The Critic Te Ārohi Guide to Second Hand Stores

The Critic Te Ārohi Guide to Second Hand Stores

Whether you're a fellow thrifter fresh to Dunedin or a third-year who never leaves North D, this is the guide for you. Critic sent our bona-fide fashionista Phoebe to scour the streets, sift through the racks, and explore every nook and cranny to bring you the inside scoop on the best op shops on offer. Grab your reusable tote bags, put on your comfiest shoes, and join us as we embark on a thrifting adventure through the heart of Dirty Dunners. Who knows what treasures you'll uncover along the way?

North East Valley

SPCA Op Shop $-$$

Vibe: Likely your first stop on the great op-shop browsing journey from north to south. The immense weight of the masses of clothes on the rack will fight you from doing so, though. 
Peak spot for: The kitchen utensils of your dreams
Overall Rating: 6/10 
Charity: SPCA Otago

Orphans Aid Op Shop $-$$$

Vibe: Light and roomy, this makes for a joyous browsing experience. Prices are variable, lots of cheap stuff but their vintage is overpriced (they lure you in but an old petticoat will set you back $60)
Peak spot for: Books
Overall Rating: 7/10
Charity: Orphans Aid International + Trade Aid

Cat Rescue Dunedin Charity Shop $

Vibe: Definitely a presence of cats and their ladies, but not nearly enough cat memorabilia (probably because they snatch them up before they hit the floor)
Peak spot for: Cheap glassware  
Overall Rating: 6/10 
Charity: Cat Rescue Dunedin 

Salvation Army NEV $$ 

Vibe: Hidden at the end of the road (metropolis of North East Valley), down the back of the Salvation Army building, you will find a range of average things at a range of above average prices
Peak spot for: Ending the NEV thrifting journey on a low
Overall Rating: 3/10
Charity: The Salvation Army

Close to Campus

Te Oraka $

Vibe: Located in the sustainability office a short Leith crossing from St Daves, you will find a student organised repair café, refilling station, and second hand store! Only open on Wed, Thurs, Sat, 11am-1pm
Peak spot for: Just about anything – clothes, shoes, computers, electrical equipment, and extreme sustainability
Overall Rating: 7/10 
Charity: Sustainability Otago

Vinnies North Dunedin $

Vibe: Your great gran’s hoarded collection of assorted goods from over the decades. They have everything for $2 sales, but the only things worth buying aren’t $2.
Peak spot for: Procrastinating on the way back from getting coffee and shopping for a $2 costume
Overall Rating: 3/10 for thrifting (someone probably got to the best stuff before you) 10/10 for yarns 
Charity: The Society of St Vincent de Paul

Recycle Boutique $$-$$$

Vibe: It’s a Recycle Boutique, there’s only so much you can expect from thousands of university students’ consigned clothes: Glasson’s jeans, old high-end shoes, American vintage, South Island brands, and overpriced obscure designer accessories. My advice is to head straight to the staff picks or down the back for the shoes.
Peak spot for: Mens and basics 
Overall rating: 6/10. If you’re looking for some item of clothing in particular, you’re likely to find it – but at what cost?

Static Age $$-$$$

Vibe: Looking for something more alty than Recycle Boutique? Static Age is a vintage and pop-culture inclined consignment store that opened in August 2023. 
Peak spot for: Vintage streetwear and retro clothes
Overall rating: 8/10

City Centre

Paper Bag Princess $$

Vibe: If Recycle Boutique or Static Age aren’t in your budget, head a little further into town and you will be greeted by racks of unique and vintage pieces.
Peak spot for: Vintage and designer (if you know where to look)
Overall Rating: 7/10 (2010s slay)
Charity: For-profit but they support Kidscan, Lifewise, Opportunity for Animals, and City Mission by donating clothing, sponsoring events or donating a portion of sales

Support Opportunity Shop $$-$$$

Vibe: An amalgamation of the once-famous Op Shop on Carroll and Op Shop on St Andrews, the Support opportunity shop on Princes Street is the most bougie op shop Ōtepoti has to offer. As a vintage lover, just entering the store is a treat for the eyes. You will find masses of curated vintage, clothes, shoes, and nicknacks. 
Peak spot for: Nice vintage and a wedding dress (flat wedding, anyone?)
Overall Rating: 8/10, points removed for price
Charity: Presbyterian Support Otago

Red Cross Shop Dunedin $$

Vibe: 2010s Glassons crop tops (the same price as originally sold) meets kitsch café nick-nacks.
Peak spot for: Funky glassware
Overall Rating: 5/10. Don’t worry Vogel St is just around the corner!
Charity: NZ Red Cross 

Vogel St Hospice Shop $-$$

Vibe: Finding anything your thrift-loving heart may desire. Don't forget to check downstairs in the bins - $2 to fill a bag! The worst thing about Vogel St is that you will spend all of your money but, at the same time, you will also not spend all of your money (if you know what I mean).
Peak spot for: ‘70s gunne-sax dupe for $15, a collectable teaspoon, wetsuits, a really cool lamp, and 50 cent crockery 
Overall Rating: 10/10 great vintage section
Charity: Otago Community Hospice

Infinite Clothing $

Vibe: Infinite Clothing has infinite offerings, featuring a range of under $20 70’s vintage pieces to hand-made costumes 
Peak spot for: Your next party outfit 
Overall Rating: 8/10
Charity: For-profit, but owner Rose Fisk (veteran of the second-hand scene) aims to keep prices low so that families can afford to dress their children in good quality recycled clothes

Inspire Upcycling $

Vibe: Simply good. They boast a great range of mens and womens clothing, shoes, cute trinkets, and linen/home goods
Peak spot for: Having a great time and finding some good finds with $4 clothes and well-priced shoes (most of the time)
Overall Rating: 9/10
Charity: Pregnancy Choice NZ

Salvation Army Centre City $

Vibe: One of the few places that prices their furniture appropriately is Sally’s. If you come on a good day you can find beds, couches, and tables galore. While you won't have much luck in clothes, they do boast an extensive kitchenware and crockery section.
Peak spot for: Kitchenware and furniture
Overall Rating: 6/10
Charity: The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal 

This article first appeared in Issue 12, 2024.
Posted 10:43pm Sunday 19th May 2024 by Phoebe Lea.