Everything You Need To Start A Mitumba Business In Kenya

Mitumba Business In Kenya

In a time when fashion trends are on the increase, people are now more concerned with about what they put on and this has resulted in them investing more in their clothes, bags and shoes.

However, since not everyone is financially stable enough to buy brand-new clothes, some have resorted to purchasing mitumba.

The term “Mitumba” is a Swahili word for “second-hand clothes” and it is sometimes referred to as “Kangas.”

A mitumba business is a type of business that involves the buying and selling of second-hand clothes. Usually, people involved in this kind of business buy clothes that have been used abroad and import into Kenya and sell them wholesale.

While others buy from wholesalers in Kenya and sell directly to customers.

To make things easier for people interested In starting a mitumba business in Kenya, we have provided a step-by-step guide on how the business can be established and operated successfully in the Kenyan market.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Mitumba Business?

Advantages Of Mitumba Business In Kenya

1. Mitumba Business Is Very Easy To Start: Starting a mitumba business does not require much stress to get started, unlike other businesses. All you need is a source of goods and people to sell or supply to. Moreover, you can start this business as a novice.

2. Is A Low Capital Business: A mitumba business is among the businesses you can start with little capital. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t invest large capital in the business.

3. Mitumba Business Has A Ready Market: Unlike most other businesses, Mitumba Business has a ready market and a large customer base. People are ready to buy second-hand products as long as they are of high quality.

4. Mitumba Business Is Very Profitable: Every business person aims to make a profit. And any business known to be a good business has a profit turnover. However, in the mitumba business, there is no limit to what you can make or generate as a profit.

So one of the advantages of this business is the high rate of profit.

5. Low-Risk Business: When there is a high risk factor in any business it discourages potential people or investors.

Mitumba business is a low-risk business. In addition to this, mitumba are not perishable, unlike most businesses. It lasts longer and does not lose its value as there are always people willing to buy it. That’s why it is tagged as a low-risk business.

6. And lastly, you may not necessarily need a shop to start your business as the product can be mobile.

Disadvantages Of Mitumba Business In Kenya

One of the disadvantages of mitumba business is the highly competitive market. As many mitumba businesses are operating in Kenya this can make it difficult for you to stand out.

What Is The Secret Of Mitumba Business?

The secret of mitumba business is finding the fastest-selling second-hand products to sell. When it comes to the mitumba business, there are different categories of mitumba like shoes, bags, women’s wear, men’s wear, and children’s wear.

And most times what thrive most in Kenya are shoes, bags, and women’s wear.

Another secret of mitumba business when it comes to success is conducting market research to gather valuable information about the business and its potential to flow in your location. This will increase the level of success while operating your business.

How Profitable Is Mitumba Business In Kenya?

The mitumba business is very profitable in Kenya due to several factors that contribute to its success. Some of these factors are low startup capital, low risk, and ready market.

In mitumba business, you can start with a little capital and enjoy a high profit margin. For instance, you can make 30% to 70% of profit from a high-quality second-hand product. This shows the substantial profit ratio in the mitumba business.

On the other hand, factors like location and pricing strategies also contribute to how profitable a mitumba business can be.

Thereby to make more profit you have to take these factors seriously.

What Are The Types Of Mitumba Bale?

Here are different types of mitumba bells in Kenya:

1. Premium Grade/Creme: The premium grade or creme are high-quality second-hand goods that are in excellent shape and at times have designer brands. Plus they are made of quality materials.

2. Grade A: This grade of mitumba bales is also of high quality with little or no evidence of damage from use.

3. Grade B: This grade is of lower quality and may show deterioration. Meanwhile, this type of mitumba bale has a fault that requires to be fixed like new buttons and patching.

4. Grade C: This type of mitumba bale has minor flaws like faded color, ink spills, and small tears.

5. Grade D: Grade D mitumba bales are the type of bales that have flaws that may or may not be corrected. They are mostly the cheapest and the profit potentials are very low.

Can I Start A Mitumba Business With Ksh 5000?

Yes, with as little as Ksh 5000, you can start a mitumba business in Kenya today. With Ksh 5,000 budget, you can start by picking some products and selling them to people within or in the market.

And note that with this budget, you won’t need a shop as you will be selling your product on mobile.

What Are The Popular Kenyan Mitumba Markets?

Below are popular Kenyan mitumba markets:

1. Nairobi:

  • Ngara
  • Gikomba
  • Umoja
  • Embakasi
  • Muthurwa
  • Kasarani

2. Mombasa:

  • Sega market
  • Kongowea market
  • Mackinon market
  • Chaani market
  • Kisauni
  • Buxton market

What Is The Cost Of Starting A Mitumba Business In Kenya?

You can start a Mitumba business in Kenya with a minimum capital of Ksh 5000 to Ksh 700,000 on a small scale. That is if only you want to get started on a low.

But if you intend to start on a large scale, you should budget more than Ksh 1 million.

On the other hand, the startup capital is also dependent on the type of mitumba bales you want to start with, age group, and gender. Also whether you intend to buy from a bale (hand picking) or buy the whole of the bale. This determines the required capital.

How Can I Start A Mitumba Business In Kenya?

Here are steps on how to start a mitumba business in Kenya:

1. Do Your Market Research: When it comes to starting a mitumba business in Kenya, the first step to consider is market research. You need to do your findings to know the profit potential of the business you are going into in your area.

It is also through your market research that you will find out the particular type of mitumba that is profitable and sells very fast.

Additionally, when conducting market research, you need to ask yourself the average income of people within that area. Can they buy quality mitumba? Is it clothes, shoes, or bags that sell fast in that area? All these questions will help you channel your research rightly.

2. Develop A Solid Business Plan: If you are going into the mitumba business on a large scale then developing a solid business plan will help you stand out from your competitors.

A business plan is very important because it gives you an insight into how to operate your business right from the onset.

Even if you are starting a mitumba business on a small or medium scale we will still advise you to have a business plan.

Meanwhile, in a situation where you don’t know how to write a business plan, then you need to hire the service of a professional to develop a solid business plan for you.

3. Have Your Capital Ready: Just like we aforementioned on the cost of starting a mitumba business in Kenya we stated that you will need a minimum startup capital of Ksh 5,000 to Ksh 700,000 to get started. Therefore, ensure that the capital is available as that is the most important thing.

4. Find A Good Location And Rent A Shop: Though when it comes to starting a mitumba business you can run it from home or anywhere. So location cannot be a limitation.

Nevertheless, if you want to rent a shop for this business it is advisable to find a good location for it. An ideal location is a high-traffic area, parks, markets, and school areas.

And most importantly, just ensure to site your shop in the right location as this is one of the secrets of running a mitumba business.

5. Find A Reliable Supplier: You do not need to travel out to source for goods. Hence, there are reliable suppliers and mitumba markets to source your goods. What matters most is getting someone who is trusted and who will supply quality goods to you.

After buying this mitumba, based on the goods you went for, especially for mitumba clothes, you need to wash, iron, and package them. This helps to remove stains and make the clothes not to be rumpled.

6. Promote Your Business: If you want your mitumba business to grow very fast and experience rapid sales, then you need to promote and market your business using effective means like word of mouth marketing and using social media marketing like Facebook ads and Instagram ads to market your product and reach more people.


Among other businesses in Kenya, the mitumba business has proven to be a lucrative business that has a low-risk factor.

We believe this article is an educative one that has given you the necessary information on how to start up a mitumba business in Kenya.

Ambassador Victor Chidera
Ambassador Victor ChideraAmbassador Victor Chidera is a business consultant, writer and a blogger. He provides lots of professional and expert advice to small businesses, entrepreneurs and organizations. He has many years of experience in business, teaching field, and research work. And his aim is to provide business articles that matters to you both nationally and internationally.
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