The thrift business deals in cheap clothing and fashion items. It is a kind of upgraded Okrika business or bend-down boutique. It can also be considered a kind of middle ground between Okrika and big boutiques.
However, thrift is not all about second-hand materials; it is all about saving money. It can also be about spending money, depending on how you look at it.
Thrift is a new business based on an old business. It is an evolution of existing business models.
Thrift Business: The Old And The New
The business of selling clothes that are bundled into the country in bales from abroad has been in existence since at least the 1980s. However, the clothes were mostly sold in the open markets, where they were simply heaped on the ground, and then prospective buyers bent down to select what they wanted.
Both old and new clothes often find themselves lumped up together, and it is the job of the buyer to go through them and select what they want.
We can call that the old thrift.
The new thrift is a lot more selective; the clothes may be used, but they can pass for new. The clothes are often sold in real shops, which can be well-decorated. Smaller-scale thrift shops can operate solely online; they just post the available items on social media and deliver them to interested parties.
Another thing about the new thrift is that the clothes do not have any defects such as tears or small holes in them. We can therefore say that thrift has a greater amount of quality assurance.
How Can We Be Sure?
A thrift store has a name and identity to protect. This is very different from a woman who pours clothes on the ground and shouts at the top of her voice to attract customers. Such a woman would behave like a crazy person if anyone attempted to return any items to her. The clothes are so cheap that defects can, in fact, be expected.
On the other hand, a thrift store is not that cheap. The clothes can be sold for 2 or 3 times what one can find at a bend-down-select in a market, but that is a good thing. How?
The store owner knows that he or she will ruin his or her business by selling bad items to the public. All it takes is for one person to tell her family and friends about one bad item, and then the whole community may start to avoid the store like the plague.
To avoid such a scenario, the owner of the thrift store carefully selects the clothes before hanging them in their shop.
Remember that this business thrives on reputation and that reputation can only be gained through quality. Which is why Thrift has become quite popular in recent times.
Why has Thrift become more Popular Now?
The internet is one thing that has made thrift businesses more popular in recent times; it has given them wings and enabled them to fly. This means it has allowed thrift stores to get more exposure and to get more eyes to see what they have to sell.
People don’t even have to be looking for clothing items; the images just pop up on their screens and crowd their timelines on social media, whether or not they like it.
But who doesn’t like to see nice tops or fine dresses? Even if you have one, why not have two? Thrift stores, especially those done online, offer ease, which is a major selling point. Rather than squeeze out time and effort and pass through considerable stress to get the clothes one needs, thrift stores do the selection and just make it easy to buy.
Furthermore, there is more quality—quality in the clothes and quality in the experience. One can buy from a thrift store without worrying that there will be problems with the clothes. One can also enjoy a quality environment when buying clothes; rather than bending down amid a rowdy crowd in a market square, one can select neat clothes hung on a rack while being blessed by a fan or AC.
Thrift also gives poor people a taste of a lifestyle they have often desired. It feels like a boutique, even if it is not actually one.
Also Popular to Sellers
The thrift store business is also quite popular among business people, or those with a passion for selling, because it is quite profitable. Sellers can buy low and sell high; they can buy quite cheaply from the bend-down Okrika dealers and mark up the prices.
Of course, they may have to wash and iron the clothes first and make sure there are no tears or holes, but the stress is well worth it when they sell for three times the amount they bought the same items for.
It is quite a good business because, despite being high, the prices are comparatively better than what they would have paid if they visited a proper boutique.