The Capitalization of El-Wekala: How the Reselling of Cheaper Clothing May Affect Those Who Can’t Afford it at Full Price
Egyptian Facebook and Instagram clothing stores are nothing new. For years, people have been buying garments from abroad and reselling them to Egyptians who don’t have access to these clothing options. However, a recent phenomenon in the Egyptian e-commerce market has been reselling garments bought from El-Wekala.
El-Wekala gives people the chance to buy new and used clothes for a fraction of their original price, and usually targets those who are unable to afford full-priced clothing found in stores at malls.
Located in Downtown Cairo, El-Wekala has a large variety of clothing at cheap prices, which can end up even cheaper after haggling, making it a reseller’s dream.
Various Instagram accounts have been created to sell one-of-a-kind “thrifted” items, and yet, there are no thrift shops in Egypt. The only main source of clothing for the less fortunate is at El-Wekala.
The basic rules of supply and demand are telling of El-Wekala’s future. Those who can afford to shop at malls and higher-end brands are taking advantage of the cheap prices El-Wekala offers, buying more than they need because the prices are just that low.
Therefore, El-Wekala’s prices are expected to rise, seeing the sudden increase in demand and its glamorization, and people shopping there and promoting it. It’s as if they’ve stumbled upon a secret treasure, when in fact, they are probably contributing to depriving a family of the only clothing items they can afford.
A quick social media scan will show how many resellers exist and how high their prices are, indicating that they make somewhere around 100 percent in profit.
This raises the question of ethicality. Is the process of reselling cheaper clothing just a smart business move, or taking advantage of the less fortunate’s very limited clothing options?