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Africa takes to surplus, online

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According to stock liquidators, Going.co.za, the demand in many Sub Saharan cities for cheap surplus products from Europe, the United States, South Africa and China is skyrocketing.

Going.co.za Chairman, Paul Greenberg says that the company is already trading strongly in several African countries where the demand for surplus goods is increasing. According to Deloitte, more than one-third of Africans are middle class.

“These middle class families tend to live in cities that are highly aspirational and show eagerness to own products that are not necessarily in high demand in developed economies,” says Greenberg. “”African traders and small businesses who are buying surplus inventory from us appear to be the perfect consumers – and to top it all off, the market isn’t saturated.‚”” Big retailers in developed countries must deal with a glut of competition, especially as online shopping gains traction. Africa, on the other hand presents a new frontier. A shiny new mall or superstore can count on immediate brand recognition in a town dominated by small markets that have the benefit of familiarity but tend not to be consistent in terms of pricing, inventory and quality control. Bright Simons, a tech entrepreneur and consumerism expert in Ghana, argues that much of Africa’s middle class consists of goods dealers and distributors. According to Simons, many African countries lack the necessary physical and legal infrastructure for Western retailers. Faulty power grids, hazy land ownership laws and a widespread lack of consumer data present unique challenges to companies used to operating on Western soil. It’s not uncommon for start-up costs to exceed expectations, and for long delays to put a damper on grand retail openings. That’s why Greenberg believes that platforms like Going.co.za are proving to be the perfect model for businesses to obtain cheap stock to resell into local markets. Greenberg’s business is based on an e-commerce platform and businesses can simply order online and have these goods shipped directly to them. ‚””Our business focuses on surplus goods, counter seasonal stock, refurbished products and returns. We are selling at heavily discounted prices which allows resellers to still make a profit while offering the end consumer bargain basement prices, especially while consumers are still feeling the economic pinch.‚””

Going.co.za sells in bulk with high minimum order quantity numbers. According to Greenberg, the company’s average value transaction was R18 450 in the first month of operation, and as it sets itself to sell larger bulk quantities, so the transactional values are anticipated to grow.

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