Home Shopaholic Around Town # TOI MARKET

Shopaholic Around Town # TOI MARKET

Last Sunday, my sister and I were on the trail of Toi Market. Our aim; to look for a sizable, stylish and affordable (don’t say cheap) traveling bag. We alighted at Adams which is the beginning or end of Toi Market depending on where you begun.

The first sight of white people at the market dampened our quest. Many people tend to think  all whites are loaded so the sellers have a tendency of hiking their prices.I was pleasantly surprised however to see fabulous shoes at 300 bob and lovely clutch bags from 500 onwards- and trust me those bags were dope! (I must drop there sometime when am feeling a little rich)

The traveling bags however were a different story. Some were pretty great but they were selling at obscene prices like 4500! The cheaper ones cost 1000 bob but most of them were just everyday bags with a tired look and nothing special. Why would anyone buy a crappy looking bag at 1000 bob! You may have the money but Hello! Can you have some style please!

Anyhow, our budget was 500- 800, so we decided to take a walk towards the Kibera side of Toi market. And true to our hopes, the prices begun reducing the further on we walked from Adams. We didn’t even know where we would appear, but the great thing is that Toi just goes on and on; stall after stall of sellers and buyers. Following where the people go can never lose you.

And sure thing, we got to the Kibera section and landed at a bag shop with superb bags of all types- and there we found the travelling bag to die for! The starting price was 850; the guy came down to 600- and Ta da! We had our bag! Some guy had his eyes on the bag too and was willing to pay 1000 for it but the seller was fair and said my sis had it first (There exist good, un-greedy sellers in Nai! Halleluyah!)

source: http://ruhilasraras.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/inside-market.jpg

The great thing about Toi is that the prices are hung right above the merchandise. Prices range from 5 bob onwards to around 250. If something costs above that, chances are, they won’t write the price or risk scaring potential buyers away. Good thing is that the higher prices are all negotiable.

I understand now why we don’t need a thrift shop store in Nai. Our flea markets are enough arenas for all the thrifting you want. The main thing to consider when shopping is: “Keep an open mind”. There are people that hear a low-priced thing and automatically assume there must be something wrong with it – which is the case sometimes but not ALL the time. Give it a chance.

If you go shopping for mitumba, chances are, you’re looking for a signature piece at an affordable price; so be patient and spend time looking for it! Your style is definitely worth it. Otherwise you could just go to where everyone shops and get those copy-cat tops you’ll see on 10 people on Tom Mboya Street alone.

P.S- I came across this jeweler who makes and sells lovely jewelry at really great prices! I didn’t have a camera but he had these brass metallic bracelets and signature African necklaces that could cost 2000 at Masai Market. Give him a call on 0724440707 and do check out the amazing stuff he has. I hope to be getting more of these sellers’ contacts so if you have some guy who has great stuff too, share and market a hustler.

by Hellen Masido

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