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Karma Chameleon - Willagee Red Cross Op Shop Review

It's coming up to that time of year. That time of year when the hubby has to put on his manager's cap and attend all manner of Christmas awards/functions/openings of envelopes. I must admit I don't envy him, my days of schmoozing corporates are happily behind me. But with an increase in events, comes an increased need for him to have some fancy clothes. And if your hubby is anything like mine, clothes shopping with him/for him/not with him can be something that induces hair tearing.

Sure he's got suits, but even he has recognised that it's time to update the wardrobe a little and I was quite excited when he suggested I take him op shopping to do just that. Having asked me my thoughts on the best place to get a suit and then having ignored my suggestions (I know right?) we actually ended up in Willagee at the local Red Cross op shop. Seems hubby had stumbled across this little gem during the week and offered to check it out with me.

Situated on the leafy street of Archibald, I was actually surprised to find an op shop in this little shopping complex. And I was doubly surprised when I walked inside and found it pumping! It was packed! People were everywhere, and it's not a big place, so there was a lot of squeezing past other bodies.

Now I know I was *supposed* to be assisting hubby in his suit finding, but hey, when you take me to an untouched op shop, one can't expect that I'm going to be a wallflower. I lost hubby within the first 5 seconds.

You're first hit with the clothes (mainly women's) which are spread to your left and right. I must admit when I first had a hunt through the clothes, I was a teeny bit dismayed as I thought it only catered for a certain, older age group. But deciding it needed a much more thorough investigation, I was truly surprised by what I found: Gabriella Fratini, Louis Vuitton, Rock N Republic!!! And with a further dig, you'll find some other great labels like Country Road, Witchery, Wombat and Esprit.

Just a personal opinion, I think the staff who are pricing the goodies are also well aware of the value of some of the higher end labels, so they are a teeny bit higher - but still affordable I think. There are also the more common labels here too, for a steal, so if you do visit this oppie, please take the time to go through ALL racks.

Oh, also, this op shop has made a fabulous effort to keep all the women's clothing in size order - with handy tags both on the clothes and on the racks pointing you to the right size. I really love this idea in an oppie, saves me from looking at stuff and being disappointed it's not in my size.

While I was doing this, I was keeping a watchful eye on hubby and noticed he had ALREADY done his reconnaissance of the men's area and deemed it a fail on the suit front. I thought he might have been interested in the boot-scooting shirt number but alas, no!

In all fairness, the men's section is a little small so I couldn't fault him for not trying (but I did just do a quick check of my own, to make sure he hadn't glossed over anything!).

I did find some shoe offerings for him that I thought he would like, but subsequently turned down; a few pairs of golf shoes and a pair of Windsor Smith leather thongs for $5 in pristine condition. Two pairs of shoes he has been chasing! See? Frustrating!

What also caught my eye in this place is the bric-a-brac. It's everywhere! It takes up half of the store! It's a true fossicker's delight. There is stuff everywhere, which brings me to the next op shopping rule:

Op Shop Rule No 24: Look Down
We gotta balance out Op Shop Rule No 4 with this next rule. The rule of looking down. When the oppie you are visiting is small, maximising space is a must, so you're bound to find things ankle-height and below. I've seen things hiding under racks, in suitcases and actually displayed on the floor. So to ensure you don't miss that elusive item, just be sure to keep your eyes peeled in the floor direction too.

I could have spent hours looking through this stuff. Thankfully a framed chalk-drawn horse racing pic caught hubby's eye (which bought me about another 15 mins of hunting time). I rummaged through collectors biscuit tins, Christmas decorations, bread warmers, balloon glasses, sheets, salad servers and kids clothes.

I picked myself up a gorgeous as new ceramic Santa for $4.95 as well as some $1 glasses for the odd drop of red wine.

I almost came away with a walking frame too! Haha, well not quite, a lady had lost hers and when she came back into the store to enquire if anyone had found it... it was close to being priced and sold haha.

There are a few collectible items situated on and behind the counter, although given I already had my hands full (I also picked up a $1.50 ice cream scoop!) I decided I better bypass spending too much time here, other than to pay for my goodies.

Even though everyone seemed to know everyone in this little oppie, it appears to also be Willagee's best kept secret. And it's a great little one to explore too. Just be sure you don't leave anything behind otherwise you might find it has a price tag on it!

K x

Go For: Bric-A-Brac, Label Gems
Try Somewhere Else: Men's Suits

Red Cross Op Shop
1B / 62 Archibald Street
Willagee WA 6156

www.redcross.org.au

Open Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm / Sat 9am-1pm


Need More Good Karma?
The Red Cross is keen to help you get more by encouraging you to host a Karma Day at your work/school/organisation. All you need to do is get the Red Cross to deliver a Karma Machine to your chosen site so you and your colleagues/family/playmates can fill it with all your unwanted goodies - which then in turn earns you some serious karma points. That's a pretty easy way to earn points with the big man upstairs I say! To organise one, head over to the website for more details or email the Red Cross here.

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Karma Chameleon - Willagee Red Cross Op Shop Review + willagee