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Where to Find Tip Shops in Melbourne

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published September 4th 2014
Scavangers and opshoppers take note

Everyone knows what an opportunity shop is but tip shops aren't that well known although you probably have a bit of an inkling what they are about just from the name.

They are shops that sell recycled goods and are connected to council tips.

A number of people might remember tips in the good old days when anyone could go and have a rummage and find all kinds of fascinating things that people threw away and that were worth a pretty penny.

My husband told me he spent lots of time rummaging through the local tip when he was a kid.

He and his mates would find old tyres and take them to the local mechanic who would pay them good money for them. Then when the mechanic had added them to his stockpile and had his back turned they would sneak back and roll them out again and return them at a later stage and be paid yet again.

I guess that was one way to spend an afternoon in the shadow of Pentridge's bluestone walls.

Of course these days you are not permitted onto tips to go rummaging through stuff. Far too unsanitary and dangerous.

However great stuff still gets thrown out and it is so much better if it is recycled and makes money for worthwhile charities.

Hence the concept of the tip shop.

There are a couple of ways tip shops are stocked. As they are onsite or adjacent to tips people dumping stuff at the tips might drop off better items at these shops and thus save them from landfill.

Or great stuff that is found at the tip by the workers is recycled and goes for sale in the tip shops.

As you can see from some of these photos I took of the Outlook Outlook Recovery Centre (Tip Op Shop) in Mornington it is amazing what people throw away.

Unlike op shops where the goods are mainly smaller objects like toys and clothes, tip shops end up with lot of hard goods such as furniture, tools and plumbing supplies.

There are some great opportunities for home renovators as you can find toilets, sinks and tiles.

The old furniture often just needs a bit of a scub and a sand back.

They are great places for the mechanically minded. There are lots of bikes for example which you could use bits from to reconstruct a tandem or some other configuration that took your fancy.

There are also some clothes. Sometimes these are new as I guess sometimes factories end up throwing away unsold stock. I was surprised for example to find Jag jeans and a Boo Radley top.

I was also amused to find a whole row of wigs. I assume they were hairdressing apprentices practice wigs which had been cut down till there was not much hair left to cut off. But still perfect for dress-up occasions especially if a woman wanted to dress up as short-haired man.

I was also really surprised at the number of vintage items such as His Master's voice old phonograph records, antique books and Singer sewing machines.

There was an incredible range of plant pots. In fact the Outlook store at Mornington has decked itself out as a nursery as well, selling chap gardening supplies as well as whole banks of old pots that people had thrown out. Perfect for those with a green thumb who like to propagate seedlings.

While I have only been to the one tip shop there are apparently a number of these shops in Melbourne.

The one I went to is at 29 Racecourse Road, Mornington. Open 7 days a week Mon-Sun 8.30am-4:30pm (03) 5973 6511

There is another Outlook Market - Second Hand Shop at Darebin Resource Recovery Centre, Kurnai Avenue (off Henty Street), Reservoir
Opening Hours: 8am to 3.30pm, 7 days a week (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day. Christmas Eve closed at 11:00 am).

The Knox Transfer Station is also a bargain-hunters paradise. It is located at 251 George Street, Wantirna South (Melway 72 D3), and open 7 days per week. Phone 9887 4222.

Great for antique collectors, gardeners and handymen.

They also run a Recycled Goods Shop at their Coldstream and Wesburn Recycling & Waste Transfer Stations.

The Coldstream RWTS is on the corner Ingram Rd and Leonard Rd, Coldstream.
Operating Hours 7:30am - 4:30pm Monday to Saturday 9:00 am - 4:00pm Sunday & Public Holidays

Healesville RWTS is at 371 Mt Riddell Rd, Healesville.
Operating Hours: 8:30am - 4:00pm Saturday 9:00 am - 4:00pm Sunday

Wesburn RWTS is at 689 Old Warburton Road, Wesburn.
Operating Hours: 8:30am - 4:00pm Monday, Tuesday, Friday & Saturday (Note: also open Wednesday and Thursday during daylight savings period)
9:00 am - 4:00pm Sunday & Public Holidays

For more Information on these facilities visit the Yarra Ranges Recycling Services site.

There is also the Sunbury Landfill Tip Shop. This is at Riddell Road Waste and Recycling Transfer Station and Landfill
Tel: 9744 2974 (ring for opening hours)

Here you can buy pre-loved goods for a small price. You'll never know what you'll find at a tip shop.

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Why? A whole lot of scavanging fun
When: Daily
Where: Various suburbs, see article
Cost: Depends what you find
Your Comment
Fantastic idea! I wonder if we have any in Sydney? Ps...your husband was naughty as a kid!
by Maria M (score: 2|661) 2592 days ago
Another is the re-use centre on yan yean rd Plenty
by kimbo (score: 0|8) 2595 days ago
The best bit is that Outlook Environmental 'Tip Shop' runs as a social enterprise, meaning profits made go straight back to running an excellent organisation that supports people in our community. An awesome organisation!
by Carina Tomietto (score: 1|13) 2252 days ago
My husband and I [RUDE] have been living off the junk of others from TIP SHOPS for over 6 years. It has been our mission to showcase and share, to any person who may be interested, what can be reused and repaired to save the planet, hip pocket and encourage creativity and resilience.

We share our frugal lifestyle most days on Facebook at Rude Record and weekly on Wordpress at

We commenced 'shopping' at TIP SHOPS as soon as OP SHOPS started to go the way of small retail businesses in the high street. We found that the days of rummaging around in a dusty and musty OP SHOPS was all but over.

We are finding that TIP SHOPS are going the way of OP SHOPS, and are cleaning, organising and sorting the stuff that is dropped off. We are glad we found TIP SHOPS 6 years ago, before the rush to 'discover' them all over again, albeit in a different guise.

RUDE [Reusers of Unloved Discarded Excess]
by de55 (score: 1|26) 1989 days ago
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