Which World City Would Be Your Thrift Shop Dream Location?

Monday, October 7, 2013

When I initially moved to Melbourne from Greater London almost a decade ago, I pined for the British Charity Shops that I'd grown to love over the years. The familiar little stores which raise money for charities such as Oxfam, British Heart Foundation, Scope, Sue Ryder, Salvation Army and more. Pound and penny price tags, and volunteers discussing the way of the world, often with a proper cup of tea and a biscuit in hand (no lie).

:: My Mother's Local Charity Shops (more here) ::

I knew thrifty shops existed in Melbourne, going by the alternative Australian name 'Opportunity Shop', shortened to the beloved 'Op Shop' that I've become oh-so familiar with over the years. Initiating into a new country took time, and that meant forgoing trips to the Op Shop when other priorities in life took hold.

Eventually though, when settled into a new life Down Under, I soon realised that Op Shops in Melbourne were in abundant, many of which were not too dissimilar to those I'd grown to love in Britain.

:: Frankston Salvos Op Shop ::

 :: Favourite Melbourne Op Shops (listed here)::

Although I'd love to visit Britain again and meander through all the familiar Charity Shops I used to visit, I don't really miss them as I did. Melbourne has so much to offer the thrifty shopper, so much so, that as you know, I sometimes lead tours and show others where to Op Shop in the Australian state of Victoria's capital city.

Putting aside Melbourne and Greater London, I do have a little dream to go Thrift Shopping in one of my all time favourite world cities; New York City. Before migrating to Melbourne, my husband and I did take a short trip to NYC and fell in love with the vibrant city that never sleeps, but did not visit any one its many Thrift Shops.

There are many US based thrifty bloggers, mentioning stores such as Goodwill, Housing Works, Buffalo Exchange and Salvation Army.  Patti of Not Dead Yet Style blog lists her favourite NYC Thrift Shops here, there is another guide to NYC Thrift Stores on I Heart Parsons blog here, and EcoSalon here. Fellow Melbourne blogger and stylist Cecylia, due to have her baby around the same time as I, spent an entire day at the Buffalo Exchange in NYC on her babymoon, where she found these snakeskin pumps. *sigh*.

A Google Map search of Manhattan's many Thrift Shops looks like secondhand heaven to any vintage loving shopper, just look at all those little red dots to explore:

:: Google Map when searching New York Thrift Stores ::

My question to you readers, is where you dream of Thrift Shopping? Perhaps like me, you'd like to visit one of the many thrifty stores gracing the streets of NYC, or you'd like to venture to Canada (Montreal looks very enticing), Asia, or explore flea markets in Europe? Have you experienced secondhand shopping in a city other than your own, and did it meet your expectations? Are you aware of any other city thrift guides that you could share?



Patti said...

NYC is my thrifting heaven! We go for about 3-4 weeks a year and I try to hit as many thrifts as possible - it's a wonderful time : > I'd love to try Melbourne one day.

Shelley said...

If you google Edinburgh Charity Shop and Reuse Map, you'll come up with a very useful list of places in that city. I recommend the Grassmarket and Stockbridge area, but Morningside is also good. Hope to visit a few of these next weekend when visiting to see step-daughter's new flat - her first.

Unknown said...

Hi Shelly, Franca published a great guide to Edinburgh charity shops here http://www.oranges-and-apples.com/2011/05/guide-to-edinburgh-vintage-and-charity.html

cookiecrumbs said...

On a recent trip to the US I got to opshop in San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle. All were great, I only wish I'd had more time and luggage space!


Haight St San Francisco is awesome. Lots of stores with lots of vintage options. Favourite would have to be Goodwill in Haight St which we would visit on a daily basis. Enjoyed three fabulous weeks in Ashbury Heights and only 1 minute walk from the Op Shop scene. Most people head out on holidays to beautiful tourist locations, my daughter Amelia and I create our own holidays to far away places based on Op Shops.

Something Else said...

Oh man - don't bother in China and Japan.....there are NO charity stores. OK - there are a couple in Tokyo but goodness knows where. And I mean a couple. And there are recycle stores, which are not so great...but there ARE flea markets, which are wonderful - especially if you are small-ish.

I love coming home to Sydney to opshop...I love the Sydney markets, church opshops and jumble sales too. The UK was so-so this time around and when I went to NYC in 2000, I found it so disappointing. Maybe I was going to the wrong shops?

Anonymous said...

San Francisco is a personal favourite - Thrift Town is my personal Mecca. I love thrifting in the US as there is so much variety and it's so cheap!

Unknown said...

I'd love to go op shopping in San Francisco too, and am hoping to do so next year. :)

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