Tips For Shopping Vintage in Your Local Op Shop

I know many of you love to shop in your local vintage, thrift and op shops, but others are just discovering this art! As I am a seasoned op shopper, I thought it would be a nice idea to share some top tips to shopping op shop style.

There are a range of well known almost “chain” style op shops now. But there are also the little ones you find attached to churches for example, and the Animal Welfare League, which is huge in my local area as a place to frequent for thrifty bargains. When I was younger shopping vintage was something people did sort of in secret and you never bragged about your finds. It is different now with vintage fashions in clothes and interiors being ever popular, and growing. The downside of this is that some of the bigger op shops have increased their prices above what we used to think was an “op shop price”, however they are still goldmines for bargains, a good way to re-use and recycle and usually support  charity at the same time. So a win, win, win!

Tips For Shopping Vintage in Your Local Op Shop

  • The first thing you need to do is locate all the local op shops in your area and then visit, to work out where the really good ones are.
  • You can usually find quite a lot by a google search for op shops or vintage stores in your area, but some are small (and can be the best ones) so asking around and keeping your eyes peeled for them is also a good idea.
  • I tend to stay within my own area and pretty much know all of the good ones within a 20 minute drive from home, but be prepared to go further! Last week I found an amazing one about 40 minutes away and will be returning soon.
  • Visit often if you are really keen, as stock tends to turn over quickly, well the good stuff! And it is one off in most cases.
  • Think outside the square as some items may be used in different ways, re purposed, or just look fantastic with a coat of paint, new fabric, or just a clean up.
  • When travelling away, google op shops to see what is around in the area and go hunting, it is nice to find things in other towns and cities and country towns can have AMAZING op shops.
  • Check out for a great resource.
  • Some op shops specialise in certain things such as clothes, bric a brac or furniture, so once you know your local stores, you will know where to go when looking for particular items.
  • Make sure you have plenty of time so you can rummage around in the store!
  • The volunteers often have a real knack for display and know what tends to come into the shop, so don’t be scared to ask if they have a particular item, or may have a chance of getting something in soon.

Do you have some favourite op shop stores and tips you want to share?

1 Comment

  1. Joan Mc Donald on November 14, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    This is why I love op shops! The things you can find are unique! I collect blue & white China, old linen and other finds. They are treasures!

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