With an ever-dipping economy, the need for style has only gone higher and to keep up with the trend,thrift shopping is the newest craze. You don’t need to buy expensive clothes to look good, you just have to be a smart shopper. Thrift shopping can be defined as the purchase of second hand clothes and other house hold goods.
To be a thrift shopper in Kenya, you have to know how to maneuver the ever-congested corridors of Toi and Gikomba market. There are many advantages to thrift shopping;
i)Pricing- the prices go for as low as 10 shillings and can change according to different days of the week, market days being the most expensive.
ii)Variety- In both style and trend, you can find anything you desire at the flea market.
iii) Availability- There’s a thrift market at every other Nairobi corner.
iv) Designer products at a fraction of the price but not usually in the best condition.
v) Recycling- when you buy second hand goods and clothing items.
vi) Business ideas- A lot of people have made money from selling second hand goods e.g. imports and distribution and direct retailer to consumer sales.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THRIFT SHOPPING
- Dress moderately to avoid getting the awkward look and being overcharged. Wear comfortable shoes, hats to prevent sun exposure or put on sunscreen. Not advisable to go during the rainy season.
- If you are new at this, it’s better to go with someone who has done it before.
- Carry cash but put it in separate places because it gets lost sometimes in the chaos that are thrift markets.
- Carry water to stay hydrated or pack a light snack, because of the long walks and looking through mountains of clothes.
- Take note of market days, they are busier than others.
- Be realistic with your expectations when looking through the market in terms of quality.
AT THE MARKET
a) Avoid talking to by standers who lurk within, they could be opportunists or pickpockets.
b) Bargain-The sellers judge and price items according to the buyer so beware.
c) Avoid going to secluded areas because of security reasons.
d) Inspect your purchases carefully before handing your money over and confirm your change.
e) Take breaks, the walk through the market can be overwhelming even to the pros.
Try making thrift shopping a fun affair by bringing along family members and friends. You can purchase holiday gifts or items of clothing that no longer exists in stores.
Photo credits: Andrew Njoroge