Cheap second-hand clothes.
Cheap second-hand clothes.

All you need to know about the second-hand clothing trend

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Nov 2, 2019

Share this article:

Want designer wear on a budget? Thrift shops are there for you. 

We all like designer clothes, but  how many of us can actually afford  them? You have your answer. But  thanks to second-hand shopping, we  can all rock designer clothes.

What is second hand shopping? 

Better known as “jumble sale”  or “madunusa” in the famous  Johannesburg slang, second-hand  shopping is when you buy clothes  that have been worn by someone  else. In the past, these clothes would  be piled out in the open for buyers  to pick through, but due to high  demand, sellers are more organised  and have opened thrift shops instead  of selling from street corners.

This is how clothes would be piled before the organised way. 

How does it work? 

The sellers buy used clothes in  bulk, usually from overseas, and  hand-pick items that are still in  good condition to resell them.  Regular customers are usually  known and have premium access  – meaning for every new batch of  arrivals, they receive notifications  before everyone else.

What are the advantages? 

You save money! For example, I  have several designer dresses that I  bought for less than R80, whereas  their actual prices range from R899.  Another great thing is that they’re  exclusive. The clothes are usually  a limited range, which means the  chances of being the only one with a  certain item in your city are high.


You can’t return the items.  Unfortunately, many of these shops  don’t allow items to be returned, and  if they do, you can only exchange:  there are no refunds. To be on the  safe side, do fittings.  

You also have to wash the clothes  before you wear them. It’s a general  rule that when you buy something,  you should wash it first, even if it’s  new, just to remove starch. 

But with  second-hand clothing, washing is a  must, because most of the items have  been worn before – and even if the  previous owner did wash them, you  may still have to remove their scent.

Organised thrift store in Joburg. 

Tips for second hand shopping
  • Arrive early, it’s first come, first served.
  • Carry cash: most thrifting shops don’t have swiping facilities.
  • Look deeper: don’t go for the obvious.The best items are often hidden.
  • Avoid buying second-hand shoes and boots.
  • Be reasonable in your bargaining. 
  • For fitting purposes, it’s smart to wear a vest under your clothes, so that you don’t expose your body in cases where there’s no fitting room.
  • Bring your own shopping bag. Most of these jumble sale spots don’t have the best packaging.
For the best jumble sale  experience with designer clothes in  Johannesburg, visit the Vintage Look  at Diagonal Street Passage.

Share this article:

Related Articles