Mum had the brightest idea this weekend... she wanted us to go shopping like the proper *Isale-Eko that we are. She says she doesn’t understand why I have totally turned my back on the normal open market as if they didn’t exist before boutiques and the internet. When we were younger, she used to take us through the popular Balogun market and school us on how to shop for everything we needed... Ok maybe not everything.
So you ask for the price... when they tell you, cut it down by half or more (he might say N6,000, you tell him N3000 or even N2000). The ibo guy will probably say 'Ah... N2000 na money but e no good for that price'.
Don’t be fooled... try looking through other designs, at this point he'll start reeling out the prices... he might even tell you that the one you picked initially is of a higher standard/better quality. In between this, he'll try convincing you on why you should or should not buy your initial choice. Insist on the price you mentioned earlier and watch his expression.
Still not bulging? Walk away slowly... if the shop next to his stocks the same kind, try making your way in there, he'll call you back and reduce the initial price he told you (probably to N4000) and even tell you that's the last price.
If this happens, keep walking away slowly, or stop by another stall to check out other items (remember, checking out wares is free, no crime in window shopping).
At this point, he’ll say 'Ok sister, wetin you go add join that N2000?... Tell him, 'Add ke? Abi make I comot N500 sef, this thing no cost reach dat price na!.
Expect to hear something like, 'Oya add N500 make I just sell am for you, but make you no tell another persin say na dat price oh, this one wey I give you na wholesale price'. At this point, he'll start packing the item into a polythene bag.
Reach for your purse and ceremoniously bring out the N2000, collect the item before handing him the money. He'll look and it and say 'e remain N500'.
Tell him that's all you have and try walking away slowly, he might then say 'okay add N200, that one na my gain'... Don't.
However, if he insists strongly at that point where you try giving him the N2000 and he hands you back the money, it means he really won't sell for N2000. Try walking away... he might then call you back and ask for N200 extra... tell him you'll add N50, he might say N100 or insist on N200. At this point the decision is yours, whether to buy or move ahead.
It is important to note that there's no rule that says you must buy from the first shop you walk into. You can move away to other shops to find out the average price and then return to the one with the cheapest. You must always ensure you know the cheapest selling price of each shop before leaving. That way, you’ll do a good comparison and end up with the best bargain.
If reading this alone makes you tired, then you probably won't be able to practicalise... the good news is Da Viva shop is still open at The Palms... and kitchen wares are on sale at Adam 'n' Even.
*Isale-Eko = Downtown Lagos also known as Lagos Island.