How to Start a Thrift Clothing Business in Nigeria -

How to Start a Thrift Clothing Business in Nigeria

Sodiq J. Sodiq J.
July 02, 2023
How to Start a Thrift Clothing Business in Nigeria


How to Start a Thrift Clothing Business in Nigeria

Do you have a passion for fashion, a keen eye for style, and a desire to start your own business? A thrift clothing business could be the perfect opportunity for you. But where do you start, especially in Nigeria, where the market is still relatively untapped? This article teaches you how to start a thrift clothing business in Nigeria, so keep reading.

What is Thrift Business?

The thrift business, also known as the okirika business, is the practice of buying used or secondhand clothing from abroad and reselling them in Nigeria. This business has been around for a long time but has recently gained more popularity due to the economic recession.

It provides customers with products at a much lower price than they would find at physical stores and online retailers. Often, these shops have collections from various eras or offer niche products that cannot be found elsewhere, giving consumers unique experiences and fond memories about trying something new. In general, thrift shops are valuable resources to help shoppers find quality items at affordable prices while saving pocket change.

While this business is widespread nationwide and worldwide, only a few people know the inside-out. However, don't let that scare you, as this article will teach you the secret of the okrika business, making you excel.

How Much Do I Need to Start Thrift Business in Nigeria?

The amount of capital you need to start a thrift clothing business in Nigeria depends on the size and scope of your business. Generally speaking, you should expect to need at least N100,000 to get started. This money will be used for purchasing stock, marketing, setting up a shop or online store, and other miscellaneous costs. However, the capital you need will increase if you plan on running a large-scale thrift store.

How to Start a Thrift Clothing Business in Nigeria

1. Research

Research should be the first thing you think about when starting any business. Market research identifies what customer needs already exist and determines if there is a niche in the market for your product. Through it, you’ll better understand what customers want, allowing you to create products that can meet their desires successfully.

Also, your market research will help you identify and avoid overcrowded markets already saturated with similar products. So you don’t find yourself competing with others in terms of pricing.

2. Write a Plan

A business plan is essential to getting your business off the ground. It works as a roadmap for your company's future growth and identifies potential opportunities and issues before they become problematic.

A sound business plan includes a financial forecast and a written part detailing your business, strategy, and objectives. The financial forecast assesses if there is potential profitability within the business and how much initial capital you’ll need to get started. In contrast, the written document presents your venture idea in depth so investors can assess its feasibility.

By presenting your idea in an organized manner, it will be easier for potential financiers to understand its risk factors.

3. Create a Brand

A powerful and memorable brand will help to differentiate you from the competition, attract customers and establish an emotional connection with them.

Your name should capture your business's essence and be something that can easily be recalled. When selecting a brand name, it is important to ensure that it complies with the rules of the Nigerian Government. Thus, contacting the Nigerian Business Registration Agency before choosing a name would be best.

Also, the design and style of your branding should align with the message you want to communicate about your business. The logo should be appealing, recognizable, and reflect the values you are trying to convey. You must ensure that all your branding elements fit together neatly and create one cohesive look so customers will instantly recognize and associate with it.

With careful consideration given to each aspect of branding, your online thrift store will be set up for success. A strong brand presence provides an advantage in today's competitive marketplace.

4. Set Up Your Shop

The easiest route is to use an eCommerce platform such as Shopify or Bigcommerce; these provide users with the tools and support to quickly and efficiently establish their store. These platforms also don’t require much technical expertise, allowing inexperienced sellers to start selling products quickly. However, if you're planning on a physical shop, consider the location and the demographic that would be buying from you.

Additionally, you need to stock up on clothing pieces and accessories that are in trend. You can source them from charity shops, markets, or even online.

5. Promote Your Business

Getting the word out about your business is essential so people know you exist and visit your store/site. Once your website is live, you should create a presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Social media lets you quickly share information about your business while interacting with potential customers. Additionally, email marketing campaigns inform existing and potential customers of special offers or promotions that can help drive sales.

In addition, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is vital for improving visibility and driving organic traffic. SEO involves optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results for relevant keywords.

Following the steps outlined above, you should have a thriving thrift clothing business in Nigeria. Good luck!

What Sells Best in a Thrift Store?

Thrift stores are a treasure trove of unique and affordable finds, but what sells best in these stores? Generally, items in good condition, on-trend, and reasonably priced tend to sell quickly. Clothing items like vintage and designer pieces and high-quality basics like jeans and t-shirts are popular among thrift store shoppers. Home decor items like picture frames, vases, and lamps sell well.

Also, books, DVDs, and electronics can be hot items in good condition and competitively priced. Ultimately, the best items to sell in a thrift store will vary based on location, customer base, and current trends.

Where to Buy Thrift Clothes in Bulk in Nigeria

There are several places in Nigeria where you can buy thrift clothes in bulk. Here are some options to consider:

  • Balogun Market: Located in Lagos, Balogun Market is one of the largest markets in Nigeria for second-hand clothing. 

  • Tejuosho Market: Also located in Lagos, Tejuosho Market is another popular destination for buying thrift clothes in bulk.

  • Katangowa Market: Located in Abule Egba, Lagos, Katangowa Market is another option for buying thrift clothes in bulk. 

  • Bend Down Select Market: This market is located in Yaba, Lagos, and is known for its affordable prices and a large selection of second-hand clothing.

  • Online thrift stores: There are several online thrift stores in Nigeria where you can buy second-hand clothing in bulk. 

When buying thrift clothes in bulk, it's important to inspect the items carefully to ensure they are in good condition and free from stains or damage. Negotiating the price with the seller is also a good idea to ensure you get a good deal.


Starting a thrift clothing business in Nigeria can be lucrative and rewarding for those passionate about fashion and sustainability. You can attract customers and establish a thriving business with the right marketing strategies and a strong online presence. Remember to focus on providing quality products, building trust with your customers, and continuously improving your inventory to stay ahead of the competition.

Blog authors

Sodiq J.
Sodiq J.
successful businesses start with small steps but big ideas and I find great pleasure in putting into context and wordings profitable and feasible business ideas and agricultural practices in nigeria