When you are new in New Zealand, you will inevitably need to buy many small items from coat hangers to paper towel holders that you did bring with you. New Zealand has excellent thrift stores which are called opportunity shops or op shops. My town, New Plymouth, has eight op shops and most of them are a little different. Our guide to New Zealand op shops covers most of the op shops in New Zealand. Many op shops deliver large items for a fee. Very few op shops take credit card, but almost all accept EFTPOS.
- Hospice Shop- Hospice runs one of the largest networks of op shops with over 125 of them operating. They tend to be the busiest op shops and have some of the highest turns over of goods. Their prices are some of the best. They have a separate counter where you take your products to be priced and another one where you pay.
- Salvation Army Family Stores- Salvation Army has a similar number of stores as hospice shops. They tend to be of medium quality and a little slower turnover compared to hospice shops.
- SPCA Op Shop– There are ~60 SPCA op shops operating in New Zealand. They tend to be a little higher quality and a little more expensive than some of the other op shops around.
- Red Cross Shops– There are 53 Red Cross shops across the north and south islands. They tend to be average in quality and size.
- Habitat for Humanity Restore– Habitat for Humanity operates a network of 23 Restores. Some Restores have more building and commercial materials than other op shops
- St Johns Opportunity Shop– New Zealand runs their ambulance service everywhere except for Auckland a little differently than most countries. A charity, St Johns, which is subsidized by the government, runs and operates the ambulance service. They operate a network of 22 op shops to help fund the ambulance service.
- Churches– Many churches operate their own op shops. These, in general, have slower turnover compared to many of the op shops higher on the list.
If you want to donate to op shops, most of them will pick up your items if you give them a call. Another blog, Evie Kemp, gives a brief description of just about every op shop in the Auckland area. Our guides on fuel discounts and discount websites go over other ways to save money in New Zealand.