It’s undeniable that as a student, a shopping bargain is always very welcome; whether it’s new winter boots or a jumper that will keep you from freezing, as you refuse to turn the heating on. Trawling around the Bullring can usually be a hassle but somehow, when you find a real gem it can all be worth it. ‘Sack Sales on New Street’ has taken the bargain-hunter experience to an entirely new level.
‘Sack Sales on New Street’ is what is known as a ‘pop-up shop’. Located just past the Tesco Metro, on the left-hand side, it’s there for a limited time, and if one wasn’t looking for it, it would be easy to miss. It works like this – there are two floors; the ground floor is your standard vintage store full of ‘on-trend’ items for prices around £10 – £20 (a bit more for fur and leather). The alternative option is to head up the stairs, brandishing a bin bag to fill with whatever you like – the best way I can think of describing it is ‘Garment pick ‘n’ mix.’ Although, you could argue that some of the things one can find in this establishment are far from appetizing.
But there are a number of things wrong with this place. Looking at some of the very fashionable Levi’s shorts laid out, it was obvious that the owners of ‘Sack Sales’ had seen an opportunity. Upon closer inspection, only about a quarter of the shorts were genuine Levi’s – the rest poorer quality denim shorts that had had Levi’s labels stitched on the back. Personally, I thought it was a cheap trick to take advantage of the less label-savvy. In addition, a lot of the items were quite dirty – making me question the quality, and indeed, hygiene of the rest of the shop.
Nevertheless, having been to a Sack Sale in the US, I had high hopes. You are given a bin liner, which you can either fill for £10, or fill halfway for £5. The first floor was pandemonium. There were piles and piles of clothes supposedly designated categories, such as ‘denim’ and ‘dresses.’ Most of it was, to my disappointment, complete and utter tat.
Being a retail-magpie through and through, however, I was not about to give up. If you are willing to throw yourself (literally) into the musty piles, it is probable that you can claw a few gems out. On a serious note, only go here if you have a lot of spare time and an industrial-sized vat of hand-sanitizer. For those shoppers who like a calm amble through a vintage market, this is not for you. If you grew up going to church hall jumble sales and car boots, on the other hand, you could be in for a few treasures.
By Megan Evans @mkevans92