[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 黄大人]
Pre-loved, second-hand, or used, they pretty much describe the same things and are becoming increasingly popular these days. Let’s face it! Be it electronic appliances, furniture and fashion accessories, if the product looks good, is usable and reasonably priced, why wouldn’t we buy it?
Shopping for pre-loved items is fast becoming a social trend today because of the easy accessibility of online shopping. We can just “google” to search for bargains or head to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to search for groups or businesses that sell pre-loved items, and one such online marketplace is JB Good Barang which we chanced upon a few years back. With only a few clicks of the mouse, we could easily buy (and sell) a range of used goods and removes clutter at home, reduces items that are sent to landfills, get our hands on quality products at a low price for budget-conscious consumers, with an opportunity to pick up quality items that are one-of-a-kind. The most surprising part? Many of the things were sold at prices that make every shopper happy for a great steal, and all it took was to place a 50% deposit to secure our purchases. Indeed, speed is king, and no wonder things were literally flying off the shelves in seconds as soon as they were posted online!
For fans who couldn’t wait for the new items to be put up online, those in the know would head down directly to their “new” expanded warehouse spanning over 20,000 sq. ft. along Jalan Kempas Lama. Had it not been the dilemma of parting with hundreds of second-hand goods accumulated at home over the years, serial bargain hunter and vintage item collector Mrs Voon would not have entered the business of trading pre-loved stuff. Putting her scepticism aside, Mrs Voon began putting up her unused accessories and electrical appliances on Mudah.com, only to discover (to her great amazement) a huge demand and popularity for her odds and ends. With the support of her husband Philip, Mrs Voon quit her day job and took the giant leap of faith to round up every available good barang (which means an item in Malay) from her home and those around her, and before long, the intuitive and self-explanatory JB Good Barang was born on April 2013.
But make no mistake, this is NOT your usual karang guni dealer for everything under the sun or your convenient waste disposal or removal service on demand.
Having started with only a small inventory in a tiny shop lot at Taman Anggerik, the 3-year old business soon ran out of space to store donated and pre-loved items, before finally moving to the current premise at Kempas. With fresh stock arriving almost on a weekly basis (tip: typically Thursdays), adding to the thousands of stuff looking for a second life, it would take some patience and a keen eye to spot the gem from the heaps, giving #TGIF a whole new meaning at JB Good Barang for the basement bargain hunters.
#PS: today’s FRIDAY (at the time of visit)!
One of our prized catches at JB Good Barang to date was a selection of antique teakwood furniture we picked up from a departing diplomat based in Singapore, almost on the same day they arrived many years back, and the thoughts of not keeping some of the items for herself still filled her with regrets and remained the bane of Mrs Voon‘s even until today (oops!).
Looking to laugh it off and put the episode behind her, Mrs Voon proudly showed off her latest collections, many of which have been reserved and waiting to be delivered. In her own words, one really can judge rare treasures like antique items, collectable toys and memorabilia beyond the dust, only if we bother to look, and nothing gives her and Philip more satisfaction than to find them a new home and a new lease of life elsewhere.
JB Good Barang also offers advisory, restoration and reupholstering of furniture, as well as pre-vetting and appraisal from independent experts to ascertain the worth (and story) behind every supposed treasure. According to Mrs Voon, antiques or artefacts (such as a precious heirloom closet from Tibet) will only be given necessary conservation treatment as stripping away an original finish will not only diminish value but replacing it with a new finish will result in the furniture looking more like an antique reproduction than the antique. On the other hand, refinishing is a great way to get good old teak (jati) furniture for much less than it would cost to buy similar quality new.
Not surprisingly, many of its more significant, reconditioned items such as vintage furniture and retro electrical appliances have found their way to many cafes and homestays looking to recapture the 50’s or 70’s vibes. Some of these favourite timeless picks include old vinyl records, books and ornaments, while their smaller counterparts were highly sought after by numerous cafes and restaurant owners!
As the saying goes, finders keepers. Buying pre-loved goods can be more rewarding than buying retail, and for us, nothing beats the thrill and satisfaction of rummaging through this assortment of items and finding something unique.
Pre-loved shopping used to have a stigma to it, but there’s been a change in mindset. Whatever your guilty pleasure is, when looking for the best deals at second-hand shops such as JB Good Barang, there is always something for everyone!
JB GOOD BARANG
📍 Lot 2788, Jalan Kempas Lama, Taman Belati, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor.
📞 +6018-980 7268 (11am – 8pm)
📱 JB Good Barang Collections