The business of second hand clothes or fairly used cloths otherwise known as ‘Okrika‘ as become rampant as everybody is venturing into it,but not everyone is making much profits as expected.
Before listing ways to promote your business for those who have started it,let’s give some guide to those who are willing to go into it or those who have it in mind but don’t know how to take the first step,this is for you read gently don’t skip.
Firstly what is okrika and what products have okrika?
Everyone is venturing into cloths but the truth is that cloth is not the only product that have a second hand,other items like footwear, bags,home appliances and many others all have fairly used.But People venture more into the cloth aspect because its demand is high and the rate at which the cloth sales is very fast so that’s why we would be talking about the cloth aspect today.
In okrika there is something called a BALE,it is a sack filled of used clothes,it is sealed and imported into the country.
Inside this bale there are grades-A B and C,the prices of the cloths differs with it’s grades.
Grade A:This grade is the highest grade of okrika,it is best grade because clothes that fall into this category are classic,no one would know it is a second hand cloth,it looks new,it has no stain or defects and it has a good quality.
Grade B:This is the second grade,it contains cloths that have low defects maybe a little stain on the cloth or the cloth might need some amendments.
Grade C:This grade is often called the clearance grade,it contains cloths that might look old,torn or stained.Most of this clearance grade cloths are usually the last grade to be sold out because of it’s low quality.
Mixed grade:This grade contains all attributes of Grade A,B and C,in the sense that some cloth might have good quality but might have some defects on it and only a seller who is not wise enough would place it in a clearance grade.
Here is what to do next
With a capital of about #10,000 you could buy the clearance grade from those who opened a bale and resell it,one thing is for sure and that thing is ‘everything must be sold out’,all clothes must be bought because everyone wears cloth both the young and old and one who can’t afford the Grade A’s because of the price would obviously go for the clearance grade because the prices are very low anyone can afford it.
But if you can afford a bale which ranges from #70,000-#120,000 you can order one from suppliers who get them from the UK,China,USA or cotonou.
Every bale has it’s own set of clothes,some bale are children clothes,male clothes,female clothes,male and female trousers,shirts and polos and many more different sets depending on the one you want to sell.
The way to do this is to go to popular markets where people patronize the cloth and inquire on how to get a bale,a pidgin proverb says ‘PERSON WAY ASK QUESTION NO DEY MISS ROAD’.So asking people about how to get a bale or how to start is a very good idea because the competition to win the hearts of customers is a big game.
If you feel cormfortable to partner with someone who does the business it’s all a great idea,you both would sell different sets either male or female in a place and this would usher in more customers.
If you have done what I said above,then setting up a location is the next thing.
This can come in multiple ways;
Selling by road side:Here you stay near the road either under a tree or a small space where you can be protected from the sun,the only barrier to this is the ‘Area boys‘ or People called the ‘Agbero‘ who might ask you to settle them or they might ask you for little money,that its not a case once you get close with them,they won’t disturb you for money often.
In an Open market:Here you would look for good market days,where you know there would be high turn up from customers then you would take your well arranged goods and you find a space which might be allocated to you by some market guards,they would give you a space to stay and you might be asked to pay a little amount of money as daily market fee.
Lock up shops:Here you would go to shopping malls,kiosks or shops that you know you can sell your goods without getting any disturbance.
If you have a shop it’s still much better because you would sell everyday without stress.
When you have made decisions on where and how to sell your goods, then this is how to increase your sales by marketing and selling it;
Grade your cloths;
Grade your clothes according to the qualities as I listed above;
Grade A-quality ones
Grade B-quality clothes with stains or amendment
Grade C/Clearance;Cloths with low grade or cloths which would need washing or some special touches to make it look good.
Nobody would want to buy a cloth that is rough handed or a cloth that has stains and defects most especially the clearance grades, always make your clothes look attractive,if you would have to wash and iron them so it would look more presentable,do it.If you have to get hanger to put it,then get them.
Like most Grade A clothes which is of good quality,you could clean them well, press them and fix them in a presentable way or in a fancy nylon,no one would believe it’s a second hand cloth.You could sell them at higher prices because anyone who sees a good thing would want to buy it.
But Note;When washing a second cloth,it’s not advisable to use detergent or soap that have high cleaning abilities,so it won’t wash the colours or make them fade.When washing,use bar or toilet soaps like premier,lux,joy, imperial leather and the rest of it.This soaps won’t only keep the cloth clean,it would preserve the colours and also give it a good scent.
When fixing your prices,always have it in mind that you are not the only person selling okrika,the higher you place the prices of your goods,the higher your chances of losing customers.
Place your prices according to the Grade and quality of that cloth, don’t sell all your cloth with one uniform price,you would have low gain.
When you have done all that,it’s good to know how to promote your sales,this is the major part that would measure how well your goods would be sold and those who would patronize you.
Speaking to them:This is the most familiar way convince someone to buy something from you,if you talk to your customer in a harsh way,you might end up losing him or her.Master the ability of speaking in a good manner to customers and see the way people would rush your goods.
Social media:People pay less concentration to this means of communication.Social media is a good way to reach out to those who can’t see your goods physically,when you present your goods to any social media platform,it brings lots of customers and People around the country would want to buy from you,this is what to do;
Create a group or page on Facebook,make it public, invite your friends to the group.
Take pictures of your clothes (make sure it’s very presentable) then post it on that group or on your profile.
You could that same thing on WhatsApp and Instagram,the world is full technology make use of it.
Another method is to hawk your goods:Hawking doesn’t necessarily have to be when you carry goods on your heads and start shouting.
You could get a bag,stock in your clothes good ones like the first Grade/Grade A,then you could go to offices, worship centers or recreation centers like bars,eateries and the rest of it.When you show it to people around,if it is a good cloth with high quality,you would definitely sell them if the price you put on them is okay.
Anybody can do this business, young and old,men and women,any age group can do it.Try it and thank me later.
Have it in mind that pride won’t pay your bills,do something and let God help you out with it.