Monday, 11 May 2015

Thrift Shopping in Kuala Lumpur - Amcorp Mall

Introduction

Amcorp Mall has a weekend flea market where vendors sell knick knacks and second-hand clothing.  I have been there several times but never found anything worth buying from the flea market. 
Fortunately, there are a few second-hand shops which operate on weekdays as well.  These shops might also be known as “bundle shops” where the owners buy second-hand clothing in bulk from overseas (usually Japan, Australia and Europe) to sell.  Please note that the proceeds from any sales do not go to charity. 

Location and Fitting Rooms – Chia’s Cotton Chic

chia's cotton chic amcorp mall
Chia's Cotton Chic on the top floor
The most popular second-hand shop around town is probably Chia’s Cotton Chic, which has now expanded to something like three shops.  Two of them are on the 2nd floor near the Popular bookstore (the shops are opposite each other) and the other is opposite BookXcess on the top floor.  All the shops are located at the same side of the mall.  One of the shops does not have a fitting room, only a mirror.  The fitting rooms are just curtained off corners of the shops. 

chia's cotton chic amcorp mall
Chia's Cotton Chic on the 2nd Floor
Merchandise – Chia’s Cotton Chic

The shops do have wide variety of clothing, from evening wear to t-shirts to cheongsams/qipaos.  There are also clearance racks where some clothes are marked down.  There are also some shoes and accessories available.  Despite there being a large selection of inventory available in Chia’s Cotton Chic, I find that I barely buy anything at all.  I’m not quite sure why, though.  I think I’ve only bought four pieces so far and only one is still in my possession, the others being slightly too large.  Maybe ladies who wear larger sizes will have better luck?

You can find Australian labels quite easily here, the most common being fast and cheap fashion labels like Supre, SES, Tightrope and Hot Options from Target.  Witchery and Country Road make occasional appearances.  Japanese department store labels are available too.  I feel that most of the clothing from Japan look like those featured in Lady Boutique, a sewing magazine full of patterns. 

Prices – Chia’s Cotton Chic

Prices are reasonable but I wouldn’t say that they are cheap (at all).  For example, earrings from Diva Australia (now Lovisa) cost almost as much as they would in the retail outlets.  Shoes, despite not being new, cost around MYR59.  At that price, you can probably buy a new pair of Vincci shoes.  Prices for clothes can range from MYR5 for clearance items to around MYR100 or more for evening wear. 

Location and Fitting Rooms – As:Is Vintage

As:Is Vintage Amcorp Mall
As:Is Vintage

Another second-hand shop which I visit in Amcorp Mall is called As:Is Vintage.  It is located on the 1st floor, close to an escalator near Watsons.  As:Is Vintage does not have any fitting rooms but there is a full-length mirror. 


Merchandise – As:Is Vintage


The shop is new and clean and has a large selection of clothing, although not as large as Chia’s Cotton Chic.  In general, the clothing seems to be more current.  Again, clothing from Australia seems to be the most common although there are some Japanese brands like Gelato Pique and Liz Lisa sometimes. 

Prices – As:Is Vintage

The shop has regular offers where you will pay less if you purchase more than a certain number of items.  Generally, prices are quite reasonable and most items are below MYR50. 

Points to Note

I admit that I do not exactly enjoy shopping at Amcorp Mall.  First of all, you may have to shop with various food smells (nasi padang, McDonald's etc.) wafting through the air.  Parking at the outdoor car park is terribly expensive and can easily cost MYR10 if you want to have a good and proper look at the thrift shops.  To be honest, I haven’t actually bought anything that I think can justify the difficulty and cost of going there!  But somehow, I am powerless to resist the lure of possibly finding something great there. 

Those who would like to venture to Amcorp Mall may want to note that some thrift shops are not open on certain weekdays or at night.  On a weekend, the shops open around 11am. 

Bookxcess Amcorp Mall
BookXcess Amcorp Mall
BookXcess and Curious Corner purchases
Compensation for a recent thrift shopping trip
If you feel the need to compensate for an unfruitful thrift shopping trip, you can always do as I do and visit the wonderful BookXcess and its offshoot, Curious Corner, on the top floor for discounted books, crafts, magazines and posters.  

Ang Eng Amcorp Mall
Ang Eng Boutique, Amcorp Mall
You could also check out Ang Eng Boutique that makes and sells kebaya.  It is directly opposite Chia’s Cotton Chic on the 2nd floor.  I never noticed this shop before until I read about it in Malaysia Airlines’ in-flight magazine, Going Places.

Now that you are armed with the knowledge of the good and evil of thrift shopping in Kuala Lumpur, go forth and shop!

As:Is Vintage’s Facebook page:


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