Buy And Sell Business Ideas In South Africa

What is a Buy And Sell Business?

A buy-and-sell enterprise is nothing more than purchasing cheaply new or previously owned products that we all need, use, or want, and reselling these same items for more than cost. The difference between what you paid and what you sold it for, of course, is your profit.

Buy And Sell Business Ideas In South Africa

1.Buy and Sell Firewood

Firewood is a multi-million rand business in South Africa and many of the players are small businesses. Start your business buying and selling firewood.

An example of how it works

There is usually a farmer that grows the trees on hectares of land, the farmer then permits various smaller cutters to cut down the trees and charges them a fee.

These cutters then sell the wood in bulk to resellers usually ~10000 pieces at a time, these resellers then sell 1000 pieces at a time (or sometimes they say something like “by the bakkie load”), either to the end-user or sometimes to people that will resell them in even smaller quantities (bags of 20 pieces).

2. Buy and Sell Dust Masks

One of the best ways when starting with little money and little skills is to be able to buy something for R1 and sell it for R2 (100% markup / 50% profit margin).

At least doubling your money has been the foundation of many businesses but it is important to get the right product to sell, something that does not have a lot of competition, something that people will buy in large quantities, and something that people will reorder.

The opportunity

The majority of large retailers such as Builders Warehouse sell dust masks in small quantities of 5 or 6 and cost R40 to R60 per pack. This works out to a cost of R8 to R10 per mask. But dust masks can be bought in bulk from medical suppliers in boxes of 50 with the cost per mask being closer to R1 per unit.

So if you are paying R50 per box of 50 (R1 each), you can easily sell it for R100 per box (R2 each). So here you have a useful product that is not widely sold, that you can double your money on, sell in large quantities, and have return customers as it is a disposable product.

3. Buy and Sell Secondhand Clothing

The buying and selling of secondhand clothing to lower income consumers is one of the most profitable small businesses with low startup costs and high margins with quick turnaround providing you can get a steady supply of quality but cheap used clothing and can find an appropriate place to sell it.

The opportunity

Poverty and unemployment are widespread in South Africa, however clothing is one of the essentials that everyone needs, and this has opened up an opportunity for secondhand clothing resellers. With South Africa’s economy in such poor shape, people who would previously not have purchased secondhand clothing will purchase it today. 

4. Buy & Sell Vintage and Collectible Toys

If there was ever a business in South Africa that could realistically turn a R3 into R300 then it would be the vintage and collectible toy business.

While such margins are few and far between and while we don’t have a very large market in South Africa so it may take a while to sell, it is possible.

What are vintage and collectible toys?

People collect various things, from stamps to cars to toys. The collectible toy market is active in South Africa with many sales taking place on platforms such as bidorbuy. When a person starts to build their collection, there will almost always be “holes” in it, a part they missed, lost, or didn’t get for whatever reason. 

Acquiring the toys

For you to make the margins discussed above, you are going to have to get your toys at flea markets or bric-a-brac “charity” shops, like they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Often the people who sell things at flea markets operate a free “garage clearing” or “unwanted junk collection” service. They help people clear out their dirt for free and make their money selling whatever can be sold.