THIS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN TO ANY MARKET IN LAGOS OR NEED TO KNOW HOW TO SURVIVE IT
Except you do stay home and order everything, you know there is absolutely no fun in going to a Lagos market. It is worse for me, because body contact makes me cringe and cry if it is in extremity. It still marvels me how African mothers have to go all the time, 10 times day if they feel like it.
If you are planning to go shopping soon here is what you should know - the do's and dont's.
// Make a list: If you do not have the finds to splurge and also have particular things you would need to get, make a list. There is nothing more annoying than a whole day in the sun and forgetting something probably the most important thing. You can also estimate prices if it is something you have purchased prior to this time, but do make sure to exceed your total estimated cost on the list to avoid getting stranded.
// Dress down: Keep your proper clothes at home, you want to go simply dressed. Make do with a pair of joggers or Jeans and plain t-shirt because your dressing influences the price of goods in the market. Do you think I am wrong? Try going to a market "dressed up" and dressed down at different times and watch the prices go up and down respectively. You're also advised to apply simple or no make-up.
//Eat: Nothing heavy. There are no conveniences in Lagos markets. You might need to go along with snacks and drink or water. Shopping in Lagos market for long hours will wear you out.
// Haggling: Except you are shopping at a high end boutique where you know that you can't haggle, it is important to get your money's worth. What I do is divide the given cost by 2 or 3 but never ever let them remove just 100 or 50 naira except you can attest to the quality and peculiarity of this item like a clothing material you are sure you would not see anywhere else. If they state that a pair of trousers goes for 1000, I would buy it at 300 naira and maybe get 3 for 1000 naira. (I buy 3 pairs of vintage jeans at Yaba for 1000 naira)!
// Essentials: You need sunglasses, comfortable shoes or slippers, a cross body bag you can hang and turn forward to keep an eye on your stuff (don't put a lot of things in the bag so it doesn't weigh you down)
// Company: Whether or not you know the market well, go with a friend or even two to help get a second eye on choices as this is known help the shopping become less stressful.
// Day & Time: Weekdays are the best time to go shopping, especially Mondays and Tuesdays, as that is when new goods are delivered. Evening is also a great time to shop as things are cheaper especially, if you miss the weekend. There's less heat then.
// Extra Check: Especially for clothes, shoes and accessories, first check every corner and compartment for defects so you do not get home and regret your purchase. Be patient and make sure everything is in order. For clothes and shoes make sure you stand in front of a mirror and be sure you like how it fits, do not assume it will fit or just try it on blindly. Please do not make the mistake of a shoe that is a size smaller with the hopes that it will expand based on what the seller said, what if it doesn't? These sellers practice 'goods purchased and paid for are not refundable.'
Based on your shopping experience are there additional useful tip you have? Please let us know so we can update this story accordingly.