People are making money selling unused goods online. Don’t be left behind.


More and more Kenyans are going online to socialize, do research, and also shop online. There is money to be made by selling things online. Two years ago if you had told Kenyans that they were sitting on a goldmine they wouldn’t have believed you. But things have changed and things are looking up for Kenyans who are trying to make a little extra cash to pay school fees or to buy new items. They have been able to make money and to have some financial freedom. What is the goldmine you may ask?

The goldmine is online selling of unused household goods. A consumer research by Nielsen Kenya has shown an increase in unused goods sales up to 21%. That is an increase from Ksh. 17 billion to Ksh. 20 billion in 2015 in all regions except the Rift Valley.

Can you imagine that people were sitting on 3 billion shillings in their houses in one year? I don’t know about you but I am abit of a hoarder. I find it very hard to give away stuff especially books and clothes that I love. Even those that I haven’t worn for ages. I have the perfect excuse sometimes. One day I will fit into that dress. Or I will read that book again. Imagine if I sold some of that stuff on OLX I could make some good money.

We live in a capitalist society which has an emphasis on consumption. Companies encourage us to spend on new stuff by advertising new things all the time. They tell us that we need to buy new stuff so that we can be cool and be with it, basically keeping up with the Jones. So many people are buying new things and in the process they are ending up with alot of stuff that they are not using. OLX Kenya has helped people waste less through collaborative consumption by helping people be able to get rid of stuff that they don’t need which can help other people. And it is a great way to make some money and of course save some space in their houses.


Remember that show that used to come on TV called Sanford and Son about a guy who used to sell junk. It was hilarious. It was also interesting to see the kind of stuff people would sell or buy. But we are all like that. We all have stuff in our houses that we don’t need and sometimes also end up being clutter. People have all sorts of things in their houses like electronics, furniture, clothes, shoes, children’s toys, and other stuff that they could sell but hold on to and it becomes junk. Sometimes we are too sentimental about our stuff, so we just let them gather dust in our stores, in our wardrobes and under our beds. Yet we could sell them and use that money to do other things like pay school fees or buy that item for the house that we really need.

Nairobians seem to be have taken the idea of selling things online seriously. Nairobi (go Nairobi) takes the lead with items worth Ksh. 42 billion available for sale while Nyanza (Lake Region has items worth Ksh. 7 billion.

OLX Kenya Country Manager, Peter Ndiang’ui talks about how OLX is helping to put money in people’s pockets and helps others get much needed items at a cheaper price. He says OLX is helping people to unlock the money hidden in used items. More people are embracing online classifieds leading to a 37% drop in hoarding of used goods.

The items that are fast moving include electronics, phones, and home appliances. These are the categories that are easy to upgrade, make quick cash, and re-invest the money elsewhere. But there are still people who have emotional attachments to items and the “I will use it someday” mentality that make it hard to sell items. This happens in goods like watches, jewellery, accessories, and musical instruments. But trends are now changing and people are selling high value items online.

Unused art collections have dropped from Ksh. 144 million to Ksh. 7 million, furniture from Ksh 27 million to 17 million and books, DVDs and CDs dropping from 20 Million to 7 million.

The AC Nielsen research shows that if people are able to sell a fraction of the used items in their homes three things will happen. More money will flow in the economy, spurring demand for goods and services, people will be able to offset the cost of upgrading new items with the money they save after selling the old item, and finally other people who are on a budget will be able to get high quality items at lower prices if they opt to buy second hand goods.

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Managing editor and blogger at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]