The reasons people buy from Op shops are as varied as people themselves. It’s important to consider the reasons people DONATE to op shops as much as it is important to think about why people BUY from Op shops.
Some people specifically choose the op shop they support depending on the charity it’s attached to. Many people want to specifically donate their goods to Hospice because they’ve had a loved one who has been cared for by Hospice staff before they passed away and want to be intentional in their donations, some people have been involved in Hospice fundraising events in the past and want to continue their support through donations. For others, it’s because they don’t like that top anymore, or those shoes are a bit too tight to wear, but they’re still in good condition. Maybe, they’ve redecorated their bedroom and those curtains and duvet cover don’t match the new colour scheme. After saving up to buy a new lounge suite, the old one, that is still comfortable and still has a lot of life left in it, is better off being donated to charity instead of collecting dust in the garage.
Or maybe, after reading the latest series of books, shelf space is needed in the bookshelf for the next popular author’s literature.
Generally, donations to our Hospice shop are good quality and still have plenty of use left in them.
So why do people BUY from op shops/secondhand shops?
Budget – People associate Op shops with getting a bargain. Why buy something new, when you can buy something similar, if not better, at an op shop for a fraction of the cost of buying it new.
Sometimes, clothing in an op shop still has the price tags on it from the shop it was bought at. Then you know you’re really getting a bargain.
Furniture is a fraction of the cost at an op shop than at a furniture shop. And if you’re looking for vintage, op shops usually have a good range of good quality, vintage furniture.
Ethical and environmentally friendly – For people who are worried about where and how their clothes are made, op shopping takes the risk out of shopping for environmentally/ethically conscious people.
Most towns have more than one op shop, the stock stored at and sold through these op shops have most likely been diverted from ending up in the landfill. Clothing, shoes, furniture and electrical goods all get a second chance at life.
Supports charity – The majority of op shops in New Zealand are run by charities. They sell the donated goods in order to help the charities carry out their vital work within their community. Usually, the money raised in the shop stays within the community, creating a cycle of good deeds and bargains.
Alternative options – Maybe you’re not into the latest fashion or you just want to be able to express yourself through your clothing, but you’re taste in clothing isn’t easily bought in a chain store. Op shops receive a huge variety of clothing, something that was in style last season or 20 years ago. So, no matter what your style is, you’re sure to find something you’ll like in an op shop.
If that dress is still in good condition after 20 years, it must be pretty good quality!
The same can be said for furniture, how many times have you said to yourself ‘they don’t make them like they used to’, vintage furniture can be better quality and made with better craftmanship than some of the furniture available to buy today, as nowadays we live in a throwaway society.
Allows people to be creative – Maybe you want to try your hand at upholstery, or make yourself a skirt, or maybe you just want to dismantle that DVD player or radio to show some children how they work. Whatever the project you have in mind, you can buy your materials for a fraction of the cost in the op shop. Buying at a lower price takes the risk out of it, maybe the homemade skirt won’t fit, or maybe it will! Once you’ve taken the fabric off that chair you find it’s not worth upcycling or maybe the new fabric you bought will make the chair look brand new! The ability to help children understand how something works is priceless anyway.
It’s fun – Do you think of op shopping as a sport? Have you ever planned a day of op shopping in a different town with your friends? If the answer is YES, then you know how much fun op shopping is. The thrill of the hunt to find that designer item, or the pair of shoes with the price tag still on that fits you perfectly, or that wool blanket for the cold winter’s night. Once you find what you’re looking for you feel so good BUT then you go to pay for it and your sense of accomplishment is magnified when you realise how much of a bargain you just got, not to mention the fact that you’ve put money directly into the pocket of a charity that does amazing work in the community.
So whether you’re donating or shopping, Hospice EBOP is grateful for your support.