A lot of people, especially youths, ask me this question in my WhatsApp inbox.
In these hard economic times that we are facing, finding something to sustain your livelihood is paramount on your life’s tasks. As is commonly said here in Kenya Kazi ni kazi, usichague kazi.
The saying stands true. There are many people who started small and have made it in life. Some started without a capital but now invest millions in other people’s businesses.
One of the small businesses you can start is selling mitumba clothes. It can be a lucrative business if you are a determined person who is also creative at making sales.
Here is how with a minimum of Ksh.1,000, you can head down to Gikomba market and pick second hand clothes which you can sell at a profit.
This business does not require one to be an expert in fashion in order to start. Anyone can do it.
Nearly every Kenyan can afford Ksh.1,000 in their pockets so this should not be a problem. If you lack such an amount consider borrowing from close friends and family with a promise of repaying them back within a reasonable time frame. If you can get more money the better.
Where to start
First, you should identify your target market. It will enable you to make a decision on which kind of clothes to go for. Not everything sells out there and having a clear vision of your intended customers is a wise thing.
Children clothing: parents can’t resist buying clothes for their children. Every mother out there wishes their children to dress smartly and look presentable at all times.
Women will not mind spending a couple hundreds of their money on their children’s clothing which makes it one of the best categories you can go for.
Children T-shirts sell fast. You can buy them at Gikomba market at around Ksh.50 each and sell them between Ksh.100 to Ksh.200 per T-shirt.
Try finding unisex T-shirts so that you don’t end up narrowing your market to one gender.
Apart from T-shirts, there are also shirts, shorts, trousers, skirts, dresses, inner wear and jackets that you can sell to mothers.
Do not go for infant clothing since they have low returns and it will prove hard finding new mothers to sell the baby wear to.
Women clothing: If there is any group that loves buying clothes its women. They are always looking forward to stock their wardrobes with new clothes and this makes them the perfect market to target.
Women are easy to part with their money as long as what you are selling them is appealing regardless of the quality. If they like what they see, they will buy it. Unlike men, ladies can buy things for their brand name and not quality.
You can sell ladies tops which go faster than skirts and jeans. They are also easy to pick and cheap too. With Ksh.1,000, you can find between 7 to 15 tops which you can sell and get profit twice or thrice the invested amount.
Other clothes you can sell include official skirts, Jeans, jackets and sweaters which require you to have more capital.
Keep off vending of ladies’ innerwear at such an early stage. Fetching customers in an estate for innerwear is hard since many women will feel embarrassed buying them in public around their neighbourhoods.
Go for outwears which sell fast.
Men’s wear: When it comes to men, go for shirts and T-shirts. You can make good money selling t-shirts to youths in your area as long as they appear appealing in design.
Look for T-shirts that contain attractive graphics or catchy words and customers will come running your way.
T-shirts with collars are also in demand therefore look out for them too.
If you have good capital to spare, buy official shirts and sell them to boutiques and those who work in offices. You can buy a shirt between Ksh.100 – Ksh.200 and sell it between Ksh.500 – Ksh.700 leaving you with good profits to smile about.
Apart from shirts and t-shirts, jackets and coats are also a good type of wear that men love buying.
Make sure that whatever you offer to your customers is the best you can get in the market.
Those who have big capital can consider selling jeans and trousers. You can as well start by buying one or two jeans and re-invest the profits into the business until you have enough capital.
The best place to sell your clothes is in estates. You can start selling in your neighbourhood to friends and neighbours who can become returning customers that buy from you repeatedly.
Once you have made good profits after some time in the business, consider setting up a place where you can sell from.
Another option you can consider is hawking the clothes around.