Hello Thrifty Sistas!
You may have seen my recent Hashtag Campaign celebrating #fabulousprelovedfashion ... as part of the fun and in way of encouraging everyone to shop Preloved ... I have put together my best 10 Op shop Tips and Tricks!
DO NOT SKIM through the racks ... take your time and look at everything ... otherwise you may just miss a fabulous find! I know it can be overwhelming for some, the endless racks of clothing with as many garments as possible squeezed onto each of them! But narrow it down to a rack at a time and you’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll get through it!
CHECK CAREFULLY for small holes, pulls, broken zippers, missing buttons and stains ... there is nothing worse than getting home and realizing you have bought something unwearable! The lighting in some op shops isn’t great, often very charity run the spaces are small and affordable … so make sure you take the garment over to a window to get some natural light on the garment to ensure it’s condition. Having said that, don’t be discouraged if you find something you love and it’s missing a button or needs a small repair like a zipper replaced. These are easy fixes … you just have to decide whether it’s worth your time and the addition money ... and often it will be.
TRY THINGS ON ... just like in a retail store, it's important to try before you buy! Don't just buy it because the item is a 'bargain'! Sometimes it’s easier to say ‘It’s only $5.00, I’ll just get it!’ … because let’s face it, trying things on can really be a pain! Especially if you’re not dressed for the occasion or you have the kiddies with you! But you really can’t be sure until you try it on … sizes and fabrics can vary so much!
SHOP THE CLEARANCE RACK ... many people are surprised to hear me talk about the 'clearance rack' at op shops. But most do have one ... and I always head there first! Just because it's on clearance doesn't mean it's no good. These items are selected randomly ... so you might just grab yourself an amazing bargain! Many op shops also have certain days when certain stock is reduced, sales and clearances just like a retail store. So make sure you do your homework if you really want to get the most bang for your buck!
SHOP THE ENTIRE STORE ... don't just stick to the 'Ladies Section' ... I have found some amazing things in both the Men’s and Children area ... things get accidentally put in the wrong place all the time! It's worth having a look through all the racks just in case!
CHECK THE GLASS CABINET ... there are some incredible things kept in glass case at the counter ... always take a peek, it’s usually the best of the best keep in there! You will be surprised what you'll find!
TAKE CASH ... the larger op shop organizations will have Eftpos facilities, but the smaller privately owned ones may not, or if they do ... they usually have a $10 limit. So make sure you are cashed up before heading out op shopping ... there's nothing worse than finding an amazing pair of $2.00 jeans and then not being able to buy them!
LOOK UP ... when shopping retail, the stores are very well laid out and displayed perfectly. They arrange items at eye level to best attract customers. In an op shop ... the space is not always perfect ... there is likely to be clutter due to limited space. There will most likely be lots of random items sitting around. Be sure to look along the top of the racks, on shelves and also check what’s hanging behind the counter! When there is a constant stream of stock coming in ... often things are placed wherever they will fit!
DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK ... if you're on the hunt for something in particular, ask the Staff if they can help you. They may be able to point you in the right direction … or grab an item from out the back. New stock is being added constantly throughout the day, so you never know what items are coming out next!
I LIKE IT DIRTY ... yep, I do ... the dirtier the better! You'll notice the bigger charity organizations, the likes of Vinnies and Salvos ... are very clean and organized, with all items individually pre-priced for sale. The stores are well sorted, maintained and welcoming in their presence. These stores are a great starting point for those who are new to Op Shopping - they are most like a retail store in their appearance, but not in price! However ... when it comes to a more experienced op shopper ... the less organized the better! This is where those bargain hunting skills come into practice! I love the little op shops that you find tucked away down a side street or in a small country town, those ones really get me excited! They have the most amazing treasures in there ... just waiting to be found! Of course, you’ll have to like digging through piles of clothes, the smell of mothballs … and don’t even think about trying to get a pram in there! But trust me … you'll walk out of there with arms full of goodies and a greater sense of satisfaction!
There you have it, my top 10 tips and tricks for striking GOLD the next time you go Op Shopping!
Happy Thrifting … and don’t forget to share your fashion finds using the hashtag #fabulousprelovedfashion! Every month I’m giving away a $25.00 gift voucher to spend at The Wardrobe Green Online Store! Good luck!