While we don’t stock our website solely from thrifting, we reckon we’re pretty good at it. It’s rare we’ll come home from a thrifting trip with nothing, whether it be for our store, our home or our own wardrobes. Because you never know what you’ll find, yes it is mainly about luck - but, these are the best tips we can give to help you on your op shopping adventures.
Go regularly: Going to one op shop once in a while isn’t going to cut it. You may have some occasional luck doing it that way, but if you want to consistently have success, hitting multiple suburbs in one day, or going to a new suburb every week is generally when you have the best success. We try to go once or twice a week, to different Perth suburbs, or we’ll take a drive down south to Busselton or even as far as Albany to change things up.
The popular op shops aren’t always the best: depending on what you’re looking for, going where everyone else goes may not be as successful as you’d think. We used to love going to the Cannington & Belmont op shops in Perth, but so many people thrift there now that we rarely leave with anything (even though there’s 4+ op shops in the one spot). We generally have good luck in the outer suburbs and rural towns rather than the ones close to the CBD. It’s more time & effort to get there, but it usually pays off. Stay tuned for our list of favourite & least favourite op shops in WA.
Independent over chain stores: Salvo’s & Good Sammy have their ‘gold seal’ and ‘boutique’ sections now, and have a tendency to overprice their pieces and only put out stock that is ‘new’ (i.e. from the mid 2000s - current). Some Salvos can still be good spots, but we try avoid ones with boutique sections as they generally don't put out old clothing. If you’re looking for true vintage pieces, independent stores are generally the best. They don’t seem to sort through their donations as strictly as the big chain stores do, and will put anything out on their racks. This is also the case in country towns, or church op shops - there’s usually gems to be found there.
Avoid the peak times: the morning of a week day is when we love to go. Going in the morning means it won’t be as picked over, and you’ll have first pick if they’re putting new stock out while you’re there. Most op shops put their new stock out during the week. Weekends & school holidays are always busiest, and the times when it’ll be most picked over. We know logistically going during the week instead of the weekend is a bit hard, but that’s when we personally have the most luck.
Know what brands to look out for: most people know the big brands, like Billabong or Levi’s or Ralph Lauren, but there’s so many good quality vintage pieces out there if you know what to look for. Our favourite vintage basics generally come from brands like Target, GAP, MatchIt, Fire & Ice, LL Bean, as well as anything made from 100% wool, cotton, hemp, or pieces made in Australia or the USA. We’ll make a more comprehensive list of brands to look out for soon!
Look through absolutely everything: we know you might be going in with one piece in mind, like a graphic tee or a dress, but you should look through everything. Shoppers put stuff back in the wrong spot all the time, and you never know what you could find. Keep your eye out for new racks being brought out as well, we’ve found some great pieces on those. The kids section is another one thats overlooked, we've found vintage surf baby tees & vintage cartoon/movie tees here. We also love to check the manchester & homewares section too, we always see cool patterns and vintage cartoon sheets, as well as collectible pieces like the Star Wars prints you might have seen on our TikTok.