April 24, 2015

RANDOM ALERT: Buying on credit in Nigeria

Hey everyone!

If you read Nigerian entertainment/gossip websites and blogs, then yesterday, you would have caught wind of the drama  surrounding a local actress. Before the story was posted across different sites, someone at work had already shown me what was brewing on Instagram. Apparently, a young woman who sells luxury accessories (and counterfeits as well) accused this actress of owing her almost $1000 for a counterfeit/fake item she bought. The seller said it had been over a month since the products were delivered to the actress, and at first kept getting excuses, then a bounced check/cheque, and finally was blocked by the actress. She got really angry and went on a rant on IG, copying all the big entertainment and gossip sites. Eventually the actress responded, with screenshots of text messages, saying that she didn't like the look of the fake item and that's why she didn't pay and wanted to return it.

Anyway, that's the gist in a nutshell. But it reminded me of something that I've thought about since I moved back to Nigeria (speaking of which, I can't believe I've been here for almost 4 years!).

Why do a lot of Nigerian customers think it's their right to pay on their own schedule?


I don't mean those customers that agree on a payment plan with the retailer/seller, and stick to the plan. For instance, I'm getting some clothes made, and we agreed that I could pay any amount now, and the rest after delivery.

I'm asking about the people who decide they want some products or services NOW, but have no intention of paying until they feel like it. A lot of times, you hear the excuse, "Ah ah, is it not just X amount of money?! Abi, you think I cannot pay it?" Well, if it's just small change to you, how about you pay on time?

I can understand the people who don't want to pay ahead of time, because of the fear that the seller will take the money and disappear. Fine; but can you please pay on delivery? As in, you've received the product or service already, so why are you still waiting to pay? You do realize that it's someone's business and livelihood, right?

It really bugs me when I hear about sellers having to run around looking for their customers to pay up. If you as a customer forgot, it can be excused for a short time. But the minute you remember, please please please just pay. Doesn't it bug you that you owe someone money? Even the Bible says if you owe someone money, you're basically that person's servant (Proverbs 22:7 - remember this post from my Proverbs Blogalong series?).

If you don't have money to buy the product now, guess what? DON'T BUY IT! I really wanted to attend an event late last year, but I didn't have the money for it - well, I did, but I was saving up for something else - so I did what was most sensible to me - I chose not to go. Did I die? No! Would I have had fun? Yes. Was that the only opportunity for me to have fun for the rest of my life? No!

I don't like the idea of buying or ordering something now, because you just know you'll have money later. Wait until you have the money before buying. At least, you won't have someone hovering over your shoulder.

*whew* Sorry, I didn't mean for the post to be this long.

33 comments:

  1. BERRY, THIS YOUR THEORY IS STORY FOR THE GODS ......... Not in this our obodo where credit has become the order of the day. You need a lot of patience to deal with your customers. I suppose it is human nature. They are all nice when collecting the item with the promise to pay at a later date and then bare their fangs and oppress you when the time comes to relinquish payment. *sigh*. I forsee many more dramas like this - all thanks to the emergence of social media.

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    1. Ugh. I hear about a lot of celebs here in Lagos that go to bars and clubs, and they have tabs that run into hundreds of thousands of naira that go unpaid. There's nothing wrong with credit, but can it be for something sensible?

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  2. Every seller should demand for immediate payment, case closed!

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  3. True Talk and that's why there is a WISH LIST. Note the item down and plan/save towards it.

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  4. It can be so painful. I did some selling in school and it was a major reason why I stopped. Wasn't worth the mental stress that could have affected my academics.
    Really, sometimes we just want to sell quickly and promises begin to look like commitment.
    Blogoratti is right. Demanding that they pay immediately would sift the real from the irresponsible chaff.

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    1. That sucks!! I have a friend who had to close his shop because everyone was buying his shirts on credit and never paid up.

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  5. Berry you are talking about credit for goods? Professional services nko? Shior this Nigeria will help you borrow a brain if you dont have one. Now i collect a 50% deposit from all customers before services are rendered. And i essentially make sure i can live with the said 50% if the client decides not to pay the balance.

    www.pynk360.com

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    1. I think that's a great plan. So whether the 50%% balance comes or not, you've made money you're comfortable with.

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  6. Lol! I wish I could vex like this on my blog. I don't do credit and people think I'm harsh. I am only saving myself the heart and head ache.

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  7. But aside from the customers these sellers could also be very very pushy even when you're honest with them and have told them you don't have the money,thy would be saying things like "you can pay when you have...I trust you","take your time I'm not in a hurry","I know the economy is not smiling so I understand. .."bla bla bla let 2wks pass first then you would be asking if they are the ones that bought your phone.

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    1. Yeah, that's a rabbithole waiting for someone to get lost in it. There's compassion/grace of course but people shouldn't be pressured into a purchase.

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    2. @zoeiey: You're absolutely right about some sellers bring pushy. Guess what? As the economy is "not smiling," I'm also not smiling with the seller jo. It's not by force!

      @Lady ID: Agreed. Nobody should be forced to buy anything.

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    3. @zoeiey: You're absolutely right about some sellers bring pushy. Guess what? As the economy is "not smiling," I'm also not smiling with the seller jo. It's not by force!

      @Lady ID: Agreed. Nobody should be forced to buy anything.

      Delete
  8. Don't sell on credit. It's that simple! I once received photos on behalf of a friend. As she was sleeping I decided to pay the photographer. But every time I asked for my money she would brush me aside or change the subject. So I went to hers again, pinched the photos from the table, took them back to the photographer and sought his co-operation in retrieving my money. I stood round the corner while he knocked on her door. She initially claimed to have already received the photos until he produced them. She then paid up without argument. I don't believe she would ever have paid me. What i'm trying to say is that your friends are probably the ones who will take you for granted the most, so be sure not to extend credit to them either. Don't get me started on family members.

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    1. WOW @ your friend! You're right sha - people closest to you can be the worst when it comes to money issues like this.

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  9. Unless I KNOWWWWW you, you are paying before I even go to buy fabric. If it's a large amount, then I will take a percentage to start and the rest before delivery. But without payment, there will be no delivery. And the thing is the people I KNOWWW feel the same way and it's not an issue. It's just better when things are clearly stated. I wasn't raised with that oh I can just pay later type of deal - please tell me now so I can pay you and know that money is gone - it's too stressful.

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  10. I so agree you with you Berry!. I try as much as possible not to sell on credit although it cannot be avoided sometimes especially when you're trying to advertise your business. I believe the pay half now and pay the rest after the items have been received is the best. That way both the buyer and seller can have some level of peace.

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    1. I think paying a deposit, and then later a balance is an acceptable way to handle this kind of buying/selling in Nigeria.

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  11. Some people will always be greedy, its normal. I think it is the responsibility of every business person to have an effective payment policy.

    Atilola's World

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    1. Yeah, as a business owner, you should have some sort of payment retrieval in place.

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  12. No credit today, come tomorrow"...

    I used to laugh when I see that in stores, but it's so true, it's something that every business minded person should take to heart.

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  13. I believe there is a certain sense of entitlement involved in not paying for purchased goods or owing someone money for a long period of time. Biko, how does someone "forget" that he/she owes another person money? Odi egwu.

    If I do not have the money to pay when I purchase the item, I don't buy. I can buy a flashier more expensive one when I do have the money.

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    1. I don't even think it's a thing where they forgot they owe money - maybe they forgot to make the payment? But for how long?!?!?!?

      And yup, no money, no shopping. Simple.

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    2. I can only imagine wat it would be like if we had the US credit system (Gbese!!! men)

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  14. Oh!!! And get things in writing as much as possible - even if it is an email or some texts. That way you know what you agreed to both as the service provider and the customer. You can't tell someone pay X now and the rest later then start shouting that X is supposed to be Y. Lol.

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  15. That's how some people are ooo.I suggest you disturb them with that Rihanna's song "pay me what you owe me!,don't act like you forgot!

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  16. Some customers are jus heartless, how do u expect the seller to continue his/her business if everyone keeps tying their money down. Buying on credit is no crime. Even naija do hole money. Jus pay on time when u buy credo

    favour moyse

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Reading your comments ALWAYS makes me smile. I hope you smile when I reply :)