I never knew the day will come this soon that I’ll be sitting at my desk (with my laptop) or on my couch with a phone and order for any item to be delivered to my doorstep.
Items ranging from Televisions, Gas Cookers, Furnitures, Phones, Clothes, Grocery Items can be purchased online from the comfort of your home in Nigeria.
I know a few people have warmed up to this idea, but there are still many who are scared and wonder if shopping online is safe. There are questions that first time online shoppers would like to ask. e.g.
- When you try to shop online and the item you wish to buy is not available on any Nigerian online e-commerce store, what do you do then?
- You want to buy online, but you do not have a means of paying with a credit card, are there other payment options you can use to shop?
I am going to delve into all this and then some.
Online Stores in Nigeria and Globally
Hi, I am Jesse and I am an online shopper. 🙂
I have used a couple of online stores in Nigeria and globally to shop. I am going to talk through some of my experiences and hopefully this should provide a simple shopping guide for you, making your online shopping easier and less painful.
Jumia and Konga (Nigeria)
You are required to create an account with your email and choose a password.
You also have the option of signing up for their newsletter. The newsletter lets you know when there are deals, special offers and free coupon codes that can be redeemed within a stipulated period of time.
As soon as you see the item you plan to buy, you have the option of paying with a bank debit card or Mobile Money (Jumia accepts Paga mobile money service). Those without a means of paying or those not comfortable with paying before seeing the item(s) can opt for cash on delivery option.
I have bought items that costs as much as N80,000 under the cash on delivery option and I got it delivered to me within the stipulated standard delivery option.
Tip: Even with the cash and delivery option, the delivery personnel usually come with POS terminals. If you have a debit/credit card and choose to pay with your card, that option is available. This way, no one is left behind.
Deals: DealDey (Nigeria)
On DealDey, you can spot a deal and buy at a super cheap price. Most of the deals on DealDey requires that you pay upfront. I once bought a spa treatment deal on DealDey at super discount. I paid upfront using my debit card. As soon as I bought the deal, I was sent a print out in an email. I chose a date and went to the Spa house.
Tip: Subscribing to the newsletters gives you heads up about juicy deals. Some of these juicy deals might come in handy.
There are times you’ll search through all the online stores in Nigeria, but you won’t see what you want. You’ll find a service like MallforAfrica handy.
I have been adding a few most-haves on my Amazon Wish-list for a while now, but Amazon won’t ship electronic items to Nigeria. Some of the items on my Amazon Wishlist has been there for more than a year. On one occasion, I had to ask someone to help me pick an item I saved in my Wishlist. I paid using my Nigerian debit card and shipped it to his address in the US. I had to wait till he came to Nigeria to get the item I bought which was 4 months later.
Many of us might have gone through this route, and you’ll agree with me that sometimes you don’t want to bother people with extra luggage when they’re travelling.
MallforAfrica is an online service that will allow you to buy from many online stores that do not ship to Nigeria. You can use the service by first creating an account using your email address. They offer their customers the option of buying a Webcard for a fee. The Webcard can then be used for purchasing items using the MallforAfrica mobile app (available on Android and iOS).
Loading the Webcard can be done by: Online bank transfer, bank deposit and Online. Once you choose your items from the different stores using their Android/iPhone app, they’ll add it to your MailforAfrica account. You can then proceed to pay with your Webcard (if you have one). I pay using my Bank debit card. You can pay directly using your debit card. When you do, MallforAfrica gets it and sends you an email summarising your orders and letting you know that in less than 15 days your item will get to you.
Tip: You can choose between picking up your purchased item(s) from one of their pick up stores or ask them to send the item(s) to you – you’ll be charged for this.
Cheap, affordable and variety. These are the reasons I shop here.
The variety on AliExpress dwarfs what many of the Nigerian online stores have. Plus AliExpress will allow you to buy using your Nigerian card and ship directly to your home/office free. Yes, free! You have the option of using DHL, FeDex and some other courier companies listed there to speed things up. When choosing the free delivery option, you’ll be alerted that it’ll take between 40 to 60 days for the item to get to you here in Nigeria with the option for you to track the items in China and ascertain when they’re here in Nigeria.
I have ordered from AliExpress three times – the first and second was free delivery option. The third was paid delivery using DHL. I got my packages in all the orders I made. I am currently expecting delivery of some iPhone 5/5s cases still using the free delivery option.
Please note that at each times I have chosen the free delivery option, NIPOST asked me to pay N500 and issued a receipt to me.
Folks that aren’t aware of this service are reluctant to use it when they find out about it, wondering it they’re genuine or fraudsters. While this is not a paid advertisement, I can assure you that they’re genuine and they do deliver. They offer customers the option of tracking, selecting the option that they’ve received the items or opening up a dispute in the case that the item is damaged or undelivered. I spoke to someone who doesn’t want to be named that mentioned that there are fraudsters on AliExpress.
He was almost defrauded by a seller, but AliExpress sorted it out. The service has a way of cleaning itself up and eradicating fraudsters.
ASOS is into clothing and fashion accessories. Nigerians can buy with their debit/credit card and have the items delivered to them here in Nigeria for free.
You need to create an account with ASOS. After you first purchase, your credit/debit card details is stored in their database for one click purchasing in the future. This means you don’t have to bring out your credit/debit card the next time you’re on the site. This could be a recipe for impulse buying.
Tip: While this makes life easier for you–the consumer–and reduced the friction to buying, it may make you buy more and more. Good news for ASOS. Aha!
Quickteller.com – Interswitch’s online payment payment portal has evolved from just being a payment portal to online portal that you can purchase services, movie tickets, airtime and pay bills. Not quite an online shopping site, but quickteller.com allows you to live the lifestyle you choose conveniently.
Also not an online shopping website, 360 Delivery is an online delivery site that was created to help individuals, organisations and start up meet their delivery needs at a cost effective, fast and reliable pace. The idea was spun out of the need to create a platform infused with social media & telecommunications where customers and businesses can get the best ordering and delivery experience.
They offer delivery services to restaurants, bars, corporate and private organisations as well as start up businesses and have with dozens of businesses committed to improving the customer experience through convenience, accuracy of orders, timely and cost efficient delivery.
Tip: They currently only offer their services anywhere within Lagos.
This guide is not an exhaustive list of online stores you can shop on from Nigeria, but are the ones I have personally used and can recommend. I have not only used them, but I still use them. I can order from the above online sites and receive the items at my door step.
Precautions when shopping online
There are certain precautions I take while shopping on a Website for the first time:
- Look out for the https sign in your browser.
- Shop using a public computer.
- Don’t shop using a public WiFi system.
- Don’t shop from Websites that you are yet to authenticate their genuineness.
- Don’t connect your (life) savings account to a card that you use to shop online or that you have stored online. Even some secure Website are broken into from time to time.
- Don’t leave your debit/credit (ATM) card lying aimlessly around. If I pick up your card, I can shop with it on some Websites without being asked any security information.
- Keep a minimum amount on the card you use to shop online. As much as you can, use a debit card instead of a credit card that has unlimited withdrawals or an upper limit withdrawal value.
Is there any service you have used that delivers to Nigeria that I did not mention or you think I should check out? Please list it in the comment section. I’ll like to read from you if you have any experience with shopping online from Nigeria.