Charity Shops

Image from BBC TV, The League of Gentlemen
Charity shops - opportunity shops, thrift shops, whatever you choose to call them, have always been serendipitous caverns of joy for the vintage bargain hunter; for the simple reason that you never know what they might turn up. That's probably the thing I like most about them...the surprise element. Alas, it's true, these days the people who run the shops are a lot more savvy about the popularity of retro and vintage; many now call in an appraiser if anything looks remotely rare, trendy and/or valuable, which I suppose is fair enough - they are a business, after all.

Seek and Ye Shall Find...
However, there are still bargains to be had if you're prepared to sift through the flotsam and other words, the junk that accumulates in such shops. Regional charity shops can be  particularly good - I may be stereo-typing here but in my experience, country folk tend to be hoarders but when they, or a relative, finally do organize a clear-out,  some fascinating items may be unearthed. Also there's not not so much competition customer-wise..not too many trendy city slickers running their fingers along the dress racks. One of these days I'm going to venture forth on a country opportunity hop, checking out all the charity shops in all those little country towns, untouched by urban hands.

Apart from the bargains to be had in clothes, old records, interesting lamp shades  and books etc, the charity shop is also a good place to find objects for 're-invention' - cheap vases to decoupage, clothes to renovate, dress materials to make headbands and cushions from, furniture to re-surface and/or paint - it's amazing what can be achieved with a little imagination.

I Op, Therefore I am is a collective blog written about opportunity shopping in Melbourne. The blog includes maps, addresses, hours and telephone numbers of urban shops. You can also find reviews, photographs and a find-a shop-by-suburb guide, as well as an op shop map for Geelong - so all in all a handy little reference guide for the thrift shopper.

Perhaps the one potential drawback to thrift shopping is that it's all too easy to come back with things you don't really need/want just because they're so darn cheap...but then it's for charity. Win/win situation.