Ukay-Ukay Hunting Tips

"Ukay-Ukay" (noun) a term used for places that sell secondhand goods (such as clothing, shoes, bags, furniture, etc.) at affordable prices usually shipped from other countries such as US, UK, Japan. Ukay-Ukay here in Manila are one of the best places where you can find VINTAGE ITEMS that you can no longer find in Malls, Boutiques etc.  

    I was never a fan of Ukay-Ukay because I don't like anything 2nd Hand. I thought of the items there are dirty and cheap, until recent events changed all my perspective in a complete 180 degrees. I have just fallen in love with UKAY-UKAY just recently after I found myself some VINTAGE ITEMS which I will be detailing in the next pages. What I wanted to showcase here would be some TIPS on how you can find that VINTAGE Item on top of mountain of items inside the Ukay Store. As a SHOPAHOLIC, I have found some of these to be very effective and as of late I believe I have at least around 10 Vintage items already. (Considering, I just started Vintage Shopping for just 3 weeks)

1. STORE EXPECTATIONS
Vintage or Ukay Hunting is nothing like your ordinary day of shopping in a prestige Mall. Most Ukay stores can't be located inside shopping malls, most likely they can be found scattered around your vicinity like near a Wet Market, inside a village or situated on an old building.

2. MERCHANDISE DISPLAY
As mentioned, Ukay Stores don't operate like your normal Mall Boutique in which they have an Inventory for everything like Stocks, Sizes and color etc. In Ukay Stores, you will be overwhelmed on how the Merchandise is displayed, everything is out there. It is like you being a Lion in the African Safari seeing a herd of Wildebeest, starving for meat but is all so confused with the numbers and don't know where to start. TIP: Please don't ask store attendants if they have sizes or in different color.

3. WEAR COMFY CLOTHES
Since Ukay Stores doesn't have A/C, the place can be really humid, specially at noon. You may want to wear super comfy and light clothes such as your Basic White Tee, Short Pants, Flip-flops or flats. As much as possible, don't bring your huge purses for security reasons. There is another reason why you may want to dress in a simple and comfortable manner, so that you can really HAGGLE for the price.

4. HAVE AN ITEM ON MIND
It will take you centuries if you wanted to look at the Ukay Items one at a time, since they have Tons and Tons of Shirts, Shorts, Shoes, Jacket etc. Best way is to think of an item you may want to buy. Like for me, on my list it would be
a.) Shoes
b.) Bag
c.) Jacket
d.) Accessories
What I would do is go to the rack where Shoes and Bags are displayed. These two items are easier to pick since most of these items are nicely displayed on shelves.

5. TALK TO THE MERCHANDISE
Once I enter the Store, I would normally talk to the merchandise, whispering, "Vintage items come to me." Funny as it may sound since it really doesn't have any scientific or logical explanation behind it, but for me I think of my Fashion Items like a living creature. Like in an animal pound, lost puppy looking for that special owner that would love them no matter what. I fell that talking to them somewhat giving them a signal to help me find them

6. GOOD EYE
This one is really tricky, since having a GOOD EYE for FASHION comes after years and years of experience. I may not be used to Vintage Hunting in Ukay Stores, however I am able to hone this essential skills every time I go shopping. Ukay Stores, have tons and tons of items and would be really confused where to look, sometimes the best Merchandise are out on display for everyone to see. Once you have found that Vintage item, inspect it carefully. Although I am okay with the 2nd-hand items in Ukay, I always make sure that they are still in a VERY GOOD CONDITION. TIP: Don't buy an item that looks so damage even though it is branded or so one-of-a-kind since you may not be able to use it anyway.

7. HAGGLE!!! HAGGLE!!! HAGGLE!!!
Ukay Items are so affordable however this is not a reason that you can't haggle anymore. Haggling Tips:
a. Buy in BULK- you can combine your purchase and your friends purchase. Anywhere, if you are buying something in bulk, you will get additional discount
b. Store Owners- if you can talk to the Store Owners, haggle with them instead with the attendants. They would normally give in to your request.

8. CLEAN AS YOU GO
Once you have all your Vintage Items, make sure that you clean them very well before using. We don't know who used them before. Cleaning Tips:
a. SHOES, Bags and other Leather Items: Shoe Shine, Brush
b. Garments such as Jackets, Coat, Shirts, Pants etc: Wash them
c. Delicate Accessories: Fur, Shawl etc, Dry Clean
e. NEVER BUY UNDERGARMENTS


There you go, hope you got some TIPS here from one Shopaholic to another.

Enjoy your Vintage Hunting!!!

On The Next Pages, I will be showcasing my VIntage Finds.

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