February 16, 2012

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Oh I absolutely heart UKAY (aka thrift shopping)! It is one of the things I can proudly say I am good at. No kidding hehehe..

I was first introduced to ukay by Mom when I was about twelve. When she was oh well, alive and kicking, amidst the distance of Bicol from Metro Manila, there was this tiny shop from our local palengke (translation: market) which she frequented to score some awesome shirts for my dad and brother.

My mom used to be plump! So buying clothes off the rack can be tricky. And mom has good taste as I suspected because while everyone else was wearing the same brand, hers was unique, bold, and polished. The reason of course was because she liked ukay shopping to high heavens!

So when a provincial girl like me came to the city, I was excited much to try ukay. Long before ukay was glorified, I was a fan of the sport! And even if my *cat hates thrift shopping I don’t really mind. It’s one of the “sports” I am good at and I intend to keep it that way, hahaha. So let me tell you about....

The Rules of Ukay the Red Lippie Way!

Know your target

  • There are a number of ukay shops not far from where I live and since I am a Makati girl by heart (naks) let me introduce you to these shops in Makati Cinema Square, along Buendia Avenue just before you start driving towards the flyover to C5.
  • Other famous ukay shops are found in Baguio City, Cubao, Carriedo, Libertad, Divisoria, Anonas, Harrison Plaza, etc.

Dress simply

  • Kindly leave your LV, Prada, Hermes bags at home. For God’s sake, don’t ask me why.
  • Come in your most comfortable outfit and the rule is to dress down which means no flashy items such as expensive phones, designer clothes, and the like.

Bring alcohol or hand sanitizer, hanky, etc.

  • Again I consider this as a sport so you don’t want to play “messy” right?
  • They will come in handy after hours of “treasure hunting”.

Bargain, bargain, bargain

  • Bargaining is a must as most shops allow it. 
  • For shops which are too strict in bargaining, I suggest you look for another target location.

Patience is a virtue

  • Don’t rush if you don’t have to. Keep in mind that these are second hand items and you need to inspect every item to ensure you are not wasting your hard earned money for nothing.
  • Personally, when I go to ukay shops, I have my own strategy in this order: 
  1. First Screening
  2. Semi Finals
  3. Finals
  • This means that whenever I see a prospect ukay item, I put it  in my shopping bag to qualify for the first screening. Then comes semi final round, and then later on I would need to decide which I really need/ want depending on my budget for the "final" round, lol.

Befriend the assistants

  • Believe me, this will come in handy if you love ukay.
  • Gaining their trust and being nice to them will not only give you a better discount, you can also ask them to sms you if they have anything new to sell.

I know some people frown at thrifting because they think buying second hand items are filthy. But then hey- I am really loving it. It’s just a pity that because I’ve been so busy with my life that I don’t have time now to do more ukay shopping. Also I heard that ukays are becoming more expensive now than before and can sometimes cost the same as buying new items:(

I wonder where have all the golden years of ukays gone.

But let me tell you, the spirit of ukay shopping is still within me. Must hit the ukay shops soon!

Miss J

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  1. love it! i miss shopping with you!

    1. Me too Khimmy! I hope to see you soon and your super cute Baby Yuki.. I hope I can visit you there in Tokyo sometime in August:).. Miss you sobra!