Bargaining For Clothes At Thrift And Flea Markets

Who in the 254 hasn’t heard of the famous Gikomba market? Or Toi market? Or Ngara? Or the street markets? These are markets well known for purchasing stuff at really throw-away prices. But does throw-away always mean throw-away? Sometimes yes, they might be cheap as compared to the same for higher prices in boutiques but still higher than what you got in your pocket.

So what do you do if you find an outfit you love yet you got 50 shillings less of its selling price? Do you just go and leave it? Or try an inch higher to win it over? Well, to ensure you buy an outfit with only what’s in your pocket, you need skills: bargaining skills. Trust me, my friends usually tag me along whenever they are visiting these markets…bet because I interned with Equity Bank as a marketing agent???

So here I share with you my bargaining tips:

  • Learn market strategies

Know ‘Where to bargain and where not to’.

Some markets don’t give room for any bargaining and too much bargaining while others give you so much allowance for this.  Take an example of Roysambu market stalls, unless you were born for bargaining, you won’t get away with much discount here. Sometimes, unfortunately you have to buy an outfit with its selling price. But in markets like Gikomba and Ngara, you can make your way out with great discounts.

  • Take advantage of sale and clearance times.

Usually, evening times are sales times for most markets. Most of these sellers want to go home with a loaded pocket and with good bargaining, you can exploit this time. In the street markets around Moi Avenue and Ngara, from around 6pm -8pm is a great sales time while in Gikomba markets; very early in the morning is the best time to shop cheaply for great outfits.

  • Know what to bargain for.

Just because you have less in your pocket doesn’t mean that you have to just bargain. Some outfits will carry tags to show their prices and so, if your bargaining blood isn’t as hot, please skip these sections or buy as it is. And by the way, some outfits are too cheap to bargain for so rather purchase them at their selling prices. Learn to only bargain for what seems too expensive yet you want it as bad.

  • Know the current market value of some outfits.

If a spaghetti top usually goes @100 shillings, why try to buy it @50 shillings? Trust me, these sellers won’t sell it to you. And if a pair of jeans goes @200 usually, why try to get it @100 shillings? Sometimes,5% of all times, you might be lucky and get the cloth at the lowest price after bargaining but please, not every day is Sunday. Knowing the current market value of outfits will provide a base for bargaining.

  • Don’t appear too eager to buy the piece of cloth.

When you are too eager to buy an outfit, it is so easy for the sellers to raise the price higher so that even if you bargain, you will still buy the outfit at their ‘original and desired selling price’. Usually, if something is worth bargaining for, I’d set my buying price at half the selling price and raise it only accordingly, and if necessary. At most times, I purchase stuff at half the seller’s price especially if it’s an expensive coat or skirt or shoe.

  • Be confident when bargaining.

Knowing the current market value of clothes will bring out the confidence in you and ensure you don’t get exploited by these sellers. Your hesitation will always work against you so just be confident and BARGAIN!!!

  • Know when to accept an offer.

Most and most important, always take a deal when you find it. Trust me; these outfits are so hard to be found with someone else so when you feel like you’ve reached you bargaining peak, just take it.

Thrift and flea markets are trending so the better you are at bargaining, the better for you in acquiring these outfits. Stay tuned for the post I’ll share on some outfits I got in these thrift markets. I call them my thrift treasures. Happy shopping!!!










33 thoughts on “Bargaining For Clothes At Thrift And Flea Markets

  1. My dad is so good at bargaining, whenever he goes on holiday in places where this is popular practice, he comes back with tons of stuff AND stories about how he bought it half price 😀 I wish I was as good haha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My grandfather was a used car salesman and I grew up watching him try to get the best bargains. He was confidant as they come, never too eager, and had the best instinct for when the offer on the table was the best bargain he was going to get. x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally agree with you. There are valuable item you can truly find in thrift store – great brands and quality too. Those are helpful tips and the most that works for me, even in other store is Don’t appear too eager to buy the piece of cloth. So I can say my negotiation piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you got your negotiation piece and trust me, that’s mine too. I remember being too happy when I saw a pretty pair of ankle boots that the seller had to price it at 1800!Oh my jaws hurt bargaining it down to 800!But I won the deal!Haha


    1. I’m glad you have @Ezinne. But that’s funny lol, I always let them give me their selling prices then bargain down from there. And I’m never quick to give in, just take your time in bargaining.


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