(From right) Wong, Nurkhalish and Kogilavani (Khogie) packing travel-sized beauty items into little gift packs that are sold at about RM10 per set.
NURKHALISH Afina Ariffin recalls the positive feeling she felt after successfully helping a young man put together a suitable outfit for a job interview, using items donated to Bargain Basement.
“It has given a greater purpose to my job and motivates me to build relationships with the people I interact with.
“I have personally bought some clothing and shoes, and even helped family and friends get wedding gifts from the store,” said the 23-year-old who enjoys helping customers put together fashionable outfits and shopping for good bargains.
Khalish, as she is better known, first joined Bargain Basement as a part-time employee before being offered a permanent job as store supervisor.
The chemistry graduate said her stint has changed her perception of second-hand items and given her a better understanding of how charity homes work.
Bargain Basement is an initiative under IOI Group’s Foundation, Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng.
The charity retail outlet located in IOI City Mall takes in pre-loved, unused or excess goods donated by well-wishers that are then sold at affordable prices. The nett proceeds are channelled to different charities.
Great bargains and fashionable finds such as shoes and accessories are available for budget-conscious consumers.
Bargain Basement welcomes clean and usable items such as children and adult clothing, shoes, bags, jewellery and other accessories, household products such as utensils, dishes and containers, ornamental or decorative items, books, toys, sports gear and electrical appliances.
The cheapest item is priced at no less than RM5. There is also a section for marked down designer goods.
Bargain Basement founder Datin Joanne Wong said the initiative benefits both donors and recipients, as well as creates positive social, environmental and sustainable impacts.
“It removes clutter at home, reduces items that are sent to landfills, offers quality products at a low price for budget-conscious consumers and supports local charities.
“As of December last year, Bargain Basement has given out RM50,000 to five children’s homes in the Klang Valley,” she said.
Some of the plush toys available at Bargain Basement.
Since its opening in June 2016, Wong said the store’s customer base has expanded to include fashion-conscious young women looking for great bargains.
“People are also donating a wider variety of items that are still in good condition.
“We have also had some improvements in terms of staffing, as we get trustworthy people who are willing to work long hours,” she said, adding that Bargain Basement also receives support from the mall, contractor and related agencies.
“Bargain Basement’s team is led by women, possibly because the roles are more suited for them.
“The women I work with are more caring and patient, have a better understanding of consumer products and are more willing to be committed to social work.”
A pair of Leica binoculars for sale.
Administrative officer Kogilavani Mariappan said Bargain Basement is an example of the adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
“I am impressed at how the store has turned out.
“It started with only a small inventory, but now it is running out of space to store donated items.
“We also regularly get calls from people asking how they can send their items,” said the 36-year-old, better known as Khogie.
Nurkhalish enjoys helping customers put together fashionable outfits from the clothes donated to Bargain Basement.
“We welcome passionate folks interested to do social work, or those running charity homes and need a regular source of income.
The mother-of-two regularly buys clothing and toys for her two children at Bargain Basement.
She also encourages family and friends to donate their pre-loved items there.
Meanwhile, Wong said there are long-term plans to open more Bargain Basement stores to benefit more communities in other areas.
“We want more people to champion our efforts and are looking for partners who want to contribute to the community.
Pre-loved items on sale at the shop include an antique typewriter.
“Our team will provide support in terms of stock, legal aspects, renovation and training,” she said.
Bargain Basement is located at B3-10, IOI City Mall, Putrajaya (same wing as Homepro). It is open daily from 10am to 10pm.
It also has two drop-off points at Ground Floor reception, Tower 2, Puchong Financial Corporate Centre, Bandar Puteri Puchong and Amigo Clubhouse, 16 Sierra, Puchong South. For inquiries, call 03-8947 8888 ext 1128 (Khalish/ Khogie) or visit http://www.bargainbasement.com.my/