Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Opping out of Shopping

One of my sisters loves to shop. She likes shopping so much that before Christmas we could give her our 'to get' list and she'd find the best price for whatever we had on it. She could shop everyone else I know under the bargain table.

I don't like shopping, really -  I'd rather go to the dentist than buy shoes.

Op shopping is different though.

The pressure is off. There's a sense of (usually) abandon - 'this soiled, two sizes too big for me dress is such a bargain at 50c that it doesn't matter if I leave it in the closet for 2 years and then chuck it!'

Although it's a little off putting when you do finally give it up and find it back on the rack in the local Vinnies the next day.

You can mostly be sure that what you buy at op is a one of a kind. Except those netball t-shirts with 'Tamarillo Tigers' emblazoned on the front...

The slinky floral sundress that you know you'll be the only one wearing tonight at that party? - may have been worn once before by someone else at that party. And the cost of dyeing so the item is unrecognizable just cuts out the discount you gained by shopping in op.

There's a definite technique to op shopping that has taken me a few years to master. Here's a few pointers to save you time.

1. Go out without a list or preconceived ideas of what you want eg I was looking for a pair of shorts for yoga once and came home with two gorgeous old directors chairs...

2. Be generous of intent - be open to finding something for someone you know (but don't blame me if they don't like it).

3. Don't waste time stuck in indecision. Walk in and look at everything really quickly. If an item is good then you'll know straight away and you'll know who it's for.

4. This is important. Don't buy something you're not sure of. Like the too big dress it will plague you and every time you open the closet door it will scream at you...

I was sure of the chairs. Especially when I noticed the hungry look on the face of another op competitor. She even spoke to me about her loss -.

'Oh ... I didn't see those, they're great...'

I tried to control the gloating smile as I put them in the car and wonder what I'll wear to yoga the next day.



  1. No idea what "op" is, but we used to have a store here called "buy the pound" where you paid a quarter a pound for whatever they had. It was awesome.

    I mean, yes, there was an awful lot of crap, but this one time, I got a beautiful cranberry double breasted wool coat that was fitted at the waist, then flowed in an a-line down to my calves -- for $8.

    It was so beautiful, and I have no idea where it ended up. I'm a little sad now.

    1. Oh dear, of course you guys not in Oz won't know the term 'Op shop'! Silly me. Op is short for Opportunity which actually means 'other peoples unfashionable clothes they don't want anymore' and are usually charity run by churches.


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