By Kefiloe Kajane
Refiloe ‘Mateboho Makote is a co-founder of Kid n Gear, a small business that deals in kids clothing.
Kid n Gear is an online peer-to-peer marketplace for selling and buying new and gently used baby, toddler and kids clothing and toys. Being peer-to-peer means that the buyer can also be the seller and visa-versa.
She and her two business partners established Kid n Gear in February 2021 and according to Makote.
Initially it was a personal need, to find a better way to re-use baby clothes and increase her economic power.
Later, she learned that she was not the only one who was struck by the idea. It was a societal issue that kids outgrow their clothing items and materials such as baby cots, strollers, car seats and shoes.
“They leave them still in good condition. Also, I am a mother and I learned that being a mother can bring so much a task that when kids grow up they leave the materials they used at a ceratin age. These items end up unused.
“In order to buy from the platform, you simply go online with your laptop, tablet or smartphone and visit: https://kidngear.co.ls. Once you land on the website, you can browse our products and if you find one that strikes your interest, you can add it to cart and continue shopping for more items or can simply checkout and make payment via a deposit into our business account. In the near future, other checkout options will include cash-on-delivery,” Makote explained.
She explained that customers can use local mobile paying methods like M-Pesa and Eco-Cash facilities.
She explained that in order to sell on the platform, one has to apply to become a seller. Those involved can be anyone from ordinary individuals with interest to declutter their homes and make quick cash to professional sellers who specialise in baby and kids gear.
The application, she suggested,is done entirely online on the website. Those willing to be involved can visit: https://kidngear.co.ls/become-a-seller, and follow up on the instructions.
“If your application is approved or rejected, you will be notified via email. Once that is approved, you will have your own online shop within the platform where you can start uploading the pictures of your baby items be they new or gently used. Then you can start selling to everyone in Maseru. The whole process that involves application,approval and starting to sell takes about 30 minutes, depending on the number of items one wants sell,” she enthused.
In addition, she noted that buyers are to start having their own websites without having to pay thousands of Maloti to build a website. That, accordinf to her, will generally create business opportunities for many including those who will deliver purchases to their owners.
“So far the challenges we have faced on this venture have been technical more than anything else. For example, we have had a huge challenge in having Facebook enable our customers to checkout from their platform or having product dynamic ads that send a prospect to a product page on our website. The technological requirement to build this kind of platform is very expensive. Also, the fact that our country does not have a lot of information technology companies that are building these kind of software applications is very challenging. But lucky for us, our founding team consists of highly technical and knowledgeable personnel who are able to swirl through the challenge,” she said.
The Gear n Kid can be found on facebook under the same name.