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What would people love to buy from Africa?

Eager to start ecommerce site items sold from Africa

     
7:16 am on Apr 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hello,

I have had an experience with an ecommerce site. After few months of struggle, it has finally started making true sales.

I would like to know what could be the best thing people want to buy from Africa as I want to start another ecommerce site selling items from Africa.

Habtom

7:21 am on Apr 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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To be truthful from you, I would not buy a thing from Africa.
I think I could find everything African I need from a US site.
The only reason I say this is there are parts of Africa that are notorious for fraud.
7:53 am on Apr 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your response.

The point was not in fraud. Every continent has its uniqueness, and if you think a bit more logically there are some items which can come only from Africa. Nobody will purchase technological products from Africa. . . I wouldn't do the same too.

There are still some products like African Books, Songs and similar items. What do you have in mind?

Habtom

7:57 am on Apr 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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so long as your not based in Africa lets face it you could sell anything. I was once thinking setting up a store selling carvings & painting but as I would need to import them in and couldn't find a drop shipper forgot that one
8:03 am on Apr 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I could suggest a really good item or two from Africa, but then all my work and research will be for naught.
11:38 am on Apr 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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That's a very interesting question, Habtom.

I'm faced with a similar question related to another part of the world, but the thought process is bound to be very similar. The basic concept is simple: Sell stuff that isn't (readily) available elsewhere.

One general category are products from materials that don't "grow" elsewhere. This category has three large subcategories:

* Minerals (generally: "stuff from the ground")
You may not have access to expensive items like diamonds, but there are enough other possibilities. Those ugly lamps from a piece of himalaya salt have been a big hit in certain circles. Maybe you'll find something in your target area with similar potential.

* Animal products
Watch out for protected animals, so rhino horn is certainly out of the question. But even if you concentrate on domesticated animals, there should be a few options. Just as an example I could think of products from camel hair harvested in north africa to find a solvent audience (luxury or at least semi-luxury clothing). Other and less commonly known animals may also produce marketable materials.

* Plant products
Local plants can produce materials for many uses. Exotic food items? Fibers with special properties for clothing? Fruit, roots, or plant extracts with nutritional or even medical (resp. alternative medical) uses?

The second large category is stuff that people there make in other ways than people elsewhere. In most cases this path will lead you to arts and crafts in the most general sense. And of course the originality of the products can be marketed even better if they're made out of local materials, as outlined above.

All that said, "Africa" is a very large and diverse continent. Do you really want to cover all of it, or are you going to focus on a specific country?

11:52 am on Apr 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Might not be of any use to you but my sister visited Africa on holiday and brought back some cool things - like little drums made from goat skin which were well received - we thought they were wonderful and my personal favourite is a little masaai man dressed in all the gear and carved out of wood - complete with earrings, leg beads - little nicknacks but well loved as little links to Africa.
12:14 pm on Apr 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hello,

Thanks

I have planned to cover the whole Africa for my studies until I finally come to some specific areas. The points you raised are really nice. What else do you have in mind?

Habtom