12 Tips To Buying Used Clothing In Uganda

Buying used clothing in Uganda is one of the most budget-friendly and viable options for purchasing good quality clothes that may not be available in regular stores. Benefits like distinctive clothing, savings, and supporting local shops make buying second-hand clothes a valuable experience. 

Uganda’s used clothing market is slowly replacing the current trend in fast fashion. It has helped many to buy affordable clothes that promote feasible means that are friendly towards the environment.

Used Clothing Market In Uganda

By the middle of the 1980s, cloth merchants from America and Europe started exporting used clothes to many African nations, leading to a rise in the second-hand clothes market in Uganda. 

By the end of the 1990s, many cloth manufacturing companies in Africa had tough competition from manufacturers in Asia. Presently, the second-hand cloth market is a significant contributor that helps build up Uganda’s economy.

Tips For Buying Used Clothes 

Many people from different walks of life in Uganda buy second-hand clothing from open used cloth markets that cater to the needs of the public. For a decade, the used clothing market has been booming, which has also helped prosper the economy. A few tips for buying used clothes in Uganda are,

Check For Opening Day

Usually, new merchandise is displayed on specific days of the week. It is advisable to go on these days as unique, branded clothes will be available.

Visit Shops In Morning

Since most clothes markets open early in the morning, visiting these shops at the opening time is advisable. It will help in buying the good stuff.

Do Bargain

Bargaining for shopping clothes in second-hand markets is compulsory, as these will help get branded clothes at competitive prices. The cloth vendors are open to negotiation, and there is no need to be shy when bargaining for clothes.

Take A friend 

Tagging along with a friend is best, as a second opinion matters. The cloth vendor will always try to sell with gimmicks, whereas the friend will always give an honest opinion. Taking a friend along will help in getting a better experience while shopping.

Make A List

Making a list of things to buy before visiting second-hand markets is always advisable, which helps ensure the purchase will be budget-friendly. Never carry too much money, as it helps stop the urge to buy cute outfits which may not be feasible for daily wear.

Buy Appealing Clothes 

Buy clothes that appeal in style, texture, or color. The appearance of clothes is essential as some like cashmere, others like cotton, linen, and other clothing items. Always look for classic styles as these will never age quickly and will stay in fashion, and the clothes will remain for a long time in the wardrobe.

Buy Correct Size

Never buy clothes that are not the right size, as it will create clutter in the wardrobe, as these clothes will stay in the cabinet only. 

Inspect Clothes 

Always inspect the clothes for any tears or stains. Take time while checking the clothes, as the seller will not accept returns or exchanges after the purchase.

Items like missing buttons can get easily replaced if the cloth is to the buyer’s liking. Never buy clothes with perspiration stains, as these are not easy to remove.

Never Buy Resized Clothes

Resized clothes are common in the used cloth market in Uganda. The seller may have resized sizes 16 to 14, but this resizing will affect the look of the designs on the dress and will make it unwearable. Therefore, wear the clothes before buying them.

Dress Lightly For Shopping

Dress in light clothes and not bulky ones when shopping for used clothes. Most shops do not have rooms to try outfits on. Therefore dresses have to be worn on top of the clothing worn.

Never Dress Expensively

It is advisable not to dress expensively as the sellers can quickly tell the quality of the dress worn by the customer. They will increase the price of the clothing in their shop by four to five times compared to the customer who dresses in simple clothes.

Check Washing Instructions

Some clothes will have specific instructions while washing, like whether the cloth should be hand washed or machine washed. If it is impossible to clean the fabric as suggested, it is better to skip the dress, as the instructions help ensure the garment’s longevity and quality. If these instructions are not followed, then the dress might ruin quickly.


The second-hand clothing market has a different range of clothes, from designer to everyday clothes. Many used clothing markets, like Owino in Kampala, are considered Uganda’s biggest used cloth market. Also, the Ggaba market is known for getting vintage and designer clothes.

Always remember to bargain when buying used clothes in Uganda. Also, keep a bottle of water in hand when shopping, as walking around to look for clothes could dehydrate the body. Make sure to wash the newly bought used clothes before wearing them, as it will help remove the mites or germs on the clothes.