Online shopping is a growing phenomenon in Kenya. A Mastercard study found nearly four out of five surveyed consumers in Kenya are shopping more online. You can consider flipping products to take advantage of this trend and start a side hustle.
Flipping is a straightforward strategy; it involves buying products at a discount and selling them for a profit online. With this business model, you can turn bargain-hunting prowess into an income-generating venture.
While there are many types of products to flip and plenty to choose from, not all products are equal. You need to find fast-moving and profitable items to run a successful business. This article will teach you exactly how to do that and what products to choose.
Achieving profitability through buying and reselling items online requires identifying the right products and doing thorough research. If you can do that well, this business model can be profitable for many reasons because of its:
Choosing what product to resell will require a lot of research. You need to study product trends to know its demand, look at the number of sellers active in each niche to understand the competition, and know the pricing to understand its profitability.
The best products are typically stuff people use daily, have stable demand, low competition, and good profit margins. Going back to the coffee table example above, you can easily generate Ksh1,000 to Ksh5,000 in profit after reselling it. If the customer is satisfied, they’ll recommend you to their friends, and when they need other furniture, they’ll return to you.
According to data from the communication authority of Kenya, as of March 2023, smartphone penetration in the country stood at 58.3%. This means there is a vast market as people typically buy different phone accessories, from chargers and earphones/earpods to covers and screen protectors.
The great thing about this category is that people buy multiple accessories for their phones and often look online for them. There’s also a variety of products to choose from, and the profit margins are good if you can market your products well and sell more. For example, you can buy an iPhone screen protector for Ksh50 and sell it for Ksh200.
The accessories mentioned above are highly competitive. Therefore, consider thinking outside the box and looking for items not sold by everyone. For example, you can consider an anti-spy screen protector, mirror-stylish flip case, luxury leather phone case, mobile phone screen magnifier, and mobile phone self-repair toolkit.
In the fashion category, you will find a wide range of items, including ties and bowties, scarves, belts, gloves, shawls, wristwatches, and more. Jewelry includes necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings, which can be made from various materials and designs, catering to different fashion tastes.
Jewelry and other fashion accessories are great for reselling as they generate impulse purchases, have low prices, and have stable demand. Customers who buy them will always be back for more and will likely recommend you to their networks. Additionally, if you are crafty, you can create your own homemade accessories and sell them for higher profit margins.
Beauty products and cosmetics are more popular than ever since people like to practice self-care, feel good, and smell good. Health-conscious customers also prefer natural products, as most factory-manufactured ones are often full of chemicals.
Items you can buy and resell include natural/handcrafted bath soaps, organic skincare products, eco-friendly beauty items, unique fragrances, and many more. The beauty and cosmetics niche is broad and very competitive. Therefore, consider finding less-known product categories and creating a name for yourself. For example, the men's cosmetic sector is still underserved.
Selling car accessories can be very profitable if you target the right market and offer the right products. And they're always in demand as every car owner buys items to beautify their cars or get more utility out of them.
While you can aim higher and go for expensive and heavy car parts like engines; getting customers will be hard as car owners typically go for the most trusted sellers when buying such products. In this situation, you can resell helpful tools and consumables products that are mostly affordable and make driving more comfortable, enjoyable, and safer.
Some products you can consider include; seat covers, magnetic phone holders, car mats, car air fresheners, car cleaning products, digital tire inflators, sun shields and blinds, car covers, and more.
The Kenyan population is relatively young, and more people are moving out, going to college, and even getting married. And some of the products they'll be looking to buy are kitchen and cooking accessories. And most of this age group are social media and internet users, so they don’t mind buying online.
When selling kitchen items, consider starting with small products that help with productivity and are relatively inexpensive. While selling a Ksh50,000 cooker will be more profitable, most customers will likely go for established brands. Therefore, consider things like non-sticky pans, vegetable slicers, rapid egg cookers, compact smoothie and food processing blenders, rice dispensers, etc.
Women use hair extensions or wigs to extend the length of hair and sometimes cover up a bad hairstyle. Hair extensions have high demand, and the customer's lifetime value is good. Most wig users will buy a new one every few weeks. You can also venture into human wigs, which have a higher profit margin.
Apart from wigs, you can also sell hair accessories from clips, and ribbons to curlers and head wraps, hairbrushes, hair ties, etc. Hair creams for extending the length of natural hair and curbing baldness are also forever in demand.
Toys are always popular. As long as there are kids around, there will be toys they want to play with. The toy market keeps growing, and parents always search for new ways to entertain their children.
Once you've done your homework on the market, picking the toys you want to sell is the first step. Some great choices are educational toys that help kids learn things like math, ABCs, music, and science. You can also explore mechanical toys for children between 5 and 10 years old, like remote-controlled cars and small motorcycles.
Books are timeless sources of knowledge and entertainment for many people. Book lovers are always looking for new reads, so there will always be a consistent demand for books. If you are passionate about books and enjoy curating a diverse collection, this business aligns perfectly with your interests.
Start by acquiring books through various channels, including bookstores, wholesalers, auctions, and online marketplaces. Make sure you offer a wide range of books, from bestsellers to niche genres, to cater to different interests. You can combine book sales with bookshelves, display stands, and reading accessories to generate more profits. As more people create home libraries or reading nooks, the need for these accessories is growing.
With the rise of remote work and the need for comfortable and functional home office spaces, home office furniture is in high demand. This business can be lucrative if you have a passion for furniture design and functionality or can source high-quality furniture. You can leverage your expertise to curate home office furniture collections for your customers.
To start this business, find suppliers or manufacturers of high-quality home office furniture that meet your niche. For example, do your customers want ergonomic furniture, standing desks, or space-saving solutions? You can also offer customization options for furniture pieces to meet unique customer needs. They can send you a Pinterest design, and you forward it to your carpenter.
These products cater to a broad and growing market as they offer convenient and cost-effective ways to create content professionally. Many people, including content creators, influencers, vloggers, and everyday consumers, use them for photography, videography, and Zoom video calls. Therefore, there is a consistent demand for them.
Selling other photography accessories alongside tripods and ring lights can be a smart strategy to increase your product offerings and cater to a wider range of customer needs. You can consider products like clip-on smartphone lenses, memory cards, external microphones, light reflectors, etc.
The fitness industry is a thriving and dynamic market with a wide range of opportunities, as many people are looking to get in shape.
One of the most obvious avenues is to sell home fitness equipment to busy people who can't go to the gym. This can range from small items like resistance bands, dumbbells, pull-up bars, and ropes to larger machines like treadmills and stationary bikes.
Apart from that, you can also consider supplements and athletic/gym gear. You can explore selling supplements like protein powders, vitamins, and meal replacements. Workout gear such as yoga pants and gym gloves are also in demand.
Whether you are going to school, work, or on vacation, a bag is a necessary accessory for many people. Handbag reselling is a broad niche of products, catering to a broad spectrum of customers. The availability of a wide range of bags in various styles means there will always be a demand for these products.
When starting, consider finding a less competitive market. For example, instead of selling leather bags, you can consider fur bags or selling diaper bags to new parents. You can also consult with local artisans and resell their hand-crafted bags.
Do you have a keen eye for detail when buying Mtumba clothes and shoes? If yes, you can turn that advantage into a business and make money. Many people don't have the luxury of waking up early and going to Gikomba or Toi market to find the best thrift products. Others don't have the knowledge to spot genuine designer pieces or high-quality brands in the mix. You can do it on their behalf.
Start by sourcing a diverse range of thrift clothing and shoes. Look for items in good condition, on-trend, and offer various sizes and styles. Wash and iron them, take great pictures, and list them online. If you find the right products and market them well, you can resell them with attractive markups.
Mats are a necessity for cleanliness and safety. In homes, mats protect floors and provide comfort and hygiene. They also come in various materials, sizes, and designs, allowing for different price points. This consistent demand ensures a steady market.
To stand out, specialize in a niche market. For instance, focus on eco-friendly mats and cleaning solutions for environmentally conscious consumers. Yoga mats for your active customers, and you can also partner with printing companies to create custom mats. To increase your profit, offer add-on products such as carpet brushes, vacuum cleaners, and steam cleaners.
The pet care industry is booming in Kenya, and pet owners always look for quality products to pamper their furry friends.
You can take advantage of this demand and start selling pet products. They range from affordable to premium, allowing for a wide profit margin. Niche products like organic pet food, toys, or specialized grooming tools can be particularly profitable.
Gift baskets offer a convenient and thoughtful gifting option for various occasions, making them a timeless choice. After all, people love giving and receiving gift baskets for birthdays, holidays, and corporate events. If you are good at gifting, this venture suits you.
You can create personalized, unique, custom baskets for your clients and help them make their recipients happy. Here, you can profit by selling both the products and the service. You can partner with local suppliers who can give you a discount when buying gifts.
Protection and security products are in high demand in our increasingly security-conscious world. This is particularly true for homes where everyone wants to feel safe.
These security concerns mean personal security products are always a need. Items such as alarms, CCTV bulbs, etc., often come with premium price tags due to their importance and, therefore, have high margins if you choose to resell them. Additionally, offering installation services can boost profits.
Bathroom accessories are essential items in every household, making them a steady resale choice. Bathroom renovations and redecorations continually drive the demand for accessories like towel racks, shower curtains, and storage solutions. Therefore, you might want to start by focusing on those products.
But to stand out from the competition, you will need to offer unique designs or materials, such as eco-friendly or sustainable options and luxury bathroom sets for your well-off clients.
Games have universal appeal and provide entertainment for individuals and families. Jigsaw puzzles and board games have particularly experienced a resurgence in popularity over the last few years, especially among millennials. So, apart from Lego and Scrabble, you can also sell adult games.
This market is particularly diverse. You should consider sub-products and focus on finding unique games. Profitable niches are strategy board games, family-friendly card games, and educational board games.
DIY enthusiasts and homeowners often need quality tools, making this category a lucrative choice. Their projects, home repairs, and hobbyist activities fuel the demand for tools and equipment.
You can start by offering woodworking tools to hobbyists and professionals, simple car repair tools to cater to car enthusiasts, and home gardening tools and equipment for people who have home gardens. You should go for premium tools that are relatively inexpensive to make higher profits.
Before diving into any online business venture, thorough market research is essential. Take time to understand the dynamics of the Kenyan market, including customer preferences, buying behavior, and competition. This will help you identify gaps in the market where you can offer unique products or services.
If you have a full-time job while starting your reselling business, be prepared for a significant time commitment. Balancing both can be challenging, so create a realistic schedule beforehand.
Finally, you should know that Kenyan online markets, like many others, can be highly competitive. To differentiate yourself, provide excellent customer support to build trust and loyalty. Second, consistently deliver quality products, meet or exceed customer expectations, and honor your commitments.