I grew up in Op Shops. In my teens I used to love visiting Church Stores run by the Salvation Army and Rag Merchants searching through bales of cloths. It was all I wore. In those days we used to buy by the weight.
I was saddened to see that This is not a Love Shop are closing down. Fast and Loose have also closed in recent times. It is a mixture of cheaper on trend clothing being more readily available and the success of Trade Me making it easier to buy and sell.
What gets lost though is the incredible eye the people who operate and buy for these stores have, distilling through all the crap and finding the treasure.
Buying on Trade Me may save a little time and money but you lose the essence of good vintage and second hand shopping by not benefitting from the years of experience these people have.
I think good vintage shopping needs a good vintage store because it is the people who run them that make them great not just the clothes.