When fairly used products come handy
Nigerians’ taste and high demand for imported used products has brought into being a new line of business, which in a way, is reminiscent of the traditional trade by barter. In these markets, clients are afforded the opportunity of trading used household and clothing items for new ones. In the process, buyers are also encouraged to acquire needed items from the sales of used ones at a cheap price. It’s a win-win situation that guarantees satisfaction to all parties involved, at the end of the day.
Vivian Iweha is the Digital Marketer/Public Relations Associate of WesternMall Nigeria Limited, an online shopping/auction website that allows users in Nigeria, U.S. and UK to auction used and unwanted items and sell to the highest bidder. In her opinion, based on experience on the job, some Nigerians prefer second-hand products for varied reasons.
“Nigerians believe fairly used items are branded genuine items with longer life span than Chinese products. For instance, a customer would rather purchase used Nike sneakers from the UK or a UK used iPhone than buy a China copy,” she explains. “For many Nigerians, it is the authenticity of the product that is key. They would rather buy popular items and brands made in the UK than buy items from China. What is trending is for customers to opt for UK used phones, laptops, tabs and cars. They feel that the source of the new ones cannot be guaranteed. So, they specially bid for the fairly used items, whenever they are being auctioned.
“At WesternMall, we believe that every home has items they no longer need, but which someone else needs. So, they can auction such and sell to the highest bidder, thereby making money for the seller, while offering cheap used items to the buyer.”
From her observation, Nigerians are patronising second-hand goods much more than before.
“Recently, there has been a great upsurge in the number of people that visit our website and similar websites, offering sales of second-hand products,” she explains. “To me, this is a clear evidence of Nigerians’ preference for imported fairly used products from foreign countries, including UK, US and Germany, among others.
“Out of every four persons that visit our store, three are interested in purchasing used products. We have also recently noticed more requests for UK and US used phones, tabs, laptops and cars, just like we have noticed more activities on the fairly used page, compared to the purchase of new cars, phones and laptops.”
Corroborating Iweha’s views, Emeka Chiejine, a dealer in fairly used camera, computer and mobile phones at the popular Computer Village in Ikeja, says the current economic situation in the country does not allow for everybody to purchase new products. As Nigerians are now forced to watch every kobo, it makes more sense to go for cheap and durable products.
“We live in a country, where poverty level is put at about 70 per cent,” he says. “So, there is need for people to be prudent in the way they spend the little money they have. Nigeria is a developing economy, unlike the developed countries, where citizens can have access to financial aids.
“And though there are new and high-powered brands of computers, phones and such gadgets, but the prices are way beyond the reach of an average Nigerian. So, these people have to make do with used products. Many of these items are necessary to help in day-to-day business transactions. They have become indispensable in today’s technology-driven lifestyle. So, what do you expect them to do? How many average Nigerians can afford brand new phones, cars, computers and so on? The prices of these items are higher than their income, but life must go on.”
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