by Oscar Francis

Getting into opshopping can be a great move to get you looking fresh and unique, without breaking the bank. Save the planet, and your wallet, with these handy tips:

1) Find out when your favorite opshop refreshes their stock
Finding out when your favorite opshop puts new items on the shelves is a great way to score the best possible finds. While lots of places have a fairly steady rotation of items, some shops only put new stuff out once a week, on a specific day. It doesn’t hurt to ask about it.

2) Be nice to the people behind the counter
Be kind to the people behind the counter. They’ll be your biggest ally when it comes to sussing the real scores. Don’t be afraid to ask them what they think of an outfit, or how their day is going. Just a little bit of small talk can go a long way.

3) Don’t just use google, be prepared to ask around
Lots of the best opshops are small operations with little social media presence, and a zero dollar marketing budget. So the best way to find out about them is by word of mouth. Don’t be afraid to ask around for the best spots to score a bargain!

4) Go off the beaten track
Searching off the beaten track is a great way to find a bargain. The closer an opshop is to a major population center, the more picked over its contents are likely to be. There’s a reason some of the best opshops in the country are in Westport!

5) Focus on quality
This one is a real super saver’s skill. Learn to shop for quality when you buy second hand. The nice thing about thrifting is that most of the best finds are built to last, by dint of the fact that they’ve stuck around long enough to make it to the present. Leave the fast fashion on the racks (and in your online shopping cart), and buy the stuff that’s built to last.

6) Bring a friend
Opshopping with a friend or two is a great social activity. Try bringing a pal along for comparing fits, or taking photos of outfits you’re not quite ready to commit shelling out on for Instagram.

7) Sewing and modifying
You can make your opshop experience even more worthwhile by acquiring some basic modification/repair skills. Otherwise perfect items with torn pockets or linings will take all of five minutes to repair once you get the hang of it. These smart skills will literally save you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the long run. Likewise, learning how to clean small spot stains is relatively easy and cheap, and will pay big dividends.

8) Learn about brands, cut, and cloth
If you know what to look for in terms of branding and model, you can sometimes find quite good bargains on items that are sought after for their vintage appeal. You can resell these for a bit of extra coin, or give them away to a friend who might suit them. So don’t worry if not every nice item you find fits you!

9) Persevere
Look, not every opshopping expedition is going to be a success. Sometimes you’ll decide to pass on an item and find yourself staying up for days thinking about how you should have gotten it. Don’t give up. The more you flex your opshopping muscles, the better your intuition will get, and the swankier your wardrobe will be too.

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