Shopping has often been described as a sport, with ukay shopping as the Olympics. The risks are higher (thanks to the no exchange policy), but the rewards are also greater (a cool designer outfit for a fraction of the original price). Celebrity stylist Pam Quiñones could certainly attest to this. "I used to go to every single one of them [ukay shops] when I was so much youngermaybe 10 years agoI would scout every ukay shop in Manila..." she shares with FN.

Ukay shopping, however, is not limited to clothes. Furniture, books, toys, and other knickknacks are also prime ukay finds (Kamuning is a great place to start looking for showpieces for your home).

Ready to go start your ukay adventure? Here are a few tips to help you out.

1. Know your brands.
If you're hoping to strike designer gold when ukay shopping, make sure you know how to distinguish a real branded piece from a cheap (but very well-made) knock-off. This is especially true for clothes and bags, but furniture pieces may also come in the form of reproductions.

2. Look for signs of wear and tear.
Not everything you find at the ukay-ukay will be in perfect condition. Carefully assess your finds for signs of wear and tear. If you really really must have a particular worn-out item, make sure to factor in the repair costs as well.

3. Make friends with the tinderas.
If you're a newbie ukay shopper, it pays to befriend the people who watch over the store. Not only do they know when the new shipments come in and where the best pieces are displayed, they may also be able to give you a better price for your hauls.

4. Haggle, haggle, haggle!
Ukay finds seem like unbeatable bargains compared with the usual mall merchandise, but that doesn't mean you should stop looking for a better deal. Always try to haggle for a lower price whenever you can.

(Photo from Second Shout Out via Second Shout Out on Pinterest)

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