How to sell items online in Kenya

Last Updated on 05/02/2022 by Steve Wanjie

Sell items online in Kenya? How to sell items online in Kenya is a guide for young eCommerce beginners. With the rate of unemployment, so high many youths in Kenya are looking for self-employment opportunities online. They ask the question, how can I sell items online to make money?

This article or guide is out to prove that you can become rich via eCommerce. All you need is to get it right from the beginning. This article shows you how to do it in detail. It also proves through examples that you can become rich through selling products online.

Table of Contents:

1. Is selling Products Online in Kenya Profitable

2. What Factors Determine success with online selling?

3. What Products Sell the most Online in Kenya

4. How to Find Products to sell online in Kenya

5. How to Sell Items Online in Kenya

6. F.A.Q

7. Conclusion

1. Is Selling Products Online Profitable

The answer is a big YES. Selling products online is a profitable venture. Moreover, it is an enterprise that can make you a billionaire in the long run. Selling stuff online is eCommerce. So the politically correct way of asking this question is, is e-commerce profitable?

Let us look at examples:

a) Jumia Sell Items Online In Kenya

Jumia is an African e-tailer. The e-commerce platform sells products online. When it started some years back it was a very small operation run by one man, its founder.

The man was thinking like you and asking the same question, is it profitable. But instead of wondering around, he chose to find out. He tried it. Now he is an African Billionaire.

The trading report for the year 2019 released in February 2020, Jumia posted 170 million Euro. In most Africa currencies that is more than 19 billion. Jumia isn’t an old company. It started recently.
Data source: @jackbright, 2020, Tech Crunch.


b) David Kigo

sell items online in Kenya - David Kigo
David Kigo – millionaire Jumia Kenya Vendor

David had a little electronic shop in Kiambu town. He joined Jumia Kenya and become a millionaire in 6 short months. David sells his electronic stock online on Jumia eCommerce platform. Now he is a multi-millionaire and he is very young.

c) James Fend and Max Tempkin

These two are people who became rich selling things on Amazon. They were poor and penniless. They started from the bottom with an idea but put in actions. Don’t think, try it especially if you are young. These two were still in college.

I leave a link at our references section so you can read their amazing stories. From penniless to millionaires. Yes, selling products online can make you rich.

d) Jeff Bezos

how to sell items online in Kenya - Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos of Amazon – The richest man on the planet 2020

The richest man in the world in 2020. He is the founder and the majority shareholder of Amazon, the world’s largest e-tailer. He started small and look where he is now. He is the most success-oriented eCommerce fellow in the world. He started by selling products online. He didn’t ask can it be profitable he tried it.

e) Convenience Shopping

It is a service that makes shopping convenient. From home or office, you order a product. The product is delivered to you conveniently and impromptu. It makes life easy for busy folks. For that reason, it’s bound to make money for those who get it right.

2. What Factors Determine success with online selling?

These are the factors that determine your success in selling products online. The factors include;

a) Choice of product:

If you choose to sell a product that has no demand you sell nothing. You cannot begin to sell products that are easy to find on the street online. Nobody will buy it.

b) Profit Margin

The product you choose to sell online must have a reasonable profit margin. Otherwise, you lose.

c) Product Availability

You need to choose a product that is available. If its hand to get then you lose customers. Because the product is always out of stock. A product with constant supply is what you need.

d) Marketing Knowledge

Do you know how to market products online? Can you do digital sales? If you don’t know how to sell online how will you succeed to make a profit? Luckily you can find free training opportunities online. You have to acquire digital marketing skills to successfully managing product marketing online.

e) The Market place you choose to work with

There are many eCommerce platforms that you can work with. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages. These are issues that affect your marketing and product sales. An example of an eCommerce platform is Jumia in Kenya. The US has Amazon and eBay has examples. There are many eCommerce platforms on the planet.

f) Availability of business Capital

You need cash to run a business successfully online. Why? You need to buy a trading stock. You need to buy advertising. You need the use of software to make your work easy. And, you need a website for marketing your brand and products online. Therefore, having working capital is helpful.

Final Thought on the profitability of online selling:

There is no doubt in my mind. If you sell items online in Kenya you will make a profit. It depends on whether you have the drive to do the necessary work to succeed in e-commerce. Start with one product and become good at marketing and selling online.

You know it is profitable now. You need to take the next step. That is you need to act. Take the step and focus. Stay focused. And work smart and be diligent. There is no way that you will fail because you can do it. Go.


selling online


3. What Products Sell the Most Online in Kenya

As a beginner, you would love to know which items to sell online to make money. Below you find lists of items you can sell online in Kenya. These products selling. This is no guesswork. It is real. If you get your marketing right you will sell any of the products appearing here.

The most selling products online in Kenya are:

• Electronics:

– Smartphones
– Smartphone accessories
– Wireless Phone charger
– Smartwatches
– Wireless earbuds
– TVs
– Computers
– Laptops
– Camera
– Earphones
– Phone cases

• Beauty products:

– Hair products
– Hair Wigs
– makeup products
– earrings
– bangles
– rings
– necklace

• Women Fashion
– Shoes
– Sunglasses
– Clothes

• Shapewear

• Workout outfits

• Maternity wear

• Dog collars

• Find Unique items

• Find out what is trending in other countries. Be the first to introduce it to your home country. The idea is to bring it to home before everyone else.


You don’t have to sell the products listed here. Be creative. You could find something unique. Something rare. Something nobody else is selling but it’s valuable. Sometimes, those who go against the current are the ones who become the success stories.

4. How to Find Products to sell online in Kenya

The most important idea in business is one that tries to solve a problem. Can you find a problem and find a product that can solve that problem. That is the best way to succeed in business. Example – wireless charger. Didn’t it solve a problem for travellers?

a) Start with you
Do you have a product idea that you would like to sell online? You may be able to create and sell something of value online. Is there something you can create? You can sell a product or service online. So what do you have that can sell online?

b) Find local items to sell online

There is always something in your environment that you could sell online. In fact, there are many things. Art crafts made in your locality. Those who make them may not know how to market them. You could buy from them and sell online to make a profit. Remember, once you post an item online anyone in the world can buy it.

I have sold the Masai Shuka to customers in Australia, The US, The UK, and Canada using eBay. I don’t make it. I listed the item on eBay and people bought it. Local items from manufacturers, supermarkets, jua kali, women groups, etc., are fertile places. Think local items. Think about global markets.

b) Find Trending Products
Can you find a product that is about to trend? How do you find it? Google Trends can help you out. GT will help you know whether demand is going up or downwards. Before you start to sell check the trend for the market you are targeting and worldwide. This what I do. I check Kenya, USA, and the worldwide trend of a product I want to sell online. Google Trends is free to use. Check these two screenshots for laptop demand in Kenya. What does the trend tell you?

laptop sales trend in Kenya
laptop sales trend in Kenya

• The demand for laptops is high in Juja Kenya.

If you are a laptop seller you would target Juja with a keyword such as “laptop sales Juja.” Another keyword would be “Laptops available in Juja.” Write an article about laptops and post on your blog. If you don’t have a blog write an ad and post it on a classified ad platform like OLX. People in Ruiru would then buy online from me.

sell items online in Kenya - laptop search trend in Ruiru Screenshot
sell items online in Kenya – laptop search trend Screenshot

• The trend is flat meaning the market for laptop exists in Kenya
Thus you can sell laptops in Kenya because there is demand. The ideal product should have the trend going upwards though

Oberlo: another Place for finding trending products

OBerlo is a good place to start your online selling journey. If you don’t have a lot of money this site will be useful. Beginners without enough capital use drop shipping to start their online selling careers. With Oberlo starting a drop shipping business is easy.

c) Find out which products are selling best on eCommerce platforms
Go to Jumia, Amazon or eBay and search for “the best-selling products.” There is a function that tells buyers the best-selling products on each platform. If it is in the top-selling list it means it has a market. For more information on how to find products to sell online go to our references section at the bottom of this page.

5. How to Sell Items Online in Kenya successfully

Here are the things you need to sell items online in Kenya and make money. You have to be patient. It involves a lot of work in the beginning. Do not do things blindly. Learn how to accomplish every step. There are free learning opportunities on the internet.

a) Basic Writing Skills
b) You need a website
c) Choose a Marketplace
d) Online Selling and marketing Tools

Here are the things you need to start and run a business online successfully. Some things you get free of charge via the internet. It is not an easy job but you can do it. Many people have succeeded why should you be an exception?

a) Basic Writing Skills
The most important thing you need to do first is to write how to write. This will save you a lot of money. Then after you can write you need to learn basic SEO skills. SEO is the short form of Search Engine Optimization. The reason you need SEO is that you will have to do a lot of marketing to succeed in eCommerce.

You need to write product descriptions, and ad copy because you need to place ads on social media and Google. Writing is king in marketing. You can hire freelancers to do it for you but if you have no money? What do you do? You can learn these things free online in a short time.

b) You need a website
You can do without a website but that is very dangerous. If you are selling via Amazon, eBay, or Jumia, they can decide to cancel your account at any time. They can say you violated their policy and rules of engagement. Then in a situation like that, you lose everything at once. All the work and effort. All the customers lost. What do you do?

That is why you need a website. A website is the engine of your online operations. People come to your website first. They sign up for your email list. They get detailed information about your product and then you send them to Jumia or Amazon to buy.

If Amazon or eBay cancel your account they don’t touch your customer base. You are safe and you can switch over to another marketplace and continue with business as usual. Without a website, you would have to start from scratch again.

I buy my domain names from NameCheap. My websites are hosted by Site Ground. While WordPress is my website management platform and its free. The three work seamlessly. They make everything so easy.

c) Choose a Marketplace

You need an online marketplace to start selling online in Kenya. The top marketplaces in Kenya are;

• Jumia
• Cheki.co.ke
• OLX.co.ke
• Rupu.co.ke
• Kilimall
• Pigiame
• Bid or Buy
• Amazon
• eBay
• eBid
• Rakuten
• Bonanza

If your business idea is to sell local then choose either of the Kenyan marketplaces. Visit these marketplaces and read their terms and conditions. Choose one and create your account and start selling. If you would love to sell internationally then eBay is the best.

d) Online Selling and marketing Tools
Tools to help you sell your products online. Some are free while others you have to pay for them.

• Email Marketing

The beauty of having a website is that you have an opportunity to create a real online business. You collect email addresses on your website. If you don’t have a website how will you create an email list? An email list is where your money is. These are your customers. Every time you have a new product you email your customers. Some will buy this time while others will buy next time. So the email list is the most important eCommerce marketing tool. Start creating yours immediately. I use Mail Chimp to create my email lists. It is free until you have over 1000 subscribers.

• Social Media

Social Media platforms help in marketing your business. Facebook will help you create awareness and community around your brand. Social media will help generate traffic to your website. And you are able to place an advertisement on social websites to generate leads for your products. Thus, it is important you learn how to harness the power of social tools to sell online.

• Advertising

To sell items you need to advertise. You should use both free and paid advertising. Use classified ad platforms and social media for this purpose. Google ads are very good too though they are a bit expensive though effective.

• Content Marketing

To use content marketing you need to write high quality, original and entertaining articles for your blog. After posting an article on your blog you could distribute to article directories. Articles on article directories drive traffic back to your websites.

• Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are good places to reach your potential customers. If you sell t-shirts online join t-shirt groups on Facebook. If you love rabbits and are interested in rabbit related products, join rabbit groups. Join as many Facebook groups as you can find.

• Word of Mouth

Tell people about the items you are selling online. Ask your family and friends to tell their friends. If you sell a clothing item ask them to buy to promote the business.

• Use Youtube to market your items
YouTube is a fantastic place to find a customer for whatever you sell online. Make videos about the product. Show people how to use your product. If it is a t-shirt let them see you wearing on Youtube.


Where can I sell my stuff online for free?

Sell online for free means no cost to post items. It also means you will not pay the marketplace fees or commissions for services rendered. The giant online marketplaces charge different types of fees. The ones that are free are classified ad sites. Craigslist is a good example. But it can’t be a 100% free because most that claim to be free will ask for a fee for account upgrading. They also may ask for a fee to place your ad in the best space. Otherwise, you may try the following sites to sell your stuff free online;
• Your own website
• Facebook Marketplace
• eCrater
• Letgo
• Craigslist
• Geebo
• YourBlast.com
• Snagpop
• Biashara Kenya
• Kilakitu
• Pigiame

What is the safest way to sell items online?

• Use recognized online payment gateways such as PayPal

• Never accept checks (cheques) or money orders. If you are delivering the product to their home or office, ask for cash

• Do not ship the product until you have received payment

• Ensure the product has no defects to avoid returns

• Always tell the truth about the product. Don’t say its new while its second hand

• Never show the layout of your home. Take pictures of items you want to sell outside of your home

• Always ship products fast to avoid delays and customer anger

• Use a business phone number and email address to communicate with online customers. Never use your personal line or email address


How to Sell items online in Kenya is the top of this article. As shown above, you can sell products online successfully to make money. It is not easy because a lot of hard work is required to succeed. But as shown by the examples given here it’s worth your efforts. The important thing is to take the right actions. Learn and implement what you learn. Then focus on your work. The eCommerce industry can make you a billionaire.

Why not go for it?

Thanks for your visit

Steve Wanjie

Founder – Dijito Marketing

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• References:

Selling online strategies

Sell online tutorial

Online selling success stories

17 places to find profitable product ideas

Find Products niche start selling on the internet

Sell stuff online

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By Steve Wanjie

Steve Wanjie is a digital marketing specialist, SEO Expert, expert article writer, blogger, sex educationist, and businessman. He is the founder of Dijito Marketing and Laikipo.com. He works and lives in Nairobi Kenya.

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