Nigerians love second hand, a.k.a. bend down select, and why not? Second hand clothes, bags, shoes, etc are cheap and accessible for just about anyone. Plus, they are a source of livelihood for many. Thrift Store NG is exploring how it can leverage technology to accelerate the thrift business.
Worldwide, thrifting is a huge business, with about 80 per cent of people buying, using and wearing secondhand goods. The resale industry is worth over $18 billion and it’s about time someone took it seriously in Nigeria. Thrift Store NG is on a mission to make buying and selling of second hand better, and technology is going to play a huge role in that.
Using Instagram, Thrift Store NG started to sell thrifted items online. Founder, Wumi Tuase, would head to the local market and handpick good quality second hand apparel, take pictures of them with her phone and upload the pictures to Instagram with prices and other details.
Two years later, there are hundreds of online thrift stores selling in Nigeria alone and again, Thrift Store NG is leveraging technology to provide a solution for thrift lovers and sellers. Korede Azeez joined Tuase to convert the modest Instagram store to an online marketplace where sellers of second hand wares can sell their items. The customer is at an advantage because they can get more variety and not have to pay separate delivery fees for orders from different sellers.
“Bend down select” is not popular among the lower classes only, but the middle class as well. While the former may not mind buying items that are not in too great shape but cost close to nothing, the middle class want good quality and are willing to pay more to get it.
Thrift Store NG is building a business around the need Nigeria’s middle class have for more affordable clothing. Thrifting makes it possible to buy big brands at up to 70 per cent off the original retail price, making premium and luxury more accessible for many.
The business is paying close attention to the lifestyle of this group, especially as it relates to their shopping behaviour in a digital age. They shop online and they like the convenience of home deliveries instead of having to shop at the local market. Digital bend down select would make sense for someone who is too busy with work to head to the local market as often as they would like.
If there’s anything the country’s middle class millennials like more than affordable but superb quality, it is making extra cash.Thrift Store NG is making it easy for anyone to make money by selling fairly-used items they hardly ever wear. It’s as simple as filling a form on thriftstoreng.com, having your fairly-used stuff picked up, and in a matter of days or weeks, you’ll have cash rolling into you bank account. Talk about converting your wardrobe to cash.
According to Tuase: “We are opening up the market to other people who want to sell, not just established vendors. Imagine how many people can make extra money on the side without having to do much.”
There is a huge potential for the creation of wealth, not just for the business, but for anyone at all who has more clothes than they need. Definitely exciting.
To officially launch their marketplace initiative, the business is organising a shopping party on Easter Monday (April 2). Entry is free for all and registration is currently open to vendors who would like to sell at the event for a token amount. You can also signup to declutter your wardrobe on the website.
The Thrift Store NG team can be reached via email at [email protected] On Twitter and Instagram, they are @thriftstoreng, and on Facebook, they are ThriftStoreNG.