that things improve soon. God bless.

aggu
  • 4th Feb 2015 04:25pm
I used to love shopping in op shops, but unfortunately now that I am mobility impaired, few are accessible to me. I have no preference with Op shops frankly, large or small, upmarket or 'homely'...

Unfortunately, I am not doing well.

Hannie
  • 3rd Feb 2015 11:52am

LOVE Vinnies, just can't go past it or the charity behind it. Prices are always reasonable and the staff are always such characters. Their stock always varies as well, I guess if you're a well known, respected charity that who people want to dump their junk with. It's a form of donation really.
I'm in two minds about private op shops. I think reusing goods is a fabulous idea and I'm all for encouraging that trend taking off, but I have almost fallen in a trap of buying from private op shops presuming they have a charity they donate to. Op shops and charity just go hand in hand in Australia and I think if small business owners want to keep integrity they might have to associate themselves with one and somehow still make money.
But my number one op shop stop will always be Vinnies. Love them.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:25pm
LOVE Vinnies, just can't go past it or the charity behind it. Prices are always reasonable and the staff are always such characters. Their stock always varies as well, I guess if you're a well...

Hello Hannie

Some private 2nd hand shops have such ridiculously HIGH prices. I plan to open a shop that raises money for DIFFERENT charities or good causes and this will be transparent to show everyone who is benefitting from donated items. Fund raising is limited to 3 or 4 months before a donation is made to that specific cause. Does that sound like a good idea?

Kind Regards - Linda

debbib
  • 17th Dec 2014 01:53am

I like the bigger op shops they tend to try and make there stock more like a regular shop but often their prices also reflect this, some of the small regular ones I have been to lately have the smell that op shops are reknown for but things are cheap which is what I always though op shops were all about.. helping out the community with low prices and donating to charity

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:12pm
I like the bigger op shops they tend to try and make there stock more like a regular shop but often their prices also reflect this, some of the small regular ones I have been to lately have the...

Hi Debbib!

Good points which I totally agree with. Overstuffed shops tend to have 'THAT' smell because air is not circulated - or they have put out clothes that should first have been aired first for a few days in sunshine...

Op shops should be there to help those who have limited funds and are on strict budgets. That's not to say that the 'rich' can't shop there too. The American marketing machine has spread it's tentacles into the upmarket charity shops like Salvos - so guess what we are all paying for now... yes - you guessed it!

Cheers - Linda

Freedomy
  • 14th Dec 2014 05:27pm

Great question. I don't care what charity it is. I have been to op shops where I would never walk in again. Some clothes you would not use as rags, and other op shops the volunteers are so proud and take care and time in organising colours and items. I do have to be in the mood to shop in an op shop because it is like hunting and gathering. Where we are spoilt at a department store. Same item on the same rack. At a glance you know whether you like it or not. But an Oppy you have to go forth and seek.

I have been know to be heard through the store with excitement at specials or a fine bargin I have found. Talk too loud and too fast when this happens. A well organised shop regardless of the size will always get people returning.

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:06pm
I used to like Vinnies and Salvos but I find their pricing is odd and the stores smell awful. I've seen items marked dearer than buying it new. Everything is donated but I feel they're getting...

Hi Ferry!

Wow - I know what you mean.... inconsistent pricing, high pricing - the greed. Here is a bit of insight as I used to be a volunteer at different stores - for 5 years! They have a huge army of well meaning volunteers - some are doing 'time' for Centerlink obligations, others are pensioners who are still active, or people who are interested in getting retail experience - and hopefully a job like me. I finally got a 3 month part time position - and nothing after that... There are some casual positions available too. These paid positions are managerial in nature. There's a lot of responsibility for a just $20 per hour or less.

If you google it, more than $6 million is spent by the Salvation Army in Australia every year just to remove unusable donations from their shopfronts. Sadly - more volunteers are recruited just to get rid of rubbish. It's wrong that people are unpaid and used in such a way whilst trying to barely exist on a pension these days. Centerlink recognises this problem.

I have seen quite a few items priced HIGHER than they are currently new which just goes to show that there are no pricing guidelines in some store / organisations. I'm glad you have found a store you are happy to donate to. I have never been to Savers, but I will have a nosey soon!

Kind Regards - Linda

Ferry
  • 4th Feb 2015 04:41pm
Great question. I don't care what charity it is. I have been to op shops where I would never walk in again. Some clothes you would not use as rags, and other op shops the volunteers are so proud...

I used to like Vinnies and Salvos but I find their pricing is odd and the stores smell awful. I've seen items marked dearer than buying it new. Everything is donated but I feel they're getting greedy. There's no consistency in pricing and the other day I found two different prices on the same items....same item...one priced at $2.99 the other $4! Seems the people pricing have no idea! The Salvos shop near me is always putting up prices...maybe because the manager has to make quota.....I was always under the impression the staff were volunteers but appears they are paid! My very favourite op shop is Savers. Everything properly laid out, prices clearly marked and reasonable, clothing clean. Staff is friendly and helpful. I donate everything to them now...they are always grateful...not like Salvos who can't even say "thank you!".

Freedomy
  • 14th Dec 2014 05:27pm

Great question. I don't care what charity it is. I have been to op shops where I would never walk in again. Some clothes you would not use as rags, and other op shops the volunteers are so proud and take care and time in organising colours and items. I do have to be in the mood to shop in an op shop because it is like hunting and gathering. Where we are spoilt at a department store. Same item on the same rack. At a glance you know whether you like it or not. But an Oppy you have to go forth and seek.

I have been know to be heard through the store with excitement at specials or a fine bargin I have found. Talk too loud and too fast when this happens. A well organised shop regardless of the size will always get people returning.

frilly
  • 10th Feb 2015 08:57pm
Hi Frilly, a lot of the items get sent to a main warehouse where they are sorted then send out to different stores so if they are like new they might be sent to higher end stores where they can get...

Love to do that but not good at getting photo onto the website. It is such a shame because everyone loses out LOL. My grandson used to help bt he is almost 19 now has a girlfriend, an apprenticeship plus studying. Nanna is lucky he visits me.
Most don't when they are that involved, that age

bibinc
  • 10th Feb 2015 02:41pm
I give clothes to our local Salvos & never see them on the rack. What do they do with them, these were as good as ne I promise you. I have ended wit giving them to a friend who goes to Church and...

Hi Frilly, a lot of the items get sent to a main warehouse where they are sorted then send out to different stores so if they are like new they might be sent to higher end stores where they can get more money for them.

If you want to sell them, put them on Gumtree, ebay or your local garage sale facebook page, list what it is with sizes and price and that new buyer pays postage and you could sell a bit.

bibinc
  • 10th Feb 2015 02:41pm
I give clothes to our local Salvos & never see them on the rack. What do they do with them, these were as good as ne I promise you. I have ended wit giving them to a friend who goes to Church and...

Hi Frilly, a lot of the items get sent to a main warehouse where they are sorted then send out to different stores so if they are like new they might be sent to higher end stores where they can get more money for them.

If you want to sell them, put them on Gumtree, ebay or your local garage sale facebook page, list what it is with sizes and price and that new buyer pays postage and you could sell a bit.

Freedomy
  • 9th Feb 2015 11:27am
Hello Freedomy!

You have made some great points - thank you. Some Op Shops look so ramshackle that I am left frankly disgusted and disappointed. Many times my time is limited and if it's...

Hey Assaya,

I'm with you, there are some Op shops that I will never return to. Op-shops may be run by a whole lot of volunteers but they are nevertheless a business, that exchange cash for goods. So as a consumer I have expectations, not high at op shops but expectations that as a business they represent the stock as best they can with whatever they have.

I don't consider me not returning to an Op-shop a loss for me, but a loss for wherever than money was going to. There are many op-shops around so the shonky ones are just avoided by my good self. It is like any services or goods products, some you run to and have huge interest, others (like shonky op-shops) you stay clear of because of the bad experience or feeling they give you.

frilly
  • 8th Feb 2015 04:50pm
Hey Frilly thanks for your response. Dont let your new legs stop you. Do a ring around in your area or email a few op shops to see if they have wheel chair access and if they dont ask if they can...

I give clothes to our local Salvos & never see them on the rack. What do they do with them, these were as good as ne I promise you. I have ended wit giving them to a friend who goes to Church and knows people can use them.
I at present am sorting out my wardrobe I wish I could easily sell them not asking a great deal but at east they would be appreciated & I know that are going to some one who needs good clothes cheaply.
I have heard that the best disappear before they are shown to the Public? I also heard that when they get too much they have half price sales. Now it is too expensive to send overseas for felting & rags it goes to the tip? Have as anyone else heard these things?
I would like it all to be wrong?

Freedomy
  • 8th Feb 2015 11:52am
I cannot get into many if at times any op-shops, they have steps, clothes on the floor, aisles packed & I am in a wheelchair. Our local Salvos has half price , I would love to go in for the books....

Hey Frilly thanks for your response. Dont let your new legs stop you. Do a ring around in your area or email a few op shops to see if they have wheel chair access and if they dont ask if they can suggest a place close by.

Ops shops are smelly and musty and some ops shops as you said put rags on the racks and a price tag. I get insulted when this happens. I am looking for clothes not rags and if I am going to take time to come into your shop at least put some effort into what goes out for sale.

There are some days where I find nothing and other days where I get extremely excited because it is like a treasure chest of goodies has opened up for me at resonable prices. I feel yukky about trying on clothes there because of that smell, but if I do purchase; I give them a wash and I own them outright and there is nothing smelly about me.

There are hundreds of op shops around, give them a chance, they do give back to the community and sometimes just sometimes you get something that you would not have got anywhere else.

frilly
  • 6th Feb 2015 12:30am
Hello Freedomy!

You have made some great points - thank you. Some Op Shops look so ramshackle that I am left frankly disgusted and disappointed. Many times my time is limited and if it's...

I have to wonder where the good clote go if you cannot find them? I know my husband has sent handmade suits when he retired, decided he would never se most of them again. I have sent excellent clothes there when I put on weight. They were almost new as I had been ill for a long time. We have taken very good condition things down there so I cannot imagine where they go?

bluegirl
  • 5th Feb 2015 02:08pm
I cannot get into many if at times any op-shops, they have steps, clothes on the floor, aisles packed & I am in a wheelchair. Our local Salvos has half price , I would love to go in for the books....

If you are after cheap books frilly, try your local library. A couple of libraries near me have books sales regularly $1 a book or less.

Bernd
  • 4th Feb 2015 09:17pm
I cannot get into many if at times any op-shops, they have steps, clothes on the floor, aisles packed & I am in a wheelchair. Our local Salvos has half price , I would love to go in for the books....

On the whole Salvos are okay they try to put out clothes that are not dirty and smelly, It depends on the store supervisor if they keep an eye on the volunteers.
Ask the staff to bring you books and clothes tell them your size. There is no way you could get a wheelchair in any Salvos or vinnies as their isles are not wide enough.

frilly
  • 4th Feb 2015 08:44pm
Dear Frilly
Sorry to hear about your limited mobility status. Does that also impair your ability to dress yourself? The reason I ask is because we have 2 new options being developed for people...

It wold be interesting to know what it is , though I have a husband who helps me. That is another problem, trying on rooms do not sally allow husbands in & then if it is bras you cannot return them.
Bras themselves are a hassle, the front fastening have too many hooks & eyes LOL. Where people moan abouut 4 on the back, there are at least 6 on the front!
Thnk you

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 07:23pm
I cannot get into many if at times any op-shops, they have steps, clothes on the floor, aisles packed & I am in a wheelchair. Our local Salvos has half price , I would love to go in for the books....

Dear Frilly
Sorry to hear about your limited mobility status. Does that also impair your ability to dress yourself? The reason I ask is because we have 2 new options being developed for people such as yourself, as well as aged, frail and interned.
There are new styles of clothing being made in Australia and a visiting mobile service available. Is that something that may interest you? If so, in which city do you live in?

A musty smell means that the item has been stored where there has been no air circulation and in winter, the humidity level adds to the mustiness. Simply let it air and in a few days, it should smell fresh again. Sunny days help too!

I agree with product placements being displayed (or stored) in awkward places and at inappropriate heights. I usually ask for assistance - and a ladder often appears!

Kind Regards - Linda
Kind Regards - Linda

Assaya
  • 4th Feb 2015 07:17pm
Great question. I don't care what charity it is. I have been to op shops where I would never walk in again. Some clothes you would not use as rags, and other op shops the volunteers are so proud...

Hello Freedomy!

You have made some great points - thank you. Some Op Shops look so ramshackle that I am left frankly disgusted and disappointed. Many times my time is limited and if it's too hard to find, or my time is wasted with rubbish, then I just turn on my heel - and RUN!

frilly
  • 4th Feb 2015 05:30pm
Great question. I don't care what charity it is. I have been to op shops where I would never walk in again. Some clothes you would not use as rags, and other op shops the volunteers are so proud...

I cannot get into many if at times any op-shops, they have steps, clothes on the floor, aisles packed & I am in a wheelchair. Our local Salvos has half price , I would love to go in for the books. Even my very able tall husband could not get to many shelves for me.
I have to admit they can at times have that musty smell, what do you do with the clothes, does it wash out?

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