Sustainability, Visibility, Affordability, and Ease - Our Reason for Being

Sustainability, Visibility, Affordability, and Ease - Our Reason for Being

When you are pregnant and you start shopping for your baby, you quickly realize that having a baby is an expensive and extensive activity. Babies go through 4-6 clothing sizes in the first year, they need up to 10 diaper changes a day, they need a cot for sleeping, towels for bathing, spit cloths for wiping up messes, toys, gear and so on, and so on. Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, there are still plenty of things to think about: you'll need bottles, bottle sterilizer, milk storage bags, nursing bras, nursing tops. At 6 months you'll need to introduce solid foods, and again you'll need to visit your favorite baby shops for purés, blenders, cups, spoons, plates.

And all of this is just the first year! After that year, the baby will start to walk, to climb all over your furniture, go to school, talk, etc. With every new developmental stage, there are new items you need to buy. 

This is expensive as everything is imported, but in Ghana it can also be very complicated to find all the items on your list. With a market that's scattered into many small baby shops, Instagram pages and private individuals with a side hustle they run on WhatsApp, finding what you are looking for is a cumbersome process. You often have to make use of your network, where you are lucky to talk to somebody who was just at a place that was selling what you are looking for. It can take weeks to get everything on your list!

If you are concerned about the price point or just weary of harming the environment with purchasing so many new items, which the baby only uses for a short amount of time, you have the option of buying used baby items. The most common place to do so would be in Makola Market or Madina Market, which consists of thousands of small stands where vendors sell used items out of big bails, that have been imported from the West. Every week Ghana imports 15 tons of used clothing from abroad, and only about 40% actually ends up in the markets, the rest is waste, filling up drains, beaches and landfills. 

As a new mom it can be daunting to maneuver the markets with your baby in tow. You need to have the time and patience to go through every vendor's items to find what you are looking for, and then haggle the price afterwards. You most likely don't have the time required to do this. But there are other places to buy your used items. There are stalls on many main streets where vendors have bought select items from the markets and set up their own shops, and there are WhatsApp groups where private individuals sell out of their own kids' items. Both of these options are easier to access, but you might not find what you are looking for as the range of products is limited. 

Whether you buy new or preloved, you can be sure to go through a frustrating experience to find what you are looking for as the market is disorganized and lacking transparency. 

From a seller perspective, the process is equally frustrating. Most baby shops in Accra suffer from low visibility and low foot traffic. Space is a commodity in the city, so the price of a small shop is astronomical, especially considering that land lords are asking for 2-5 years rent up front. To make up the rent, owners stuff their shops, making it impossible for customers to browse independently and a miracle for shop attendees to find a specific item. Also, to secure your customer base, you need to make sure you always have the latest trends, so the "old" items get pushed further and further back in the shop, without ever being sold.

Furthermore, as the middle and higher classes in Ghana are growing and parents in general like to spend money on their kids, the need for new baby items is increasing, which is encouraging entrepreneurs to open baby shops, resulting in a hoard of baby shops, available on every corner, making it difficult for every shop to stand out. To increase sales, some shops take to Social Media platforms where they are up against a whole other hurdle: making yourself visible on a platform with millions of profiles. 

With a large diaspora, most Ghanaians have relatives living abroad, and some has seen it as an opportunity to import smaller crates of baby items, which they sell to their network from their homes, WhatsApp, word-of-mouth, or Instagram. Many end up having items sitting for years, as they aren't able to reach enough customers to move them quickly. 

Being a seller of baby items in Ghana is not easy, as the market is crowded and visibility is low. 

All of this is why Tiny Reusers exist! 

  • We provide a platform for all buyers and sellers to transact with transparency and ease.
  • We have organized the disorganized baby item market to benefit both buyers and sellers.
  • We provide visibility to sellers, both private people and shops, and we provide a easy-to-access overview of all available items for customers.
  • We give sellers extra "space" for a very low fee, through our website and app.
  • We give customers a one-stop-shop as all items are kept in our warehouse, and therefore deliveries can be made from just one location, with only one rider.
  • Everything is online, making the process transparent for the seller as they have a full overview of all of their items we keep in our warehouse and are notified of every sale they make, and for the customer as they have a record of all their orders and prices.¬†

We are passionate about providing a good shopping and selling experience for all!