I have always been an op shopper, I love finding interesting things and saving a few pennies.
The kids and I are sporting almost entirely second hand wardrobes and loving it! We've found plenty of big brand tags, some hand made treasures and some vintage gems all on a pocket money budget.
Melbourne is blessed with LOADS of great op shops but here are my top three:
Love the price per piece system here, all kids clothes are $2 each! Free parking out front or a very short walk from the train station. Our best find here was a signed copy of Animalia.
Our local and our favourite. The prices can sometimes be a bit exxy for an op shop but this place is huge and super well organised so you are sure to find something. Fantastic book section and they have a loyalty card that gives you increasing discounts when you donate. Our best find here was just recently- a big bucket of vintage lego!
Salvos are the classic great oppy and Brunswick doesn't disappoint. I'm listing this one on my top 3 list but if you are in Brunswick you should really check out the other op shops on Sydney road too. Our best find here- Some fantastic retro tea towels that I turned in cushion covers.
Top Tips for Op Shopping
Shop outside the season.
You will always have more luck if you are willing to shop a season that people are clearing out. It just means hanging onto things a little longer. This is also handy if travelling to a different climate and you need things that just aren't on the racks anywhere else.
Check the condition carefully.
Make sure you know what condition things are in, check for wear and stains.
Have upcycling in mind.
Lots of op shop finds have brilliant upcycle potential. Clothes as fabric, vintage tea towels into cushion covers, kitchen ware into funky garden planters... think of what potential things have.
Kids tend to grow, shop sizes they will grow into. Also think about the endless cycle of dress up events at school and kinder and have outfits ready for the next book week parade, international day or sports day.
Donate when you shop.
Not only are you helping others and keeping up a chic minimalist vibe at home some op shops give discounts when you donate (Savers has a loyalty card that gets stamped for each donation).
I know, this is not Melbourne advice, but once you get out of the city the op shopping gets soooo cheap. Keep it in mind on the next road trip.
Grab a book.
I think book shopping op shops is a truly underrated joy. I have found so many amazing books, signed editions, vintage books, beautiful hardcover editions, books from my childhood to force onto the kids (you WILL read and love the Babysitters Club, kids). Books are usually very cheap and check out the magazines too, I picked up a stack of Frankies not long ago for 50c each. Grab a couple of spares for when you next come across a Little Free Library too.
Keep an eye on Savers 50% off days.
Savers (located all over Melbourne) have regular 50% off clothing days. Stretch the dollar even further.
Happy shopping everyone!