Bargain Sale or Sales Gimmik at TMRD Japanese Surplus

My two friends are always on a look out for some quirky items and kokeshi dolls. They would roam around Fairview, Novaliches in Quezon City and even up to North Caloocan just to purchase some of these pre-loved items, whenever they have some spare time.

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TMRD Japanese Surplus along Quirino Highway, Barangay Talipapa near Mindanao Avenue, Novaliches, Quezon City

There are a lot of these stores which carry items from Japan, South Korea or even United States. Demand for these items is growing because it had some cultural and collecting value. Although some people would advise them to be wary over these pre-loved items. Some might be posses by spirits by its former owners, Other would say that these might be the leftover items from Fukushima prefecture which can be highly radioactive.

There were at least a dozen known thrift stores along Quirino Highway, Novaliches which carry different items, some focuses more on clothes and shoes. TMRD is one of the bigger store which carries a wider selection of pre-loved items.

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pre-loved clothes and fashion items

I personally think that this is a cheaper alternative for my friends to spend some time shopping and hunting for these items. They are not the party type people and seldom goes out together with their families.

cups-and-plates

sake cups, plates and ceramic wares for sale

My two friends already went to TMRD Japanese Surplus store several times to purchase some quirky items. The place is just one ride away from their house. The store is having their 4th anniversary sale which started late November and lasted until the end of December 31, 2018.

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set of kokeshi dolls bought by my friends

There was an in-house raffle promo which was valid until the second week of December 2018. A customer get a raffle stub for every Php 1,000 pesos single purchase. My friends were able to buy some small kokeshi dolls but only managed to pay Php 250 for a couple of small items which included small cups. They agreed to come back and invited me to join at their buying trip since they have seen some folders and postcards. They also took some photos of the other kokeshi dolls which caught their fancy and asked the sales personnel ( tindera) about their prices. Vowing to come back few days after.

kokeshi-slim-urban-style

Kokeshi urban style – these two piece set was bought for just Php 70.00 a pair ( height about 5 inches or 13cm)

The first three dolls on the far left side was bought around December 10 at Php 130 or around $2.47 for all three items.

vintage-kokeshi-sosaku-style

vintage sosaku doll with unique features

vintage sosaku kokeshi doll -might have been created in the mid- 1970’s or 1980’s . It had two smaller kokeshi dolls which gave the illusion of eyes.

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This was the real bargain deal, They paid Php 60 or roughly $1.15 for this small wooden doll ( height about 4 inches or 10 cm).

Second Visit

We went to the store a few days after their last visit (December 12 Wednesday) around lunchtime. I started looking for some folders and postcards but the sales clerk told me that someone already bought the items. Much to the dismay of my two friends, when they found out that some of the kokeshi dolls they initially wanted. The prices had risen in just a matter of few days.

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This pair of kokeshi sosaku style wooden dolls were priced at Php 50 a pair during December 10, 2018 visit, but became Php 100 when we visited the store. ( unknown origin)

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Togatta kokeshi doll originally priced at Php 70.00 few days before, when the sales clerk told my friends that it was bargain at Php 150.00 (roughly $3.00) by the time we paid the cashier.

Togatta type kokeshi doll is 7 inches tall or 18 cm with signature at the bottom, by Kaiya Kichiemon (1905-1985) and probably made in the early 1970’s. The validation was thru the help of some kokeshi collectors like Mr. Henrick Stouten, Ms. Madelyn Molina and Ms. Nancy Togami who took time identifying the wooden doll.

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The small kokeshi with signature was originally priced at Php 20.00 but became Php 60.00 when we visited the store. The wooden kokeshi doll is by Obata, Toshio (birth 1932) a Tsuchiyu doll stands about 3. 75 inches or about 10 centimeters.

Tsuchiyu is an onsen within 30 to 40 minutes away from Fukushima prefecture. The doll is one of the 11 known traditional types of doll in Japan.

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small creative style kokeshi

This is the smallest kokeshi creative style which just stands 1.72 inches ( about 4.5 cm) by 1.75 inches height ( about 4.5 cm) with some chipped wooden hat due to age and handling.  This one was priced at Php 15 before but went up to Php 30 when we visited the store.

The group managed to haggle the price down for the two items from Php 60 to Php 30 and the small creative style kokeshi from Php 30 to Php 20.00. But for the other three kokeshi dolls, the sales clerk remain firm.  They paid Php 300 ( $5.70) for all these 5 items.

This makes us wonder why the store change their prices, We cannot help to tell the security guard and sales clerk that we notice the sudden change.  It was a bitter sweet deal that we got at the store.  If not of the sudden change, my friends could have paid Php 155.00.