Op Shops

Op Shop Advice Sought from Die Hard Op Shoppers

I got a message to the page today from Wendy and I’m happy to reply with my own thoughts but I thought I’d open it up to my fellow op shoppers to help this lovely lady out. We need some op shop advice from experts out there.
Die hard, op shop harder

Die hard, op shop harder

I’m thinking of opening an op shop in Canberra and would be interested in your opinion as a die-hard op-shopper.
I have visions of myself heading out like Bruce Willis now in a vest and shouting a lot with special effects happening as I roll about grabbing bargain and fighting for vintage with other customers.  I don’t have his biceps but I’d give it my best.
Do you think it makes a difference what the funds are being raised for or do you think its more about the buys and bargains?
For me personally I shop happily in any shop that is raising funds for a good cause, I don’t think an registered charities are allowed the status of charity without a lot of paperwork and meeting a big list of criterias?  May be good to find out more about this though.
My three locals are different, one is a boutique type store which is beautifully presented but a little pricier.  The goods on the whole are very good quality though and I know the funds are being spent in the SE of Melbourne.  The second is a church run op shop manned by volunteers where it’s low prices some awesome bargains but less stringent standards, the goods are all clean and useable though.  The third is a large op shop chain which is a huge store, probably the most expensive but due to it’s size I would guess has bigger expenses to cover.  I love it because it can afford to have row upon row of home wares, rack upon rack of clothing and furniture.
I’m not much help answering that question.
What do you think the most popular items are at op shops or the hardest to come by, ie most op shops stock heaps of adult clothes but what other items are op-shoppers looking for.
I think a safe choice for an op shop is to stock items people need and want day to day – clothing (good known brands and designers  will always do well) , kitchen goods, shoes, books, toys…..
If you have room optional extras could be furniture, exercise equipment, jewellery,
If you can throw in some vintage and retro items I’m happy too.
What makes a good op shop?
The volunteers and managers you’re lucky enough to have I think may be a decider.  I also love shops that rotate clothing if they are limited on space, summer clothing in summer and summer sales to make way for the warm coats.
Reasonable prices.  I don’t expect vintage or designer for $2, I’m also unlikely to afford it or buy it if it’s being sold for it’s actual value.  It’s a very fine line.
My biggest gripe is Kmart, Target and Big W clothing being charged at more than it’s original retail price.  This is also one of the most regular complaints from people on my page and other op shop pages I’ve seen.
Weekend opening hours.  Not all weekend but I love a browse when Mr Op Shop can look after one or both of my boys.
I’d appreciate your thoughts if you have time.
Please add your thoughts to help make the decisions and choices easier for Wendy.

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  • Bentleigh Sunday Market September 27, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Hi Wendy,
    It’s definately more about the bargains and finding that unique item. As long as the funds are raised for recognised charities, it should not matter to the shoppers.

    Variety in selection of goods is the way to go unless you want to specialise in say, just clothing or household items.

    There are many elements to the success of any business, including an op shop. Location and parking are two. But it all comes back to the customer finding the right item at the right price. Good stock turnover, interesting window display, helpful staff, they all add up.

    Bentleigh Sunday Market

  • Wendy September 27, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing my questions with you followers. I found your responses very useful and can’t wait to see what other comments are generated.

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