21 December 2012

Nigeria: Christmas - a Season of High Patronage for Second-Hand Wares

A visit to some of the markets in Lagos including Oyingbo, Katangora, Yaba, Ojuelegba, Ikeja, Mushin, Oshodi, Mile 2, Iyana-Iba, where second-hand wares are the order of the day has shown that this second-hand culture is already enjoying more patronage in Lagos than the brand new ones.

In their hundreds, most parents, were selecting clothes, shoes and even handbags to celebrate the season. Even dealers of fairly used materials are thanking God for this rare opportunity.

At Oyingbo, a clothes dealer told Saturday Vanguard that they are experiencing more patronage in 2012 than previous years.

Mrs Uchechi Ogbonna, a trader in the market, said she had since the beginning of December had more patronage from people who preferred the clothes due to their affordability.

She, however, said that prices of the fairly-used clothes were gradually increasing since it became more popular than the new ones, adding that she only traded in first grade second- hand clothes.

Ogbonna said that "a first grade bale of second-hand clothes from Cotonou goes for N45, 000, as against N25,000 it was previously sold."

She said children's jean trousers and shirts were sold for N700 and N400 respectively as against the N400 and N250 pre-Yuletide price.

"In fact, there is not much difference between the first-grade second hand clothes and the new ones; even the fairly used ones are more durable than the so-called new ones," adding that most of her customers were already aware of the days she opens new bales.

Dealers in second-hand clothing making brisk sales at Katangua market in Nigeria

She said that ahead of this year's Yuletide, her shop had witnessed influx of customers who came to patronise her. Another trader at Yaba market, Mr Uche Ezeigo, said his bale of clothes consisted of children's' wears, trousers, skirts, gowns and shirts. Adding that some of his customers had called to book for children's clothes.

Ezeigo said children's stocks now ranged from N700 to N1,000, adding that the price depends on the quality. He said that prior to Yuletide, she sold children's wears between N400 and N600.

He said that with the exception of jeans trousers which now goes for N1,000 as against the previous price of N800, she sold all other children's wears at a uniform price of N700.

He said the patronage was very encouraging this season as most people had discovered that second-hand clothes last longer than new ones.

When Saturday Vangurad spoke with one of the customers who came to shop for Christmas, Mrs. Tinu Abiye said she preferred second-hand clothes because of the durability.

She said she had made out time at the weekend to come to the market to select nice first-grade gowns for her daughters.

Abiye said that, so far, she had spent only N 6,500 to purchase clothes and shoes for four children, adding that she spent more than N15,000 buying brand new clothes only for them last year.

"When I dry clean these clothes and thoroughly iron them, they will appear very straight and clean, and one would not be able to differentiate them from the so-called new ones.

Another customer, Mr Toyin Adebayo, also said he preferred second-hand clothes because they were affordable and more durable than the new ones.

He said he spent just N2,500 to purchase clothes for her two sons, and this had helped reduce her expenses.

Adebayo said that most people regarded those patronising second -hand clothes as paupers, "but this conclusion is wrong".

According to him, second-hand clothes are far better than the new ones that fade in no time.

He said that he was particularly interested in the clothes not because they were cheap but because he needed clothes that would serve his children longer.

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