The Salvos Stores Blog : Salvos Stores in VIC, SA, WA, TAS & NT

Q&A with a Salvos Stores Volunteer

Salvos_Stores_VolunteerQ&A_Blogpost_20150729After the interest from the interview with Chelsea Heights Salvos Stores Manager, we decided to start a series of Q&A’s with different members of the Salvos Store Team.

So this week we thought we’d open your eyes to the world of volunteering in a Salvos Store by interviewing the lovely Lorraine Ah Mat, long-time volunteer and friend of Nightcliff Salvos Stores. lorraineThe lovely Lorraine!

What brought you to volunteering at Salvos Stores?

I attend the Salvation Army Darwin Corps and felt that I would do more for people than just sitting at home.

How long have you volunteered with us?

15 years

What’s your favourite part of volunteering at Salvos Stores?

Talking to others who just want some comfort and talking to people who know that someone cares.

Do you have any funny stories?

There’s a regular customer who brings her little Grandson regularly. After a little joke between us he now always asks where is the lady from the naughty corner. He is a beautiful little boy!

What’s the last thing a customer said to you?

‘Thank you and thanks to Salvos Stores, they have helped myself and my family so much.’

What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering?

Think carefully about what you are committing yourself and time to.


Nightcliff Salvos Store

Thanks to the lovely Lorraine for joining in with this weeks’ Q&A. Do you have any questions for next week’s Q&A? Any particular area you’d like to know more about? Keep us posted!

4 Reasons Your Friend Won’t Buy Second-hand


If you’re reading this, we’ll assume that you’re already a keen op shopper. You enjoy the thrill of the hunt, finding a bargain and you love the feeling of not knowing what you might find.

People like you all seem to have that one friend that refuses to join you on your op shop adventures. But she has her reasons. We decided to explore some of these reasons. . . and reject every one of them!

1. “It’s all been worn before. It’s all used and old”

IMG_3161 (1)Yes, apart from a few new items that still have the original tag, second-hand items are used. That’s kind of the point. But in no way does it mean they’re all old.  Technically a ‘used’ item can range from a vintage dress that’s been worn to hundreds of fabulous parties and have been loved for decades OR a skirt that’s only been worn once (if that).

We’ve all bought something new from a regular store and worn it once or twice before we realise we don’t actually like it. Maybe after a wash it changed shape, it didn’t go with anything you have or you just changed your mind. You couldn’t return it back to the store so you donate it (to an awesome store like Salvos Stores. . .). These items that have been worn once or twice are ‘used’ but barely!

Buying an item that has been used also has it’s benefits. It means someone else has washed and worn it and it’ll still in a good enough condition to make it the op shop floor. Sign of a good piece of clothing!

So, there are used items at an op shop. These range from a vintage dress that’s been worn to hundreds of fabulous parties and have been loved for decades OR a skirt that’s been worn once (if that).

2. “It’s all out-of-date”

Fashion is cyclical. In reality, no style is new anymore. Which means it’s a great reason to buy second-hand. We’re currently reliving the 90’s in the fashion world and what’s better than 90’s inspired fashion? Clothes that were actually made for and worn by the genuine fashionistas of the decade. Buying second-hand is a chance to get creative with your style. Let yourself free! You can define yourself  what you consider out of date and ‘unfashionable’.

3. “I can never find anything”shop

This is one of the most common reasons to not op shop. It does take a bit of practice. Some of us have grown up buying second-hand so we have a trained eye. Some of us really know what we like. In the beginning it’s not always easy to imagine an item outside of the store in your wardrobe or kitchen.

4. “I’ve never been”

For some, it’s as simple as that. Buying new from retail is all they know. They just don’t know how awesome it is. This is where you come in . . .

You can save them!

Everyone wants an opshop buddy – this is your chance. Show them the ropes! Shopping secondhand is about 50% luck and 50% skill (but always 100% fun, right?). They’ll need a little encouragement for the first few trips, but add in a little practice and maybe buy the coffees the first few times and fingers crossed you have a new shopping mate!

So share this with the friend(s) that you’d like to take on your next op shop trip. Maybe we’ve managed to persuade her to give it another go. :)

8 Things You Can Buy At Salvos Stores That Can Be Refreshed With Spray Paint


Spray paint. The lazy upcycler’s best friend. What can’t a can spray paint achieve? We have no idea. . .

1. Block colour figurines

Love the shape of an ornament at Salvos Stores but not keen on the details? Spray them with a couple layers of spray paint for a simple modern ornament! These bright colours would be brilliant for a kids room but neutrals and metallics would look perfect for the grown ups.

Tutorial via Just a Little Creativity

2. Light up an old lamp

Spray paint a ceramic vintage table lamp to match your bedroom perfectly. Depending on the details you could have different coloured trims or if you’re crafty add a few stripes in.

DIY Vintage Lamp Makeover

Tutorial via Craft Habit

3. Open the door to customised door knobs

Add a personal touch to your furniture by opcycling some ordinary knobs. A quick lick of spray paint and a clever trick with your home printer is all it takes!

Tutorial via The Painted Hive

4. Colourful frame of mind

Pick up a handful different frames and coat them with some spray paint to create a ‘mismatched but matching’ photo wall.

gallery wall vintage frames spray painted white french, chalk paint, painting, wall decorTutorial via Giddy Upcycled

5. Add some gold to your cuppa

Add some matte gold details to some plain cups to add a little fancy to your afternoon tea.


Tutorial via Garland of Grace

6. You can even paint shoes!?!

Choose the colour of your shoes! This is an entirely new concept to us but it sounds pretty interesting.

Tutorial via Cheap Chic Obsession

 7. Paint a biscuit tin and add a chalkboard to label it

Blackboard spray paint is readily available and it just as easy as normal spray paint. Paint a tin lid for a cool way to label your food storage!

Tutorial via Serenity Now

8.  Office chair upcycle

With a can of normal spray paint and a can of vinyl spray paint you can refresh an entire office chair!

Make over an old vinyl chair with only spray paint!Tutorial via Dream a Little Bigger

We Need You . . . (and your jumpers)


We’re now slap-bang in the middle of the winter and in Melbourne, where I am writing this blog post, it definitely feels it.

Due to the last couple of chilly weeks we’re running low on good quality winter woollies in our stores. So, we need you! We would love your help in ensuring we have plenty to keep everyone warm this winter.

Perhaps you could have a rummage in your wardrobe this week and find some jumpers, coats or cardies that you don’t wear or need anymore. We wrote an article a few weeks back on decluttering your home, which has some wonderful tips to work out how to identify what clothes you actually wear and use.
If you find anything to donate check check out our tips to donate responsibly. You can head to your local store during opening hours or call for a home collection (13 SALVOS) and don’t forget if you hand your donations over the counter in store you will receive a $10 Myer Shopping Voucher (more info here).

We rely on the generosity of the public in order to contribute sufficient funding to The Salvation Army’s welfare programs. So what are you waiting for? Donate and make a difference today! :)

Get Your Salvos Stores Club Card


Have you got your Salvos Stores Club Card yet?

You earn 1 point for every $1 spent in store and you can redeem your points off purchases in the future. By being a Salvos Store Club Card Member you’ll also receive great offers and invitations straight to your inbox! Read more about it over here.

How can I get a Club Card?

Getting a Club Card is easy as 1, 2 3! You can either pick up a card in-store or you can register for one online and we will post it you.

I’ll pick mine up in store

  1. Next time you’re at your local Salvos Stores ask a member of staff to become a Club Card Member.
  2. They’ll provide you with your card and a pin number (found on the cardboard backing of the card). In your own convenience head to our site and click ‘Join Now’. Update your details by following the steps.
  3. Be sure to confirm the activation of your card by clicking the activation link sent to your email address.

I’ll register for my card online

  1. You can register for a card here.
  2. Update your details by following the prompts.
  3. We will then deliver your card to you. Be sure to confirm the activation of your card by clicking the activation link sent to your email address.

Once activated you’ll be able to redeem any points accrued. Happy shopping!


Feast Watson Auction This Week

FW Re-Love all (1)

It’s here! It’s here!

If you read our recent post about the Feast Watson Re-Love Project here, you’ll be aware of the beautiful pieces that eight Australian design personalities have designed for the Feast Watson Re-Love campaign. All pieces have undertaken exciting makeovers; from ‘pre-loved’ timber furniture to ‘re-loved’ unique design transformations.

Your chance to take any of the Feast Watson Re-Love Projects home is this week. On Wednesday 8th July to Friday 17th July you can bid for your favorite pieces on eBay HERE. All proceeds will go to Salvos Stores.

What’s your favourite piece?

Q & A Time!

Copy of Top 5 Op-Cycled Pet Beds

We thought it’s about time you got to know the Salvos Stores team a little better! So in the coming months we’ll be interviewing staff and volunteers to get a better idea of who are the people behind the scenes.

This week we chatted to Nigel, the Store Manager of Chelsea Heights Salvos Stores in Victoria.Nigel hanging out with the toys.

Describe your job in 3 words:

  1. Fun
  2. Fulfilling
  3. Challenging

Do you have a favourite customer? 

I love all my customers but we have one customer, Angelina who is a regular. She always looks for any Murano glass items. She has taught us a lot about Murano glass like what to look for and what’s special. She also bring us baklava! Yum.

What’s your favourite part of working for Salvos Stores?Queen of Clubs keeping guard of the book sale

Meeting all the wonderful people who shop and volunteer at the store. It makes the day interesting and fun as you interact with them and learn about their lives and what they like to buy. It’s nice to see a regular cutsomer and show them items we just got in that would be of interest to them, its great seeing the joy we can bring them.

What do you like best about your store?

The variety of products we have. Each day something new comes in, something vibrant, interesting and most of the time you can pick the customer who will just love it. The generosity of the public to our store is amazing and we are so grateful for that.

Do you have any funny/interesting stories about your store?

When Angelina was in one day, she had decided to buy heaps of the murano we had in the glass cabinet. I pulled it out and put it on the counter as she continued to shop. A few minutes later a gust of wind blew open the door of the cabinet and it shattered all over the floor with a terrific noise. The look on Angelina’s face was priceless. I had to reassure her three or four times that her items were fine. She then asked jokingly for someone else to wrap them so I didn’t break them!


What’s the most unusual donation you have received?

We get so many interesting things it’s hard to tell which is the best. My favourite donation was a four volume set of Captain Cook’s Voyages written by himself, Original editions, along with a map of his journeys.  Just recently we received a memorial pendent of 9ct gold with 5 small fleur d’lis on it. On one side was a picture of WWI soldier and the other side a pic of WWII soldier.

Thanks Nigel!

You can find Nigel’s store at 2/1 Hartwood Court, Chelsea Heights, VIC 3196

Or find your local Salvos Stores here. 

Updated Club Card Terms & Conditions

Have you joined the Salvos Stores Club yet? A few months ago we introduced this very special club card- the first of its kind! It’s an opportunity for us to thank our lovely customers for choosing us.

You earn 1 point for every $1 spent in store and 50 points will earn you $2.50 off a Salvos Stores purchase.

This is a really brilliant offer – one of the best out there! You’ll also be invited to special VIP events, special offers and exclusive competitions direct to your inbox.

So if you’re already a Club Card member, thank you! Be sure to have a read of the updated terms and conditions which have been changed via the link below. We will ensure the value of the points earned before the change will still maintain the same value by doubling your points balance.

Read the full copy of the terms and conditions of Salvos Stores Club Card here.

Not yet a member? Join here!


4 Tips to Tackle School Holidays


Some of you are already well into the School Holidays and for some of you it’s all just begun. Having the kids about doesn’t mean you can’t keep op shopping though. Not only can shopping at Salvos Store be fun for the kids they can actually learn a thing or two and come home with a special treasure they’ll be proud of.

So after a little research we’ve pulled together three tips to make the trip a good one. Take note, we haven’t included the obvious like making sure everyone is well napped, fed and that you’re prepared with snacks. You’re already Mums so you know the drill!

1. Make it educational

As with any shopping, op shopping is a great time to work on the kids’ understanding of money and value. What’s the most useful item? Will they use it? Is it a reasonable price? Can they afford it? With secondhand items they’ll come to realize that an item doesn’t have to be brand new from the store to have value for them which we reckon is an important life lesson!

2. Let them get creative

Challenge your kids to finding a secondary use for a product besides what is intended for. The more innovative the better!

3. Pirate Time

The fun part! It’s the treasure hunt aspect of op shopping that grown ups like and even more so for the kids. You never know what you’re going to find. It’s probably best to provide some guidelines though, whether that’s a budget or specific item eg. book / toy/ t shirt, just so they don’t fall in love with a 100 year old antique stool that’s a little out of budget.

4. Donate

After a successful trip, it may be something you do regularly! So instead of having an overflowing toy box, start a one-in-one-out policy. So every trip, if they’d like a treat, they wave goodbye to an old item. Explain the concept of Salvos Stores. People make donations which are then sold to contribute to the funding of a charity. Now you’re kids will be socially and environmentally aware. Win-win!

Do you take your kids op shopping with you? Do you have any tips that we’ve missed? As always we’d love to hear from you. Join the conversation over on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Opcycled Bird Bath

Bird Bath DIY

It seems we’re on something of an animal theme as of late. After our list of our favourite dog bed ideas, we’ve now moved on to our feathered friends. Alas! An opcycled bird bath.

An opshopping friend of ours shared her awesome project repurposing a vase and a plate into a beautiful bird bath. She simply sourced a place and a vase that matched, although clashing colours and patterns could also look great as well. Perhaps you could even get creative with painting and spray paint them if you’re struggling to find any that match. If you’re feeling a little adventurous you can heighten the birdbath by adding a second vase underneath.

Get yourself an outdoor silicone sealant. This will provide the best stability and make sure your project lasts. Make sure the plate is central and use the sealant sparingly, it can look ugly when dripping down the sides. Leave to dry as per the sealant’s instructions.

Then all you have to do is place in your garden, preferably somewhere where you can see it, and wait for the birdies to come for a bath!

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