Okrika business, the age long business, has made many millionaires from nothing. This business, which is one of the oldest businesses in Nigerian history, doesn’t seem to slow down anytime soon as the demand for clothing keeps rising due to the increased population. 

As an entrepreneur, this is a type of business you can invest in today with a guaranteed profit margin, and one of the most amazing secrets of the okrika business is that the products never go to waste. Therefore, the possibility of running at a loss is almost next to impossible.

In this write-up, I’ll be letting you in on how to join in on one of the most guaranteed profit-heavy businesses and everything you need to know about starting an okrika enterprise.


What is an Okrika business?

Okrika business simply involves the buying and selling of used clothes directly to consumers or other wholesalers. Second-hand clothes, or “Okrika” as they are popularly called, have been in huge demand since the 1950’s and 1960’s, therefore, many entrepreneurs have risen to cater to this demand, hence the huge number of “okrika” traders all over the country.

This popular business today was named after the Okrika port in Rivers State, because, around the time when Nigeria began its journey into independent living, this was the only port that could take used clothes from Europe into Nigeria.


How much do I need to kickstart an Okrika business?

With as little as N5,000, you can start a booming Okrika business anywhere in Nigeria today. You can choose any town, city or village to set up shop and you’re guaranteed of making sales because except the rich class, every other class of Nigerians wear second hand clothes at some point in their lives. 


Why should I start an Okrika business?

When you talk about making the country work to your advantage, there are not so many businesses that the current state of the country supports even more. From the constantly rising population, to the economic decline and so much more, not so many people can afford to buy new clothes.

The durability and cheapness of these classes of clothing also distinguish them from every other type, and with the vast majority of Nigerians falling in the category of low income individuals, you’re guaranteed massive sales.

Okrika clothes are affordable and popular, and with an available market in every part of the country, you can easily sell out your wares. Also, from an entrepreneur’s perspective, there is little to no loss in this business as all your products eventually get sold out, and you also don’t have to worry about wasting money on renting the perfect location.

Lastly, this business is a goldmine because the capital required is very little and it guarantees a very high ROI.


4 easy steps to start an okrika business

To start a buzzing okrika business, you have to:

  • Learn the trade
  • Have capital
  • Find a location
  • Market and sell your products


1) Learn the trade

In order to be successful in this venture, you need to master the tricks, and who better to let you in on them than the pros in the okrika business already?

Partner with someone already in the business to learn the ropes so that you don’t make early mistakes you’ll regret later. By partnering with someone, you’ll also learn about some of the major markets for used clothes in and around you.

Some of the major market for used clothes in Lagos are;

  • Okrika market – Rivers State
  • Aswani market – Lagos state
  • Tejuosho market – Lagos state
  • Katangwa market – Lagos state

Learning about the grade of clothes in this business is also very important. Their neatness, quality and above all the country from which they’re being imported lets you know about their grades. 

Also, you need to be informed about what is contained in a bale of okrika, and the market they’re suited for. A bale of okrika from the UK is the most expensive, followed closely by those from the US, then China and so on. 

The content of a bale of okrika includes;

  • Chiffon – this usually gowns and tops for women
  • Leggings for women
  • Jeans and chinos trousers for men
  • Up and down mixed for children
  • Suits for men and women
  • Complete wares for babies


2) Capital

For every business venture, one of the most important requirements is capital, and this business is no different. However, with as little as N5,000 – N10,000, you can fully kickstart your business operations.

There are different levels to the capital required to start this business though;

  1. You require ten thousand (10,000.00) or less at the most basic level. Going for clearance sales is a good place to start. Clearance sales entail purchasing leftovers, which are low-quality products that are inexpensive and that you may sell at reduced costs while still making a profit.
  2. At the intermediate level, you can choose among the materials that are provided and pay the seller. This is currently the inventory of clothing you can sell locally.
  3. Once you reach the advanced level, you can purchase bales (sealed sacks of used clothing) and either sell them in bales or open the bales and sell the contents separately.

Already own a business and need capital to grow and scale it? Click here to apply for a quick growth loan from us today.


3) Find a location

For your options when it comes to a suitable location, you have 3 available options.

  1. The roadside – You can choose to sell by the side of the roads, all this requires is you making enquiry from the locals in the area (popularly known as the area boys), then coming to an arrangement on a payment structure.
  2. The open market – This is one of the most popular ways that okrika traders operate. You just have to pay the daily market fee, and you can sell your goods for the day.
  3. A shop – Renting a shop is the last option if you don’t like any of the above ideas, but you have to factor in the amount required for this as they’re relatively high. Your shop can be anywhere you want it, but it’s more strategic to have it in a location with a lot of human movement.

You can also choose to launch an okrika boutique – here, you sell okrika products just like you’ll sell new clothes.


4) Market and sell your products

Just like all other businesses, your products have to be attractive to potential customers, so that they can patronize you and the okrika business is no different. If you’re looking to operate on the intermediate to the advanced scale, then you have to ensure you wash these clothes, dry and iron them. 

Get rid of the unpleasant smell they come with and ensure that they smell great, then put them in the first grade section. However, you don’t have to do this if you’re looking to operate on a small scale (like selling by the roadside).


Okrika clothes have different grades and they include;

  1. Grade A: This is a very new piece of clothing, either worn previously or not, and it is defect-free.
  2. Grade B: This has a faint discoloration that resembles a little dent.
  3. Grade C: This has a significant ding and is either quite ancient, has been altered, or has been torn in a crucial area. A small amount of this is in grades A, B, and C.


You can promote your okrika business by;

  1. Word of mouth – Telling friends and people around you about your business
  2. Taking social media to your advantage – You can snap your products and share to all your Whatsapp contacts or you can open a business page on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, e.t.c. 
  3. Running ads – You can run sponsored ads through influencers or people with a large following of your perfect target audience on social media. You can also run ad campaigns on Instagram and facebook as they’re better for this type of business.
  4. Marketing through forums – You can create a forum and advertise your products in such websites as Nairaland, jiji.com, olx.com.ng and ady.ng
  5. Hawk your products around – You can take your products physically from place to place like offices and malls or where you have a large gathering of people.



Okrika businesses are still one of the easiest businesses to start in Nigeria with little capital. You don’t have to worry about registering your business or worry about any regulatory bodies, just like other businesses would. 

Now that you’ve discovered how to start this business, if you require finance to help you scale, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here. We are focused on helping female entrepreneurs grow and scale.