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How to score in an ukay-ukay: Recessionistas' insider tips
The ultimate ukay-ukay guide for unearthing something fabulous for next to nothing.
By: Bea Constantino and Leona Lavina-Panutat  |   Published on: May 20, 2009 - 10:00am

ukayrev-copy

Stylist Leona Lavina-Panutat shows off her ukay finds. Top: Skirts at 3 for P100 at Pennywise Trading ukay choices at ECEP Dry Goods Store.

Center: Fabulous finds at Pennywise Trading and a Moschino cheap and chic jacket at P65.

Lower bottom:   Reworked vintage dress leather jacket at P 90, Green military cropped cardigan for P60.

Now that fashionistas are finding it hard to satiate their fashion urges, Manila has the best remedy: the ukay-ukay. Around for at least a decade, the ukay-ukay is not exactly a secret. Tucked inside Manila's alleys and holes-in-the-wall, one needs to scour the streets and find the perfect ukay—“every store houses different brands (sometimes original, most of the time, not) and styles. The most addicting thing about them? You rarely get the same thing twice!

Gone are the days when second-hand shopping was a no-no. Today, not only is it acceptable but anyone who has fashion cred has done it at least once. Fashionistas now get a bigger thrill in unearthing something fabulous for next to nothing than by buying the latest "it" thing. Finding something to-die-for amidst racks and racks of clothes is not an easy feat. Here's SPOT's  12-Step Battle Plan:

1. Research. Master the trends before embarking on your battle, so you can keep an eye out for certain colors, prints, cuts and fabrics and ignore what's blah. But also keep in mind that classics never go out of style.

2. Dress down and dress tight. No dressing room? No problem. Wear something you can slip on and off without exposing yourself. Layer an oversized tank over a tight one, and wear leggings and sneakers so you can try on the clothes on the spot.

3. Look poor. Seeing that the customer is well-dressed, salespeople can hike up the price pronto. Look casual and discreet—“most ukays are in dodgy locations so it's best to blend with the crowd.

4. Bring barya. You can't exactly haggle if you're carrying money in P500 and P1000 denominations.

5. Haggle-frock. Haggle for half the price and meet halfway with the seller. Accumulate purchases and ask for additional items for free.

6. Ditch the handbag. Go hands-free—“an oversized sling bag is perfect. Not only can you put your other purchases inside but it also lets you scour the racks with ease.

7. Be greedy. Never put an item down unless you're sure you aren't going to get it. Remember that these pieces are one of a kind and that another customer may be eyeing your choices and is just waiting for you to put it back. And finally, learn how to edit.

8. Caveat emptor: It's understood that once you purchase something, you take everything that comes with it: stains, smells and snags. So, check the underarm areas. If it's overly-stained, dump it. Underarms are very sensitive parts and stains only mean that the previous owner did sweat on it profusely and the bacteria from it will never go away.

9. Discriminate: Stay away from bathing suits, always wear socks for shoes and always check for holes and stains.

10. Before you buy: Ask: Am I just caught up in the thrill of the low price? Do really I love it? Will I actually wear it? If the answer is no, then it's just a waste of money.

11. Before you say bye: Tell the store you'll be back soon and that particular branch is your favorite bargain depot. Befriend that staff and get the number so they'll alert you for the next batch of new arrivals or even better, you get first dibs on the biggest sales.

12. After you buy: Rinse clothing in vinegar (known to eliminate germs) and wash it off. Another option is to slightly boil it to kill bacteria. Research on fabric care and handling so you don't ruin your most-coveted bargain discovery!

ikayman

Ikayman Fashion House in Kamuning has Yves Saint Laurent and Viviene Westwood finds.

LEONA'S LIST:

1.       CYLHIA RTW FASHION- Rizal Ave., Cor Blumentritt, beside Mercury Drug. Store Hours: Mon-Sun 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

New items delivered every quarter. Mostly women's clothes arranged per category and price point. No shoes and accessories here. The store is pretty small so be patient. I was able to buy a Moschino Cheap and Chic Jacket for P65!

2.   ECEP Dry Goods Store- G/F RJ Building, A.Bonifacio St. Bgy 81, Caloocan City Store Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Mobile: (0929) 864-5695

No set delivery date, so ask the store personnel to alert you for new merchandise. The store is pretty big but everything is arranged by category and price point so it makes it easier to navigate. Brands like Zara, Jessica, Theme, G2000 and Tough Jeans. Prices are pretty good—“ apparel, P200 and below, nothing over P350 for bags and shoes. I got a leather motorcycle vest reminiscent of Alexander Wang's F/W '08 Collection for just P90!

3. PENNYWISE TRADING- 151 UGF Quadrillion Manshion, N. Domingo San Juan Store Hours: Mon-Sat 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sun 12 nn-8:30 p.m. Tel. 744-7083

One of my absolute favorite shops. This store marks down their items every week. Clothes are full-price on the first week, 50% off on the second, 3 for 100 on the third week and 4 for a hundred on the fourth week. I bought so many things from here—“even a Vivienne Westwood cardigan for P50. No set delivery schedule either, so leave your number.

4. IKAYMAN FASHION- Kamuning Conrer Edsa, beside Chowking Store Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Pretty expensive compared to the others but they have a good collection. I found pieces from Vivienne Westwood and a bag from Yves Saint Laurent. If you're willing to shell out a bit more for a designer piece then this shop is for you. Prices range from P180-1200.

5. FASHION DELIGHT  - Quezon Theater Bldg. Gen Roxas cor. Araneta Center, Soccoro Cubao, Quezon City Store Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Probably the biggest  Ukay  in Metro Manila. Racks upon racks of   clothing as far as your eyes can see. Try to go on a weekday as it gets packed on weekends.

fashiond2

The best time to scour through the racks of Fashion Delight in Cubao is during weekdays,  as it is probably the biggest ukay in Manila.

BEA'S BARGAIN HAVENS:

1. Lucky Star Ukay-Ukay Luck Star building, Makati Avenue corner J.P. Rizal Street, Makati City

2. Iyaman Fashion House St. Girard's Building, Alabang Zapote Road, Las Pinas City

3. Uky (a series of stalls) Beside the POEA building in front of Robinson's Galleria along EDSA

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25 Comments
  • charmz_mhen04
    Saan po exactly ung LUCKY STAR UKAY-UKAY sa may Makati City? Ano pong mga Landmarks? Please reply, thanks.. and how much ung range ng mga clothes sa Lucky Star Ukay-ukay.. Slamat
    Oct 16 2012 @ 09:07pm     Reply  
  • yuri
    hai guyz ask aqu wer aqu mkakabili ng mga cUte na korean styl dresses????? kung my alam kayu sbihin nyu nmn ung affordable huhHHH thnx..
    Nov 04 2011 @ 12:23pm     Reply  
  • jacky
    lo there! it's really good to be at ukay ukay. actually, we drop by almost everyday. the ukay in anonas for us is a 1 stop shop but we noticed that the salesladies there , elvira andthe old woman pick their choices first. all praises naman to bunso and company. sana lang maibalik siya sa 3rd floor.
    Aug 08 2011 @ 08:10am     Reply  
  • jane
    wer i can buy affordable ukays near pasay city? mostly ukays here in pasay are expensive
    Jul 10 2011 @ 06:47am     Reply  
  • mel angeles
    i want to buy wholesale ukay ukay for my business soon..pls help me where can i find a cheaper one.. thanks..
    Apr 01 2011 @ 01:58pm     Reply  
  • seolnkr
    Information on online gaming, Game Sports,Sports Game,Slots Gambling,Sports Club,Online Casino Jackpot all games and sports related services and equipment.
    Jan 19 2011 @ 05:35pm     Reply  
  • toto
    @AKI,rnrnGo to the Tigbauan Iloilo Public Market,every early Sunday to catch fresh harvests.They are really cheap! Original Levis ranges from 20 -100 pesos! and check the market days of every municipality, because there are UKAY-UKAYS there every market day. OTON, AREVALO, GUIMBAL, MIAG-AO,SAN JOAQUIN,etc. Check the public market in Jaro, at Iloilo City, and the suburbs,Leganes for one.
    Oct 27 2010 @ 01:45pm     Reply  
  • arnique
    Here's a bit of a shameless plug: http://aplusbinthesea.blogspot.com/p/thrift-manila.htmlrnrnIt's a beginner's guide to ukay-ukay and contains reviews of some of the better locations for thrift store shopping.rnrn
    Oct 27 2010 @ 01:26pm     Reply  
  • toshi
    try isetann recto which is adjacent to lrt2 recto station and there are 2 ukay2 stores 3rd flr
    Sep 30 2010 @ 11:52pm     Reply  
  • karmen
    hey hey all,rnrni be visitin manila this comin wednesday. i be stayin around metro manila.,so please let me know where to go for the best ukay- ukay. since u all have mention lots of ukay- ukay, i dont think i can cover all the ukays. haha. please give me the best place to shop! :) thanks HUGS@@
    Sep 06 2010 @ 11:22pm     Reply  
  • David
    Try this ukay store in Quezon City. I visited last week in V. Luna and manage to grab some T-shirts and Cargo pants. Good quality. Mostly ladies but they have good selection goods.

    Located in V. Luna Avenue and beside Claret School. Small store and it's clean. Have fitting room pa.

    I found out they has a blog page. New blog, I think. http://dhaviesukay2.blogspot.com/
    Jul 03 2010 @ 02:39pm     Reply  
    1
  • Steph
    Try the ukay in Sta.Lucia mall in cainta, its in the old sta.lucia or phase 1 i think, 4th floor cinema, its an ukay store inside a cinema, so its really biiiiig!
    Jun 16 2010 @ 03:48pm     Reply  
  • ukayukayresourcecenter
    Apr 24 2010 @ 03:02am     Reply  
  • clyhia
    This is for those people who blogs our shop in Blumentrit.. Shop name is CLYHIA RTW FASHION... A warthm thank you to all... We also have our shop in Baguio City... The location is at #01 Stall Bayanihan Bldg., Otek Street... thank you to all and God Bless us all... mwah..
    Mar 17 2010 @ 10:08pm     Reply  
  • leigh
    girl,we speak the same language in terms ukay vocabulary.I have my collections of branded items- UKAY FINDS!

    GOODLUCK SA NXT SHOPPING TRIP!


    note:by the way,i have my own ukay shop here in eastern samar.
    Mar 11 2010 @ 04:33pm     Reply  
  • Communicator
    There are links to Cebu and Davao and Baguio and Manila Ukay Ukay at http://ukayukayheaven.blogspot.com/
    Nov 14 2009 @ 03:07pm     Reply  
  • AKI
    WHERE CAN I BUY GREAT UKAY UKAY HERE IN ILOILO?
    Oct 10 2009 @ 10:37am     Reply  
  • marilyn
    lucena city in quezon has various ukay ukay stores specifically within the town proper along quezon ave, merchant and enriquez sts.
    Oct 02 2009 @ 09:42pm     Reply  
  • chingay
    i suggest also ukay ukay in baclaran cor. RIVERA ST. along Quirino ave. ung Men's nla wow ganda tlga...
    Sep 30 2009 @ 12:48pm     Reply  
  • theo
    2NDflr grand central mall near monumento station ..
    Jul 23 2009 @ 04:35pm     Reply  
  • jacq
    hi theo where's clayton rtw?can you give me exact location?tnx
    Jul 17 2009 @ 09:51pm     Reply  
  • theo
    ukay fans i suggest our neighborhood ukay2 hear at monumento especially clayton rtw in ever gotesco grand central wherein u can almost find all signature and fashionable clothes and bags such as zara,prada,gucci,channel etc...
    Jun 29 2009 @ 06:13pm     Reply  
  • Nate
    I've been really wondering when people say they got their designer's clothes in an UKay Ukay Shop. Are they really the real thing and authentic?
    Jun 25 2009 @ 09:41pm     Reply  
  • accm1991
    How do i get to Fashion Delight through commute from Taft Ave?
    Jun 08 2009 @ 03:23pm     Reply  
  • shavedfish
    I also suggest Santa Ana, Manila (near the horse race track) and the ukay stores across Robinsons Galleria. Not in Manila? Quezon Province also has one of the coolest finds. Make it a point to go even just once. You won't regret it!
    May 21 2009 @ 04:46pm     Reply  
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