• Saturday, April 15, 2017

    Thrifting in Japan: Don Don Down on Wednesdays

    I can't remember where I've seen their logo before, but I know that I'd seen it. I had no idea what it was for, so I promptly ignored it... It wasn't until I was doing research on thrift stores, trying to find more in my area, that I came across it again...

    Don Don Down on Wednesdays. 

    That's a real mouthful. And that's the name of the thrift store that this caricature belongs to. Little did I know that, all this time, I wasn't walking past a bar. I was walking past a thrift store! So, as soon as I found this out, I looked for the closest one and was thrilled when I saw there was one right outside of Yokohama Station! I made a plan to visit on Wednesday.

    Why Wednesday? Well, unlike a lot of other store in Japan, this was actually aptly named. The prices go down-down-down on Wednesdays. A majority of their items are priced with a tag that has a fruit or vegetable on it. All around the store are charts that tell you what the price of the fruit/veggie is this week. And you guessed it, every Wednesday everything moves one price tier down. 

    Outside, there's a guy yelling about prices and eager to hand you a flier that has the current price tiers on them. (They also have information about the brands they're looking for, if you're looking to sell.) If you can’t find the guy outside, there are posters hanging everywhere.

    The first floor of the Yokohama shop confused me, because I didn't see any produce tags anywhere. There were just racks of mid-tier designer brands and non-discounted price tags on them. Turns out that not everything gets cheaper every week (at this location at least) and their branded goods are pretty set in price.

    No fruit tags, no discount!
    I went up to the next floor and that's where everything was! They had a surprising amount of stuff, actually. My only complaint was that everything was sorted by brand, rather than price (like Watt Mann) or style (like Hard Off). I almost never seek out a specific brand when thrifting. Instead, I try to build an outfit around a budget (let's say 1,000 yen) or seek out a specific piece (like a navy blue long sleeved turtleneck sweater). 

    I think this is partially because they want to show off their brands. They only seem to be concerned with and only stock certain brands (like Mode Off). Other clothes that look cute but aren’t from as desirable a brand don’t get purchased by the store and subsequently don’t get sold.

    There are some lesser seen thrift store brands like Liz Lisa
    None of the prices were outstandingly cheap. Even though I had come on Wednesday, it seems that a lot of the cheaper items were already snatched up. Nothing really caught my eye, and the things that did were priced too high for what I was willing to pay for them.

    But I guess that's a part of the fun. Do you take the risk and wait another week, hoping that your item won't get poached before you get it marked down? Or do you take it for what it is and cough up the dough? I don't know how often I'll be back to this location to play that game, but I think it's worth a peek every once in a while, even if it's not Wednesday. They have branches around Tokyo, too, so I'll probably go to those eventually.

    If you're looking for men's clothes, their top floor is dedicated to that. I didn't have any need to visit that floor (my partner wasn't with me at the time) so I skipped out on it. So no pictures, sorry men!
    Overall, I think it's a good store to find branded goods at a good price. It does take a lot of digging, though, and an enormous amount of good luck in my opinion... But that's most of thrifting anyway, isn't it?

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