Melbourne has more op-shops than you can poke a second-hand, heavily discounted stick at. If only you knew of some sort of regular and dedicated op-shopper person that could give you the skinny on the best ones- oh, hello! Here’s a few of my favourite op-shops- you can also utilise this excellent site to locate op-shops by area. But listen to me first.
Brotherhood of St Laurence
Royal Arcade Basement (off Bourke Street Mall)
Brotherhood stores always have a good range and decent prices. There’s so few op shops in the CBD (a shame!) but this one is brimming with great finds, albeit in a rather small space. Brotherhood shops tend to have set prices across clothing types (all skirts one price, etc.) and a more modern range than some of the older op-shops of the suburbs.
Melbourne Pet Rescue Superstore
17-21 David Street, Brunswick
Located on a side street behind Savers- one of Brunswick’s more well-known second-hand stores- is the newly-opened Pet Rescue Superstore. The massive shop boasts two levels and stacks of new and used goodies, all in aid of Forever Friends Animal Rescue. The shop has a lot of unused clothing, accessories and shoes (possibly donated from retail outlets) as well as standard op-shop fare, like vintage furniture, knick-knacks and a whole floor of books. It’s animal-friendly (of course) so you can take your doggo in, and you’ll get a 20% off card if you bring in some donations!
Don Bosco Opportunity Shop
711 Sydney Road, Brunswick
You could easily miss this little gem. Indeed, it’s hard to find on a map, even, since there’s another Don Bosco op shop just down the road, also in Brunswick. Attached to the Don Bosco Youth Centre and Hostel, the wee store maintains old-school pricing (indeed, I’ve come across “$1 clothing” sales here many a day) and benefits from the older local donators, so you’ll find stacks of antique and vintage oddities. The store is mostly clothing, with several shelves dedicated to books, CDs, shoes and those miscellaneous items that op-shops are renowned for.
Sacred Heart Mission
87a Grey Street, St Kilda
As well as being a primo op-shop, Sacred Heart in St Kilda also has a beautiful interior and a regular $1 book sale, a fine boon for us nerds. It also keeps a designated rack for designer wear, all at great prices. I would advise heading down with a bigger car in case you feel like snapping up some of the super cheap furniture they regularly keep out front- who can resist?
Boroondara Central Lions Op Shop
1350C Toorak Road, Camberwell
A classic op-shop if there ever was one: cheap prices- especially considering the area- curious oddities and friendly staff. I once found the most divine vintage boots here, just as I was about to leave empty-handed- clearly a good omen.
33 Albert St, Footscray
The Northside bargain-hunters have normally already gotten to the real good shit at Brunswick Savers by the time any of us mere mortals get there, but the one in Footscray keeps a steady, decent supply in its massive shop. Located not far from the station, Savers Footscray will have anything you might hope to find (I went there once with the expressed purpose of finding a dark green sleeping bag and, lo and behold…) and then some. Good for furniture, art and costume hunters.
Image source: Sacred Heart Mission and Brotherhood of St Laurence