I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published June 16th 2015
Trawl For Treasure In One Of Perth's Prettiest Suburbs
We all love a good bargain, don't we? Furthermore, if you're reading this article there's a strong possibility that, like me, you love opportunity shops – those delightful little (and not-so-little) charity-run stores where the astute urban treasure-hunter can unearth all sorts of exciting retro wares, often just for the price of a song.
Here in Perth we're spoilt for choice with oodles of op-shops all over the metro area, purveying every variety of vintage delight from pretty 1950s frocks to horn-rimmed glasses and sweet little knick-knacks that would look right at home on your granny's dresser. In popular hipster haunts such as Fremantle and Northbridge, there are even stores specialising in quality vintage wares such as Retro Vinnies and several other privately-run establishments. There's no doubt about it – vintage is huge these days.
One of my favourite op-shopping haunts is the quaint little suburb of Bassendean, situated just a couple of kilometres from Guildford, near the Swan River. One of Perth's little-known gems, this small, peaceful and historic suburb possesses three opportunity shops, all an easy stroll from each other and the Bassendean Railway Station. Well away from the most popular hipster hang-outs, it's a great spot for serious shoppers to get their hands on some genuine vintage goodies without having to jostle with others for the really good stuff.
The following paragraphs describe these three great little shops. With each possessing the friendly, down-to-earth ambiance of yesteryear, I spent a very enjoyable morning rummaging through the goodies on sale, and chatting with the friendly staff and volunteers. I can guarantee that you'll also enjoy a few pleasant hours perusing all the delightful bits and pieces in this quaint little corner of Perth.
You can easily spend hours in Bassendean – it's that sort of place. After you trawl through the treasure, why not head down to the beautiful Swan River for a picnic lunch? The Point Reserve at the end of Surrey Street is especially nice.
Salvos Op Shop Operated by the Salvation Army, this little gem is situated in one of the historic shopfronts on Old Perth Road. Although it looks quite small from the outside, once you enter you'll be amazed at how much space there actually is, and the amount of good stuff that is up for sale. There was even a red-hot Versace cocktail dress on display the day I visited.
The mood of this little shop was great, and I chatted with the friendly woman behind the counter for several minutes before I started trawling through the shelves and racks. Items for sale include loads of clothing (including several good-quality designer brands), plenty of colourful accessories, bric-a-brac, children's wear and toys, books, home-wares and much more.
Salvos Op Shop in Bassendean is located at 22 Old Perth Road, and is open from Monday to Friday, 9.30am until 5.30pm, and on Saturday from 9am until 5pm. Call them on 08 9279 8642 to find out more.
Vinnies Op Shop
Just across the road from the Salvos, Bassendean's Vinnies is another hot spot to check out on the local op-shopping circuit. Situated in another old shopfront, this large establishment also had plenty of atmosphere and lots of cool stuff, with a large friendly bunch of volunteers on hand to answer any queries.
Like the Salvos store, this classic op-shop has a large selection of clothing, shoes, accessories, books, kitchen wares, home decoration and fun things for children. There was also a good selection of delightful vintage ornaments and bric-a-brac which would appeal to retro-craving urban treasure hunters.
Bassendean's Vinnies Op-shop is situated at 11 Old Perth Road. It's open from 9am until 4pm, Monday to Friday. Opening hours on Saturday are from 9am until 1pm. To find out more, call 08 9279 4539 during business hours.
St Mark's Benefit Shop
Although they're much less well-known than those run by the larger, more famous charities, small church-run thrift shops are often veritable treasure troves, full of all sorts of old pre-loved wares – just perfect for the serious vintage enthusiast. St Mark's Benefit Shop in Bassendean is no exception.
Situated in the old hall behind St Mark's Anglican Church, just around the corner from Old Perth Road, this op-shop has heaps of atmosphere and very friendly volunteers who were more than happy to chat. As with the other Bassendean stores, this one was full of all the usual thrift store favourites such as books, clothes, toys, games, crockery, home decor and plenty of other bits and bobs.
St Mark's Benefit Shop is located at 2 Wilson Street in Bassendean, and is open for business from 9.30am until 12 noon, Monday to Friday. For more information, call 08 9279 8761. They're also open on Bassendean's monthly market days, with special cakes and preserves for sale.