AUSTRALIANS are ditching the designer stores and heading to local op shops to hunt for hidden treasures at a bargain price.
Research by Gumtree reveals Australia's second-hand economy has grown from $13 billion to $18 billion in the past year.
Emerald St Vincent de Paul manager Trude Klopper said op shopping had become more popular than ever.
"Op shopping is not what it used to be - it is like a little Vinnies Boutique now," Trude said.
"As you can see by the dresses we have, it is not typical op shop clothes.
"We have some designer dresses here that are worth $250 and we are selling them for $18, so it's a real bargain."
Emerald Lifeline manager Sue Smith said she had noticed different classes of people walking through the doors more frequently.
"I think we are a one-stop shop here," Sue said.
"If you see something you like, you usually find a few more things as well."
Fashionista Katie Cooper is a regular at the local op shops and said second-hand shopping was like a treasure hunt for her.
"On this age of fashion I feel sometimes it's hard to find unique styles through all the mass production that is fashion these days," Katie said.
"I love that I can get fabulous pieces for most of the time at a steal.
"Some of my best finds have been hit quite recently - a pair of gold Jimmy Choos... and an amazing navy halter dress that fits perfectly."
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