Second hand shops (Op Shops) and what they are good for – Backpacker Tips

Make Bargains in Second Hand Stores (Op Shops)

In New Zealand, there are a large number of second hand shops, also called Op Shops. These stores mostly work on a non-profit basis and are a good place for you to get started. No matter if you just arrived, or if you are about to leave New Zealand.


How does a Second Hand Shop (Op Shop) work

These stores work on a charitable basis, meaning they live on donations of goods they receive. The donated items are sold again for a small price. The target group of these shops are people with a lot of money and needy people on a small budget. So these stores are also ideal for backpackers or travellers who do not want to spend a lot of money.


What can I buy there

The focus of most stores is on clothes, but other things like kitchen utensils, books and much more can be found here. In the end, you can buy everything here that someday somehow donated. The things cost only a fraction of the original price and so you can almost completely equip yourself here. But keep in mind that this is a loop, so if you have something you do not need anymore, then these stores are happy about a donation.

Even for work clothes you can look good here, for my work I was always equipped in Op Shops, because the clothes have never withstood the strain for a long time anyway.

If a store does not have what you are looking for, then just go to the next, for a pan lid, we have determined 5 shops until we have found.

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Where do I find these stores

We have the experience that almost every small village has its own Op Shop. There may also be several in larger cities.

For example, if you type in the search term Op Shop in Google Maps on your phone, you will usually find all the surrounding stores. For Auckland that looks like this, for example.


Op Shops based in Auckland

Op Shops based in Auckland


Who operates these second hand stores

The Op Shops are mostly operated by non-profit organizations. The largest are in New Zealand Red Cross, SPCA (Animal Welfare Organization), St John (providing health services, as well as a large portion of New Zealand rescue helicopters) and the Salvation Army. In addition, there are many smaller organizations or shops that are run locally through the city with volunteers. None of these stores have the goal of maximizing profits, but all pursue their social goals and thus help in the community or their city and give something back. So if you buy here, you'll help on the spot.


How can I help or support

Most of these shops are run by volunteers. This means that usually volunteers are gladly accepted for a few weeks (like longer) in the store help. But if you have no time or desire to be in the store without getting money, then that's no problem.


Alternatively, you can always support with donations, so if you have items that you no longer need, then you can give them there. Just pack a bag of things and ask if you're interested, you will not get a match; it's not buying and selling.

Please pay attention to the fact that these are clean and could really be used. Unwashed clothes or kitchenware are a no go. Please mind that.


Questions, comments or ideas

Questions, comments or ideas? Then we look forward to your comment under this article. Frequent questions will be added later in the article. Thank you and have a good time in New Zealand!


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