The Basics Of How To Start A Thrift Business In Nigeria

Thrift Business In Nigeria

One of the most lucrative business one can ever think of starting in the fashion or clothing industry in Nigeria is thrift business. A thrift business is also known as okirika business or akube business in Nigeria, and it involves the sales of already used clothing or fashion items like bags, shoes, clothes, etc.

Usually, these items are imported from foreign countries into Nigeria where they are sold at an affordable price to people. Also, despite the fact that they are secondhanded, thrift items are usually very durable.

Although the thought of selling second hand clothing or fashion items might strange to you, there are actually people in Nigeria who need them because they can’t afford to buy the expensive ones which are usually of better and higher quality. This is where you come in as a thrift business owner. You can generate a lot of income today by selling thrift items to these people.

While some buy these thrift clothing and fashion items in bulk from foreign countries and sell in wholesale to Nigerians, others buy from wholesalers in Nigeria and sell in retail to other Nigerians. Either way, if you are interested in starting a thrift business in Nigeria, then this article is for you.

We’ve provided a detailed guide on how you can start and run a successful thrift business in Nigeria.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Thrift Business In Nigeria?

Advantages Of Thrift Business In Nigeria Include:

1. It creates employment opportunities: There is no doubt that the thrift business has created job opportunities for a lot of people.

2. Source of income: It has become a major source of income for over 90% of people in the field.

3. The thrift business is flexible enough to operate without any limitations.

4. There is always a steady customer base.

5. It is a business that requires low startup capital.

Disadvantages Of Thrift Business Include:

1. Contacting of skin diseases due to uncleaned clothes: Though is rare, few people have contracted skin diseases from Okrika clothes. However, this can be avoided through thorough cleaning of the clothes.

2. Most people do see it as a used product.

What Is The Secret Of Okrika Business?

One of the best secrets of Okrika business is focusing on one niche, and also being calculative in every capital you invest. For example, for every capital you spend on Okrika, you need to get at least 30% to 50% profit. Meanwhile, when you don’t get up to this profit margin, just know that you are already on your way to accumulating loss.

So the best secret in this business is being calculative. However, this should prompt you to conduct detailed market research to know how to sell and make profits.

How Profitable Is Thrift Business In Nigeria?

In Nigeria, starting a thrift business can be a profitable endeavor. There are many great reasons for this, but the most important ones are the high demand and preference for used clothes.

Also, a thrift business is very lucrative in Nigeria if you are applying the right strategy and selling your product using competitive prices.

So if you are thinking about starting a thrift business in Nigeria, there are two reasons to do so: First, the high demand and preference for used clothes. Secondly, you can be successful if you apply strategy and sell at competitive prices. These two factors combine to make the thrift business a profitable venture.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Thrift Business In Nigeria?

To start a thrift business in Nigeria, you will need anywhere from ₦50,000 to ₦500,000. It all simply depends on the quality of the clothes and the scale of the thrift.

Fortunately, you can start less or below your budget, it all depends on how you choose to operate. A report shows that you can handpick thrifts with as little as ₦15,000 to ₦40,000 and still make a profit.

However, if your budget is so tight, you can go for a bale of thrift clothes (Okrika). In this case, you make more money because the more items you buy the less they will cost you.

How Much Is A Bale Of Okrika In Nigeria?

The current price of a bale of Okrika varies according to certain factors like location, type of Okrika, and other logistical expenses. Meanwhile, there are no uniform prices but below is a breakdown analysis we got from top players in this industry:

Big Bale Of Okrika Shoes Is ₦645,000-₦660,000
Big Bale Of Okrika Sandals Is ₦590,000-₦600,000
Big Bale Of Okrika Clothes Is ₦395,000-₦405,000
Small Bale Of Okrika Bags Is ₦71,000
Big Bale Of Okrika Bags Is Almost ₦500,000

The above-estimated cost depends on the kg and grade. For example, 100kg of first grade Okrika cost from ₦200,000 to ₦250,000. So as a matter of fact, on average, the cost of Okrika in bale is between ₦250,000 to ₦500,000 in Nigeria depending on whether it is a smaller bale or bigger bale.

Where Can I Buy Thrift Clothes In Bulk In Nigeria?

You can buy thrift clothes in bulk from importers or suppliers in the following markets at cheap prices:

1. Onitsha main market (Anambra)
2. Yaba market (Lagos)
3. Balogun market (Lagos)
4. Ariaria international market (Aba)
5. Cementary market (Aba)
6. Oshodi market (Lagos)
7. Aswanin market (Lagos)
8. Garki market (Abuja)
9. Ekoha market (Aba)
10. Oil mill market (Port Harcourt)
11. Wuse market (Abuja)
12. Choba market (Port Harcourt)
13. Nyanya market (Abuja)
14. Newmarket (Ngwa Road, Aba)
15. Bali market (Lagos island)

How Can I Start A Thrift Business Online In Nigeria?

Here are steps to start a thrift business online in Nigeria:

  • First of all decide on the niche you want to focus on, and know your customer base.
  • Analyze the market by understanding the desires of the consumers, and gathering information from existing thrift business owners to find out what they have been doing to satisfy the consumer’s needs.
  • After the above steps, you have to develop a business plan for your thrift business which includes your target market, your thrift concept, and financial projections.
  • Determine the estimate you need to start your thrift business online and consider options like branding cost, inventory cost, and other logistics.
  • Furthermore, you give your online thrift business a name. Meanwhile, choosing a name is very easy, and is very important to double-check the chosen name to ensure no one else is bearing it. Additionally, you choose a logo, style, and design that will align with your brand.
  • At this point, you set up your online thrift store. You can decide to start under some popular e-commerce site builder platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. Or you decide to start selling your thrift clothes through online marketplaces like Jumia, Jiji, Konga, etc.
  • Get suppliers that will be supplying thrift clothes to you. You can also buy from markets that sell at cheaper rates. We have already listed some of the markets to buy thrift in bulk.
  • Now it’s time to take your online promotion very seriously. Because without traffic, there is no how you can sell your products. However, to generate traffic and awareness you have to take your promotion very seriously through paid adverts like Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, etc. You can also use influencer marketing methods to generate leads & sales.

What Are The Required Steps In Starting A Thrift Business In Nigeria?

For you to start a successful thrift business in Nigeria you have to follow the below steps:

1. Choose A Business Model: When it comes to starting a thrift business, there are two ways to source thrift products. Either you buy by bale or you start by hand-picking single items. However, if you’re planning to start big and have a tight budget for it, we recommend that you start by buying in bales.

There are several benefits attached to buying in Bale, and this includes higher profit margins, bigger stock, and more stronger relationship between you and your supplier.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to start small, then hand-picking single items will be the recommended business model to start with.

2. Choose What To Sell: It is totally fine to sell all types of thrift products. But to build a strong brand you need to choose the type of thrift product to sell. For example, you can niche down to just clothes, kidswear, ladies’ shoes, bags, etc.

Nevertheless, don’t feel sad that you may miss some customers if you focus on a specific type of thrift business. But that is not the case. You are still at an advantage because niching down will make it easier to build a strong relationship with your customers since you already know their demand.

Meanwhile, before choosing the type of clothes to sell, you have to consider the product demand and profitability in your area. Of course, this is so important because the ideal is to focus on the fast-moving thrift clothes.

3. Find A Good Location: There is a wise saying that the location of a business can make or break the business. This solely means that location plays an important role in a business, and the thrift business isn’t excluded. However, the best location to sell your thrift clothes should be in a populated area with many prospective customers.

Also, you can decide to site your shop in an open-air market, and you should know that you must be ready to fulfill all the taxes and license requirements if you choose this option.

On the other hand, you can choose to start a thrift business online by creating an online store, and social media pages, and promoting your thrift clothes through paid adverts.

4. Identify A Supplier: Thrift clothes (Okrika) are mainly imported. And identifying a trusted supplier is an important factor to consider when starting a thrift business in Nigeria.

Moreover, your business model will determine the type of supplier you will need. For instance, if you want to start on a small scale (handpicking), there are open-air markets for it. Also, if you are buying in bales, there are still markets and suppliers for it.

So in everything just make sure you inquire and get the right supplier. Meanwhile, we have already listed some of the popular markets to buy your thrift clothes. You can also start with them.

5. Set Up Your Selling Price: Once you have gotten your stock, the next is to set up a competitive price to sell your thrift clothes. However, to avoid loss, you have to be strategic in your pricing. Also keep in mind that for every capital spent, you need to get at least 30% to 50% profit.

In another case, when pricing your thrift clothes some factors like transport and other minimal expenses should be included. And if after all the mathematics you didn’t get above 30% in profit, then it’s a red flag. You have to restrategize yourself.

Thrift Business Plan And Mentorship In Nigeria

Starting a thrift business in Nigeria requires having a business plan and an experienced mentor. With these two things, you will become successful and make a lot of money in the thrift business.

We have worked with so many thrift businesses in Nigeria, and also we have helped newbies earn their first 500k within 2 months through our business plan and mentorship.

However, to get the thrift business plan and mentorship, then

CLICK HERE TO CHAT US ON WHATSAPP or call/WhatsApp us directly at 09074859790 to get more information about the Business Plan and Mentorship.


The above consists of the faqs on how to start a thrift business in Nigeria. And it is of good value to know that you can get started with small capital.

To sum it up, don’t underestimate the power of social media platforms for your thrift business. These platforms will help you generate leads and get potential customers at the same time.

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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