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March 2003
Destination: Manila

Bargain shopping Accessories in Bargain Stores
by Mica Miranda

The emergence of imitated goods produced in countries such as China and Thailand are rapidly being sold here in the Philippines. It has created a wide spread of bargain shopping around the country. Bargain, in this context, means the privilege given to customers to haggle for a price that will suit them, even if it is lower than the price being offered by the seller, but there should be an agreement between the buyer and the seller on a price that will both suit them. Filipinos term this as making "tawad."

Cellular stores abound in Manila In previous years, bargain shopping was only popular during the Christmas season. But nowadays, bargain shopping has become a trend throughout the country all year round. Establishments such as Greenhills, Divisoria, and Tutuban are known for offering good bargains to customers. This enables Filipinos to buy products for a very cheap price; most of these items even have signature brands.There is an increasing demand for cheap products in the Philippines because of the country's declining economic status. Filipinos, particularly women, prefer to always look good and keep up with the latest fashion despite the fact that money is scarce. This is why they like to accessorize themselves with jewelry and other accessories, but a piece of jewelry costs so much that they are left with no more money to buy other goods. This resulted to the emergence of imitated products, such as watches, belts, jewelry, wallets and other personal accessories that can easily be bought in bargain shops.

Jewelry shopping It may even be observed that Class A imitations (items which have been fabricated but are still of very good quality and look exactly like the original ones) are still relatively low, compared to other imitation products. The difference between the Class A imitation as compared to other imitations is the difficulty of other people to detect the difference. An example here is a class A imitation of a Rolex watch. The original watch would probably cost more than P150, 000. The Rolex watches found in bargain stores can cost as low as P 1,500. The difference in the appearance is difficult to detect by an ordinary person, she will have a hard time telling the original from the imitation. Anyway, who has to know that your Rolex is not original? It is still a Rolex because it says so in the watch itself. This has proven that producers of imitated goods have found a way to copy the original and sell it for less.

The question some people might ask is whether Rolex and other companies lose profit because of these imitations. It is not actually legal to sell imitated goods but technically, it isn't illegal either. This is the case with pirated VCDs, DVDs, and CDs. If someone gets caught selling pirated CDs, their goods will then be confiscated. But why is it that accessories of imitated goods are not confiscated as well?

Bargains: not all imitation However, not all items sold at bargain shops are imitations, however. Some products are also originals, but aren't as popular as other brands but they also have good quality and are still very affordable. On the average, prices of accessories being sold maybe cheaper than other products because these items may have been personally made or the cost may just lower than other branded accessories. Even if this is the case and even if most people know that these items are mere imitations, there is a still a big market that patronizes these products because of their affordability. Also, some of the items being sold here are locally made and may only be found in bargain shops.

In conclusion, most Filipinos find it practical to buy at bargain stores because they get items cheaper especially for those people who always want to be on top of the fashion bandwagon. To date, more and more stores and stalls that offer bargain shopping are opening. This method of selling products has been successful in the Philippine setting because people find that with haggling at bargain shops, they get to buy the things that they want and still get their money's worth.

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at a glance >>

Paotsin The best meal is not always found in a five-star hotel or in expensive restaurants. There are places where you could get food that is hotel quality but the price is very light for the pocket.

How to be a Happy Shopper A decade ago, bargain hunting was never heard of since choices were quite limited. With the boom of industrialization, new businesses erupted thus giving way to more choices and extreme competition.

Pasilio Building In the quest to find the cheapest clothes and experience shopping galore, one has to eagerly wait for a mall-wide sale. But of course, expect the troubles you will have to go through just to buy the things that you need at the most reasonable price.

Tutuban Mall During holiday seasons, more and more people come to visit bargain shops to do their holiday shopping. With the current economic downfall and difficulty in earning money, who would want to send their hard earned money to waste?

Aling Merta Aling Merta Salvacion, 36, started being a 'tindera' of tiangge since she was in her teenage years. "Feeling ko nga dito na ako tumanda (sa tiangge). Dito na ako nagkaasawa at nagkapamilya," she relates.

Greenhills If it makes no sense to you to fly to Bangkok or Hong Kong just to buy cheap clothes and knick-knacks, thereís one place thatís your best bet for imported stuff at the right price: Greenhills in San Juan.

Bargain Shopping Establishments such as Greenhills, Divisoria, and Tutuban are known for offering good bargains to customers. This enables Filipinos to buy products for a very cheap price.

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