I have a gorgeous friend who always looks trendy and has designer clothes in her wardrobe. She is not afraid to admit she has bought them from an op shop. A simple designer dress may set her back a couple of dollars, instead of $100’s (or possibly $1000’s) of dollars, brand new. She has been prompting me to come shopping with her and a few weeks ago I relented. I wanted to see for myself, whether op shopping for designer clothes was really what it was cracked up to be.
Location Location Location
We headed to three op shops in New Farm and Newstead.
When you head to an op shop, location is key. The New Farm op shops are her favourite. Often, many of the residents in that area will donate their barely worn, sometimes tags attached, designer clothes to their local op shops. If you’re particular about getting a certain brand, the inner city locations will offer more variety, than stores that are in the outer suburbs.
Saturday morning is best
My friend said Saturday morning is the best time to go, as most people clear out their wardrobes during the week, and the staff will stock the clothes first thing on a Saturday morning. It does get very busy though, as many experienced thrifters will be scouring the racks for new wares. We headed on a Tuesday morning, and I was still surprised by the amount of clothing brands that were stocked.
The most stocked sizes are 6, 8, 10 and 12
I noticed that there wasn’t much variety in the plus size range, or the clothes in those ranges were from local department stores (Kmart, Target etc). If you’re a size 10 or 12, the outfits are in aplenty. I’m between a size 14 to 16 and some of the clothes in the 14 range didn’t fit me. I walked away with no clothes for me, but my friend walked away with a few designer dresses, 2 pairs of pants and some Guess heels.
It wasn’t all a loss
I did buy three tops, and gave them a good wash and iron and listed them on eBay. I doubled my money by listing the tops for the price I paid for them, and waited for the bidding action to occur. It was a risky move because I could have not sold them, or only sold them for the price I bought for them. The brands that I find sell well online are Cue, Veronika Maine, Review, Alannah Hill and Country Road.
Will I go again?
Yes. I enjoyed looking through the racks, hoping to find gold. Even though I didn’t, I haven’t lost faith in the process. You can still head to a shopping centre and come home empty handed.
My size is the average size, so maybe this was why I couldn’t find much to fit me. Maybe next time I will score something amazing.