Bag a bargain in an old-style op shop

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Bluestone co-editor Carol Altmann with some of the bargains to be had at the Koroit Lions Club op shop: a down vest, collectable spoon and retro, Johnson-ware plate, all for $3. (Artwork in background is by Carmel Wallace.)

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #DC943C;”] A [/dropcap]t the risk of starting a passionate debate – then again, why not? – could Koroit be home to one of the best, old-style op shops in the south-west?

The Koroit Lion’s Club op-shop in a former kindergarten building in High St has been open for less than six months, but is already pulling the crowds from around the district and mostly through word of mouth.

Indeed Bluestone has learned the shop is turning over at least $1000 a week – more than $20,000 in total thus far – which is bringing smiles to the faces of the Lion’s Club which uses all of this money to fund a range of community projects in Koroit. It sure beats slaving over a sausage sizzle every Saturday!

And what is the secret to its success? From our assessment, it is the fact that the op shop is how op shops used to be before going more boutique, ie. slightly rambling, slightly cluttered and cheap, cheap, cheap.

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Since opening for business in March, the Koroit Lions Club op shop has turned over $1000 a week.

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #DC943C;”] W [/dropcap]hile there are glass cabinets here and there displaying “special” items, such as what appeared to be a set of Bakelite coasters for $10, there are also racks of clothes, shelves of shoes, piles of plates, cups, cutlery, knick-knacks, toys, china, vases, videos, CDs, DVDs and all of the other irresistible gizmos and gadgets that make up an op-shop, with prices marked at 20 cents, 50 cents, $1….you get the picture.

In a place like this, $5 can go a very long way.

We purchased a down vest (90 per cent down, 10 per cent small feathers), a must-have collectable spoon from Talbot featuring a female lawn bowler with arms completely out of proportion to her body and a 1970s Australian-made, Johnson ware plate – total cost: $3.

The thinking behind the op-shop is to move the goods on as quickly as possible, hence the bargain prices, rather than have them piling up. Like most op-shops, donations of goods keep rolling in and can quickly become overwhelming.

The op-shop also offers Eftpos and credit card facilities. Be warned: this place could get seriously addictive.

Did you see our earlier story on the transformation of Koroit? Catch up here.

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Weekend trading hours – and Eftpos – have proven part of a winning formula for the Lions Club op shop in Koroit.

[box]The Koroit Lion’s Club Op-Shop, 92 High St (next to the CFA), Koroit, is open Mon, Wed and Friday from 10am-4pm and Saturday from 10am-1pm.[/box]

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