The best op shops in Melbourne

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The best op shops in Melbourne

best op shops melbourne

We've op-shopped around the city to create this master list of the best op shops in Melbourne.

The Op Shop, Christ Church

The front-half of The Op Shop was occupied by an endless supply of everything glitz and glam in female-wear, hung along the walls and on little clothes horse islands. Its colour and subsequent allure even had me flicking through the hangers. Venturing into the back-half, I was bequeathed with what was the greatest hat selection I have seen to this day. They would’ve had to sift through at least three of four annual hard-rubbish days to find a basket this big. It wasn’t a selection short on quality either – I bought four hats for $8 that day and could’ve bought more. Since then, this op-shop has become my local. Maybe it will become yours too?

Find The Op Shop, Christ Church at 10 Glenlyon Road, Brunswick.

Toorak Opportunity Shop

Often the best bargains will be gathered in the most haphazard circumstances – you read the PTV app wrong and got on the 3pm tram instead of the 3.15pm trip. Maybe awkward silence crept into your coffee date earlier than expected and all you want to do is get the hell out of there. So you do but you’re left stranded between afternoon activities. Many op-shoppers have been faced with similar predicaments, nevertheless, this Toorak Op Shop is the ideal antidote to that ‘one step forward, turn-around, where am I going’ state-of-mind. It’s with great variability that you might stumble on a tux, cricket kit or corduroy cap. This oppo is here to spice up your life with surprise and yes it’s hidden so get out your magnifying glass.

Find Toorak Opportunity Shop at 1A Carters Road, Toorak.

Brotherhood of St. Laurence (Brunswick)

Op shop satisfaction does not just stem from finding the perfect winter warmer but rather the contribution to the overarching cause. The Brotherhood of St. Laurence is an institution doing wonderful things for those in poverty throughout Melbourne. The money raised from its op shop goes towards helping the most vulnerable groups, whether it be early-school leavers, the homeless or unemployed. Initially oblivious of the cause upon entry, the welcoming volunteers fleetingly educated me through my first steps. I trolleyed out of there with a floral couch for only $5 but it didn’t stop there. At least another 50 sofas sat beside along with drawers, mirrors and industrial floor lamps.

Find Brotherhood of St. Laurence at 109 Brunswick Road, Brunswick.


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St George’s Anglican Church

The best op shops are often open at the most inopportune times. Such is the case for East Ivanhoe’s St George’s Opportunity Shop, which houses the best antiques and china. Hosting a Downton Abbey-esque high tea this weekend? St George’s can sufficiently cater. Open sparingly from Wednesday to Saturday, bookworms can seek the missing pieces to their Matthew Reilly monopoly while a poor-man’s businessperson can frolic in the collars of East Ivanhoe’s forgotten shirts.

Find St George’s Anglican Church at Warncliffe Road, Ivanhoe East.

Vinnies (Sydney Road)

Throughout the investigation phase of compiling this list, I made a criteria of the op shop ‘must-haves’ – books, CDs, records, fabric, china/antique crockery, glassware, kids games/books, furniture and clothing are all required components of the quintessential op-shop. Vinnies on Sydney Road ticked all nine of those criteria, all in one well-organised compact store. It’s barely a quarter of the size of Savers and while it doesn’t excel in any of those areas in particular, each variable offers an admirable collection.

Find Vinnies at 107 Sydney Road, Brunswick.

Nicholson Street Salvos

After settling on a purple-furred ranchers coat, a hasty rival shopper departs Nicholson Street’s Salvos in pursuit of an ATM which can only be referred to as an op shop ‘rookies mistake’. He forgets to ask the shop assistant to put it on hold (another error) and as opportunistic as opportunistic comes, I pounce in for the acquisition. The Nicholson Street Salvos has been known to accommodate a warm selection of male and female jackets (unisex to a thrifter) and a cheeky half-price clothing stand as well. The staff love sharing their advice, and they’d be happy to hold onto your garments while you rush off to the ATM.

Find Salvos at 747 Nicholson Street, Carlton.

Savers (Brunswick)

I argued with myself over whether to regard Savers as an opportunity provider or not. The prices aren’t traditional op-shop prices, which doesn’t suffice for those who are dependent – but no one can question its profuse selection. You are awe-struck by the clothing selection upon entry and Savers also serves as a great treasure chest for second-hand homewares. In the back left corner, there is everything from standing oil heaters to ironing boards to washing machines and even skateboards. You can’t depend on everything working, but you can certainly depend on a bargain or two.

Find Savers at 330 Sydney Road, Brunswick.

All Saints Anglican Church (Barwon Heads)

Tucked away in Barwon Heads, All Saints Anglican Church is a little out of the way but given its copious array, it necessitates a mention. It’s the most prolific opportunity shop (sans Savers) I have been privileged enough to visit, with the interior of one church not large enough to house its selection. Clothes spill out into a ramshackle back shed in an effort by the staff to contain the influx. They can’t get rid of the opportunities fast enough, which consents to dirt-cheap prices. You can buy an entirely new wardrobe for under $15 if you’re prepared to set aside two hours of endless exploration.

Find All Saints Anglican Church at 61 Hitchcock Avenue, Barwon Heads.

Want more second-hand goodies? Check out our guide to regional Victoria’s best vintage shops