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Thrift clothes are popularly known as ‘Okirka’, bend-down select, second-hand clothes, used clothes and many other names in Nigeria. An average Nigerian is familar with either selling or buying thrift clothes. It is a popular and old fashioned business that is still in vogue.

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Thrift clothes sold in Nigeria are usually bought from U.K and U.S. They are called London used or American used. These clothes have been previously worn but they are still in good condition. Some of them are free from dent, patches, discoloration and other things you will expect to find in used clothes.

These clothes comes in various grades. First grade, second grade, third grade, etc. These grades determine the durability and quality of the clothes. Usually, clothes in the first grade are as good as a brand new clothe.

Here are some tips you need to know before selling thrift clothes in Nigeria.

1. Find a supplier

You need to find a reliable supplier before starting a thrift clothing business in Nigeria. Your supplier will determine a lot of things. Your pricing, access to your goods, etc.

Mostly, thrift clothes are sold in bale. The bale contains a particular number of clothes. Some bales contain women skirts, children clothes, male trousers, etc. You can decide to venture into a particular kind of clothing or buy the mixture of different bales.

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Suppliers of thrift clothes are mostly men and women in the East. They dominate the thrift market in Nigeria. It doesn’t mean that other tribes are not involved in this franchise.

If you know someone that sells thrift clothes, you can ask them to connect you to a supplier. Another efficient way of finding a supplier is by going to major markets around you to make enquiry.

2. Have good negotiation skills

If you want to start a thrift clothing business in Nigeria, you need to have great negotiation skills. Some customers believe that thrift clothes should be sold at ridiculous amounts.

You always have to know how to persuade your customers that they are doing the right thing by buying from you.

Don’t sell your goods at prices that are not comfortable for you. If you do, you will run at a loss in no time.

3. Have good packaging skills

You can decide to make much or less profit depending on the way you package your thrift clothes. Don’t handle them roughly. Always keep them properly.

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You can decide to wash your thrift clothes and iron them. That way, it looks more presentable then selling it straight from the bale. You can easily convince your customers to pay more when the clothes are well packaged.

4. Decide either to sell online or offline

An advantage of selling thrift clothes is that you can decide to sell them online or offline. If you are selling it online, you have to take great pictures of the clothes. You also have to regularly post them on your social media platforms to attract more customers.

For offline sales, you should have your shop at a strategic location. There are some areas that thrift clothing business will thrive and in other places, you will struggle with having sales.


Ultimately, do your research diligently before venturing into thrift clothing business. Your business decisions can either make or mar the business.

Featured Image source: Culture Intelligence from RED
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This article was first published on 4th July 2022


My name is Agbagba Bukola. I write about the business and exciting world of fashion.

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