Originally published on Hussh.
This one is for hardcore bargain hunters, and those who aspire to be.
“Nice pants, where are they from?”
“Are you kidding me? How much were they?”
True story we’ll have you know. Situations like these are often the catalyst to one’s op shopping journey.
Some people are naturally born as bargain hunters. With others, it takes a little more work and discipline. Melbourne is a lush arena of opportunity and vintage shops– and they ought to be taken advantage of.
We will admit, sorting through vintage products takes its time. But to save you a bit of that time, we’ve wrapped up some of the best preloved goods stores Melbourne has to offer.
The Ashy, Ashburton
Stock at The Ashy is regularly replenished to flow with the seasons. Clothing is splendidly organised on freestanding racks and efficiently categorised. Look out for the monthly men’s garage sale (held on the first Friday of every month) and the Saturday yard sale where even more goodies are brought out. And, just to make you feel better about going on a spending frenzy at this place, know that the proceeds fund elderly people’s programs such as meals on wheels, daily respite care and social support activities.
285B High Street, Ashburton
Hunter Gatherer, CBD
Hunter Gatherer is well-known for its incredible curation of the Brotherhood of St Lawrence’s clothing donations. The finest items donated to the Brotherhood’s 27 Melbourne stores are transferred to Hunter Gatherer to offer an unparalleled collection of second-hand fashion. You’ll also find jewellery and upcycled hats made from vintage fabrics.
Royal Arcade, 335 Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne
Toorak Opportunity Shop, Toorak
We know. Toorak is the LAST place you’d expect to find an amazing op shop. This one’s here to prove all the skeptics wrong.
The Toorak Opportunity Shop hosts brands such as Country Road, Perri Cutten, Regatta and beyond, all priced just a smidgen over what you’d find them in other areas. So why are we recommending it then? The quality, care and preservation of these items is almost incomparable. You can pick up a seemingly untouched evening dress or men’s suit, for about $20 – $50.
1A Carters Avenue, Toorak
Sacred Heart Mission, Elsternwick and St Kilda East
These, are the golden nuggets of op shops. The immaculate window displays make vintage bargain hunters as excited as a child at the Myer Christmas windows. The sociable staff are renowned for setting up displays, made of clusters of second-hand goods, that put retailers’ visual merchandisers to shame. Filled with notably incredible leatherwear, shoes and dresses, these two are hard to beat on the op shop front.
1/486 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick
87 Grey Street, St Kilda
As an area, Collingwood is an idol when it comes to op shopping. We wouldn’t expect anything less from the suburb than to have one of Melbourne’s most monstrous op shops. With stock to please hipsters, grandmas and everyone in between, this op shop is a relieving one on Smith Street, which is otherwise made up of pricey vintage stores.
427 Smith St, Fitzroy
We don’t know whether it’s a Hampton thing, but this Vinnies is absolutely packed with oodles of designer clothes. The store is charming and clean, yet still overflowing with bargains. It’s a hard place to leave and sometimes harder remembering that it’s an actual op shop!
501 Hampton Street, Hampton
Leading Dandenong in the world of op shops, the Vinnies’ staff make you really excited to be in their store– friendly and enthusiastic about their stock. It’s tricky to walk out of this one with out picking up a few items, whether it be from the huge collection of crockery, or some adorable kids’ clothing.
119-123 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong
Parish Bargain Shop, Flemington
Racecourse Road holds this ripper of an op shop. Housed in a old Victorian building, visitors are treated to a miscellany of children’s clothing, linen, old games, wallets, books and more. If you’re not a fan of seriously foraging then this may not be the store for you. However if patience is your middle name, this store is definitely worth a visit. A little extra time looking may unveil some bargains hidden deep in the racks.
300 Racecourse Road, Flemington
Salvos, Doncaster East
Sure, this isn’t the cheapest of Salvos out there, but it’s wise to relocate here if a trip to Westfield has done your wallet some harm. The selection of goodies is endless, especially the broad range of crockery.
916C Doncaster Road, East Doncaster
Chapel St Bazaar, Prahran
Chapel St Bazaar is a proud frontrunner of Melbourne’s vintage fashion scene and does an honourable job of competing with Chapel Street’s abundance of retailers. The bazaar is broken up into individual compartments, filled with glassware, crockery, old telephones, lamps, dolls, record players, cameras– you name it! The jewellery is especially great here, too.
217 Chapel Street, Prahran