11 Pros and Cons of an Ukay-Ukay Business

With the spread of ukay-ukay stores, the practice of buying thrift items has become popular among Filipinos. The appeal of low-cost clothing continues to entice visitors into these stores in search of branded clothing for cheap prices. Ukay-ukay is so popular since it is a cost-effective option for shopping on a budget.

ukay-ukay business
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Just like any other business, the success of an ukay-ukay business is mostly determined by the owner’s efforts and traits. Before you start, it’s better to learn the pros and cons of the business.


1. Be your own boss

You are the one who makes practically all of the decisions when beginning an ukay-ukay retail business. Having the ability to make decisions may be both empowering and liberating.

2. Profit is quick

The profit comes quickly because it is computed on a per-sale basis. If you want a steady stream of income with a fast turnover, ukay-ukay business is perfect for you. Customers who haggle are common in ukay-ukay stores, so entrepreneurs must be prepared to negotiate wisely with them. To keep client loyalty, a discount of Php10-20 is acceptable, if it would still end in a profit.

3. You get to meet people from different walks of life

If you enjoy interacting with people, this business is definitely for you. There is never a dull moment when it comes to managing your ukay-ukay store. You will have to be very hands-on in entertaining your customers as you assist them. This could be an opportunity to widen your connections and network.

4. Simple business model

The advantage of an ukay-ukay store business is that it has a basic business plan that is easy to learn. There is a lot of information available to you on the internet (Facebook groups, Youtube videos, etc). This will assist you with getting your business up and running.

5. You have the option to run your business from home

Many entrepreneurs enjoy running a business just within the comforts of their homes. This makes it ideal for stay-at-home mothers or students who need a side hustle. You will no longer need to pay for rent, making your overhead expenses lower than other businesses.

6. Never goes out of style

With ukay-ukay, there will always be something for someone. May it be a pair of vintage pants or thrift bags, customers often find something they like. Especially Pinoys who like cheap, trendy goods, ukay items are easy to sell. It is very lucrative in cities or even provinces anywhere in the country.


1. It can be exhausting as it involves more physical work

Managing an ukay-ukay store business often involves a lot more physical effort than other types of businesses. The majority of your days will be spent walking, running errands for your business, and completing a variety of chores.

The task of initially cleaning or washing your goods is already tiring itself. After that, you still have to organize and pack them. You also have to prepare them one by one for display. If you plan on selling your goods online, it needs additional work as you also need to upload photos and label each one of your goods. It is also a popular trend among sellers to conduct live selling.

2. It requires a lot of time

Aside from the physical strain, managing an ukay-ukay business also needs ample time. From the preparation, organizing, selling, and packing of goods, you must have enough time for all the required tasks. If you can afford it, you can employ extra hands to help you.

3. Not all goods are sellable

In sourcing your goods, you can either thrift them by yourself or buy them wholesale from suppliers. Either way, you must be prepared that not all your items will be purchased. You must be prepared for losses and lean months. You can still dispose of items through giveaways or discounts.

4. Finding the right supplier is challenging

Most business owners now prefer finding a supplier instead of thrifting goods by themselves. However, finding the right supplier is not an easy task. It can require a lot of time, energy and trial/error. It’s crucial to know which suppliers are reliable and trustworthy. Dealing with suppliers who are already well-known and have a good reputation among ukay-ukay business owners is the ideal option.

5. Many competitors

Since this business is quite easy to start, this industry is also crammed. Aside from an engaging social media presence, this business also runs on referrals. Make sure you are honest and efficient in dealing with your customers, so they can tell their friends about your store.

Sally Mae