SECONDHAND SHOPPING 101 – KANTAMANTO
The days of unwavering perception about KANTAMANTO being the premiere clothing centre for the low and middle class Ghanaian, has over about 30yrs, faded out. Reality hit home for the rational man with basic economic awareness.
Located near the Makola Market in the capital city Accra, Kantamanto is a clothing market primarily for second hand clothing; however there are particular divisions within the market.
My first year in Econ class revealed that the wants of man are insatiable. The law of demand states that when the price of a good or services falls, consumers buy more of it (practically). As the price of a good or service increases, consumers usually buy less of it – thus quantity demanded and price have an inverse relationship. It makes sense that consumers will purchase goods at Kantamanto ranging from GHC1 to GHC5 as an alternative to purchasing goods of equal value at the next boutique in their neighbourhood ranging from GHC35 to GHC50 ruling out transportation cost to Kantamanto.
In line with this revelation, I thought it helpful to share with you when and how to purchase goods at Kantamanto.
Ideally, Saturday. Saturdays are market days at Kantamanto. Market days are days where new merchandise arrive and are sold at the outset. As some put it, it is the time when sellers open new clothes.
4.30am 😯 . Don’t freak out just yet 🙄 . You can set off at 4am or 4.30am but make sure to get there by 5am. By 5am, you’ll realize the walkways are teeming with consumers… remarkably.
At this time, you’ll hear sellers screaming their lungs out 1cedi! 1cedi… 3cedis… 3cedis… 1cedi belts, mmaa (ladies’) belts…
Prices of secondhand shirts, skirts, dresses, ladies’ belts and other clothing selling at GHC1 with the most expensive at GHC5.
NOTE THAT, although the Railway Line at the Kantamanto Market refurbished between 2011-2012 which runs through Dzorwulu to Tema had many commerce ejected to make way for development, at this time to 6am, you’ll observe how the traders sit patiently waiting to unveil their new merchandise. Equally, customers stand in wait for the unveiling.
HOW TO TELL WHICH GOOD IS GOOD?
Here is where taste and preference comes to play. The principal question is what do you like? What’s your taste? What do you prefer?
You should have a good eye. If it is secondhand clothing, it’s not a perfect makeup; zips might be fault, buttons missing etc but if it can be fixed without inducing cost more expensive than the clothing you’re purchasing, why not?
Don’t feel bad to BEND DOWN! 50% of your activity at Kantamanto is bending down to pick up your clothing, while 50% involves walking in search of what satisfies your tastes ie. If you’re new to this way of shopping, or perhaps never gotten used to the place.
Usually, as my mother would put it you’ll never see the beauty of these clothing until they’re washed and iron… and of course, tried on. There’ve been occasions when I’ve purchased some of these secondhand clothing without trying them on, later to try them on at home to realize they do not fit. Don’t feel shy, at all. No one is watching… really. Everyone else is shopping.
WHAT TO WEAR
Do not wear your best. I repeat – do not wear your best. Traders are likely to sell goods at higher prices when the customer looks bourgeois or well dressed. Don’t look shabby either.
Don’t carry handbags. They make you look to some extent luxurious. Carry a portable shopping bag with your money in your pockets.
For the ladies who will try on the clothes, wear a loose shirt with slack or (decent) shorts. I omitted skirts because you’ll be bending and you wouldn’t want to feel uncomfortable, would you?
HOW TO WALK
Mind you, there are different people with different personalities and a lot of impatience. You cannot bear to walk as if you’re the only shopper in the market else, well… try it out and share your experience.
Studies have shown that prices of clothing rise at an increasing rate from 10am till the next market day. Curious to know which studies? Give it a shot and share your experience.