Op shops

I live in a country town with 6 op shops, they have all got quite expensive, 2 in particular look up ebay and put expensive prices on items that are donated, the same 2 have paid managers and have to reach their monthly budgets, hence high prices. Some of the stuff sits for weeks, isn't it better to have a quick turn over.
One shop has put up fence to stop weekend donations ( they only want stuff donated in shop hours) they still get heaps of donations and the council collects it all (as it is on the footpath), and it all goes to the tip....
Out of the 6 op shops only 2 of the 6 keep the money in the town, all the rest goes to head office, I think all moneys collected from op shops should be kept in the town, and help the locals???????????????????

Last reply: 9th Aug 2017 / 30 replies / Post by bigred

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Posted by: Nona
Posted: 15th Mar 2012

Nona says: Hi bigred
Ideally that is the case, that op-shops revenue has to stay in the town and help the local people. In reality however, there are so many op shops belonging to big charity organisations hence profits are being directed to the head office where management decides how best to spend these funds back to welfare assistance and it may not be the same locality where they operate. To avoid this, some op shops remain small and decides to help only the people in the locality where they get their donations.
I am surrounded by about 5 op shops where I live and see this happening. Their prices are also very different and some of them have high stock turnover while the small shops stock remain unsold for ages, until they have their specials and drop the prices incredulously. Reply


Posted by: Jeska
Posted: 20th Mar 2012

Jeska says: i love going op shopping, its like treasure hunting you never know what you'll find.
i also find the majority of them are over priced but i know of one (out if 32 in town) that has reasonable prices and the nicest volunteers working there.
in the more expensive shops i find you can get brand new items for the same price they are charging


Posted by: KJ
Posted: 21st Mar 2012

KJ says: I am forever going into op shops and buying things. I think they are brilliant but do think that the money should be kept in the area. We have 5 or 6 here even though it is a very small town and are all reasonably priced. I got an amazing white dress from one for only $6 which I have had for 3 years now. The shoes though I think are over-priced as most of them are painful to wear or broken and priced 20-30 dollars, people don't want to buy shoes that hurt their feet at this price? And I think they are great place to shop for costume parties aswel :) Reply


Posted by: eahgoth
Posted: 18th Oct 2012

eahgoth says: i love op shopping its cheap if u live off centrelink money or just cant afford it i love op shops Reply


Posted by: dolphin
Posted: 25th Oct 2012

dolphin says: I live in Katoomba (NSW) and have 5 op shops in town. One of them has now reinvented itself and is now a proper shop and the prices are quite reasonable, but they sometimes cant compete with big shops eg Kmart.It's really unfair that they put up a fence but surely people can just as easily drop in donations during the week as the weekend?
There are special vouchers for locals for beds and clothes but you must meet certain requiremnets for them.
Altogether though we as an area do well with charities up here as we also have family support services and neighbourhood centres which help too. Reply


Posted by: chickclaire
Posted: 13th Apr 2013

dolphin says: I live in Katoomba (NSW) and have 5 op shops in town. One of them has now reinvented itself and is now a proper shop and the prices are quite reasonable, but they sometimes cant compete with big...

chickclaire says: I have 2 recommendations for the Neighbourhood Centre in Katoomba, apparently it is a special place. Some time ago when I was looking after a friend I came across a couple of people who suggested women's services through Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre. Some neighbouhood centres specialize in domestic violence and other in counselling. That brings me to the topic of Op Shopping, which I agree is essential in a small NSW town. There are specialized Op Shops for e.g. Salvos where you can find a range of Items. It depends on the cultural make up of the town whether the Op Shop will sell the kinds of things I'm interested in.


Posted by: LizzyC
Posted: 26th Jun 2013

LizzyC says: Unfortunately op-shopping has become a hobby for the not so needy. In Sydney's Northern Beaches, the "wealthier" the suburb, the higher the prices.
As for the dumping, it costs charities money to dump the useless donations at the tip, no wonder they have put up a fence.
I'm just wondering if charities need to change the way they operate, if people on benefits get given first choice on certain days of the week. Reply


Posted by: Eugine
Posted: 23rd Oct 2013

LizzyC says: Unfortunately op-shopping has become a hobby for the not so needy. In Sydney's Northern Beaches, the "wealthier" the suburb, the higher the prices.
As for the dumping, it costs charities...

Eugine says: I thought the idea of Op shops was to make money to help those in need. eg Lifeline so why does it matter who actually buys the items?Perhaps the wealthier the suburb the more expensive the items were new so are still a good buy for quality. Another reason why the goods cannot be left at the store when closed is that people rifle through the goods taking what they want and leaving the rest strewn across the footpath. We have seen this ourselves. With the bins, idiots were pitting rubbish in them making the goods useless. Reply


Posted by: Kessa1959
Posted: 2nd Jul 2013

Kessa1959 says: I used to love browsing op shops, looking out for items which I could renovate or alter but find that nowadays it's cheaper to buy new items from dollar shops and alter them. All the op shops near us charge high prices and I wonder how those on tight budgets manage. I have also heard of the workers picking through the donations and keeping the better items for themselves.
I now shop at the trash & treasure markets at the council dump sites. Reply


Posted by: anie
Posted: 22nd Jan 2014

anie says: op shops have to bring a profit Kmart and managers specials are much cheaper I offered unused baby clothes to local Op shop and was told we do not require such junk These clothes were all brands one item alone was still tagged at $65 dollars what do they want Reply


Posted by: lefroy
Posted: 1st Jun 2014

lefroy says: I remember the days when you could take your clothes that didnt fit you or your family and swap them for clothing that did today i beleive the whole reason for the op shops has been lost along the way and i do agree they are getting very dear to shop at i went into a salvo shop and was shocked to see that 70% of their tops were over $20 the poor can not afford to shop at the op shops anymore. Reply


Posted by: summer
Posted: 10th Sep 2014

summer says: The area I live in my local op shop in my opinion is a disgrace. I took some books there a few weeks ago and before the girl opened the bag, said quote " we don't want any books unless they are in perfect condition", also I told her I had about 6 bags of clothing in the car, and was told again " didn't you see the notice on the front of the shop that we pick up - we don't have the room here for all that stuff" ( the store is quite large and the sorting room is huge). Their prices are getting so expensive, in fact some t-shirts they were selling our local Kmart had similar for same price. They are not I feel a charity store any more, they have become greedy, picky, selective in what they accept. I realize some people think they are a place to dump things but on the whole most people are generous when they can be. Suffice to say, I picked my books walked out went to the MS charity store near my sisters house, they took everything, asked no questions, thanked me profusely with a lovely smile. Guess where I will be taking stuff next time Reply


Posted by: dollymay
Posted: 5th Feb 2015

dollymay says: Hi bigred. One of the op shops about 1 hour away from me is the best one i have ever been to. They have a very high turn over of goods. Every tuesday and thursday they have everything in the shopfor $1 each. Its great. Things dont stay for long. nothing gets stale. And this is also helping the poor people get stuff as well. Reply

Posted by: Anonymous
Posted: 26th May 2017

says: I would prefer to see where the money is going. What it is paying for. Reply


Posted by: James30799515
Posted: 13th Jun 2017

James30799515 says: I agree with you. Op shops have very little over heads so I would also like to see where the money is going. They also seem to be very picky about what they will collect i think they should be grateful that people are donating. Reply


Posted by: helen30692411
Posted: 20th Jun 2017

helen30692411 says: In our town, we have a lot of op shops too. I work on one of these. Yes, the income we take is centralised in a sister city. We have another office who looks after welfare and people who want help paying their electricity bills, and to feed their families, come into these offices and are helped, this finance comes from the sister city who manages the finances. People also are helped with meals, can come into our shop and be given clothing for their families. That is what the shops income is being used for.
Yes, our donations do get excessive especially at holiday times when every family cleans their house out. Its ironic, that we say we want to offer clothing that is clean and in good condition, but some of the items seem to have been stored in a barn, and have never been washed and we are expected to make them presentable. Would open up a lot of peoples eyes if everyone volunteered in an op shop once in a while to understand how they work. We do take everything that is offered, and if we can't use them we donate them to another op shop who can use them. eg. some shops can take electrical items and some can't.
The fence thing is interesting, have never heard of that. Our bins are unable to be fenced so if it doesn't fit, it just gets left.....we have signs on bins that say we can't take mattresses and furniture etc. but no one reads that, and they're left anyway, so we have to dispose of them via skip bins, which are expensive too. Reply


Posted by: Jezemeg8
Posted: 3rd Aug 2017

Jezemeg8 says: Unfortunately Op Shops are the way that many charities raise sufficient funds to help those in need, and as the Government has decreased the amount they support local charities, and the number of people in need in this country has risen, Op Shops have had to increase their prices in an effort to maintain their funds to help the disadvantaged.


Posted by: AnneS
Posted: 3rd Aug 2017

AnneS says: The good thing about op shops is that they are staffed by volunteers and they are giving back their profits to charities and community organizations. Reply


Posted by: Helen
Posted: 3rd Aug 2017

Helen says: I volunteer at a Hospice Opp shop, there is a paid manager, the rent of the building, power etc before any profit can be made. People donate not to get rid of their junk but to be able to donate goods rather than money. The shop has $1 t shirts, cheap kitchen wear most clothes under $10 but also new or near new items at higher prices. Antiques at prices that have been checked. All the money stays in the province. The reason that no donations are left out side is because the shops only take good used clothes not dirty or rags because the shops have to pay & take them to the rubbish dump Reply


Posted by: marktime
Posted: 3rd Aug 2017

marktime says: I am on the fence on this one yes charities have moved closer to being a business but so much red tape etc you need paid qualified staff.
Stuff left in the in the elements is usually ruined and cost council dumping fees eating into funds that could go back via welfare. Reply


Posted by: Nefertari
Posted: 3rd Aug 2017

Nefertari says: I love shopping at Op shops as you never know just what little treasure you might find. What some people throw out might be just what someone else is looking for. I have to say though that I think the prices are getting a bit steep just like in charity shops. Clothes and other goods that are no longer wanted are donated to these places for the needy so it does seem unfair that Op shops and charity shops should be allowed to raise their prices Reply


Posted by: musicmum
Posted: 3rd Aug 2017

musicmum says: Op shops are not like they used to be. I shopped for years in them as a single mum. I could get all the clothes I needed for my son and I, books and other household items very cheap, it made all the difference to my life. I gave up a few years ago when new managements started, prices went up and I found I could by new for cheaper than the op shops. Why pay $5 for a tshirt for example when you can go to Target, Kmart and Best and Less and get them new!. Our local one always has sales on school holidays which is unfair as we are a beach town and all the tourists come in and by the bargains, another reason I stopped going. Op shops used to be for the poor but now more for middle class trying to save some money. And who knows where the money goes, I don't know whether any of it gets spent locally. Reply


Posted by: pebbles
Posted: 3rd Aug 2017

pebbles says: i give up on op shops , they never have anything in my size and then they charge too much for used clothing i can sometimes go to a store and buy new for a few dollars more even after loosing alot of weight 4 dress sizes over the last 6 months i have just bought belts for the pants , and then also i love the baggy tee look i never throw anything away , it will comeback into fashion , i have clothes i wore 30 years ago in my wardrobe , and i intend to wear them by next year 2 sizes to go , once i have made my goal i may find some things i like in op shops , my daughter filled hers with almost new size 8 at a vinnies some had the tags still on , i had a friend who volunteered for one opshop and said some of the women pick alot of the really good stuff before it makes it to the shop floor .


Posted by: mausy
Posted: 4th Aug 2017

mausy says: Agree, some have become quite expensive, cheaper to buy new items from department stores.. and all money should go back to charity, helping those in need.. I love op shopping and finding a bargain, I volunteer often at Vinnies op shop, feels good to help, great people, often a bargain, seems fair and trustworthy.. Reply


Posted by: bj
Posted: 4th Aug 2017

bj says: Wow, a fence. You say its to keep stuff from being donated over weekend. It maybe to stop people raiding it . We have 2 op shops in our small town, one is friendly with prices and staff.. The other well they think buyers are subhuman Reply


Posted by: graeme
Posted: 4th Aug 2017

graeme says: I visit Op shops when I can, and search for novels. I believe they are a great place for people with little money to often get clothes that they would never be able to afford. Reply


Posted by: Tina1947
Posted: 4th Aug 2017

Tina1947 says: I know what you mean, I think some op shops think they are competing with David Jones LOL I personally love to op shop you find some really beautiful things that would just never be available in the retail stores, I personally find the church run charity shops to be very well priced and staffed by lovely volunteers.

In your town I would just avoid the ones that take their profits out of town and use the couple of local based one's

Happy shopping!!! Reply


Posted by: Bigfoot
Posted: 5th Aug 2017

Bigfoot says: I agree, some op shops mark the prices much too high, in particular the Salvo shops. Small profit big turnover is the rule. I love books and to see them charged at $3 or $4 is way too much. Reply


Posted by: V
Posted: 5th Aug 2017

V says: yes I agree, they are getting overpriced but the old 'supply and demand' and greed of course has pushed up the prices. Ebay I believe is to blame for the price increases as people scourer op shops for items to resell for profit on ebay, I know a few people that do it. What I would love to know is what are charities doing with all the money they raise? Also I have heard the volunteers at these op shops get first pick at all the good stuff and take it. Reply


Posted by: linnyj
Posted: 9th Aug 2017

linnyj says: My friends and I think op shops are great and often go on op shop crawls. At Christmas the criteria for secret Santa was it had to be purchased from an op shop. We all had a lot of fun. Reply

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