How to “Selam” for thrifted clothing in KL like a pro!!
We are all guilty of watching one too many “Thrift Hauls” videos on youtube. And while it may seem oh so aesthetic and not to mention economical to be shopping down the vintage lane, due the vast differences in postcode and overall country’s landscape, thrifting in Kuala Lumpur is guaranteed to be an entirely remote experience compared to what you see on your favourite youtube channel. Well, do not fret!! We will be assisting on your thrifting journey in hopes that you will transform from lost newbie thrifter to the thrift queen/king of Kuala Lumpur.
It turns out while the idea of thrifting isn’t entirely a new concept here, it is slightly different than what you see in America or elsewhere. For starters, clothing thrift stores here are commonly know as Bundles due the fact that most of their items are being bought in massive bulks from gigantic containers that are being shipped from other countries (US and Japan mostly) and upon receiving these stocks, they are being sold in bundles where avid shoppers would“dive” in to get their hands on rare secondhand goods. Hence, why the word “bundles” and “selam” are being used. Now that you know your local thrifting lingos, let’s get started!! Here is a list on where you can start shopping for secondhand clothes ;
1. Jalan jalan Japan.
Jalan Jalan Japan is a gold mine when it comes to preloved goodness that comes from Japan. If you like all things Japanese and a thrifting experience that is conveniently organized, this is the place to be. Their items are mostly in great mint condition and are being arranged by categories. Heck, even their clothes are colour coordinated. Plus, they have air conditioning and cool jpop music that are being blasted in the speakers. IT WILL ALMOST FEEL LIKE YOU’RE IN JAPAN!! They have over two locations, one in Subang Jaya and another in Cheras. But both are located in a mall so parking is definitely ensured.
2. JBR Bundle
If you are ever curious to see what an actual bundle looks like at it’s purest form, go to a JBR Bundle store on new stock season and you will be pleased. They have over 5 or more outlets throughout Kuala Lumpur/Selangor and each are normally a massive factory lot so you can expect to be thrifting in one of their many locations for hours. Their price range are pretty okay but you do get your money’s worth. They do have a high end thrift section in some of their stores if you’re fancy like that.
3. Family Bundle Ampang
Although located deep in the heart of Ampang, this store is pretty large in size and holds a lot of beautiful finds. They had a makeover not too long ago so the place looks a lot better than it ever did. The prices here are extremely affordable which is always a good thing. Though, parking can be a bit of a hassle. But if you do happen to score a spot, there’s also some more preloved store in the same row.
4. Jalan Raja Bot
Jalan raja Bot is basically HEAVEN when it comes to all things bundle. This is where it’s at. Shopping secondhand clothes here is basically a rite of passage to every bundle shopper here in KL. If you’ve never thrifted here, well, it’s like you never thrifted at all. Famously known for their RM1 Bundles here (YES YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT!! RM1 CLOTHES!!), their notoriety is definitely validated!! Although , there are many cons to thrifting here including they don’t open until night time (8pm onwards), parking can be difficult, there is no fitting room and the area is pretty bleak and kind of dangerous in general. But if you are willing to surpass all that, it can be very much worth it. Just bring a friend and be ultra careful is what we’re saying.
5. Amcorp mall
The Amcorp mall weekend flea market is like a no brainer when it comes to places to go to for your vintage item needs. But not many people know that this is the place to be to go look for cool vintage clothes. Starting on the second floor upwards, there are plenty of secondhand clothing shops located here. If you’re female and are looking for some adventurous “Hong Kong Chinese lady fashion from the eighties” clothes, this whole mall has your aesthetic’s back. But if that’s not your thing, there’s a decent secondhand vinyl record store on the ground floor. Parking is kind of pricey here but if you take the train you are in luck because there is an LRT station (Taman Jaya Lrt Station) right in front of the mall.
Thank god for the technology of Carousell, because now you get to thrift at the palm of your hands. Although a lot of people like to use carousell to search for secondhand furnishing goods (which they are plenty good for), the preloved clothing that are being sold there are abundance too!! Not only that, you get to search according to categories, prices, brands and size. Making your thrifting experience all the more effortless, fun and practical. Due to the fact that you will be dealing with individual sellers in there, do expect to be doing some human interaction like discussing with the sellers regarding postage fee in the chat box or by literally meeting them in person if you ever decide to do cod (cash on delivery). Whatever it is you choose to do in there, remember to be nice and hopefully thing will be okay.
Well, now that you know where to go to shop for some preloved goodness, call up your thrift buddies and make plans for these weekends. Bring some H2O with you and lots of small change of cash, bargain kindly and have an amazing thrifting adventure!! HAVE FUN!!!
Written by Eff Hakim
When she is not doing audio work or fronting her band Pastel Lite, Eff Hakim likes to write as a means to fully express herself in whatever medium she can use. She is a big fan of Chuck Palahniuk, kewpie dolls, warm tones, meta animes and retro synthesizers. Her life philosophy that she swears by is
LIFE IS SHORT, YOLO.