In Singapore, “Karang Guni” is a Malay phrase for gunny sack, which was used in the past to hold stacks of newspaper. It is often used to refer to those who work in the rag-and-bone trade, visiting residents door-to-door to collect old newspapers and clothing to sell.
Karang Guni can be a lucrative and highly profitable business in Singapore, with reported stories of Karang Guni men becoming millionaires from their rag-and-bone businesses. Yet most Singaporeans shunned this trade because they considered it unglamorous.
However, not many realized that Karang Guni is a business that doesn’t high start-up cost. You just need to have a van to ferry the unwanted goods from HDB flats to the vendors. A lot of residents would love to rid their unwanted stuff(newspapers, electronic goods,etc) to you, sometimes for free. In turn, you can resell these unwanted products to flea market vendors, who would purchase the goods for recycling or shipment to other countries. You can even resell these unwanted items online through auctioning. Win-win situation.
To have a successful business in Singapore, consider building an online portal or mobile application for interested customers to trade in their unwanted goods.
The rag-and-bone industry is addressing the waste problem in Singapore as there is a perennial gap in our society. Every year, Singapore generates at least 5 to 7 million tonnes of waste annually. According to government agency, NEA, the top two contributors were construction metals and waste papers. Hence, there is huge demand for Karang Guni services but not many Singaporeans want to do it.
In recent years, the Karang Guni trade has seen intense competition in Singapore. There are even online Karang Guni providing doorstep services collection of unwanted electronic products, metal recycling, clothing and newspapers.