Dealers in second-hand goods are lamenting a fall in revenue following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The outbreak of the disease in the latter part of 2019 has bitten hard on almost every economic activity as no sector in the global economy has been spared.
Ghana’s government, like many governments across the world, has struggled to keep its economy healthy amidst several restrictions in attempts to fight the disease.
The aviation industry is one of the worst-hit, as restrictions on flights have prevented many from travelling.
This has had a ripple effect on trade as people are not able to import their goods or travel out of the country to make purchases.
In an interview with some persons who sell used clothing, locally known as ‘broni waawu’ or ‘fose’ at Lapaz within the Greater Accra Region, they complained of the difference in sales before and during the occurence of COVID-19.
A lady, who only gave her name as Esther, said, “At the moment, sales are picking up a bit. This is because the number of cases of the disease has reduced. So now people are buying as compared to before. Right now, those we take the clothes from have increased the prices. So we have also done same in order not to run at a loss.”
“Currently, sales are really low. People are not buying the clothes. We sell jeans trousers. Some people even refuse to buy because they feel they would contract coronavirus from them. At first, we could sell all the jeans we have in just a day. Now, we come here at 4am and by 10am, we are sacked from here. People don’t buy anything in these times. Before COVID-19, you could go in for about 100 pieces and gain extra profit on them. But now, even when we go for the clothes, you can’t even sell it at the price for which you bought them. The customers still buy them like how they used to before COVID-19,” Richard Osei Bonsu lamented.
Some of them also spoke about the difference in the prices of their goods, which is as a result of the extra costs they incur when buying the goods from their suppliers.
“I can sell one jeans trouser for GH¢15 or GH¢20. I can sell it for GH¢10 after negotiation. If the person is buying only one trouser, I’ll sell it for GH¢20. But if he or she is buying in bulk, I’ll reduce it to GH¢10,” a lady explained.
Esther added, “Previously, people could take a dress for GH¢10 or GH¢15 but currently, a dress is sold for GH¢20 or GH¢18. You can even get a blouse for GH¢5. The buyers complain but we have no choice because we don’t want to run at a loss.”
Some of the traders who deal in home used furniture, on the other hand, did not complain about an increase in prices, but a decrease in the volume of imports.
Yeboah, who sells office tables and chairs indicated, “Within the first three months of COVID-19, our businesses were greatly affected. But from July till date, things are better, although it’s not like pre-COVID times. We are short of the home used furniture. The suppliers who came to Ghana during the Christmas season haven’t been able to return to the foreign countries so we’ve been affected. Some also order from China so we sometimes get a few items from them. But the supply of the home used furniture has reduced. The prices of the goods haven’t changed. It is the quantity of goods that come in that is the problem.”
He is, however, hopeful that a reopening of the country’s airports and borders, as hinted by President Akufo-Addo will bring life into their business.
“If the President announces the reopening of the borders, the suppliers who are currently stuck in Ghana can return so they can send us the goods to better the business.”