op shops a rip off?

Op shopping has been a hobby of mine for a few years now.  i recently visited two op shops that i’d never visited before, and i was astounded by some of their prices.  If i can buy a new coffee mug at Spotlight for $1.99 why would i op shop it when the op shop charge $2 for a similar mug?  Why would i buy a pre-loved t-shirt for $5ish when i can get a brand new t-shirt in the colour i choose from Cocolatte, Supre, K-mart or Best and Less for $5? Preloved, slightly scratched picture frames often start at $5.  Shoes slightly worn from $5 (often more) also.  And i could keep on posting examples… The most extreme i’ve seen was vintage Little Golden Books (LGB) priced at $17 each!!! Truely?  Yes i know some LGB’s are a similar price on ebay, but when i went back to the same shop in 4 weeks time the stack of over-priced LBG’s was still all there.  Considering how stuffed the shelves and floor was, surely stock needs to be moved in a  timely way?   Considering everything is donated why do they charge so much, considering they are 1) are raising money to help people in financial disadvantage or support worthwhile causes 2) selling second-hand stuff to the financially disadvantaged cheaply to help them out?

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Have  i found great things at op shops? Absolutely!  Have i found some rock bottom bargains at op shops? yes!  Still, questions remain.

Are Op shops simply out of touch with the price of brand new gear?

Are they so desperate for funds to simply pay their rent that they over price just to get by?

What is the way to balance making a profit and moving stuff quickly?

I’d love your op shop thoughts and experiences.  Bottom line for me is that i buy stuff from op shops not just to save money but as an ethical statement against factories that mass produce stock, underpay their staff who work in miserable conditions.  I also buy things at op shops knowing that the profits go to a great charitable cause.  I just won’t be pulling out my purse to pay for overpriced goods!

4 thoughts on “op shops a rip off?

  1. Ruth says:

    Usually I can get a better quality shirt that is going to last longer for $5 at an opshop than I can in a chain store. Cheap children’s clothes usually fall apart after 2 washes or so, but a brand name shirt for $5 on it’s second or third child – that’s a bargain.

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