Monday, July 2, 2012

Big Heart Op Shops

Huge thanks to Elise from Mission Australia for letting me ask some questions about Mission Australia and their op shops.

Can you tell me a little about yourself - such as how long you've worked for Mission Australia or in their op shop area?

I’ve been with Mission Australia for close to 1 year. I am an avid op-shopper, and lover all things vintage. I love my job, and truly do enjoy coming to work every day.

Here's are a couple of images Elise sent through which show the vintage passion popping through

Can you tell us a little about your stores and what we can expect to find in them?

We have 8 stores across the NSW area including- Bellambi, Campbelltown, Dapto, Goulburn, North Wollongong, Nowra, Thirroul and Warilla. We carry a large range of items from clothing to furniture and nic nacs and everything else in between.

Can you tell us about your volunteers?

We currently have over 270 volunteers who work with us. They are the heart of our charity. They come from all walks of life, from retirees to students. And the work they do for us is extraordinary. They work tirelessly to sort through tonnes of donations day in day out, and help run our op-shops within the community.

Are there any boutique stores or stores that stock more furniture, vintage or toys for example?

We mainly use our eBay store and our shop in Thirroul as our boutique
stores. But our store in North Wollongong also carries a lot of new factory second items that are donated to us from local Australian businesses.

The op shop's Ebay page is here

Here are a couple of my picks currently being listed 

You can also keep up to date with the listings on the Facebook page

What are the biggest challenges the op shops face?

As with many charities around Australia one of the main challenges we face is definitely the dumping of rubbish or leaving the donations outside of our donation bin sites. Not only do goods often get taken from the charity before they are collected. There is also the problem of them being damaged by the elements, before they can even make it to our warehouse. The dumping of televisions is also a huge issue for us. The fees to dispose of televisions at waste depots are extremely high, and we seem to become the dump ground for such items. We see this as a huge issue moving forward especially now that the carbon tax has been introduced and tipping fees have increased even more.

Can you tell us about your Ebay shop and how you came to the decision to expand down this route (I personally think it's a great idea).

To offer our products nationally, even internationally. It also helps spread the word about the good work Mission Australia does within the community. It creates awareness, and have found it a fantastic avenue to sell the more unique and collectable donations that come into our warehouse.

Can you tell us about what sells best in an op shop - clothing, furniture, vintage, books, shoes...?

Clothing is our best seller with nic nacs coming in second.

Can you tell us about any donations you're in need of on an ongoing basis or at this time of the year

Donations of any kind are always accepted (with the exemption of electrical products). Clothing, furniture, whatever really can be given a second life.

Where does the money raised in your op shop go?

Money raised reaches far and wide, across Australia in all corners of our community. Our Vision is to see a fairer Australia by assisting people in need to find pathways to a better life. With your generous support, we:
Strengthen families and children
Empower youth
Help people into stable housing
Put people on the road to stable work

Can you tell us about any of your standout donations or Ebay sales?

Yes, a My Child doll that was donated to us. These dolls might not look like much to you and I, but are highly collectable. We auctioned her off in our ebay store for over $1000.

Can you tell us about your decision to join Facebook

While Mission Australia may be over 150 years old. We think embracing social media is very important. It provides us with a direct communication line with our customers and the community.

Huge thanks again to Elise and the army of volunteers at Mission Australia

 Please check them out on Facebook

Mission Australia's website is here


  1. Well this is just great. I wish you were in Adelaide.

    1. Check out their Ebay store though as shipping is available :-)

  2. Elise is a beautiful kindhearted girl and along with Mission Australia are providing those in need with this service. Im a regular buyer on the EBay site as I find lovely unique items and am making a donation at the same time. Good work guys! Vanessa xox

    1. Thanks Vanessa for sharing, I have added the Ebay store to my favourites when I saw it a few weeks back, they list a great variety of things. The bonus is the money is for a good cause too.

  3. I love the shop in nowra