In nearly every Nigerian city, there are markets where you can visit to experience sights and sound, buy travel souvenirs and get a practical feel of the buzz and hush of the city. A visit to these markets usually add to the unique experiences of any traveler.
Places such as the Onitsha International market – the largest market in West Africa, Bodija market in Ibadan and Kurmi Market in Kano state are hubs for various types of business transactions and are populated by people from various cultural backgrounds.
However, among these cultural and tribal leanings, the Igbos of southeast extraction will always stand out. These are due to their industrious and enterprising nature which has made them dominate both large and small businesses.
1. Warm Welcome
The customer is king. At a Nigerian market you will be treated like a king. The welcome is overwhelming that you may probably get carried away. You are addresses with the outstanding courtesy accompanied by words ‘fineboy’, Oyinbo (for a white man) and other flowery words. In addition, the seller will be so nice and respectful. These are acts to attract the customers. This may probably surprise a first time visitor to a Nigerian market.
2. Over priced products
These is inescapable when you visit a market in Nigeria. You must always take your bargaining power along with you whenever you visit any of them. There is the possibility that the seller will inflate the price. And if you are not careful, you may buy the goods twice the actual price. What do you do? When the seller says N5,000 you should beat it down to N1,500. You will be shocked at the price you purchase it. At the end of the negotiating spree, both parties may just agree at N2,000.
Computer village in Ikeja, Lagos where you can get great discounts on hotel rooms, purchase electronics and gadgets is an example of an overcrowded business hub. Everyone is selling and buying all sorts of items. If you want to visit such a place or any other market, it is advisable you go there with a colleague or a friend. It will be easier to navigate. Importantly, you must be alert and watch out for the prowling, swift and eagle eyed pick pocket.
4. Cheap and affordable
If you want cheap and affordable goods, then you should expect this from the market. With a strong bargaining power and an eye for distinguishing original from counterfeit, you are on your way to purchasing loads of durable and affordable souvenirs. Interestingly, you do not have to visit a store at the market, everywhere and anywhere is a market. Expensive does not guarantee originality.
5. Swarm by sellers
Desperate sellers will swarm around you immediately they notice that you want to buy something at the market. Do not answer their calls, do not smile at them, but keep a straight façade and ignore them. If you do not do any of this, you will expose yourself to all kinds of market shenanigans.