The secondhand clothes and garments (leelami) are usually used by majority of poor and middle class people, specially youth in cheap prices and have good marketing for sellers too.
In an exclusive interview with The Kabul Times reporter, Hamid a shopkeeper of secondhand clothes and shoes in Sarya-e-Bagh said, he has been involved in selling of secondhand shoes since 20 years. “Most of my customers are government servants and those who don’t afford to buy new shoes. Most of secondhand shoes last longer than new shoes because they are made of pure leather while new shoes are made of plastics which last shorter,” he added, saying the people prefer secondhand shoes and the prices of secondhand shoes starts from Afs 500 to 2000 or higher.
“They adapt with mode and fashion. We receive packs of secondhand shoes.”
The Afghan traders pack them in Germany, send them via Karachi port of Pakistan and then to Afghanistan and Pakistan. “There are over 250 secondhand shops in this place who supply male, female and children different goods including shoes, and clothes, bags etc. there are difference in our sales since Karzai government,” he added.
“In that time, every six months, we purchased Rupee 1500000 goods and our business was good but now marketing is no good with few customers,” Hamid added. Talking on sorts of secondhand shoes, he said, there are three sorts of secondhand garments. “The first sort is called Band from European countries which are imported by Afghan traders after Christmas festival. They are supplied Rupee 1000 per kilo.”
“The shoes in second sort is sold rupee 400-500 per pair of shoes while the third sort is supplied Rupee 70-100. It should be said that heeled shoes are exported to Tajikistan and the middle one are supplied in domestic markets of Afghanistan.”
Toryalay a shopkeeper who sells males suits, said, there are several secondhand males suits in his shop as most of them have been purchased from Pakistan by Afghan businessmen and are made in Turkey, Korea, Germany, japan and then imported into Afghanistan.
“Our commodities are unique and our customers are government servants, teachers. These suits cost Afs 400-1000 per set. Government servants with low and constant salary prefer these suits. If they purchase low quality fabrics and take it to a tailor to make suit, it would cost Afs 3000-4000,” he added.
Agha Saheb one of the secondhand shopkeepers in Chendawol area said, since over 30 years, he has been involved in this business as he often supply female clothes which are made in Korea and Germany. The people of Kabul usually prefer secondhand clothes to new ones because the new clothes lack style of secondhand.
“Our customers are rich people who have salaries in dollar and purchase their favorite clothes.”
Most secondhand shops located in Chendawol, Cinema Pamir, Khair Khana, Bagh-e-Qazi, Saray-e-Bush, etc.
Sanjar a youth who had come to buy secondhand cloth, said, although today plenty of Chinese clothes are available in our country but personally I prefer secondhand because beside being fashionable, they are more resistant and last long.
Marina who usually purchase secondhand clothes and shoes for her children, said new shoes and clothes get older quickly but contrary secondhand last long and they are resistant. Large number of Afghan people specially in Kabul due to poverty, unemployment have resorted to secondhand business and support their families.