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UK, UK: Thrift Shopping for Brands and Steals

September 11, 2014 | By: Stephanie I. Quesada       Within Reach
Ukay-Ukay Lovin'
Great Finds for Rock-bottom Prices

Have you ever gone to an “ukay” spot? Even if you live way above your means, you might find shopping at an ukay-ukay thrift store to be a very rewarding adventure. You just can’t compare the distinct aroma of pre-loved branded treasures and that old clothes smell that wafts through an ukay-ukay store from the sterile textile-paint smell of a mall purchase.

One of the best thrift stores for used clothing that can be found
at the corner of Kamuning and EDSA

Plus, thrift store prices can really attract your attention, because compared to mall purchased clothes nowadays, malls don’t offer the same value for money for their fashion products. The surplus Miu Miu Platform Doll shoes I bought a while back for two hundred bucks can’t even compare to the cheap flats malls have to offer for the same price.  Imagine that.

But let’s face it, most of these stores offer more used items than new ones, and you should really check for damage and other issues with the products you are buying. You should also have a keen eye and a diligent and patient disposition when opting out to shop in these establishments. “Ukay-ukay” generally MEANS getting down and dirty and literally diving into piles of clothes for stuff, checking out the best products for their value. And if you’re lucky, you just might find the right stuff for you.  Real treasure.

Inside one such thrift store, racks and racks of clothes,
shoe stands filled with pre-owned goodies.

In the Quezon City area, there are innumerable shops around that might tickle your fancy. Many carry surplus everything from Japan, America and other countries, and most of them have more than just a variety of products to sell.  There’s a line of shops in Kamuning where they have nice goodies to check out. These things range from toys, clothes, shoes and bags, and  even old gadgets that you’d probably be interested in, as long as you keep a discerning eye and the patience to wade through rags to find a more precious and one-of-a-kind steal.

If you’d like to have more of thingamajigs than clothes and shoes, you should find the shop near the Farmer’s Market in Cubao where there is a great place called MSN Surplus. They have a variety of old gadgets, books, exercise equipment, toys, and other odds and ends such as furniture and kitchenware. They also have a bigger branch in Timog.

My best find yet, a genuine Yukata or Japanese robe
found at the Ukay-Ukay

But if you’re really into clothes like me, you should check out the place adjacent to Fairmart, which is also in Cubao. At first you might just see a line of small shops, but if you get inside, it’s a HUGE sprawl! The building used to be an old decrepit mall, which housed a few movie theaters and some old stores which is now occupied by a sort of collective store called “Passerby”.  One time, I chanced upon a Japanese robe or a “Yukata” which still had their original tags on them for just two hundred pesos, and of course I bought them. You just don’t see that stuff here, and regular prices indicate that it would’ve cost ten times if I got it brand new, and that doesn’t even include shipping!

Me wearing another of my best finds, a formal ensemble that can be
worn to church, can pass for corporate wear, or even as formal dress
for weddings or parties!

I would’ve included more stores to adventure with, but some of the regular ones I used to go to aren’t there anymore. I got a pair of ice skates and saw an actual NASA jumpsuit once, which I failed to buy due to a tight budget and my usual expenses, but when I came back the store was indefinitely closed already. Grab a steal if you find one or lose it forever, just like in used-book shops.  If you chance upon any these places or other shops like them, please don’t hesitate to enter and dig right in. Who knows what you might find?!


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