How to Start a Salaula Business

By | May 2, 2023

How to start a Salaula business Do you have a passion for fashion and a desire to make a positive impact on the environment? Starting a Salaula business in Zambia might be the perfect opportunity for you. With minimal capital investment, you can potentially earn a 100% profit by selling secondhand clothing, also known as thrift items. This article will provide an in-depth look into the Salaula business and offer valuable tips to help you succeed.

Understanding Salaula and Thrift

Salaula, derived from the Bemba word “Ukusalaula,” means selecting from a vast array of options. Thrift, as defined by Trvst, involves selling gently used items at discounted prices. These items, previously loved by their original owners, are typically in good condition and ready for a new lease on life. If you’re considering other low-capital business ideas, you might want to explore what business you can start with K500 in Zambia.

Investment and Market Tiers

Choosing Your Business Tier

There are three primary tiers of trade in the Salaula business:

  1. Wholesale: Purchasing whole bales of imported clothing
  2. Vokola: Derived from the Nyanja word for “scrape,” this method caters to those who cannot afford a full bale and instead handpick specific items from an opened bale.
  3. Retail: Buying inexpensive items from Salaula markets and reselling them at higher prices to customers who lack the time or patience to shop for themselves.

Consider which tier best aligns with your budget and marketing capabilities before starting your business. For more information on low-capital businesses, you can also check out how to start a POS business in Nigeria.

Setting Up Your Salaula Business: Physical vs. Online

If you have the funds, you can rent a store in a high-traffic area, sell clothes from your car’s trunk, or set up a small makeshift stand at popular Salaula spots, such as colleges, hospitals, and restaurants. Alternatively, you can operate your business online, avoiding rent, storage, and fuel expenses. Keep in mind that renting a physical location may require additional costs, such as trading licenses, shelving, tables, hanging wires, dressing rooms, and mirrors.

Profit Potential and Key Considerations

Quality and Product Selection

Prioritize quality over quantity. Cheaper bales may result in a loss, so it’s crucial to focus on high-quality items. Many Salaula business owners recommend sticking to UK Grade Bales. In the event of a low-quality bale, sell items at deeply discounted prices to recoup your investment. Purchase items that are in season or pre-season to meet market demand. Certain items, such as children’s clothing, jeans, and men’s cotton shirts, are always in demand. According to experienced Salaula traders, children’s clothes, ladies’ tops, and underwear often have the fastest turnaround.

Know Your Customers

Understand the demographics and preferences of your target market. Cater to their tastes and consider factors such as occupation, lifestyle, and fashion sensibilities. You can learn more about How to start a clothing business in Zambia to gain insights into different target markets.

your prices based on the quality of the items. Higher quality clothes should be priced higher, ensuring maximum profit. Avoid the common mistake of underpricing all items, which can lead to lower overall profits.

Managing Finances and Payments

As you start your Salaula business, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of how to manage your finances. Familiarize yourself with local financial services, such as Zamcash loans and Hiloan Zambia, to help with potential funding or financial management needs. Additionally, learn about mobile banking services, such as Airtel Money, to facilitate seamless transactions with your customers.

Staying connected with your bank is essential, and utilizing customer care services can help you address any concerns or issues. Check out Access Bank customer care and Zenith Bank customer care for more information.

Starting a Salaula business in Zambia is an exciting opportunity for those passionate about fashion and sustainability. With low capital investment and the potential for high profits, this thriving industry can be a rewarding venture. By understanding market tiers, selecting the right products, knowing your customers, and implementing effective pricing strategies, you can build a successful and sustainable business. Stay informed about financial services and mobile banking options to ensure smooth operations and a strong foundation for growth.

Potential Profits in Salaula Business

If done correctly, Salaula has the potential to generate a lot of revenue. Depending on the kind of material and its texture, certain bales contain anywhere from 350 to 400 individual pieces. The owners of thrift stores typically sort the pieces of clothing, beginning with the ones in the best condition and working their way down to the ones in the poorest condition, and then sell them at varying prices.

Let’s do some math: assuming that you were able to sell each piece for at least K50, regardless of anything else, multiply that amount by the number of pieces you sold and then subtract your expenses; the remaining number is your profit, which demonstrates how lucrative Salaula can be.


What business can I start in Zambia with little capital?

Less than ZK500,000 is all that’s required to launch a successful phone repair and maintenance business in Zambia. To get started, all you need is some training, a laptop computer, some software tools, some common household equipment (such as a screwdriver, soldering iron, brush, and battery tester), and some marketing to let people know what you do.

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