Sunday, December 28, 2014

Op shopping tips: The lowdown on SHOES

Brand: Nine West
Condition: Brand new, no original tag
Cost: $8
I am an avid Op-shopper. I would even go as far to say that I prefer to go Op-shopping than purchase things from 'real' shops. The clothes, jewellery and shoes that I always, without a doubt, get the most compliments on are those that I've purchased from Op-shops because they look just like any other piece of clothing except that you haven't seen every other person and their Grandma wearing it.

Although I am a complete convert of the magical Op-shop, I know that not everyone else is. It took me a while to realise this though, for I could just not understand why someone might be unsure about them. Shoes are one of those items that can make people feel a little bit funny about buying second hand so this post is to put your concerns at ease and encourage you to explore!

Brand: Luichiny
Condition: New, with $120 price tag
Cost: $7.99
First and foremost is the obvious concern: scungy feet that may have worn the shoe before you. There are a couple of reasons that this no longer bothers me (although at one point I had the same view). First of all, I disinfect all the shoes that I buy from Op-shops, just as I wash all the clothes that I buy too. By wiping down all the surfaces on the shoe there is no chance I can get any gross germs.
Additionally, when you think about going into a shoe shop, seeing a gorgeous pair of heels and then trying them many people have done that before you?! What if they had some gross infection? Someone doesn't need to be wearing the shoes for an extended period of time to donate some of their germs to you so you are probably at as much risk (even more) from those shoes you tried on last time you went shopping which had bacteria from hundreds of feet that gave them a try.

The type of people who donate their shoes, in my opinion, a probably going to be okay. If they make the effort to go and donate them as opposed to putting them in the bin, they are probably going to be quite considerate about which feet have been in them. Furthermore every single pair of shoes that I've ever purchased from Op-shops (some of them you can see in the photo above) have been either brand new or barely worn. I've bought some shoes with the original price tags still attached!

So once you've got those worries out the way, I do have a few little rules that I stick to to make sure that my Op-shopping experience regarding shoes is as pleasant as possible.

Brand: Airflex
Condition: Second hand, barely worn
Cost: $11
1. Say no to canvas
This isn't a super strict rule (and if the shoes have the original price tag attached and have never been worn then ignore it completely) but I find that the canvas shoes usually donated are a little dirty and worn which you just don't want, and they can't be cleaned with disinfectant as easily. Unlike a pair of gorgeous Steve Madden heels (yep, I've seen them in the Op-shop before), canvas shoes brand new are inexpensive and it makes more sense to buy them brand new.

2. Don't get shoes so worn they are moulded to the past feet!
Very rarely do I actually see shoes that have been worn all that much, but if you're looking for a pair and you see that they've actually worn in to change shape according to the past foot's imprint, then it's best to stay away from them. Not only does it make them uncomfortable because they aren't able to mould to your shape, it's just not good for your feet.

3. Only buy shoes that fit!
Because you see all these gorgeous, expensive brand shoes for basically no price at all, it can be tempting to purchase shoes that are just a little bit too small, or just one size up. Don't do it! It's not worth the trouble of wearing ill fitting shoes just because they're beautiful and cheap! The beauty about Op-shopping is that even though you might have to leave on pair of shoes behind, you will be sure to find a gem in your size somewhere around the corner.
Brand: New look
Condition: Brand new (no price tag)
Cost: $12

4. Make sure they are reasonably clean
This is probably an obvious one, but if they are caked in dirt or have clay stuck in their soles, don't bother with them. If they have a funny texture with a stain on them that you think you might be able to wash out, don't bother. There are so many good quality, well kept pairs of shoes out there to choose from that it's just not worth getting the grotty ones!

One more tip is that a reasonable price for a pair of heels, in my experience, is $8 to $12. Of course, it depends whether the shop is located in a more expensive suburb, city etc. but believe me, I am an experienced second hand shopped and all of the heels above I purchased within this price range, a pair brand new with the $120 price tag attached I bought for $7.95. Typically sandals are the cheapest (I bought a brand new pair of Haviana thongs for $2), followed by sneakers/canvas shoes, heels and then boots which can be up to $20. If the brand of shoe is more expensive then it could go up to $30
Brand: Target
Condition: Worn
Cost: $8
if they are really, really posh but anymore than that is crazy I think! For those of you Op-shoppers out there I would love to know how the prices are for you because these are all Adelaide prices and I know Adelaide in general is usually a bit cheaper than places like Sydney and Melbourne, let me know!

I hope this helped those of you out a little bit who were perhaps a little unsure about the whole ordeal. I love Op-shopping so much and all of my favourite pieces were sourced from an Op-shop, you should join the fun too!


  1. Really great collection. They look comfortable too. I too have a great collection of wedges online India only at #Majorbrands.

  2. Hi Nimita, I found some interesting site that are selling a good quality secondhand shoes. You can visit this website here to know more about their latest secondhand products.


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