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Canberra Op Shop Guide – Christmas Edition

By Heather Lansdowne - 12 December 2014 7

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Christmas is one of my favourite times of year, but as much as I love it, I don’t love the consumerist habits it encourages. It can be tempting to buy all kinds of shiny trinkets to celebrate the season, but how often do we ending up throwing these items straight in the trash as soon as Boxing Day rolls around? One way to minimise waste is to have a look in your local op shop for some of the items you might normally pick up at a discount store. You should be able to find all kinds of useful things, like:

Decorations

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There are so many baubles, strings of tinsel and Santa ornaments at the op shops at this time of year it’s ridiculous. Take advantage of the mega cheap prices and snag a whole bag of festive goodness for only a few bucks!

Wrapping paper and cards

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My family use printed fabric bags to wrap most of our presents, but if you prefer wrapping paper you’ll find heaps of old stock as well as cards and paper plates that have been palmed off to the op shops after last year’s Christmas sales.

Stocking stuffers

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It’s tempting to buy cheap throw-away items as stocking stuffers, but you’d be surprised at the cute little items you can find at op shops. Candles, jewellery, kitchenware and ornaments are all good stocking stuffers you can find in abundance at any op shop.

Holiday games

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One of my favourite parts of Christmas Day is playing board games with my family. Whether it’s a classic like Scrabble or an interesting jigsaw, you’ll find some fun games for all ages that will entertain you and your family over Christmas and the holiday period.

Books

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Make sure you pick up a few books to read while you have some spare time over the Christmas break! Books also make great stocking stuffers – there are plenty of best sellers and niche/retro titles to serve a wide variety of interests.

Toys

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Op shops are always overflowing with all kinds of cool toys to entertain the kids – whether it be barbies, building blocks, stuffed animals or matchbox cars.

Christmas t-shirts

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One of the best things about Christmas is the opportunity to wear hideous Christmas attire a la Colin Firth in Bridget Jones’ Diary. And although it’s too hot for ugly sweaters, in Australia we have our own version known as tacky Christmas t-shirts. Make sure you keep a look out for older designs that fall on the right side of the kitsch/cool scale.

Do you have any other ideas for reducing waste this Christmas? Have you been checking out the op shops for Christmas bargains?

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
Canberra Op Shop Guide – Christmas Edition
gemstar 12:22 am 08 Feb 15

I noticed a number of people have commented that op shop prices have increased. I have volunteered at Another Chance Op Shop in Scullin ACT for the last ten years (so I am not paid to say this) and I constantly hear customers say we are the cheapest in the local region. The op shop has been selling treasures to customers for the last 20 years.

We are having a special HUGE summer sale: 50% off ALL clothing until the end of February 2015!
A great range of children’s and adult clothing, bags, shoes, kitchenware, manchester, books, toys and bric a brac are available at affordable prices.

Address: Ross Smith Crescent, Scullin ACT 2614.
Open Monday to Friday 10am-4.30pm, and Saturday 10am-1pm .

Another Chance Op Shop is a project of Mosaic Baptist Church, with profits from sales going directly towards supporting people in need both locally and overseas.

Chris_Barry 11:52 am 02 Jan 15

Communities@Work recently launched our Best Dressed Store in the Tuggeranong Hyperdome, where you can find hidden treasures of women’s pre-loved and nearly new dressy, special occasion and work ready clothes and accessories, including a range of designer labels, with prices starting at only $5.

All money from the sale of this surplus clothing goes to Communities@Work’s social programs, helping vulnerable clients in the Canberra region. We assist up to 1,000 people every week with food and essential items, quality clothing, mentoring, job readiness, life skills and a safe and welcoming place to make new friends and circumvent social isolation. You can find out more about our services here: http://www.commsatwork.org/social-programs

We re-open after the Christmas break on Monday, January 5 and hope to see you there! 🙂

toecutter123 6:48 am 16 Dec 14

Recently arrived in Canberra-op shops are pretty good here but a tad pricey,
What’s up with charity shops here and ebay?????who even uses ebay?
i noticed that the vinnies tuggeranong use ebay as a price guide.
One to avoid i found would be the two green sheds at the rubbish tip-i went to both of them, and at one some poor customer had a little haggle with the worker, well the worker flipped into a tirade about how he owns x amount of houses(yeah right-delusional), plays poker professionally and doesn’t care if the customer buys it or not because someone will and please go away. At the other green shed location the worker at the counter was arguing about the price of something saying how he used to sell on ebay and how much you would pay on ebay and tried to get his phone out-see, see
Strange bunch of people- i guess the air in the rubbish tip erases all sense or just too much green-won’t be going back there (insane prices for items given for free-i noticed they are hiding behind a wall of charity to encourage sales of overpriced goods).
Salvos fyshwick downstairs awesome people, and i would say the best is rotary trash n treasure.

Heather Lansdowne 6:07 pm 15 Dec 14

Zan said :

As an avid op shopper I have noticed that prices have gone up a lot lately.

Yes I think some items are weirdly priced, I saw a One Direction pillow case going for $15 which seems way too much for an op shop!

Heather Lansdowne 6:06 pm 15 Dec 14

Maya123 said :

“It can be tempting to buy all kinds of shiny trinkets to celebrate the season, but how often do we ending up throwing these items straight in the trash as soon as Boxing Day rolls around?”

Why would Christmas decorations be thrown out?

I absolutely agree, quality decorations can be handed down for generations and form a lovely family tradition. I am talking about the cheaper decorations/trinkets/wrapping paper that you can buy at discount stores for crazy cheap prices. I think the prices encourage a kind of disposable attitude towards them which is really unnecessary and unsustainable.

Maya123 1:03 pm 12 Dec 14

“It can be tempting to buy all kinds of shiny trinkets to celebrate the season, but how often do we ending up throwing these items straight in the trash as soon as Boxing Day rolls around?”

Why would Christmas decorations be thrown out? They go on for years; in fact are inherited. My Christmas decorations vary from bought this year to inherited decorations going back over fifty years. The two decorations bought this year will continue to be used too. I can’t understand why someone would throw them out. They are not disposable items. My tree is about twenty years old too and a good as new. No reason for it not to be, except through mistreatment.

Zan 11:34 am 12 Dec 14

As an avid op shopper I have noticed that prices have gone up a lot lately.

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