Social media has made life so much easier for Nigerian business owners with free advertising and marketing. So why won’t they make things easier for customers? Buying stuff off Instagram is more of a chore than buying things from an actual store. Isn’t the point of selling your things on Instagram to make them more accessible to customers? So why are the prices a bigger secret than the meaning of life? And why does it take ages to get a dealer to attend to you?
When you walk into a store and pick up a dress, you find a price tag hanging off it; that leaves no room for haggling. The prices are already fixed, so you know immediately whether you can afford the item or not. My initial defense for most Instagram vendors who leave the prices off the items they have for sale was that they wanted to give us an opportunity to determine the prices ourselves.
But for some reason most of them leave off the prices and then tell you that these prices (which you never knew) are fixed and can’t be bargained on, then they tell you to “contact them for details”. If you haven’t lost interest in the item by this point and dare proceed to make an attempt to contact them, even more wahala.
If a number is provided, they tell you no calls, texts only. One time one had the cheek to pick my call and proceed to inform me that I needed to text my order. And even when you send texts, some of them take as long as 72 hours to reply to your enquiries. I’ve often wondered if such people just have no interest in entrepreneurship or they really think their market is hot cake like that.
Then there are those who drop pins, asking you to add them up on BBM (who still uses BBM?) and then take two days to accept a request, another two for inquiries to be acknowledged and yet another two for them to come up with an answer to your enquiry. By the end of this process of course, I have lost interest in whatever it is I wanted to buy.
So to all Instagram business owners out there, we only ask for one thing.