Tips and tricks to thrift-shop like a boss


Follow these helpful hints when op-shopping to boost your wardrobe for a bargain.

Young woman shopping for second-hand clothes.

Are you looking for a wardrobe upgrade but left with minimal funds after splurging on brekky with your best friends, your new phone plan and next semester’s textbooks?

Thrift shopping is your solution!

Shopping second-hand is not only good for your wallet but is also good for the environment.

Adhering to the ‘reuse’ in the 'reduce, reuse and recycle' initiative, thrift shopping works against fast fashion to practice more sustainable shopping.

When it comes to op-shopping, Queenslanders have plenty of opportunity to find the coolest vintage jackets, cutest dresses and comfiest second-hand hoodies.

We’ve done the homework on all things relating to second-hand stores so all you need to do is dig out your piggy bank and follow our tips to make your next thrift shop adventure a true success.

Have a plan

Understand your style and what pieces you are looking for before you start shopping. Prepare yourself with some inspiration pictures that match your style and use these as references when you find cool pieces in store. Apps like Pinterest and Instagram are perfect for colour palettes and cool outfit ideas.

Dress for the adventure

Of course, it is always best to try before you buy, especially with second-hand clothing, to ensure it fits right and you feel good. Many local second-hand stores do not have change rooms and, if they do, they are quite small and cramped. This can make trying on clothes a challenge. Wearing tight-fitting clothing that other pieces can be slipped over will make for quick and easy try-ons without the waiting lines and cramped spaces.

Take your time

Some of the best second-hand shop finds are discovered by deep diving into piles of vintage fashion. Don’t restrict your time, instead, take it section by section with your style and inspiration in mind for your best chance at success. Make sure to take the time to check each piece of clothing for stains, rips or pilling to ensure you are still buying well-looked after pieces. Sometimes, the most stylish top you’ve seen may have a missing button or broken strap, ask yourself whether it is repairable before snapping it up.

Where to shop

For Brisbane residents, or visitors, these are some of our favourite op-shops, where we have found mega bargains and walked away with big smiles on our faces.

Studio Thrifty 4, Bowen Hills

This one-of-a-kind thrift shop is small but full of great finds. Their chosen charity to support is a homeless charity, Pay A Sack Forward – making a difference in our community while boosting your sense of style. The biggest perk of this second-hand store is that all pieces, no matter the label, are $5 or under, If you are truly lucky, you’ll visit on a rare fill-a-bag for $5 day. Donations are accepted directly in-store so, drop a bag off after your next wardrobe cleanout and help fight fast fashion.

Salvos Store, Newstead

We love this store for its overflow of labels and a wide variety of clothing. The very front of the store is often where the best designer finds are, however, a good dig through further into the store will uncover some real gems.

Yesterday’s Thrift Shop, Rosalie

With packed racks, a cheeky $2 bargain section and fill-a-bag for $4 on Sundays, Yesterday’s is ideal for a good find. Some great labels in very good condition are often found so you can keep up with the trends on a budget.

Do your bit for a sustainable future and spend your weekend digging through second-hand treasures and following these top tips and you’ll be flaunting your new favourite outfit ASAP, courtesy of your local second-hand store.

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.