Bundle shops draw bargain seekers

Khairulnizam arranging the second-hand clothes he sells at his shop in Bandar Baru Uda.

THE demand for second-hand goods has been on the rise lately as people look for alternatives to reduce their spending following the rise in the cost of living.

Traders selling the pre-loved items said they had been getting more customers, from the rich and poor, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Khairulnizam Haron, 29, who operates such a store in Johor Baru’s Bandar Baru Uda selling second-hand shoes and clothes, said his customers ranged from avid second-hand goods collectors to those who needed cheaper clothing options.

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“Previously, most of my customers were collectors who enjoyed hunting down limited edition and good quality clothing. They did not mind forking out some extra money to get their hands on these items.

“You can find the rarest of clothes and shoes, including those that are not commonly found around stores in the country, in bundle shops such as mine.

People choosing clothes at a warehouse supplying second-hand goods in Johor.People choosing clothes at a warehouse supplying second-hand goods in Johor.

“This is because we get most of our items from all over the world, such as Thailand, Japan, South Korea and European countries.

“However, I noticed that nowadays, people are opting to get second-hand items because of the price and not merely as a collector’s item.

They see bundle shops as an alternative to save up money as it is cheaper than buying new things,” he told StarMetroKhairulnizam, who has been operating the store for over three years, said the clothes and shoes he sold ranged from RM10 to RM80, depending on the brand, material and condition.

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“Second-hand goods can really help those who are struggling to make ends meet, as just RM50 can get them a few items of clothing.

“At the same time, it caters as well to those who have more money to spend as we also have rare finds that are more expensive than other items in our store,” he said, adding that his customers included students.

Apart from the locals, Khairulnizam said he had also been getting more customers from Singapore and other parts of Malaysia.

“Business has improved by about 15% this year compared to last year and I believe it will increase further by the end of the year,” he added.

Omar explaining to a customer the features of a second-hand laptop at his shop.Omar explaining to a customer the features of a second-hand laptop at his shop.

Omar Nasar, 34, who has been selling second-hand computers and laptops for the past 13 years, said the demand for the items skyrocketed during the early phases of the movement control order.

“At that time, many people were forced to work and study from home due to the MCO and were in urgent need of these gadgets.

“Some parents were unable to afford new computers and laptops, especially those who had been laid off from their jobs.

“In some cases, families need to fork out a large sum of money to buy not just one, but two or even more laptops if they have many children doing online learning at the same time.

“Consequently many opted for second-hand laptops because they could get it at half price or even less, compared to a new one,” he said.

Omar said the prices of the laptops he sold were between RM400 and RM1,800.

“Although schools have now reopened and most people have returned to their workplace, the demand for second-hand laptops and computers is still high,” he said, adding that the items he sold were from Malaysia and Singapore.

Managing director of a store selling second-hand furniture, Cyndi Goh, 37, said business improved over the past few months as people sought cheaper options for their homes.

“Like many businesses, this store also suffered at the beginning of the pandemic, but we are grateful that things improved since early this year as demand for second-hand items increased.

Some of the bundles of second-hand clothes stored in a warehouse in Johor. – Photos: THOMAS YONG/The StarSome of the bundles of second-hand clothes stored in a warehouse in Johor. – Photos: THOMAS YONG/The Star

“In difficult times like this, people are learning to prioritise their needs,” she said.

Goh added that the furniture she sold, including table, bed, cupboard, sofa and shoe rack, were priced between RM50 and RM5,000.

Noor Ellya Rosli, 23, a clerk for a business supplying second-hand clothes to shops, said demand for such items doubled during the early stages of the MCO.

“We started the business from home in 2019 and at the beginning of the MCO, the demand for second-hand clothes increased by 100%, which allowed us to expand our business further. We now have one shop and a store in Johor Baru.

“We currently supply pre-loved clothes to hundreds of businesses nationwide, including those that are operating from home and using online platforms solely,” she said, adding that the clothes they sold came from the United States, Japan and South Korea.

Noor Ellya said their goods were priced starting from RM70 for a large bag with at least 300 pieces of clothes and a total weight of about 100kg.

“We sell the clothes in large sacks weighing between 20kg and 100kg each. The price varies depending on the type, condition and brand of the clothing.

“The most expensive one we have is RM13,500 for a bag of clothes weighing about 45kg.

“This is because the clothes in the bag are of higher quality and could be sold for as high as RM200 per piece,” she said.

She noted that the number of people selling used clothes had increased since the pandemic, especially among those who lost their jobs.

“Selling second-hand clothes is seen as a way for people to earn a living or get some side income to cope with the rising cost of living,” said Noor Ellya.

She added that there were also more orders from charitable organisations.

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