If there was ever a business in South Africa that could realistically turn a R3 into R300 then it would be the vintage and collectible toy business. While such margins are few and far between and while we don’t have a very large market in South Africa so it may take a while to sell, it is possible.

What are vintage and collectible toys?
People collect various things, from stamps to cars to toys. The collectible toy market is active in South Africa with many sales taking place on platforms such as bidorbuy. When a person starts to build their collection, there will almost always be “holes” in it, a part they missed, lost or didn’t get for whatever reason. Later on they will search for this part, and depending on how rare it is pay a pricey sum to acquire it.

Acquiring the toys
For you to make the margins discussed above, you are going to have to get your toys at flea markets or bric-a-brac “charity” shops, like they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Often the people that sell things at flea markets operate a free “garage clearing” or “unwanted junk collection” service. They basically help people clear out their dirt for free and make their money selling whatever can be sold. They saves the home owner rubble removal fees, get a free helping hand and help someone earn an income (I will look at this business model in future as I’m going off topic now), but I wanted to explain how some flea market sellers acquire stock. This “junk” is then sold at flea markets and often contain toys (children are out of the house by now and elderly parents are just clearing out everything). So this is one place to look, at least the cheapest place to look for vintage and collectable toys. Other place to look is Salvation Army and SPCA shops or similar shops that sell donated goods to raise funds for charity.

As you get deeper into the business you can look at buying and selling from other sellers if you can get a good price. What happens sometimes is that if you get a feel for the business, you know what sells quicker than others you may specialise in one area and also have return buyers in that area.

What sells?
If we look at bidorbuy where we can see past sales (from the ratings they received), here are some toys that was locally available that sold well:
Kewpie dolls

Kewpie Dolls

Kewpie Dolls

Matchbox cars

Matchbox Cars

Matchbox Cars

Matchbox Cars

Matchbox Cars

Smurfs (as well as other figurines such as Tintin)

Smurfs

Smurfs

Cooldrink yo-yos

Cooldrink Yoyos

Cooldrink Yoyos

Do your research on what are popular local collectible toys and visit local flea markets to see what you can get your hands on and start advertising your stock on bidorbuy and other local classifieds.

More Information
Complete Guide to Collecting Vintage Toys

Image credits: bidorbuy

How to Start a Buying & Selling Business in South Africa

A buying and selling business is one of the easiest businesses to get into; it requires little skill (besides basic mathematics) and can be started with very little capital. There are two underlying components to a successful buying and selling business: 1.


You have a business idea, where to next?
How to Start a Business from Business Idea