With the EastLife team buzzing with their latest buys from local op shops, we thought, what better way to share some tips for those who have yet to embrace the art of op shopping.
Shake it off
Yes, shake off that stigma of second-hand clothing. These days, op-shops are so much more than the musky, dumping ground for items that have seen better days. Today, thrift stores are a treasure-trove of designer brands, nearly new and sometimes brand new, pre-loved clothing.
Don’t forget second-hand clothes are great for sustainability. By giving pre-loved items another cycle of wear, you are minimising the amount of clothing being thrown away. It may not seem like it would make a huge difference, but every bit counts.
There are bargains to be had…
With the cost of everything increasing, it’s the perfect time to change our shopping habits and take advantage of a few bargains.
… But don’t expect everything to be $5
There are varying degrees of op-shops and the items they sell. A $5 price tag doesn’t necessarily determine a bargain. If you find something you love, but feel the price may be high, do a quick search of the brand; what are they retailing garments at full price? You’ve got a bargain if you find a jacket for $60 from a brand that usually retails them for $350.
Have an open mind
You’re not going to find racks of clothes in every size, so if you pick something up that doesn’t fit, sadly, there is no secret room for a sales assistant to ‘check out the back’, So take the loss and keep shopping around.
Set some time aside
Op shopping takes patience, and a good rummage through takes time. If you are new to the experience, start with a few smaller stores first, big stores with racks and racks of clothes can be overwhelming.
Know what you want, but be flexible
If you are shopping for something in particular, be prepared to be flexible. For example, if you want a pair of jeans in a specific colour, cut, or style, you may not find them. Look at all the options and have a try-on. If you are prepared to compromise, you may walk away with a better option.
Make a day of it and have fun
Being thrifty doesn’t have to be boring. We are lucky to have some great stores on our doorstep. Invite a friend, grab some lunch and make a day of it.