30 December 2011

Top 10 tips for op shopping

Every dedicated Cheapskater knows the value of their local op shop, and they make sure they get their fair share of that value.  With that in mind, and knowing that after Christmas Spending Plans are usually very tight, here are my top 10 tips for getting the best from your favourite op shop.

1. Shopping is shopping - make a list and stick to it

2. Keep your eyes open for those unexpected finds - you know the 50c school shorts or the $2 brand name jeans, new with tags.

3. Only choose to purchase quality items. Look for brand names you recognise as quality and make sure the items you purchase are of a good and usable quality.

4. Always try things on. It may well be a brand name but if it doesn't fit then it doesn't fit and will be a waste of money if you buy it.

5. Leave the kids at home. Again, shopping is shopping and the same rules apply to op shopping as to grocery shopping. Try to do your shopping alone so you're not distracted or tempted to buy things that are not on your list.

6. Know your op shop's sale days. Ask when they have their 50% off days, which day is $2 a bag day etc and plan your shopping around them.

7. Keep an open mind. You may have candlesticks on your list but not see any in the store. Is there a small wine glass or a pretty plate you can re-purpose as a candle holder? Look around you and find ways to re-purpose things to fit your requirements. Master this one technique and you'll never have to pay retail for anything ever again.

8. Visit your op shop regularly. New stock comes in every day and goes out just as fast. If you are looking for something in particular let the staff know and ask them to give you a call if it comes in.

9. Shop with cash. If you only take cash you can't go over your allocated shopping amount and you won't be tempted to just spend that extra $2 because you simply don't have it.

10. Lastly, as your op shop supports you, you can support it. As you declutter sort the items into piles to toss, recycle or donate. Take the donations to your op shop immediately, if you let them sit around you'll change your mind.


  1. Great tips. Worth visiting op shops at the end of season as they often have sales in op shop then too. Mondays they change the tag colour on sale in many shops so they are often a better day to go. Salvation Army let you swap items that don't fit so if you bought a shirt for your partner and it was the wrong size you can exchange it! I am also trying to declutter so if I bring home a bag I'm trying to return two bags to the op shop. My sister suggested to me its OK just to admire things even if they're great they don't have to come home.

  2. I picked up my best purchase to date at the Op Shop late last year.
    A brand new Breadmaker unfortunately without the manual but I had someone give me these to scan & also got online & bought a Breadmaker Book from the UK for $1.00 including P & Handling.
    I have made so many yummy loaves in it and saved so much time but the the best part is yet to come.
    I now make ALL my jams in it!
    What a massive time-saver - not having to wait until setting-point, sterilize jars in microwave, no mess, no fuss!

  3. What a bargain! My first breadmaker came from a garage sale for $25, it was brand new (and had the manuals) and I wore it out. Now we have two and they get used almost every day. Love my breadmakers but I love making my family's bread even more, I know what's in it and it's a fraction of the price of bakery bread.

  4. I have found recently a way to get rid of the desire to own something that I've wanted to for years, but is impractical, or just doesn't fit in the house, is when i see it at the local op shop (salvation army especially), I do buy it, take it home admire it for a day then take it back for an exchange.
    This way my brain doesn't have to keep thinking about looking for the wanted item because I have already 'owned' it. This may sound weird, but if I've bought it at a good price anyway if I get it home and it works out, then I don't feel guilty keeping it, but if it was just the desire to own the "magical" item, then owning it for a day and returning it is still 'owning' it.
    this is better done at your local op shop as regulars are recognised more, and don't forget to let them know 'you are not sure, and can you bring it back for a refund or exchange' before you pay.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

Just a couple of things:

Please don't use your comments to advertise your business or goods for sale, any such comments will be removed.