We all have friends that sell goods on social media. It is easy to have a virtual store and it is good business. With the effects of global warming (omg! it’s so hot and there’s really no harmattan in these parts), Lasgidi traffic and just the overall stress of venturing out on your only free day… online shopping is bae. But for the purpose of this post, I don’t mean online retailers like Jumia, konga, the5kshop etc… No. I mean those cheerful contacts we have on bbm, whatsapp, Instagram etc. always advertising “stuff”.
In most cases, they do not have online or physical stores. What they do have are good cameras, external vendors, smartphones and high spirits…Social Media Retailers or as I like to call them…SMRs. We support these business owners. But we also need to protect ourselves. Yep. There is the emotional distress from constantly receiving the wrong orders and spending money on the wrong item. Hence this short SMR shopping faux pas list.
- Ask for the nature of the fabric: I cannot stress this enough. You do not want to put down 20,000naira for a chiffon dress you thought was silk.
- Clarify the method of delivery, the delivery charge and mode of payment for delivery: know the courier. With popular sites like Jumia and others, that is not really our business but when you are buying from that seller that your bestie referred you to… Just save yourself the embarrassment of taking your goods off the delivery guy and hearing “madam, I am supposed to collect delivery money from you” after paying the SMR on a tight budget.
- Make sure you are clear on the size. Shopping for clothes online is a challenge for a lot of people especially because the standard sizes do not consider the johnny bravos or the slim girls with ample bosoms. So what do you do when your upper body size differs from your lower body? Just find the one closest to your size depending on what you are buying. So for tops, size 12, for pants, size 10, for dresses…well, God help you and stick to it. Until you have money to start a clothing line that corrects this problem.
- Make sure to have a full picture of what you are buying: this includes the front, the back, inside, under, whatever part of the item you will love to see in a real store period. These online items are frequently more expensive anyways so we need to hold the sellers to a higher standard. Take and post pictures of the entire item please. Especially SMRs that are not the direct vendors. You don’t want to buy Gucci shoes on Instagram and get a pair that says gu33i at the back.
- Do not be afraid to negotiate. Gosh. These SMRs be holding us to ransom with fixed prices these days. My dear, don’t form based on the quality of your Instagram posts oh! The recession hit all of us! The option to negotiate is one of the reasons why we buy from SMRs in the first place or else we’ll just sit with online stores. Remember, SMRs are everywhere. Someone is going to sell it for cheaper and maybe with better customer service (or not). In this economy, if you can sell for 44,950 naira, don’t tell me its 45,000. Hmn hmn. I am petty like that. Lol.
Lesson: get all the information before you part with your money. Aunty rose says so. And to our dear SMRs, may the hustle pay! Do you have any online shopping faux pas you want to add, please share below. Thank you.