Want designer wear on a budget? Thrift shops are there for you.
We all like designer clothes, but how many of us can actually afford them? You have your answer. But thanks to second-hand shopping, we can all rock designer clothes.
What is second hand shopping?
Better known as “jumble sale” or “madunusa” in the famous Johannesburg slang, second-hand shopping is when you buy clothes that have been worn by someone else. In the past, these clothes would be piled out in the open for buyers to pick through, but due to high demand, sellers are more organised and have opened thrift shops instead of selling from street corners.
This is how clothes would be piled before the organised way.
How does it work?
The sellers buy used clothes in bulk, usually from overseas, and hand-pick items that are still in good condition to resell them. Regular customers are usually known and have premium access – meaning for every new batch of arrivals, they receive notifications before everyone else.
What are the advantages?
You save money! For example, I have several designer dresses that I bought for less than R80, whereas their actual prices range from R899. Another great thing is that they’re exclusive. The clothes are usually a limited range, which means the chances of being the only one with a certain item in your city are high.
You can’t return the items. Unfortunately, many of these shops don’t allow items to be returned, and if they do, you can only exchange: there are no refunds. To be on the safe side, do fittings.
You also have to wash the clothes before you wear them. It’s a general rule that when you buy something, you should wash it first, even if it’s new, just to remove starch.
But with second-hand clothing, washing is a must, because most of the items have been worn before – and even if the previous owner did wash them, you may still have to remove their scent.
Organised thrift store in Joburg.
Tips for second hand shopping
- Arrive early, it’s first come, first served.
- Carry cash: most thrifting shops don’t have swiping facilities.
- Look deeper: don’t go for the obvious.The best items are often hidden.
- Avoid buying second-hand shoes and boots.
- Be reasonable in your bargaining.
- For fitting purposes, it’s smart to wear a vest under your clothes, so that you don’t expose your body in cases where there’s no fitting room.
- Bring your own shopping bag. Most of these jumble sale spots don’t have the best packaging.
For the best jumble sale experience with designer clothes in Johannesburg, visit the Vintage Look at Diagonal Street Passage.