How Buying Second-Hand Items Can Save You Money In Kenya.

Everyone wants to save some coins and there are so many ideas to help you save money every day. But, one of the best ideas that have not been highly tapped to is buying second-hand items.  

Some people are skeptical about buying and using items that have been used before. The quality of the items is a question for many and most people feel like they are taking home someone’s garbage.

Apart from that, most people associate second-hand shopping with those in financial binds. But, those who know the secret are surviving the Kenyan streets saving money by getting great pieces at a fraction of their original prices.

Studies show that households spend a good fortune buying furniture, clothes, gadgets, appliances, among other household items. And why wouldn’t they? Everywhere you go in Kenya, you are constantly bombarded by marketing messages. Social media, the radio, TV, billboards, Emails, SMS, etc. constantly tell you to buy more and more.

For those cautious about eco-friendly habits, environmentalists say excessive buying of brand new items is not good for our planet.

Apart from saving a fortune, shopping second hand is an adventure and it’s always a thrill to find something and give it a second home.

The list of items you could get second hand is endless. However, there are common and everyday items that are easy to find at a cheaper price and save yourself a fortune.

1.Furniture

Furniture costs a fortune, especially brand new quality furniture.

“In Kenya, getting a good quality sofa means parting with over 35, 000 KSH, and furnishing a house with retail furniture can be expensive.” James Ouko, Jako Second Hand.

“People move houses regularly and most people tend to change up their home furniture during house moves. Others just have a change of taste from time to time while others sell their furniture when their finances are tight.” Adds Ouko.

Second-hand furniture stores have plenty of items for resell such as sofa sets, tables, wall cabinets, desks, baby furniture, etc. Most of these items are of high quality and you can save thousands of shillings from these finds.

2.Cars

In Kenya, buying used cars is common as they are way cheaper and easily available.

Most second-hand cars sold in Kenya are from Japan and very affordable for people who want to own cars either for their businesses or for personal use. And, most car yards sell well-maintained cars and you can save a lot of money in depreciation.

There are several websites in Kenya where you can check for all types of used cars. You can look at cheki.co.ke, PigiaMe, Jiji.co.ke, etc.

If you want a good deal, consider buying from an individual, and ensure all paperwork is right. 

3.Kitchen items – utensils/ kitchenware and appliances

If you don’t want to spend a fortune on kitchenware, go for second-hand items in thrift shops. You will find great and unique items in good quality and some even in sets.

There are several thrift shops on Instagram where you can get some unique and antique kitchen items. Talk of plates, cups, kettles, spoons, knives, glasses, serving dishes, pots, etc. everything that is there to find. Apart from utensils, you can get other unique kitchen items such as table cloths.

You can also find kitchen appliances for sale such as mixers, blenders, microwaves, coffee machines, etc. People receive items as gifts or buy these appliances and never use them.

4.Gadgets – Refurbished laptops, phones

Refurbished gadgets are very popular in Kenya, in stores and online.

“Buying a new laptop is pretty expensive and depending on the model, you would buy one for around 35,000 KSH. Alternatively, you could buy a refurbished laptop for 20,000 KSH.” Victor Maina, KilTech Electronics.

The same goes for phones and tablets. Buying a brand new high-end phone in Kenya is expensive but with a little less than the original price, you could acquire a refurbished phone or tablet of good quality. As they say, ‘good as new’.

Again, these items are not an everyday purchase and you need to be careful. Get these items from trusted dealers.

5.Clothes

This is the most common in the list.

“Thrifted clothing serves all, those into designer brands and those who want to just look good designer brand or not. Those into designer brands know that brand new designer items are very expensive.” Cecily Moraa, CCs Thrifts.

A good number of entrepreneurs in Kenya have ventured into second-hand designer items such as clothes, bags, shoes, etc.

There are so many thrift stores in Kenya such as ThinkTwice, etc. You don’t even need to go to the store. There are popular market places such as Toi, or even in the CBD where you can buy ‘mitumba’, ‘camera’ pieces at a very affordable price.

Buying these items, whether designer or not saves you a lot of money by the end of the day. And, you will find these clothes in very good conditions and will serve you for a good while.

6.Books

Book lovers know how expensive it is to buy brand new books. Most good reads in Kenya averagely cost around 1000 KSH and you can imagine how much it would cost you to have a collection.

Luckily, you can easily and affordably buy your good reads second-hand and have your own home collection. There are so many second-hand book vendors in the streets and you can get your copies as you run your errands.

“Most of the books I sell go for less than 500 KSH with the least price being 50 KSH. If you go to bookshops, some of these books go for about 1200 KSH” John Mutua a vendor who sells used books along Tom Mboya Street.

There are so many other items you could buy as second-hand such as games, wedding dresses, baby items, toys, etc.

Considering now that we are in the festive season, you can easily get some thrifted Christmas decorations. You don’t need to spend a fortune on seasonal decorations when you can get nice and unique ones at a good price.

Where to get second-hand bits and pieces.

Your local market

  • Thrift stores/ shops
  • Second Hand buyers and sellers
  • Consignment shops
  • Vintage stores

Online

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Instagram
  • E-commerce sites such as Corido, Jiji, PigiaMe, Jumia (refurbished phones, laptops).

Friends and family

You can easily get some items from your friends and family members. Some have items they don’t use anymore. They could sell them to you or give them to you for free.

Buying second-hand items is an art.

Know where to buy.

Don’t buy second-hand items from just anybody or anywhere especially if it’s furniture, electronics, or a car. Even if these items are second-hand, they still cost a good amount of money and you need to get value for your money.

Only buy your items from trusted and legit sellers who are approved and established. For example, if you are buying a used car, buy it from a registered car dealer. If it’s a sofa or a kitchen appliance, or a laptop, buy it from a dealer who is well-established and actually supplies these items. 

Don’t completely prioritize price over quality.

This sounds confusing as the whole point of buying used items is to spend less and somewhat compromise on quality. However, don’t over compromise the quality of an item just because it’s frantically cheap.

Logically know how much you can compromise on quality. Don’t go home with a couch that is literally falling apart just because it was cheap leaving a couch that is a little more thousand shillings but with a scratch on the armrest.

When you compromise quality over price, you compromise the longevity of an item. With time, you will have to replace the couch again and again spending the couple thousand shillings you were not willing to add initially.

Final Thoughts…

Buying second-hand items is one of the greatest ways to save your money.

Why spend a fortune on an item you could spend way less and save up the rest of the money towards something else, let’s say finishing up your student debt or for your emergency savings.

Some of these items are always in good condition. All you need is a good eye for quality and knowing where to buy them.  

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