The business of previously owned, new or used products, is a thriving one in Nigeria. According to recent UN stats, an estimated 80 per cent of Africans wear secondhand clothing.
Some argue that importing secondhand clothing (a.k.a Okrika or Akube) into the country creates a void in the existing fashion industry making it hard for local producers to compete. But the fact is that as long as the per-capita income of the average Nigerian is low, people will depend on used fashion products.
One solution to this problem is to allow the average Nigerian bring their used items and display them on an open market for others to purchase. For this reason, Okriks.com created a platform which enables both buyers and sellers of previously-owned goods meet and trade. The idea is to cut out the middle man and drive prices even lower.
Many have argued for years that Nigeria and Africa at large is the dumping ground for the Western world. It is not just gently used Western clothing that finds its way to Nigerian market stalls, but also castoffs that are practically unwearable.
Critics of the industry say that Nigeria cannot hope to build its own industry when it is flooded with cheap imports. But some experts, however, say it is not the used clothing imports that drive factories out of business, but inefficient production lines, governments, poverty, electricity and much more.
The problem is that the fledgling Nigerian fashion industry now competes against inexpensive second-hand clothing, as well as the devastating threat of cheap Chinese fashion flooding the country.
There are two sides to this coin. One side will help the industry grow in the long-term, while the other will enable the middle and lower class clothe and feed themselves and families. As the debate continues, Okriks has found a simple way to make buying secondhand items easy for the average low income earner.
Okriks reverse commerce business model allows vendors to sell their products and buyers to shop at will. People no longer have to travel long distances to purchase or sell their used products. All they have to do is list them on Okriks.com and buyers who are interested can purchase from the comfort of their homes.
With this new platform, Nigerians can also reserve their carts and pay 30 days after. This feature means a great deal to many Nigerians stated CEO of Okriks, Andrew Okwedadi: “People who are awaiting payday can easily reserve their carts by making a 10% down-payment”, he explained.
On Okriks.com all goods sold are pre-owned or from factory liquidated stock. They offer brand new overstock items at rock bottom prices. Buyers no longer have to make do with over-worn Okrika clothing, they can now buy first-grade Okrika online on the website at the same price as the open market.