I'm a member of this fair city, working in events and PR, I'll literally do anything PG.
Published April 23rd 2012
Finding Op Shops is tricky business, you need to seek the perfect storm, the place the hipsters don't raid every day and the old people who do the donating have taste. Northside is out, the ravenous swarms of trendsetters time their Nokia 3100 alarms to the Op Shops restocking schedule, and anything of kitsch value is hanging from twine above an old milk crate in a trendy Northcote lounge room before you've even checked the weather.
However there are a bunch of op shops in Bayside, far enough away from greedy hipsters, chocked full of vintage gems.
Scored this tough denim jacket and some gang colours.
These guys know how to get your op shop muscles cranking, a great range of ornaments and gadgets, constantly up dating selection of clothes for guys and girls. Their iconic leopard print deco and the fact that it's organised and doesn't smell puts it miles ahead of the rest.
Cool stuff I got from there:
Bad ass leather jacket RM Williams boots Multicolour woolen purple hoodie My girlfriend loves the place and she's the only reason I look cool.
Sacred heart (again) 415 Inkerman Street
Once again a well run shop, maybe not as well presented but there's always a few gems, every time I buy shoes from there they are always valued at over a hundred dollars street value by the cashier. Thanks guy, for always overestimating my purchases. Great for business shirts and shoes, also small shiny things like rings and cufflinks.
Sacred heart (I'm basically just realising sacred heart is my favourite op shop) 87a Grey Street
I brought the peacock feathers - $10 for the lot. Awesome.
This is a Sacred Heart as well, these guys are by far the ultimate op shop chain, and here you get the meeting of the two sides of St Kilda, the gritty and the tacky. Fluro Ayers rock shirts with a pair of acid wash jeans that a junky probably finished up in will give you the perfect blend of naff and rough that is required in any trendy southside locale. Whats that? You aren't wearing an ironic t-shirt like a boss? Hit Grey St.
There's also a Sacred Heart in Chapel Street, but you need to get in early to get the good stuff there, as some of the best op shoppers in the country live next door.
So this is along North Road, we're getting Bentleigh way now, but if you're patient then you will be in a pocket of gold, the area far enough away from Prahran to suffer from regular hipster raids, but high enough on the socio-economic strata to produce some pure gold.
Brotherhood of St Laurence - North Road.
Poorly organised, small, badly lit, the perfect environment to find some undiscovered treasure. I found a pair of pants pre tailored to stovepipes that fit perfectly, this was before I knew about tailors and stovepipe business pants were just a dream.
On the corner of Centre and Jasper Rd in Bentleigh we have a St Vincent De Pauls, a Red Cross, another weird one that seems to move around, but surely can't, and a Gigantic Brotherhood of St Laurence. This intersection is the eye of the hurricane, pure gold just hidden away from all the hipsters that don't want to lash out for a zone 1/2 ticket. Hot tip, they'll acknowledge zone 1 OR 2 on the bus.
It's small, well organised, clean goods, and a quick turn around of the items means there is always new stuff to look through and check out. Many items are brand new, never worn and certainly won't break the bank.
I'll give a TIP about Op Shopping, get to know the staff, they are a wealth of information and if you have a request and you are a nice and friendly, they will contact you if something comes in.
I have de-cluttered and yes the husband too! And all my 'precious stuff' (excluding husband- they wouldn't take him too old and used, went to the Salvos on High Street Road in Wantirna South. My daughter volunteers there once a week and she keeps me dressed as well as herself, hubby, boarder and two boys who wear clothes out before they grow out of them!!
If I get 'new' clothes then I send back the same amount I received. Don't have the buy new hangers that way!!!
Dear daughter knows of customers who love certain items and as I had a lot of these items I was happy to know someone else would enjoy them as I have.
I am legally homeless so don't need much, if I can't get it into a suitcase weighing less then 30 kgs it is staying with me. I'm 60 years young, been there and done that and now I pet and home sit all over the country, may have a booking for 2013/2014 Christmas/New Year in SA already. But booked until 1st March 2013 so far with very few days left, I'll stay with DD and Co. then. I hope to go to the UK for our winter and see some more of the beautiful country.
Someone once told me 'If you like it so much take a photo." then give it away. I never even took a photo. And strange what you believe your kids will want when you croak, not much actually they already have to much of their own 'junk' around their necks to keep them stuck for many years to come. I just need a narrow long box, preferably cardboard to store my old bones and outer layer in when I leave this almighty coil.
Happy Op Shopping... recycling at its best but just don't dump it at the door at night and don't put your kids dirty filthy diapers in the bags either, the lovely volunteers don't deserve this dis-respect and rubbish. If it junk, dirty, un- washed then put it into your recycle or rubbish bin or road side collection.
Hahha! Well written ! I have Op Shopped for 38 years & have a visceral thrill as I approach each store. I say YES to Sacred Heart Mission shops everywhere & currently step out in a Leona Edmiston frock c/o Chapel St. store. ($20 instead of designer price in the Greville St Vintage Leona, WHICH I might add, is fab also.) REALLY posh & gorgeous is Salvo's in Glenferrie Rd Malvern & really huge is St Vinnie's there too. Oh & HELLO ... very happy with some Ebay results.