I have included a list of some of the op shops I haunt. I am starting with the ones I visit the most frequently. Over time I will add more. I have grouped them by location (but obviously there is nothing alphabetical about this list, it is just what comes to mind).
- Northcote and Thornbury
- Kew and Hawthorn
- Richmond and Abbotsford
- Collingwood and Fitzroy
- Moonee Ponds and Ascot Vale
A BIT FURTHER AFIELD
- Mornington Peninsula
- Great Ocean Road
NORTHCOTE AND THORNBURY
Churches of Christ Op Shop, High Street, Thornbury
On the corner of Oakover Road, I love this op shop as it is part of a church that obviously has a strong outreach program and community (there are always people around doing and caring). And it has an every changing variety of bulkier goods at great prices. For example, I bought my daughters black iron and brass bed frame there for $30.
Lions Club Op Shop, High Street, Thornbury
What a cracker! Low lighting, a real mixed bag in here. Fun for a fossick. I got a great feather sleeping bag here for $8. I often walk away empty hand though … But here’s something I loved …
Mental Illness Fellowship Op Shop, High Street, Thornbury
Another op shop that is obviously doing practical good in the world. You never know what will be in here. I bought a wonderful tapestry in this op shop.
St Andrews Op Shop, Gillies Street car park of Fairfield shops, Fairfield
Closed on a Monday, this op shop is tiny and great for the bargain hunter. The ladies from the church run it, sorting on a Wednesday morning in the church hall, and the prices are very reasonable. You’d be hard pressed to buy anything over $10 (in saying this I did buy a great and nearly new Kenwood food processor there for$25). My first stop for things like old patterns and craft books for cutting up, magazines, cake tins, tupperware and 1970s cocktail glasses. It isn’t really a clothes op shop – just a couple of racks outside.
KEW AND HAWTHORN
Red Cross Op Shop, High Street, Kew
I love this op shop. It is so sorted and edited it is a bit like second hand shopping in a ‘first hand’ shop! I usually find it is great for clothes (especially work clothes) shoes and toys. It is a little more pricey than some, but worth it. It doesn’t sell bulky furniture.
Salvation Army Op Shop, High Street, Kew
I found some great tapestries here! This op shop is a bit of a treasure trove. It has an excellent collection of crockery and small home wares at the front. It often has quite nice mens clothes. It is not really a furniture op shop, although there is some up the back.
Vinnies, High Street, Kew
Toys, toys, toys. It is not their thing at all, but they sell what they get for a good price. I bought my nephew a terrific Thomas the Tank Engine track and trains set for Christmas here for $7. It is also another great op shop for china and small home wares and clothes, along with bulkier home wares (my sister fell in love with a wonderful bottle green leather feather filled couch here).
RICHMOND AND ABBOTSFORD
Salvos, The big one on the corner of Gipps Street and Victoria Crescent, Abbotsford
This is the one-stop Salvos shop. Whenever I see people on renovating shows at the op shop they seem to be here! But it is also often quite expensive. At one stage it was the place to go for second hand bridal wear. Then it was all about the furniture (I liked this set up the best). Now it is back to its old arrangement with furniture out the back, but with a focus on nic-nacs – which also means that the prices have skyrocketed (a shame), Anyway, the shop really doesn’t have much in the way of childrens clothes, but it usually has nice mens and womens clothes and a large range of interesting furniture.
Salvos, Under the North Richmond Station Bridge, Victoria Street, Abbotsford
This Salvos is good for clothes. I often find great things here. It also has furniture at more reasonable prices than the other store around the corner.
COLLINGWOOD AND FITZROY
Salvos, Smith Street, the outlet end, Collingwood
I love this Salvos. It gets lots of great clothing donations from cool dressing people who live in Fitzroy. The focus is not on furniture (it is a small shop and they are keen to move it on), so the prices are reasonable, but often what they have is great! If I have got a spare hour, this is where I head. I have purchased excellent shoes and handbags here.
Brotherhood of St Laurence Op Shop, 109 Brunswick Road, enter via Barkly Street
This is the BEST brotherhood store. A great collection of furniture (my brown vinyl club lounge came from here 15 years ago and it’s still going strong) and clothing, especially formal wear! Whenever I need something ‘special’ – like the time I was looking for a very formal dress to complement a lions mane for a dress up party – I head here. Good priced bric-a-brac. I do miss the days when it was set up like a second hand shop, with everything mixed in together … you could get lost here for a whole afternoon.
Savers, 330 Sydney Road, just north of Glenlyon Road, Brunswick
Hard to go past Savers. Great for clothes, and particularly excellent for baby clothes and shoes. It has cheap furniture up the back and lots of bric-a-brac.
MOONEE PONDS AND ASCOT VALE
Brotherhood of St Laurence Op Shop, 24 Margaret Street, Moonee Ponds
This is a great store for clothes. What I like about the Brotherhood is that everything is a fixed price. So, you CAN get a bargain.
You can check out what I bought at this store here.
Vinnies, 115 Maribyrnong Road, Ascot Vale
This Vinnies is a pretty typical store. When I last went they were rennovating and so mainly had clothes and not much furniture.
All Saints Opportunity Shop, 215 Union Road, Ascot Vale
This might be the most organised op shop in the world. EVERYTHING has a place! There’s a tub for everything under the sun. It is a bit of a granny op shop. Lots of clothes from older folk! For those into granny stuff, and fun frocks and china this would be a great op shop for you! The prices are very reasonable.
Savers, Main Street Greensborough
Drop the kids and a supervising adult off at Watermark for some water slide action, and pop in to Savers Greensborough. You park in the same place for both. It has all the same stuff as Savers Brunswick. Great.
I went here for my birthday (there’s a recommendation …). You can check out what I bought here.
We go camping on the Mornington Peninsula each Christmas and I can’t tell you how much I look forward to the treasure trove of op shops that abound! It takes me the full 2 weeks to visit them all properly (and still fit in a few hours at each day on the beach). And then of course, there are all the great vintage shops as well …
GREAT OCEAN ROAD
Seaside Seconds, Anglesea
My sister-in-law has a holiday house at Airey’s Inlet, which we are lucky enough to use quite often and I have to tell you that visiting this op shop is the VERY FIRST THING I do when I go down there. I have bought 2 fab. car seats here. I bought my kids high chairs here. I bought a pram, a porta cot for friends also holidaying at Airey’s Inlet, and of course my copy of The Complete Asian Cookbook. I bought a skiffle board for my brother in law for our second hand Christmas. And some great bone linen beach pants, and loads of other clothes and books … and it’s excellent for magazines. And sunglasses. It is the biggest and busiest shop at Anglesea. With excellent coffee right next door … don’t miss out!
This is pretty good as well. Lots of nice clothes here. I bought Clive a great hoodie/furry lined zip up top here when he forgot to bring anything warm on holidays. Unfortunately there was a fire in the fish and chip shop 2 doors down a few months ago, and it is temporarily closed.
Lorne Community and Hospital Op Shop, Lorne
This is the only op shop I know of in Lorne. It is on the main street. I always visit, but don’t often buy much. It is always busy and fairly small, so maybe all the good stuff gets snapped up! I did buy a whole lot of tupperware lunchboxes for the kids once. And they always have nice hand knitted hats if you forget your hat on holiday (or if the beach is colder than you imagined it would be). And it is right near my favourite eating place at Lorne, Chopstix Noodle Bar which has GREAT salt and pepper squid, dumplings, dim sims and green tea …