Footnote Frivolity***, Second-hand Scavengers

Bargains at the op shop

Despite their recent gentrification, op shops can still be an excellent resource for the money-challenged. After last week’s discussion with I Love to Op Shop and Lisa@SimplyMe, I thought I’d expand on the topic of bargains at the op shop.

  • It’s only a bargain if it gets some lovin’

While I might view $1 for pink Pyrex as a little bit iffy, Laura of A Little Boutique Near Home considers a $60 vintage Burberry bag a good buy. So how do you spot a bargain when you see one?

Shopping around and doing the research helps, but the best bargain of all is the one that’s actually needed. My attic is stuffed with cheap but unnecessary purchases Continue reading

Going Green, Second-hand Scavengers

I op[t to] shop

Opportunity shop n. Aust., NZ a shop run by a church, charity, etc., for the sale of second-hand goods, especially clothes. Also, op shop. (via Macquarie Concise Dictionary 4th Edition)

Once the territory of Centrelink/pension cardholders, op shops are now frequented by shoppers on all sorts of budgets. According to The Age, they’ve ‘defied the doom and gloom in the retail sector and experienced a surge in sale. The increase…has been spurred by two things – the mainstream adoption of op-shopping and a reduction in discretionary spending’.

With op-shopping on the rise, op-shop blogs and bloggers have started popping up online. I Op Therefore I Am is one such blog and acts as a communal trophy shelf for treasure-hunting locals. While posting up some finds on the site, I managed to convince bloggers I Love to Op Shop and Lisa@SimplyMe to talk about their love of the humble op shop. Continue reading

Money Matters

Is haggling un-Australian?

Like many freshly-minted Australians, my parents’ friends, the Ducs, have a healthy respect for money. They’re not afraid to shop around. Their daughter and I used to be fairly close—we went to Vietnamese school together—so I got to tag along when her mum took her computer shopping.

We traipsed from Donvale to Springvale, from Harvey Norman to the corner tech shop. Her mum wasn’t content with comparing price stickers; she’d wring out profit margins from the sales assistants, before making a move on the manager. After the third or fourth store, my friend was begging her to stop. I wriggled in my seat, equally mortified. Haggling and bargain-hunting, I thought, was something our parents did. It was so very un-Australian. I’d rather eat stinky shrimp paste than make a beeline for the sales rack of any clothing store.

But how can something so universal be considered un-Australian? Continue reading