Are Second-hand Goods Better?


Generally, people tend to look down on those that purchase second- hand products and they are most of the time associated with the poor or average income earners. But the truth is most Nigerians buy second-hand goods ranging from electronics, clothing, accessories, home utensils and furniture among others.

There are several popular markets where second-hand goods are sold. For example in Lagos, we have the likes of Yaba and Kotangwa markets, West Minster, Alaba International and Oshodi markets, Ladipo market, Lawanson market,  Seme-Badagry and other popular places. In Ogun state, we have the popular Kuto market. In Anambra State, we have the Onitsha main market. In Ilorin, it is Pakata, the post office behind the railway station. In Kano; Hajj camp market, Sabogari market and Kasuabiririn market. In Ibadan, we have the Gbagi and Bodija markets, among others.

It is an open secret that one of the main reasons why people opt for second-hand goods is the advantage of saving money. However, many people still think that buying used products is the sole preserve of the poor, which is completely false. Actually, even those who live comfortably and earn a high and comfortable income have something to gain from buying certain used items: spending less on furniture, books and even cars, for instance, is a good way to save cost and invest in other things.

Clothings, electronics and vehicles are the highest purchased second hand goods in Nigeria. The Wall Street Journal once wrote an article titled: “In Nigeria, used cars are a road to status”

Speaking with some consumers of fairly used goods, many say they prefer second hand goods because they are more reliable having been brought from Europe and America where goods are usually top quality; which means they must have been tested by the user. Some say it is because they are affordable and one can still get value for money.

Some say it is due to poverty and because most people cannot afford new products, but others argue that it is hard to get goods of better quality and value, especially clothing. “Things you buy second hand are very difficult to see with another person,” Mrs. Shayo Banjo said.

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Meanwhile, some believe second hand goods have a history of performance. Moreso, old goods sometimes are more reliable and long-lasting than new ones, for they often were not manufactured with the intention of seeing the consumer replace it within a few years.

The rate at which Chinese products are being brought into the country has worsened matters and has encouraged the sale of second hand goods. “You don’t even know which is original, all those that are importing China goods have made it difficult for people to differentiate between original and fake products. Everyone wants to go to China  to import goods at the expense of the people. I for one, I prefer to buy second hand things. The only thing I cannot buy  second hand is food,” Taiwo Alabi said.

Oladimeji Shittu said he doesn’t go to the market to buy things, he has about three to four people who bring stuff to him, whether new or second hand.

“When I was younger, I used to buy second  hand goods because my parents couldn’t afford new things for me and because I wanted things that will last for some time, I buy second  hand. But now, I can afford to buy new things but even if it is second hand, I won’t mind as far as it can serve my purpose,” he added.

Bisi Nnaji said buying second-hand saves you money and sometimes you can score a bargain ‘But before you buy or pick up a roadside freebie, check out the list of second-hand items not to buy. Using any of these products without knowing their history or taking proper precautions could lead to serious injury. In many cases the risk is to your child, but some second-hand products pose a risk to adult users too’ HE added.

James Aina, said, though he is an average income earner, but he tries as much as possible to purchase new things “If it warrants me saving for a long time, I buy new goods. The problem is some people will sell original goods market to fake ones that are produced in Abba market here in Nigeria”