Baguio Thrift Shopping

You know I meant Ukay Ukay shopping.  But, I feel so "alta," because I scored several nice pieces.

On our first free day, I went to this ukay ukay joint in Baguio with my mother.  I really had no intention of getting anything. In fact, I told my husband that I was just going to accompany Mama. I only had P2000 with me.

Deep inside, I was dragging myself to go ukay ukay shopping.  I can score brand new cheap items from H&M and Uniqlo.  So, why bother?

That mindset changed when I saw authentic Jimmy Choos, Louboutins and Dior shoes.  Unfortunately, they weren't my size.  They didn't carry those interesting brands in my size.  But with that fire of interest in me, I went to the other stalls seeing if there is anything worth buying.

There definitely is.  Presenting to you my ukay haul....

After careful examination, I therefore conclude that this Phantom is the real thing.  It feels genuine and it looks like one too. I am no bag expert but I know bags. I was comparing it with online resources, on how to spot a fake one so I can back up my decision, if needed.  I've been crushing on this for years.  It is definitely worth the wait.

As for the other one, I don't care if it is an Hermes or not.  It is too cheap even if it were a nameless leather clutch.  I couldn't even get a decent leather clutch from Zara or H&M at the price.  

Not bad for LESS than $200, right?

Anyway, I'd like to give you some tips on thrift shopping in Baguio, specially when dealing luxury items.

1)  Do not believe sellers when they say it is authentic.  There were items they claimed as authentic but don't feel, smell or look like the real thing.  They say that it is a premium item from Hong Kong, therefore it is the real thing.  It is not.  Remember, there are lots of knock off items polluting the markets of Hong Kong.  Besides, how would they know?  They do not buy those kinds of bags in the stores.  Trust your gut.

I was particularly impressed by my ukay seller because he knows what he is talking about.  He knows leather and he knows the bag names.  It seems that he knows the difference between replica and genuine ones.  I felt that I could trust him.

2)  Always check for labels and security features.  Some people claim that the Ukay items are authentic but you can not see the serial numbers, stickers and the like.  I know that these may be easily copied and easily detached, but also do your research.

Sometimes, a little flaw like strap alignment, the feel of the zipper, the suppleness of the leather will tell you if it is real.  Sometime, you really just don't know.  It may be too vintage that it is not visible online.  It may also be a very good replica.

3)  If you have access to the internet, check all bag or shoe features with the genuine ones you see online.

4)  When you have finally decided on your item, don't forget to haggle.  I was able to bring down the price of my items because my mother and I bought several items.  

The seller was hesitant at first.  But, because of the season and the forecast of tourists coming into the city, he decided to just sell at lower price, rather than wait for the next opportunity.

So, till my next Ukay trip.


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