Op Shops vs. Thrift Shops: Unveiling the Australian Equivalent

When it comes to second-hand shopping, different countries have different terminologies. In the United States, these stores are commonly referred to as thrift shops, while in Australia, they are known as op shops. But are they the same thing? This article aims to unveil the Australian equivalent of a thrift shop and explore the similarities and differences between op shops and thrift shops.

What is a Thrift Shop?

A thrift shop, also known as a thrift store, is a retail establishment that sells second-hand items at a fraction of the original cost. These items can range from clothing and accessories to furniture and household goods. The goods sold in thrift shops are usually donated by individuals, and the proceeds often go to a charitable organization.

What is an Op Shop?

In Australia, the equivalent of a thrift shop is an op shop, short for “opportunity shop”. Like thrift shops, op shops sell a variety of second-hand goods, including clothing, books, furniture, and more. These items are typically donated, and the profits are used to fund the charitable activities of the organization running the shop.

Op Shops vs. Thrift Shops: The Similarities

Op shops and thrift shops share many similarities. Both types of stores sell second-hand items at reduced prices, making them a great place to find bargains. They also both rely on donations from the public and use the proceeds to support charitable causes. Shopping at either type of store is not only good for your wallet, but it’s also good for the environment, as it promotes recycling and reduces waste.

Op Shops vs. Thrift Shops: The Differences

While op shops and thrift shops are similar in many ways, there are a few key differences. The main difference lies in the terminology: “thrift shop” is primarily used in the United States, while “op shop” is the term used in Australia. Additionally, the types of charities that benefit from the proceeds can vary. In the U.S., thrift shops often support a wide range of charities, while in Australia, op shops are typically run by large charitable organizations such as The Salvation Army or St Vincent de Paul Society.


In conclusion, op shops and thrift shops are essentially the same thing, just with different names. Whether you’re shopping at a thrift shop in the U.S. or an op shop in Australia, you’re not only getting a great deal, but you’re also supporting a good cause. So next time you’re in need of something, consider checking out your local second-hand store – you never know what treasures you might find!