If you’re searching for cheap and affordable shopping in Manila, you’ve in the right place. Manila is a haven for shoppers searching for great deals and low-price items. Whether you want to get some super marked down shoes or trendy clothes at a deal, you’ll discover lots of sale brands in shopping centers, night markets, and open squares.
The holiday season for Pinoys isn’t finished without an outing to tiangges or trade fairs that offer really low prices to shoppers on a tight budget. Even if online shopping has started a trend that gives an option to individuals who have no time to shop, nothing beats the experience of going out, touching the items you like to buy, testing the products, or fitting a dress before buying it.
Searching for another shop to visit for your holiday shopping? Consider these great-value-for-cash stores in the Philippines. Here are places where you can do some affordable shopping in Manila.
Even for locals, Divisoria is a shopper’s paradise. It brims with lines of stalls in a large shopping area, where you get to stroll in different shops and get to visit one after the other. Divisoria is the place you can discover everything and anything you need at wholesale and bargain costs.
There’s the main Divisoria Market, and then you can go to Lucky Chinatown Mall, Tutuban Center, 168 Mall, Divisoria Mall, Tabora Street Market, and several different shopping areas all clustered together in a wide block. Shoppers come here to find deals on raw materials, household items, shoes, clothes, equipment, gadgets, devices, wholesale groceries, and food items
How low can the prices get? For example, child garments can go as low as PHP50 ($1) per set. A monoblock chair can sell for PHP150 ($2) and up depending upon the thickness. In case you’re searching for sporting apparel, odds are, you’ll find not one, not two, but hundreds of stalls to find the style that you like. The best stalls to visit are clothes, bags, footwear, home decor, household items.
Divisoria is a definitive must-visit shopping place for all seasons, with lots of tiangges that offer discounts. The Philippines’ shopping mecca can get crowded during the holidays especially in the main market area, so you may want to visit Tutuban Commercial Center and Tutuban Night Market which is more spacious.
Compare to the different public markets in Manila, shopping at the Tutuban Night Market is a bit more secure with CCTVs and security personnel going around.
Address: Tutuban Center, Claro M. Recto Ave., Tondo, Manila
How to go to Divisoria:
1) Take the LRT-1 and get off at Doroteo Jose station. Walk to Recto Ave. ride a jeep to Tutuban or Divisoria.
2) Take the LRT-2 and get off at Recto station. Ride a jeep going to Tutuban or Divisoria.
Older folks like to visit Quiapo to visit the church or to attend mass, then go shopping afterward in the establishments surrounding the Quiapo Church.
The Quiapo area is one of the busiest areas in Manila, with long streets of new and old stores that sell everything that you can think of from home appliances, tech gadgets, guitars, office and school uniforms, branded clothes, shoes, watches, jewelry and more.
If you’re searching for Philippine handicrafts, native items, wood sculptures, there are a lot of stores here, where you can get great discounts compared to what you’ll pay in malls. The area in Quiapo — especially around the Basilica of the Black Nazarene – is brimming of vendors.
The area around the Quiapo church is filled with merchants selling natural medicines, oils, and religious ornaments for the superstitious. The Quinta Market has a lot of sellers of organic products, vegetables, fruits. Try not to miss the Quiapo Market as well!
Best items to look for: Religious items, paintings, sculptures, photography supplies, garden supplies, clothes, accessories, dinnerware, and Christmas decors.
You can ask for the lowest deals and haggle as low as you want. However, even if security has improved in Quiapo, be very careful with your important belongings such as phones and wallets. Carry your bag and hold them in front of your body when you stroll around.
Address: Quezon Blvd., Quiapo, Manila
How to go to Quiapo Market:
1) Take the LRT-1 and get off at Carriedo station. Walk to Quiapo Church.
2) Take the LRT-2 and get off at Recto station. Walk along Quezon Blvd to Quiapo Church.
Baclaran is another shopping haven and it caters to those who live in the southern part of Metro Manila. Like Divisoria, it’s a public market that even occupies the whole road and streets.
You can find lots of low priced clothes, dresses, garments, shoes, footwear. If you’ll feel hungry, the area has a lot of restaurants and eateries.
Baclaran is a transportation hub for taxis, jeepneys, tricycles, pedicabs – so expect a lot of people. Be mindful of your belongings and careful when you’re exploring the place.
The best items to search for are clothes, dresses, shoes, toys. Anytime is a good time to go to tiangges in Baclaran. However, there will be a lot of people on Wednesdays (Baclaran Day) and Sundays because of churchgoers.
Address: Roxas Blvd., Baclaran, Parañaque
How to go to Baclaran Market:
1) Take the LRT-1 and get off at Baclaran station. Walk to Baclaran Market.
2) Take the MRT and get off at Taft Avenue station. You ride a jeep to Baclaran or just walk.
Shoppers go to the Greenhills Shopping Center as it has a lot of stalls selling different items at price lower than department stores and malls. Greenhills is popular for those looking to buy or sell gadgets like smartphones, tablets, cameras, watches, laptops, tech accessories.
You’ll also find a lot of branded clothes, shirts, dresses, skirts, shoes, bags, jewelry. If you’re looking for low-cost items, but want a wonderful shopping experience, Greenhills is the spot to be. The tiangge is inside a shopping complex, so it’s cool, dry, and secure to search around.
Address: Ortigas Ave., Greenhills, San Juan
How to go to Greenhills Shopping Center:
1) Take the MRT and get off at Santolan-Annapolis station. Walk to Annapolis St. or ride a jeep going to Greenhills Shopping Center.
2) Take the MRT and get off at Ortigas station. Walk to the POEA Bldg. (across Robinsons Galleria). Ride a jeep or a G-Liner/RRCG transport headed for San Juan or Quiapo. Get off at Greenhills.
5. Market! Market!
Market Market is located in Bonifacio Global City and popular with shoppers from Taguig and Makati area. You can find bargain stalls inside the shopping center on the second and third floors, which sells a lot low priced quality clothes and shoes.
Also, Market Market generally set-up discount bazaar for different items every week (usually on a weekend) at the large center ground of the mall. You may find bags, backpacks, luggage on sale on a given week, then discounted baby items next week, shoes the next. At one time, they have sneakers on tall racks.
Address: McKinley Pkwy, Taguig, 1630 Metro Manila
How to go to Market Market: Take MRT and get off at Ayala station. Walk to the northbound area and go down to the BGC bus terminal. The BGC will go straight to Market MArket.
Tips When Shopping in Manila
You always want your shopping experience to be enjoyable and convenient, so here are tips to make your shopping more fun.
Malls, department stores, and boutique shops have fixed prices on their items, so the salespeople would not allow you to haggle for discounts and lower prices. How do you know if you can haggle in a store? Well, if the sales clerks wear uniforms and store has POS cash registers.
However, ‘tiangges’ or pop-up stalls would allow you to haggle as much you want. The sellers don’t wear any uniforms and they have no cash registers in place.
If you’re going to haggle, ask for the price first and then try to examine the item for a minute, look at other stalls beside them as if you’re looking for a similar item, then state your lower price – around 70% to 80% of what the sales clerk said. So if they said P500, you can say “How about P350”.
Don’t haggle for half the price because its unreasonable and they may not give you discounts at all (especially if you’re talking to the owner). You can work the price up until around 10% lower than their original price (in our example, P450).
Bring smaller bills
Be prepared to bring small bills and coins when you hunt for bargains. Bring P20, P50, and P100 bills instead of larger P500 and P1000 bills. Tiangges love smaller bills or if you’ll be able to pay the exact amount.
Go to other stalls
Try not to buy from the first store where you found an item you like. Go around and compare prices. In my experience, I often found better and more affordable items I like after I visited around 10-20 stalls.
Check your items
Be sure to thoroughly check the items before you pay. Not all tiangges allow exchanges. Depending on the items, check zippers, holes on arm sleeves, straps, etc. You can always fit shoes and footwear since most of the sellers have chairs. Small stalls do allow you to fit jeans, clothes, or dresses in a makeshift fitting room with a mirror.
Dress down, secure your belongings
If you’ll go for bargain hunting, be sure to dress down. Don’t wear suits and jewelry when you go to tiangges in public markets. If available, bring an old and inexpensive phone as needed. Don’t bring ATMs and credit cards. List down what you plan to buy and bring just enough money. Try not to bring a thick wallet, just bring one basic ID and small money purse. Bring eco-bags for your purchases.
If you love cheap prices, there are lots of places in Metro Manila where you can find great finds and discounts. You can also look at other shopping complexes like Araneta Center, Sta. Lucia, Starmalls, Rustans, Trinoma, and Puregold.
The large malls like SM, Robinsons, and Ayala also have mall-wide sales 2-3 times a year (with up to 70% off), so you may want to time the purchases of the items that you like to buy. Do you have experience in shopping for cheap in places we’ve mentioned or do you know other places to find bargains in the metro, please share them in our comment section below?