From Ainslie to Woden to Tuggers to Gunners, there are twenty-seven op shops in Canberra. Over the following several weeks I will visit every last one and write an article reviewing each store. I will look to address a set criteria to give a rating of each location, however the true goal of this is to guide fellow-op-shopping enthusiasts to the stores and suburbs that will best suit what they're looking for.
The criteria I will write my reviews around will be as below:
Layout, accessibility and change room quality: This will include details of how the store is set out, whether products are separated by sizes, colours, demographic, era etc., and how easy it is to follow the floorplan to ensure ease of exploration of all areas.
Quality and quantity of products: This will determine both the quantity of products in the store, which products are more bountiful than others and the overall quality of the stock. This section will also include whether there were any unexpected quality finds in the store.
Repeat sales, ongoing deals and general price range: This will investigate whether the store has repeat sales or particularly good deals that are either constant or frequent enough to warrant regular visits for fellow thrifters. I will also endeavour to include an approximate price range of individual stores to equate the quality of stock with value for money.
Trading hours, parking and payment options: This will be a short review on the quality of the change rooms and the range of payment options available - particularly useful for cash only facilities. Also included will be details of parking to ensure you're well prepared for your op shop adventure.
If you can think of anything to add to the list please comment below with your suggestion!
With all this in mind, the first cab of the rank will be the Philip Salvos.
Located on the corner of Hindmarsh Drive and Botany Street the Phillip Salvos is one of the bigger op shops around Canberra.
The layout is very easy to follow and pleasingly neat. Working from the right hand as you enter the sales items are laid out in sections from manchester and white goods to furniture to clothes racks with a back corner of books, cds/dvds and kitchenware.
The clothes racks are laid out in mens, womens and childrens and broken into subcategories of shirts and blouses, shorts, pants, skirts, dresses and again into casual and formal - all sections further broken into separate sizes.
There is a vast array of goods to work your way through and the quality is very high. The furniture and women's shoes are of particularly high quality - with a solid oak writers desk priced at a very reasonable $50.
The clothes are also good quality and very well priced and there is enough to sift through to keep a dedicated shopper there for a couple of hours at least.
I would recommended a thorough look in the jewelry cabinet at the counter as well for those into pretty and unique accessories.
An especially good find was a Morrissey clutch purse for only $4.
There weren't any advertised sales while I was shopping, however scarves were only $3 and a big jumble box of socks of all description at $1 each was available to rummage through and is a standard price.
My total haul was only $21 for two bags, a knitted jacket, a scarf, socks and a quite unique blouse with black and white stripes under a sheer net cover (as pictured below).
The change rooms were directly to the left upon entry and were clean and well kept with wooden, locking doors and full-length mirrors inside. There is a three item limit to using the change rooms however when it isn't too busy they will waive this policy (as they kindly did for me).
Open Monday to Friday 9 to 4:30 and Saturday 9 until 2:30, there is ample parking available as it is toward the back of a small cluster of shops just off Hindmarsh. They accept both cash and eftpos payment.
Thus concludes entry one of the Op Shop Tour. Stay tuned for the next edition coming soon!