Prices of second-hand clothing rise manifold
N H ZUBERI
September 15, 2012: Prices of second-hand clothes in the city have increased manifold because of an increase in transportation charges and depreciation of rupee against US dollar. A large number of people, mostly belonging to low-income groups, rely on second-hand clothes and other such items.
Vendors and dealers are making lot of money, because of an increase in the sale of their products. “We are doing good business these days, as the demand (for second-hand) clothes has risen,” said a clothes dealer at the Light House. “People’s purchasing power has shrunk by price hikes, forcing people to prefer used clothes over new ones,” he observed.
Most people, he said, who shopped at markets specialising in old clothes belonged to lower- and middle classes. “People from middle class prefer to purchase used clothes, as these are much cheaper,” he added. “People want to buy best clothes at lowest prices,” said a shopkeeper. “Prices of new garments are very high and people of lower and middle income groups cannot afford to buy such expensive items. They are left with no option but to buy used clothes for themselves and their children from Lunda bazaars.”
“It is impossible for people to buy a new jacket, a pair of trousers, shirts, shorts when the average daily income of a worker is below Rs 300, while prices of these items range between Rs 700 and Rs 2000 and above.” Some shopkeepers said that both rich and poor people frequent these markets, haggling with retailers for woollies, heaps of quilts, quilted bedcovers, blankets, and rugs.
Second-hand shirts are priced between Rs 50 and Rs 180, trousers Rs 80 and Rs 350, jeans Rs 100 and Rs 250. As many as 300-400 importers trade in second-hand shirts, sweaters, trousers, toys, blankets, shoes, track suits, jeans and curtains. Many people, however, complained that second-hand clothes were also becoming expensive. A second-hand clothes dealer said that since the wholesale dealers in Karachi sold used clothes at higher prices, dealers were also compelled to sell them at higher rates.