I’m just going to serve this straight up: I’m a fully fledged thrifty junkie. I’m way trendy with all the hipster, upcycling types out there but in all honesty op shopping, thrifting, charity shopping, whatever you call it, it’s for everyone and it is about so much more than having no money.
A lot of people admire my thrifty finds and sigh wishing they could be a good thrifty shopper too. The thing is anyone can be. Admittedly it isn’t always as easy as rocking up and finding a wicked piece straight off the bat. I pour time into this obsession. I op shop on a weekly basis and have developed some motto’s about how to get the good shiz.
1. If you don’t know where to go to find the thrifty goodness, check out these Australian op shop listings here
2. Go with an open mind. Be prepared to see creative possibility. Some of the most beautiful garments have been created simply with the touch of a great belt or a slight alteration.
3. Be prepared to rummage. Sometimes the best stuff is in the bottom of a box hidden underneath the racks so give yourself time.
4. Check garments carefully to ensure there are no hidden pulls, holes or a busted zipper. Sometimes things are at op shops for a reason.
5. Check what colour price tag is half price or what specials each store has. $1 racks are my personal favorites!
6. With the above point in mind, don’t barter! It’s just not cool. Op shops are generally run for charity purposes often by volunteers and items are already cheap. You don’t need to be stingy and if you’re feeling guilty about your spendings then remember, you just made a donation to charity AND you’re recycling. Well done upstanding citizen you!
7. If you think you like something but you’ll come back and get it another time – DON’T. It won’t be there. Good stuff walks. You need to think quick in this thrift business.
8. Start a conversation with fellow op shoppers. I can’t tell you how FABULOUS some of the people are that you will meet. Sometimes I’ve had fellow shoppers looking for things that I want simply because I started a conversation off with a warm smile and simple hello. Once I even met a talented woman who offered to make my wedding dress! Friendships can be made rummaging at op shops besides isn’t the whole idea of op shopping about community? Go on, get friendly.
9. If you’re strapped for time or overwhelmed by all the stuff don’t try and look at every single item. Scan racks and look for quality fabrics. Quality and quirky pieces generally will grab your eye. These are the pieces that deserve a look in.
10. My favorite of all favorites: If it’s a maybe it’s a no. My bestie Jo from Op Shop Tours Australia made me adopt this motto. Often we get excited by a bargain or something really fun but it actually isn’t right for us or it might be something we realistically won’t wear. If an item is just a maybe it will sit in your cupboard unworn. If it’s completely a YES, I FREAKING LOVE IT! Get you to the counter and whip that plastic out.
So go forth and make me thrifty proud!