Ukay-ukay shopping isn’t for everyone. First, it’s cumbersome to do, you’d definitely sweat like a man while going through racks of clothing and shoes, and you need time to do it. BUT, if you’re willing to endure all these, then you’re up for some surprises. Before we get to the benefits, here’s a little history –
The term ukay-ukay came from the Visayan term halukay, meaning...
The term ukay-ukay came from the Visayan term halukay, meaning, to dig.
...to dig. It is believed that the ukay phenomenon started in Baguio back in the 1980s. This was when The Salvation Army shipped second-hand garments and the items just ended up in piles.
These were eventually sold to the public at super low cost.
Benefits of Ukay Diving, Shopping Tips, etc.
Instead, opt to shop a week after (or so). Here, you’ll see that most of the items have been marked down. You can buy blouses for as low sa 35-50 pesos only. Some can even be had for just 10 pesos.
3. Do bring alcohol, though, when you shop and when you’re allergic to dust, well, it’s best to wear a mask. Don’t worry ‘coz wearing a mask is socially acceptable inside ukay shops.
The dust may soon be less of a nuisance once you begin to see the discounts that you get. You can ask for an even lower price if you see a slight damage.
4. Patience, dear, is always a virtue. Scoring branded stuff from ukay shops requires a loooot of patience. Of course, there’s the endless need to fit every item on. Don’t fret, though, because you will soon be going home with huge bags of fashionable clothing.
5. Be sure to soak your newly-bought ukay clothing in a warm water and vinegar solution overnight. After this, machine wash with a strong detergent (I prefer Ariel).
If you have 1,000 pesos for ukay shopping, oh, you’re going to need about half of your car trunk for your new clothes.
Now here’s my tipid advice – don’t be embarrassed to wear your UK clothing. After all, being fashionable is not about how much the item is but more on how you feel comfy, pretty, and confident as you strut around in those pieces of clothes.
I swear I'm about to write a research paper about the ukay-ukay business in our country. It's amazing just how much this has grown and how clothing, shoes, and bags are now more accessible to us peso-pinching Pinoys.
I just took the time to write about this 'coz I bought a pair of Boy London rubber shoes for my son a few months back and we even managed to buy their costumes for their Halloween party back then.
Anyway, here are photos of the said purchases -
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The great news is that we were able to buy these costumes for just under 400 pesos.
Not bad at all. My daughter was searching online for her Dolores Umbridge ensemble and she said that it costs $1,500 USD inclusive of shipping (as if that would make me buy the costume and wand).
Anyway, we did have a great deal with our ukay expedition. Tiyaga lang talaga ( loads of patience is a requisite). Of course, a little creativity and an imaginative mind are also welcome.
E.S. Villamor has made a career in writing for a decade now. Her online business - GIML (Gabriela Isabel & Miguel Lucas) Publishing started in 2014. She advocated for women's rights and was once enamored with imparting financial literacy through training and blogs but she is now focused on propagating all things Filipino. This site is also being groomed as a rich homeschooling resource.