My 5 Top Tips for Op Shopping Success

In one of my recent posts I suggested op shopping as a way to build a more ethical wardrobe.  Now that I am consciously trying to shop smarter, op shopping is something I have become very interested in.

Recently Vinnies loaded me up with a $20 voucher and sent me off on an op-shopping challenge.

I visited the Brunswick store on Sydney Rd, which FYI is amazingly organised and merchandised. It made the whole op shopping experience so easy as everything was accessible and easy to see, which is not always the case in all op shops.

I found so many goodies that I ended up spending a little extra $$$ of my own (I think around $20-$25 on top of the $20 voucher) and purchased a wool crepe dress,  a denim skirt, an Armani Exchange blazer, an oversized mens shirt, a colourful printed scarf, and a bangle. Quite the op shopping success I think!

I used to go op shopping quite a bit when I was at uni, but haven’t really ventured into many second hand shops over the past few years. However, I enjoyed the Vinnies op shopping challenge so much that I will definitely be doing it more frequently from now on and it got me thinking about what it takes to have a successful op shopping experience.

The thrill of the hunt is definitely exhilarating, but it takes a little more preparation, patience and creativity to op shop like a pro and come out looking stylish and original.

So read on below for my 5 top tips for op shopping success.



Do Your Research

For optimum op shopping success I suggest doing some research beforehand.

First, it pays off to do some style research. I love to jump on Pinterest and get inspired. The more styling ideas you have in your head the easier it will be to visualise working back your in-store finds with the items you already have at home.

Secondly, research where you’re going to shop. You will not always find the perfect dress on your first visit, so it’s a good idea to have some options around on the day.  Prepare an op shopping day route before you start if you want to check out different suburbs or head to areas where there are a few op shops around, so that if you have no luck at your first location you can quickly move on to the next.


Take Your Time

Finding  a designer piece or vintage gem is incredibly rewarding, but it is unlikely to happen unless you devote some time and patience to op shopping.

Carve out a morning or afternoon to really get the most of your op shopping experience. Once you’re in the shop the last thing you want to do is rush. Instead spend time searching thoroughly through all of the racks, cabinets and baskets. Sometimes the perfect piece is hiding where you least expect it.


Think Creatively

Don’t just stick to one area. I’ve found some great t-shirts, jackets and oversized shirts in the mens section.

Think creatively. Could you DIY your own distressed denim? Or turn a long maxi skirt into a summer dress?

Also don’t overlook items that might be slightly too big or too long. Always question wether a garment could be altered to fit you. I have a friend who picked up the most amazing vintage green velvet dressed and had it altered to custom fit perfection.


But Be Picky

Just because it’s a bargain doesn’t mean you should purchase it. Pick out items that you would buy if they were full price. Make sure that styles are suitable and fabrics are of good quality. Inspect garments for stains or faults prior to purchase and always try things on to ensure that you’re onto a winner.


Visit Regularly

The trick to op shopping is persistence.  The more you visit stores the higher the chance of finding that perfect piece. Different op shops have different stock days too. Get to know your local volunteers  and they might even tell you when the fresh new stock comes in each week.


I hope you enjoyed today’s post and found some of the tips useful. Do you have any great op shopping tips you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!


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Wearing: Scarf & Blazer found at Vinnies

  • Kat

    Great tips! I haven’t op-shopped in ages, but I think I’m due for a visit so I can find some more interesting and unique pieces rather than my usual Witchery uniform 😉

  • Naomi Proudman

    This is such a great post. I’ve never op-shopped so I’ll definitely be using these tips when I do!