Haggling is a very important skill in Nigeria, especially if you go to markets a lot.
Nigeria is a country with a population of over 180 million people. Research has suggested that the number is expected to increase by 2025. This means that everyone is fighting for their daily bread- whether you as the buyer or the seller.
Knowing how to haggle prices at local markets can help you greatly, but sadly, this is a skill that dies with forthcoming generations. Our mothers haggled with poise and finesse. The seller would tell them that an item is being sold for N1000, but will end up buying for N200.
Trade in Nigeria is sustained by the haggling culture. It is part of the Nigerian culture. However, this doesn’t occur in supermarkets and places that sell products with pre-packaged labels.
Without further ado, let’s look at the guide to haggling in Nigerian markets
Steps to Haggling
1. Don’t look expensive
When you’re going to the market, you need to look as inexpensive as possible. This doesn’t mean that you should dress in rags.
The psychological mindset that most of these market sellers have is that when you dress very fine, they assume you have a lot of money, so they hike their prices. You wouldn’t want that.
Dress in such a way that if the seller poses a price and you haggle for half of it, he/she will look at you and consider.
2. Don’t settle at the first shop
You must be able to walk around for the best price. Don’t settle for the first shop, especially those close to the road or are very visible.
Go inside the market to shops that are not easily seen, and they will appreciate you for coming all the way.
3. Learn local slangs
If you want to be cheated, start speaking English with an accent.
They will just say in their mind, “This one wey dey speak spree spree English like this. E go get plenty money o”
Then, they start hiking their prices. They won’t agree to your price no matter how you try to haggle. Speak English with a Nigerian accent. If you notice that the seller is from a particular tribe and you know a few lines, even better.
4. Evening time is the best time for haggling
Well, this is not good if you plan to buy perishable goods like meat, fish, vegetables, etc. because they may not be in their best conditions after staying the whole day.
But the truth is, evening time is the best time for haggling, preferable one to two hour before market closure. The sellers are trying to make as much sales as they can before they go home, so they’ll most likely agree to your prices if you haggle well.
Note that this doesn’t work for provision stores.
Do well to share your haggling experiences in the comment section below, and don’t forget to share to friends and family.