We caught up with our retail team, who are involved with our 53 retail stores around New Zealand, selling quality used items. The team share their top tips for your perfect find at one of our shops, whether you’re looking for clothing, furniture, or household goods.

Top tips for the perfect op shop find

1. Take your time

Op shopping is not something you can rush, so allow plenty of time to browse through the racks and shelves of your local shop.

2. Find out when your local shop gets new stock

This is a sure-fire way of getting in first – talk to the friendly volunteers at your shop to discover what day new items arrive. Get along to your shop early, and get hunting.

3. Look for one-offs and unique items

Finding something unique for a bargain price is one of the best things about op shopping. We’ve found vintage dresses from the 1920s, shoes in all hues and sizes, and $3 stylish jackets.

4. Talk to shop volunteers about what you’re after

Have a chat to our volunteers about what you need. They might have an idea about which items are frequently donated, and if they’re not there that day, when you can pop back in another time.

5. Can it be upcycled?

Many items can look a bit tired, but with a lick of paint and some crafty ingenuity, can be turned into something completely different. Look out for furniture which can be re-upholstered. Household items like mirrors or paintings can be rejuvenated with a touch of paint on the frame and some sanding – to create a shabby chic item for your home. Pinterest is a great website for getting new ideas and keeping track of them.

Our most important tip for op shopping is … to have fun! When Australian fashion blogger Alex Van Os visited NZ recently, she checked out our Kilbirnie store:

Today I visited a local Wellington Red Cross Op Shop in New Zealand. I love how I can support different communities and countries while travelling just by shopping secondhand. As you can see- I'm super stoked!

Alex Van Os , Fashion blogger

Get along to your local Red Cross shop this week and put these tips into practice, while supporting vulnerable communities at home in New Zealand and overseas. Happy hunting – let us know what you find.

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