It's always been something that people have asked me about, but lately I've received an overwhelming amount of questions regarding op shopping. And that's one of the main reasons I started this website, to answer questions in one place, to save me replying to inbox messages/emails with the same info.
And just so you know, I'm not being a baby! Lol. Most days I receive anywhere from 80 - 120 inbox messages alone. That's not even factoring in emails/facebook messages.
I've chatted to other gals in know in Social Media land. One of them has around 200k followers, another 30k. And they don't receive anywhere near this amount. And here's little old me with just 17k followers, and I get soooo many inboxes! Which, I'm so happy about. I love that you guys reach out to me, or send a little comment back about my insta stories. It's great to make that connection, because even though I post quite frequently to instagram, I don't actually do much scrolling/viewing myself! When I have the time, I love to have a look, but I'm usually so busy working on my own things. So when someone reaches out to me, it's a great way for me to connect, and learn more about someone I may not already know much about. I've even got a few cyber friends! Girls that I've never met in real life, but we chat back and forth all the time. So please don't feel like you need to stop doing it! Sometimes though, they pile up. I'll either get back to you straight away, or days later, or sometimes I never get to the bottom of the pile, and they go unanswered. And I'm SO sorry for this! It honestly makes me feel awful :(
But between running 2 businesses, being a wife, a Mum to a crazy pup, and trying to fit in some time to breathe, lately I just don't have time to get on top of them. I feel like I've been chasing my tail for a couple of months now. I've just been so busy, and I'm trying to find balance again! I'm a gal who's used to a fair bit of recreational time, so this new adjustment has my head spinning. Which is probably why our trip to Hawaii fell through. Things are slipping through the cracks, because I'm just go, go, go! As the popularity of the website grows, I find my time slipping away, and I'm slowly but surely, trying to get it back.
So here I am, answering those FAQ's regarding op shopping (thrifting, as my American friends call it).
Let's start with the MOST ASKED QUESTION! (Ever, in the history of the universe)
1. Where do you go op shopping?
If I tell you that I'd have to kill you ;) Nahhhh just kidding! But in all seriousness, this question baffles me. All op shops are good! There's no such thing as a good one, or a bad one. It's luck of the draw. It's a right place at the right time kind of thing. I will tell you a little secret though, small towns are THE BEST. If you're going on a road trip, make time to stop and have a little look.
2. I can never find anything.
So many of my friends say this too. And we'll go op shopping together, and I'll let them have a look first (kind of a handicap head start ;) I've been doing this a long time, so I want to give them a fighting chance!). Most times they'll come out empty handed. I'll go and have a look, and I always come away with a handful of things. Generally, whoever I'm with will turn their nose up at most things I've collected, and maybe like just one thing. Fast forward to a couple of months later when they're at my house, and they compliment me on my new decor, and it's the same thing they turned their nose up at back when we were op shopping! It's all about styling the piece in the right way. And knowing what to look for. Which brings me to my next point...
3. Well, it's 'vintage' should I just buy it?
NO! Definitely not! That's a mistake I see getting made way too often. Just because it's old/vintage does not make it something worth buying. It could just be junk. 99% of things in op shops are junk! Stinky, yucky, junk! FYI, I actually hate op shops. They're smelly, and people always stand too close to me. Which brings me to another point.
4. Don't I have to rummage through things for hours to get something good?
Oh deary me, if this were true, I wouldn't own anything vintage! For people who know me that are reading this, (first of all, hiiiiii) they would attest to the fact that I would never rummage through anything. I don't care if there's a Spell kimono at the bottom of the pile. I'm not rummaging. I spend about 2-3 mins in an op shop. I do a quick scan, breeze in and breeze out. My friends say I've got some kind of radar or something, because I just seem to get items without even looking. Now sure, I've probably missed out on some great finds over the years. But if it involves me touching anything in an op shop, I'm going to just give it a miss, and call it a day. Oh, and those big fans that blow the germs and smell right on you. I avoid those like the plague! ;)
5. Are op shops cheap?
You can still get a bargain at most of them, but generally prices have gone up over the years. Some op shop volunteers will look prices up on eBay and list the item for that price, which to me is CRAZY! They're not antique dealers, they're op shops! I avoid those ones, they frustrate me, and defeat the purpose of treasure hunting at an op shop.
6. Should I barter?
That's totally up to you! I never do. I'd be so awkward. But more power to you if you can get a better price, it doesn't hurt to ask. I hear people doing it all the time.
7. Why doesn't my house look like yours when I decorate it with op shop scores?
Ohhhh this is one I get A LOT! Ok, so here's the thing. Most of my things aren't from the op shop. I'd say maybe an 80/20 ratio. (20% being from the op shop, maybe even less). Op shop finds are great, but I think if you overdo it, it can come off a bit crazy cat lady-ish. Some can pull it off, a rare few. But for me personally, I like to use vintage pieces mainly as accents. I invest in good quality new products as a base, and acquire vintage treasures along the way to mix in with new decor. And it's all about the way you style it. If you find yourself a new wicker hutch, and decide it should go out on the back deck, in front of a brick wall, beside the bar fridge and the pool table, then chances are it isn't going to look so hot ;)
8. Ooooh where did you get that _______? I want one just like it. Can you please let me know which op shop you found it at?
Ok, so here's another question I find a little confusing! Y'all know how op shops work right? Lol I'm being super cheeky right now ;) Just to be clear, let's say I pick up a vintage penny lane coat at an op shop, you can't actually go in the next day and say, I'll have one of those vintage penny lane coat's and be on my way please! It doesn't work like that I'm afraid... Actually your chances of getting something like that at the same op shop just decreased!
9. What are your favourite op shop finds lately?
At the moment I'm loving pottery, vintage paintings, rugs, tan leather handbags and wallets, copper anything (as always), vintage coats and jumpers, vintage hats (especially straw hats/akubra's) and anything cane/wicker.
Anyway, those are my hot tips for op shopping/thrifting! I hope that helps, and answers most of your questions. And if you do venture out looking for treasures, save some for me!