Trading in imported used clothes booms in Ikorodu, Lagos
Traders of imported used clothes, shoes, bags and household utensils have taken over major markets and public places in Ikorodu, a suburb of Lagos.
Investigations by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) showed that the boom in used items in the area followed increase in the population of semi-middle class Nigerians in Ikorodu.
Some of the traders told NAN that they migrated to Ikorodu from Yaba and Kotankowa based on increasing demands for their goods by inhabitants of the town.
They attributed the high demands for imported used clothes among others to the poor liquidity of workers and depressed economic climate which had compelled citizens to resort to affordable alternatives.
At most of the markets and public places visited, large numbers of the inhabitants were seen flocking around traders and bargaining seriously for used items, especially cloths.
NAN reports that the traders, who are enjoying higher returns from the sales, also deploy various market strategies, ranging from innovative dancing, singing and chanting to attract customers.
NAN also reports that the sale of imported used cloths created fast business for mobile tailors who amend clothes for customers that needed necessary adjustment.
A trader, Mr Friday Nwanka, said: “Second hand clothes does not have season, if you have beautiful and trendy clothes, customers will always come.
“Most of my customers are career women and undergraduate ladies. With over 15 years in this business, I can predict their choice preference and use it as a basis when stocking my goods.
“I sell first grade clothes and I make between N15,000 to N20,000 daily. I have the phone numbers of most of my customers as I call to inform them whenever I have new stock. I even do home delivery to some customers.”
Another trader, Mrs Elizabeth Nwanka, said: “I took to this trade for survival because clothing is a necessity apart from food and shelter, since everyone can not afford new ones, we are here to provide them with alternatives.
“My goods are compact as I can easily carry it and flee when government officials raid the area.”
A customer, who simply identified herself as Tayo, said that she has preference for imported used clothes because they are durable and not common.
She said that for hygiene purpose, she used lukewarm water and disinfectant to wash the clothes before wearing them.
A bale of imported used clothes ranges from N20,000 to N180,000, while the unit price goes for as low as N100 for kids clothes and N300 for adults, depending on the grade of the clothe.
A bale is a package of goods in a clothe cover.