When I was young, I remember my Mom would always take me to the town fiesta to watch the festivities and to buy Ukay-Ukay. They called it “Relief” back then. A shortened name for Relief Goods that were typically sent to victims of calamities. For some reason, it got into the hands of traders who sold it, and many people liked it for its low prices and quality. Nowadays, Ukay-Ukay is being patronized by many in the lower and middle classes. And even here in Dubai, you can see Ukay-Ukay stores where thousands of OFWs flock in to buy.
In 2007, having seen a high potential of this business, I have put up my own Ukay-Ukay stall in Saver’s Square (same building as SM Savemore Supermarket) in Pasay Rotonda. My mom and my brother managed the day to day operations. I helped them during my off days from work. In 2008 I got a great job offer in Dubai, so I had to close the shop.
I can share my experience with the Ukay-Ukay business with you, and I hope you can get some valuable lessons.
The location of your store is one of the most important factors to consider. Areas with heavy foot traffic like near the markets or the malls are best suited for this business.
If you want to start small and first test the waters, you can start selling from your home to neighbors, friends, and even your workmates. Through this, you will save the rental cost.
With the emergence of online shops nowadays, the Ukay business has been thriving and is perceived to be a fashion & style store. Social media has been a powerful tool for millions of companies worldwide. Anyone can sell their items online through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc.
We got our supplies from Bambang in Manila, just 5 minutes walk from Bambang LRT Station. Inside or within the vicinity of Bambang Market, you can find many shops selling Ukay-Ukay goods in bundles or bales.
You can buy a bale of tops (shirts & blouses), bottoms (trousers, pants, shorts), bags, shoes, and many more. Nowadays, you can find suppliers selling in bulk online as an alternative to going to Bambang or if your location is outside Metro Manila. Carousell.ph is just one of the possible sources of supplies online. Be careful and make sure that you are dealing with a legit supplier.
Store Materials & Fixtures
Below are the primary materials & fixtures needed for an Ukay-Ukay shop. Some others might be required depending on the size and requirements of your shop.
- Hanging Rails
Segregation & Pricing
The pricing of each item is easily achieved by properly segregating each bundle’s content into a premium and non-premium item. In each bunch, you can get a combination of items in good condition while some are in fair conditions.
Ukay prices are based on the face value of the item. My Mom washed and cleaned some items with visible stains to sell them at higher prices.
It takes hard work and dedication to run this business. Competition, nowadays, is getting tougher. But with the right choice of location, excellent products to offer, the right people running it, and careful planning and managing, this business will slowly prosper and will be a good source of income.
EarnPeso holds no control over your financial fate. It is here as a guide. Exercise prudence in every investment or business you undertake, and success will follow.
Chat with me
I have ventured into an e-commerce business (online selling) that you might also be interested in setting up. You can visit our website at colibers.com, where you can have a chat with me (just select Contact Us), and I will be more than willing to entertain your questions regarding this post and e-commerce.
Categories: Business Ideas