So goes an old saying, ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison’. While this may sound as mere statement, a visit to The Borrowadale Country Club where second hand goods sale like hot cakes will bring to life to the saying. Low income earners are turning ‘waste’ from the elite into valuable treasure.
The Borrowdale Country Club turns its space into a market where items are sold from car boots. This has attracted many people, traders and buyers alike. The monthly market is open to members of the public at a small fee, $5 for sellers and $1 for buyers. This is however just a paltry amount compared to what one can dig up.
Tongai Zhuwawo, a regular buyer at the market explains, “There is always different staff to buy every time I come here. Last month I bought a microwave for $10, something that cost over $30 in second hand shops.” Zhuwawo, a gardener in Borrowdale said the sale helps him save for other important things he needs to pay for each month.
A trader who requested anonymity says instead of throwing away old goods one can earn a little money at the same time saving the environment. “Technological garbage as I have heard is one of the most destructive waste and sometimes toxic,” he said. The market has different products available including computers, cameras, clothes and kitchen utensils.
Mavis Mavhunga who attends the car boot sale on regular basis says the event always gives her sizeable returns. “When business is low I go home with at least $50,” she said. On a good day her sales can get up to $100.
Unlike other traders who sale their old stuff, Mavhunga imports old clothes from Mozambique. “I select the nice staff from bales and resale them at the market.” She comes all the way from Budiriro to make her fortune in a whole new set up, a place where the rich and affluent live. “My husband drives me hear every time there is a sale. Through this I have managed to become an independent woman who raises her own income,” said Mavhunga.
Though a relatively new concept in Harare, car boot sales have become popular in both low and high density areas. It must however be noted that in high density areas, at places such as, Eastlea Shops, Msasa and Southerton shopping centre, the concept is used by illegal vendors. It’s easier for them to run away from law enforcement officials using cars. The vendors usually sell second hand imported goods and clothing items.
Car boot sales are adopted from United Kingdom were individuals come together to sell household and garden goods. They are held in a variety of locations, including the grounds of schools and other community buildings, or in grass fields or car parks.