How to Start a Second Hand Cloths (Mitumba) Business

Second hand cloths are very popular in many African countries. This is because of the hash economic realities.
Low wages including the high cost of new cloths have opened a thriving second hand market. The cloths are usually imported from Europe, America and china.
The business is big and millions of tons are sold in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. The mitumba business is practicable full time or part time depending on the investor’s business plan.
It is ideal for small scale trade and only requires a moderate amount of investment. You don’t even need a store to sell used cloths.
In some countries such imports are banned. However smuggling thrives because of the high demand. Second hand cloths are not the only items found in such markets. You have second hand utensils, bags, shoes and accessories.
used cloths
How the Business Works
The business is a bulk related and investors bring in the wears or buys from importers. The best way to establish the business is to setup a store in a major second hand market.
Usually the small stores are shared to reduce costs and such markets operate only on designated days. The wholesaler then sells to a retailer who in turn sells to directly to customers.
However some resourceful individuals find their way to such markets to buy directly from wholesalers. One top used items market in Kenya is Gikombe market.
Top Used Cloths Export Countries
Used cloths are shipped in bales from theses top countries. Top exporters of used cloths are Germany, United States of America and China.
Others are United Kingdom, Australia Europe and Dubai. It is a huge revenue earner for both import and export destinations.
How they are Packages
There are unregulated standards of packaging. The basic package is 45kgs to 55Kgs bundles of bale.
The prices vary depending of country of origin, weight and size. The grade of the used clots is also taken into consideration. Importers of used cloths prefer buying from china because they are cheaper.
Types of Bales
The types of bales fall into 6 categories. You have the jackets, shirts and jeans.
Others are chiffon tops, children cloths and trench coats. The price range per bale is Ksh 15,000 to 25, 000. Wholesaler’s have first choice of cloths before the retailers get in on the action.
Interesting aspects of the used cloths market are the tailors. Some cloths are relatively new and discarded due to defects. The tailors repair defects, adjust sizes, adds buttons and stitches. They make steady income providing this service.
Some retailers make huge earnings from the business. They clean them up, iron and sell in their shops and boutiques. The profit margin is high however the level of patronage depends on the location and marketing.   


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