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Second-hand shops come to the rescue in hard economic times

04-02-2011 10:41 BJT

BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- A down coat is priced at 20 yuan (2.94 U.S. dollars), a pair of jeans at 5 yuan -- a second-hand shop in a Beijing suburb offers surprisingly cheap goods while soaring prices for household products are keeping people on their toes.

The Tongxin Huhui second-hand store,located in the village of Picun about 30 km east of downtown Beijing, has attracted large numbers of customers from neighboring communities with its low prices.

A brand-new cotton coat typically costs about 300 to 400 yuan, but at Tongxin Huhui, the same coat can be had for less than 20 yuan.

"In the late afternoon when people come home from work, our shop is packed," said Zhao Gongzheng, one of the shop's clerks.

Yue Qingqun, 42, a migrant worker from north China's Hebei Province, always shops here for "decent" clothes.

"Here I find clothes I can wear to work and also wear at home. They are cheap, but good. By no means can I buy such clothes from normal department stores at this price," said Yue.

Yue shops at the store with her daughter-in-law Gao.

"I come here almost every two weeks. Some of my friends and neighbors also come here occasionally," said Gao, who refused to give her full name.

The full-time mother of two boys looks chic in a shirt, tight-fitting jeans and tennis shoes, all of which were bought from this shop.

The second-hand business is relatively new to Beijing. Some people exchange second-hand clothes and home appliances on e-commerce websites, while several shops in Beijing's downtown area now offer vintage clothing.

Some people exchange second-hand clothes and home appliances on e-commerce websites,
while several shops in Beijing's downtown area now offer vintage clothing.

However, Tongxin Huhui is different from other stores in that it is run by a charity organization -- the Beijing Migrant Workers' Home.

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