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Ukay stores abound in the Philippines and Filipinos—of all ages, sizes, and social classes—have taken to thrifting like nobody’s business. Ukay shopping is particularly thrilling because you never know what delightful things you will find—and at such bargains too! Here are 8 tips for an efficient and satisfying ukay shopping experience.





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Go over rows and rows of racks to find your one piece of gem. Sometimes you might even have to go to several ukay stores to find that one perfect piece. It might take a while but when you do find it, it's gonna be priceless!

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[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Ukay-shopping-photo-8.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]You will need patience. [/text_image]






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For a very minimal investment, you can afford to take fashion risks. Now is the time to try styles you would not normally wear. If you realize they’re not quite you after wearing them a few times, give the clothes away to friends of the same size, shape, and fashion sense.

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[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Ukay-shopping-photo-7.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]Keep an open mind. [/text_image]





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Make sure they fit. Just because it’s P50 does not mean you're not wasting P50 on something you can't wear anyway.

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[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Ukay-shopping-photo-6.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]Always try things on.[/text_image]





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You won’t need to line up for the fitting room because you can just throw that nice blouse or sweater over your tank top, or wear the potentially-butt-beautifying pants/shorts/skirt under your skirt.

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[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Ukay-shopping-photo-5.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]Wear a loose skirt and a dark-colored tank top to your ukay outing.[/text_image]





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Grab one from the racks and use it for the above purpose. Remember to return it!

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[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Ukay-shopping-photo-4.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]You don't own a loose skirt? (What's wrong with you?)[/text_image]





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Check for the usual issues: stuck zippers, missing buttons, loose stitches on seams, lining tears, discoloration, etc. Be honest with yourself. If you know you won’t take the time to change that zipper, don’t buy it.

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[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Ukay-shopping-photo-3.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]Inspect your desired items thoroughly. [/text_image]





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Ukays are usually generous with discounts especially if you’re buying three or more items. You’ll only save a few bucks but admit it, that made you feel good, didn’t it?

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[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Ukay-shopping-photo-2.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]Ask for a discount.[/text_image]





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You don’t have to buy for the sake of buying and end up adding more clutter to your closet. Shrug and try again at the next ukay shop just around the corner.

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[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Ukay-shopping-photo-1.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]And finally, it’s okay to leave empty-handed.[/text_image]


Joni Cham


Joni Cham has recently published her first novel, "In My Mother's House." Copies are available at these locations or you may order online here if you're in the Philippines or here if you're anywhere else.



 


She is currently working on her second book, a collection of short stories tentatively titled "Daughter and Other Stories." She aims to finish this by the end of 2013. This, while she pre-writes her second novel.



 


For a day job, Joni works as an intelligence analyst at a risk consultancy firm in Manila, Philippines. She relaxes by reading both fiction and nonfiction books, as well as relearning Mandarin, which she does by singing 光良's songs. She blogs atwww.soyoufound.me.

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