Despite the boom of various fashion brands, we still like scavenging for rare finds in the crowded aisles of ukay-ukay spots — sometimes for budget reasons, others for variety (showing up to a party in the same H&M top as three other people is NOT fun).
Thrift shopping doesn’t have to equate to settling for low-quality pieces for cheaper. True bargain veterans know that the real deal in thrift shopping lies in scouring through secondhand top-notch material and eventually landing a steal. To survive through the packed alleys unscathed,you’re only going to need three things: patience, haggling prowess, and a keen eye. Plus some pretty strong legs.
6. Big Brand Sale, Binondo
Happening a few times a year, the Big Brand Clearance Sale in Binondo is something worth watching out for — it’s got some pretty sweet deals from major brands (imagine finding Adidas Superstars and Nike Roshe Runs at a fraction of the price!!) as they set out to clear their stocks for a new retail season. And who doesn’t love clearance sales?
5. Greenhills Shopping Center
Arguably the most popular on the list, Greenhills Shopping Center sells a variety of items in its massive shopping arena: you have entire sections dedicated to gadgets, watches, clothes, and even jewelry. The items offered in Greenhills have definitely stepped up its game, which unfortunately also means prices are higher. Still, haggling skills are put to the test here, with wares that you won’t find anywhere else: vintage and retro memorabilia, for one thing.
As if it needs saying, Divisoria is the mecca for thrift shopping. From fabrics to school supplies to household objects and clothes, nothing is missed. The hodgepodge of wares sold in Divisoria is enough to disorient anyone, but the rewards are well worth it if you know where to search. If you’re shopping here for the first time, it is always preferable to bring a buddy well-versed with the different streets this tiangge center covers, unless you don’t mind getting lost.
3. Big Garments Sale, Meycauayan, Bulacan
This outlet extravaganza is only a twenty-minute drive from the city. There’s a certain exclusivity to this event however, which means you’ll have to keep an eye out for the schedule from those in the know. This warehouse sale offers overruns from brands such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, G2000, and Old Navy.
2. Anonas Ukay, Anonas, Cubao
Raved about by bargain rats, the thrift market in Anonas spans an entire building with different designer brands occupying all four floors. While I’d say Baguio has better pieces, Anonas is a good alternative for a quick thrift fix.
1. Baguio Night Market (Wag-wag)
Among all the other shops in this list, the Baguio Night Market stands out the most. Not only is it the one not located within Metro Manila, it also offers the cheapest prices, with brands such as Ralph Lauren, Gap, and Brooks Brothers going for as low as 10php per piece. This retail heaven runs along the street in front of Burnham Park, which is closed down every night from 9PM-12AM. There is a variety of clothes, perfume, and even cellphones sold along this strip, with an adjacent array of food stalls that spell pedestrian Mercato, where you can eat and shop at the same time.