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How to Start a Thrift Business in Nigeria


If you have been searching for a lucrative business to start in Nigeria with low capital, then the thrift business idea is excellent for you. The thrift business comes in various forms and levels, so even with very little capital, you can find a place to make a profit in this area. 

However, you cannot succeed in any business without knowing what it is about and how best to make it work in Nigeria. Hence, this guide discusses thrift businesses in Nigeria and the steps to start one successfully. 

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What is a Thrift Business? 

Thrift business
Thrift business

A thrift business is one that buys and resells used products (in these parts, thrift items are typically fashion items). You can choose to sell online or in brick-and-mortar shops.  However, you should understand that running an online thrift store is less capital-consuming compared to setting up a shop.

In the thrift business, some people focus on one niche and sell only one type of product, while others may decide to sell a little of everything. However, the most popular type of thrift business in Nigeria is selling used clothes, commonly known as Okrika amongst the locals. Another popular option is household items which are mostly imported.

As a new thrift business owner, it is essential to carefully decide what you want to sell and ensure it will yield the most profit, even when the market is saturated. 

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Steps to Start a Thrift Business in Nigeria

Do Market Research and Choose Your Niche 

Thrift business

As mentioned earlier, the thrift business is diverse, with many options. But first, you need to do adequate market research and find out which is more profitable in your location and which one you want to start. It is also essential to consider the needs of your target customers and ensure you don’t sell something people will hardly buy. 

Create a Brand 

Thrift business

In regular thrift businesses creating a brand is not necessary, but if you want to stand out, especially when you own an online thrift store creating a unique brand will help you achieve your goals faster. A brand will guide you through creating a unique business website, logo, offers and many more. So hire professionals to give your business an exceptional brand identity. 

Register Your Business

Thrift business

A lot of people do not register their thrift businesses with the appropriate authorities because many engage in thrifting as a side business or a temporary business; however, if you believe in what you are doing and are ready to work hard for the success of your business, then you should register your thrift business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) so you will own a unique brand name. 

Setup Your Thrift Store

Thrift business

Now that you are all set, it is time to set up your thrift store according to your budget, so start by renting a place; this can be a big store or office or a small place as long as you can display your products and provide a conducive environment for your customers. 

Then again, a thrift store does not need too much interior furnishing; you will need basic things like chairs, mirrors, a dressing area, a table, etc.

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Source Products and Manage Your Inventory

Thrift business

If you have succeeded in setting up a thrift store, you now have a secure place to store your goods and start sorting them for sale. So contact your supplier and buy as many products as you want for sale, but it is better to buy smaller quantities so you will first understand what people in your area prefer to buy. 

However, if you own an online thrift store, you do not necessarily need to buy all the products; display their pictures and buy them when a customer pays. 

Market Your Thrift Business

Thrift business

This is the final stage of setting up your thrift business; now the products are ready, your shop is ready, and your customers are also prepared. But you need to reach out to them so they will know about your business; if you own a walk-in shop, word-for-mouth advertising and other simple marketing strategies will be very effective. 

However, if you own an online thrift store, you will need to utilize social media and influencer marketing platforms to reach out to your target market and drive traffic to your business. 

How Profitable is the Thrift Business 

Thrift business

The thrift business may not be the most profitable of all small companies, but it can give you a lot of profits depending on how big the industry is and how well you have positioned it for easy access to prospective clients. 

In addition, having effective cost control and marketing strategies, excellent customer service, and good business management skills will go a long way to determining the profitability of your thrift business. 

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What is the Cost of Starting a Thrift Business? 

Thrift business

According to some thrift store owners in Nigeria, you can start this business with as little as N20,000; all you need to start is your mobile phone, data, and a supplier.

First, you can start as a dropshipper, posting pictures of products directly from your supplier. Then when your customers make payment for any of the products, you act as an intermediary between your customers and your suppliers, thereby keeping your profits and ensuring that your customers get their goods as promised. 

Also, you can start buying the products in small quantities and market them in your online store or platforms; however, if you have enough capital, you can set up a walk-in store for your thrift business, which will cost at least N100,000.

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In conclusion, starting a thrift business in Nigeria is easy and doesn’t require many formalities. However, one challenge that most people face is choosing the wrong niche and trying to change their niche along the line because it is not as profitable as they imagined may make them seem unserious. As a result, they may find themselves starting from scratch again.

So to avoid such problems, ensure you take market research very seriously before starting the business. This guide will also greatly help you as you take the bold step to become an entrepreneur in Nigeria. 

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