The secret to scoring some awesome op shop bargains

December 09, 2016
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You might think that op shops are just full of broken and forgotten belongings that only cheapskates would buy. But any fellow thrifter would agree that op shops are a gold mine for students. Just because the items are second hand, it does not mean they’re useless. Not only can you find great bargains, but the clothes are of great quality and all the proceeds go to charity (duh).

How often can you say that you made a difference in someone’s life when you had a shopping spree?  We students love our discounts, so here’s a few tips on how to be a successful thrifter!

Be creative

Keep your mind and eyes open for anything that can be turned into something unusual and creative. If you know how to sew, thrifted scarves can be made into throw pillows, vintage tea cups can be turned into mini pot plants and suitcases can act as a coffee table. The fun part about thrifting is finding items that can be created into something unique and wonderful. So get inventive!

Know your specials

It’s possible that your thrift store may have special discounts for types of customers, (seniors, military and students) so make sure to ask an employee what sales and discounts you are eligible for. Stores may also have sales on different days of the week, so to make the prices even lower, ask an employee when their next sale day is, and do your shopping on that day. Go get them bargains.

Do you need it?

Just because it’s dirt cheap, doesn’t necessarily mean you will use it. Don’t go crazy and spend over $80 worth of collectable knick-knacks that you will never look at again. Because sure enough, your room will be looking more like a thrift shop/garage sale with all your random mismatched thingymabobs. So that floor rug that’s made entirely out of cat hair? Yeah, you probably don’t need that.

Know the charity

Find out who sponsors your charity shop. Most thrift shops are not just there to provide you with cheap clothes, but are there to raise money for a good cause. Knowing where your money is going to, and what differences it will make in someone’s life, gives thrift shopping a more satisfying experience.  

Give back

Giving back is an important part of being an experienced thrift shopper. Clean out your wardrobe and get rid of the clothes you wore when you were 12 – it’s not doing any good collecting dust in your closet! It’s hard throwing away items that you’ve kept for years, but if you’re not using them, someone else could be! Stop hoarding!

Don't be afraid to leave empty handed

Thrifting is an art. Finding the ultimate bargain takes patience and a creative eye. Most of the time, you spend hours searching for the perfect deal and walk away with nothing. Half the fun of thrifting is looking at all the wacky (and sometimes down-right creepy) products that people once thought was great value for money. It’s also interesting to wander about the different back stories of the once loved belongings that are now for sale. So even if you don’t find what you want, the important thing is that you’re having fun, giving back and finding some bomb-ass bargains.


Sophie Nicolas

Sophie is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and is an aspiring writer, dog enthusiast and thrift shop fashion icon.

Image: Saturday Night Live official Facebook page