The three basic needs of man as a social animal are food, clothes and shelter. Anyone who does business along these lines, with proper Godly principles, is bound to be successful because demand will always outweigh the supply. Every human being must wear clothes no matter the social status or financial situation. Every human being desires to basically cover their nakedness. Anyone having to make a decision between going naked, going homeless and going hungry, would readily prefer to go hungry and homeless (especially the ladies). Looking around, you will notice that everyone has a piece of clothe on and you should know that it was bought form somewhere. So imagine if a quarter of those people had to buy it from you…
The clothing market in Africa is a booming multi-billion dollar business with a high profit yielding potential. You can attribute this to a rapidly growing population in the continent and also the fashion-conscious mentality of its young adults. The good news is that it will remain like that for a very long time to come until man is able to discover an alternative to clothing. If this does not happen in the foreseeable future, it therefore means clothes business and all the huge profits therein, will remain forever.
Taking it a bit further is the ever affordable second-hand clothes popularly called “okrika,” or “bend down select”. (note that ‘clothes’ here would refer to shoes, cloths, belts and other personal items) which so many has come to accept as the best and cheapest way to get good and long-lasting clothes. The okrika market in Nigeria has grown tremendously as a lucrative business and continues to grow with the numerous opportunities that lie within it.
There are a number of factors that have made this business profitable (which we will still discuss in detail) and they include its affordability, quality, variety, durability, among others. This belief is reasonable because most of the clothes in this line of business are sourced abroad. These are used clothing that are given out as donations to charity organizations, most of them have not been used and are fairly new and still have high market value.
Okrika is one of the few businesses you do not need an advert for and it requires little capital. So for those who are considering doing the business, Here are a few things you should know as they would come handy.
Top 10 Reasons Why ‘Okirika’ Is a very Lucrative Business
Affordability: It is really cheap to get. So you may not worry about start-up capital.
High Profitability: Its profit margin is astonishing and it keeps grows.
Not Capital Intensive: As mentioned before, you don’t need millions to start-up, just a few thousand bucks.
High Customer Base: You don’t need to look for customers. Do you have a neighbor, family members and friends? Then you have customers.
Durability: One argument for the large patronage is that it out lasts new clothes.
Offers Variety: It offers you the chances to chose from plenty variety of same clothes or at same price.
Popularity: Its popularity makes it market itself. You don’t need adverts (except to tell your location).
Mobile Marketability: If you don’t own a shop yet, you can still sell your goods.
No Fear of Uncertainty: This is a business that will remain forever. There is no uncertainty. As long as human beings still wear clothes, you will remain in business.
Additional Income Stream for Anyone: You don’t need an extra education on how to do the business. Anyone can do it as an extra stream of income.
You can buy a bale of ‘okirika’ online through Amazon or Aliexpress. You can also get them from importers of the product. There are business men and women who import the product into the country then sell them to wholesalers at a particular price. A bale should cost between N70,000 to N120,000 and there are grades AA and AB. The grade AA are the high quality bale clothes. They are very nice and look almost new but are more expensive while grade AB is a mix of high and low quality, which are cheaper than the former.
One truth you must know is that the market is saturated but yet the supply is not enough. And no matter how saturated the market is, people will always loose customers and others will always gain them. In order to have a competitive edge in the ‘okirika’ market front, it is advisable you consider (and implement) the following bullet points:
- Before you put your goods on display, make sure they are washed and ironed so that they will appear neat and have a clean smell. Restitch the torn clothing neatly before display.
- Don’t hoard your goods for a higher sale except you are sure of eventual patronage from your customers. One code you must uphold in starting this business is turnover. Try as much as possible to sell off your stock and go for another one immediately. Like that, you could sell as much as 5 bales in a month instead of holding on to stock just because you want to obtain higher prices for them and at the end of the month, you sell only 2 or 3 bales.
- Have you heard the saying that “satisfied customers means repeated business?” Good customer relations will make your clients keep coming back and increase your referral. Give discounts and promos to customers who make repeated purchases. If you make them happy, they will tell their family and friends about you. Don’t forget to talk to your own family, friends and colleagues because they are your first marketers.
- Buy items that the larger percentage of your customers always ask for. Children and ladies wears, especially their underwear, will always sell out faster. Get more of those. Make sure customers find what they want in your shop.
- As your business grows, do something that will make you unique by improving your packaging. Get hangers, racks, packaging boxes to prevent water spills, insects, place price tags and labels to give good presentation, reduce haggling and attract clients easily.
- Be accountable to yourself. Take it that your are working for yourself and you are supposed to render account to yourself. Keep a record of all sales, items in stock, profits and losses. Be accountable for your business and start a savings plan. Take out a percentage of the profit as your pay…Yes, you heard me – pay yourself! Let the remainder be the business money. This way, you will regulate your expenditure. Separate friendship from business, discourage selling on credit and people owing you especially if your goods are reasonably priced.