Shopping for secondhand swag
Unwanted Christmas presents will be flooding the market this month. Here’s where to score the best deals. By Ysabelle Cheung
Kick it old school and head down to one of the many Salvation Army family stores (two in Wan Chai and many more around the island, and in Kowloon). The jumble sale aspect of it may be hell for some, but stick it out and you could find some gems to take home and nurture, such as second edition books, or mint condition toys for big kids at heart. There’s also an Oxfam in Central – some profits go to thirsty children in Africa.
Hong Kong’s lifestyle is all about conspicuous consumption (and this season’s LV bag) but despite this there are still thriving little vintage shops that have accrued quite a cult following – our cover star Eason Chan, and Candy Lo, have been seen rifling through the wonderfully musty racks at Select 18, where the walls are practically bursting with vintage glasses, consignment pieces, handmade clothing and secondhand gems. Midwest takes all its vintage clothing from affluent Texan cowboys who like to brood pensively in their bullet-proofed Humvees. The shop stocks everything exclusively from the US of A and it definitely caters for a certain lifestyle – perfect for those who like to rock up to parties in distressed leathers or vintage Levi denim jackets (from $7,000).
Also take a stroll down the winding side streets off Hollywood Road and you’ll find Vintage HK and Bang Bang! 70s. You’ll find the latter in a residential building; press a bell and wait to be transported back to the 70s (or 80s or 90s). Everything here is 100 percent vintage, from the still-functional Leica cameras (over $100,000 a pop) to the Bruce Lee posters and tan leather bags. This jam-packed, hip boutique which takes mainly mint condition clothing (last year’s Gucci heels for $2,500) as well as consignment jewellery ($100 and up) and has possibly the largest range of barely used designer handbags in store (a Miu Miu quilted bag for $1,500). Expect quirky surprises as well, such as retro clocks ($400 and up) and 70s peek-a-boo cards where pin-curled ladies are dressed at one angle, but when you flip the card...
For the web aficionado there’s always the massively popular Chinese taobao.com, where you simply click and buy items at a much cheaper price than at market rates and wait for them to be conveniently delivered to your home. There is a bidding section but that’s in the process of being phased out. Can’t read Chinese? Fear not. eBay.com.hk is also as popular as ever – well, if the idea of last second bidding gets your adrenaline pumping. The online equivalent of checking one market stall’s goods against another (why is it that one place stocks the same items at a much higher price?) is unequivocally hk.yahoo.com – one of the most popular online market places in HK – which brings up comparison listings of any product you wish to purchase. Finally, if you’re looking to redecorate after clearing away the Christmas tree, you’ll be sure to find treasures at 2nd Chance where they can upcycle furniture (single beds start at $900) to suit your style.
Salvation Army Family Store G/F, 337 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai, 2836 6246; G/F, 98 Stanley Main St, Stanley, 3197 0070; 233 & 237, G/F, Hay Cheuk Lau, Garden Estate, Kwun Tong, 2331 2577; for a comprehensive list of stores and opening hours, visit www.salvation.org.hk.
Oxfam LG8, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Plc, Central, 2522 1765
Vintage HK G/F, 57-59 Hollywood Rd, Central, 2545 9932.
Select 18 Shop A, G/F, Grandview Garden, 18 Bridges St, Sheung Wan, 9127 3657.
Bang Bang! 70s 1/F, 16A Aberdeen St, Central, 9045 8006.
Midwest Shop 58, G/F Victoria Centre, 15 Watson Road, Tin Hau, 2802 6886.
2nd Chance Unit 14, 2/F, Kin Fat Industrial Centre, 13 Kin Fat St, Tuen Mun, 2496 1222; www.2ndchance.com.hk. Open 11am-7pm, closed Wed.