How to start a successful mitumba business

If you decide to sell individual items, visit Gikomba or any other air market closest to you very early in the morning as this is when bales are opened so that you can get to select the high quality clothes first before other people.

Understand your target market

The first step you ought to undertake is to study the market place so that you are be able to fulfill your customer’s needs. Find out what resonates with your target customers. Is there a particular fashion that they incline to? Are they buying out of necessity or luxury?  What are their preferences? 

This will heavily impact on your choice of the type of bale to purchase for resale. The clothes therein have to resonate with your customers or else you will be stuck with dead stock that you cannot sell hence incurring heavy losses.

Determine your pricing

As much as customers consider quality when purchasing clothes, they also take into account the price. You cannot purchase an expensive bale or clothes to sell in rural areas as their purchasing power is low. The best place to sell such a bale is urban areas because most of them have disposable income thus are able to purchase expensive clothes with ease.

Determine your specialization

Build a brand around what you are selling. Let the customers identify you, with what you are selling. Do you want to sell children’s clothes, ladies wear or men’s attire? The bales are packed in terms of gender. Specializing helps you to retain customers and to master the products you are selling.

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From our research we found out that children’s clothes move faster than adult clothes .So to get off on a good start, consider selling children’s clothes.

Fashion is everything when it comes to clothes. If the skinny jeans are trending consider selling them. If it is a rainy season consider selling trench coats.

Bear in mind that the demand will always change therefore ensure you clear your stock fast so that you don’t end up with dead stock.

Determine your profit margins

Different factors come to play when determining profit margins. Some of these factors are;

  • The type and quality of your clothes.
  • The price you purchased the bales or the individual clothes.
  • Your selling price.
  • Expenses incurred in running the business.
  • Your target market and location.

Below is classic illustration of how these factors can determine your profit margin;

  • Let’s say you purchase a bale of chino pants a Ksh 20,000/= and it contains around 100 pieces.
  • Therefore the average buying price of one chino pant is Ksh 200/= i.e. 20,000/100
  • If you sell each chino pant an average price of 600/=, your revenue will be  Ksh 60,000/= i.e. 600*100
  • From the calculations above, your gross profit will be Ksh  40,000/= i.e. 60000-20000
  • To get your net profit, deduct the rent of your business premise, transport cost, security cost and wages.

We recommend you price your items in such a way you recover your costs and be able to make at least a profit margin of 30%.

 It goes without saying, the more bales or clothes you sell, the higher your profit.

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Keep accurate records

From the onset of the business, endeavor to keep an accurate record of your expenses, purchases, sales and income.

This will help you track your revenue and also know if you are making a profit or loss and be able to make the necessary adjustments.

How much does a bale of mitumba cost?

From our extensive research, we sampled a range of bale prices and came up with below findings.

Mitumba bale prices-2021

Bale TypeNo of Pieces insidePrice (Ksh)
Baby Rompers Heavy100+23,000
Baby Rompers Light200+16,000
Baby  Light Clothes450+28,000
Baby medium Clothes180+18,000
Baby Blankets180+16,000
Children Hoods120+15,000
Children trench coats80+12,000
Children jackets100+15,000
Children trousers120+18,000
Children tshirts200+22,000
Children rubber shoes70 pairs23,000
Girls dresses250+28,000
Boys jeans120+18,000
Boys shirts200+30,000
Boys shorts150+30,0000
Ladies tops300+15,000
Ladies chiffon blouses280+21,000
Ladies spaghetti tops and vests400+12,000
Ladies Sweaters200+14,000
Ladies dresses140+28,000
Ladies handbags100+14,000
Ladies khaki trousers200+16,000
Ladies palazo pants150+24,000
Ladies denim jackets80+18,000
Ladies bras600+32,000
Ladies rubber shoes50+18,000
Men’s Khaki  Pants100+21,000
Men’s shirts200+30,000
Men’s tshirts200+22,000
Men’s jeans100+20,000
Men’s trench coats40+14,000
Men’s trousers100+16,000
Men’s hoodies80+15,000
Men’s sweat shirts100+12,000
Men’s jackets40+14,000
Men’s tracksuits100+18,000
Men’s rubber shoes50+23,000
Other Items  
Bed sheets65+19,000
Bed covers50+13,000

Bear in mind that the prices vary from supplier to supplier and the prices below are just an estimate and therefore should be used as a guideline rather than the actual prices.

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Every business has its challenges. To everyone starting a mitumba business you need to know that it takes hard work, determination, patience and persistence for one to be successful.

If you are up to the task, your income will soar and there will be no stopping you. The sky will be the limit.

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