|Deutsch: Bananenangebot im Tamu (Open Market) in Bandar Seri Begawan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The market woman trades on food items, fruits, vegetables and even household goods and appliances at the open market. The Nigerian open market is where we get to bargain for items before payment. I spoke with a friend just last week, She is Nigerian but her family left the country when she was still a child. She lived and studied abroad. She is in the country because according to her, their Father thinks that if they continue to study and begin to raise families abroad, that he will lose them forever. Where he got that idea no one knows. Her brother and sister have been sent down to study in Universities over here. He believes that giving them a University Education back home will provide an opportunity for the girls to find love and raise their families where he can always get to see his grand children.
Nora had no idea that when you go shopping for food items at the open market, you are supposed to bargain, to try and 'beat' down the price to its barest minimum. She loves to get her fruits and vegetables from the open market but never bargained. I guess the traders recognized her as a newbie in the system and took advantage of that. The items she buys are always too small for the amount of money spent. When I discovered that, I had to give some tutorials on how to shop from 'our' open market.
Shopping in these local markets can be quite stressful because there are no trolleys. You pick and carry your goods yourself. There are areas where you have to make purchases right under the scorching sun. You need to pay truck pushers to convey your goods to the car park. These ones can disappear with your goods if you are not very vigilant and strong enough to run after them especially in crowded areas. Yes o, I mean CHASE after them because these truck or wheel barrow pushers are in a hurry to make as much cash as they can on each market day. The market holds daily, however to get best buys, you have to be there on the Special market days . These special days come up once or twice in a week.
Shopping on special market days can be very economical because there is competition for sales. Traders on various items come from different parts of the town and in some cases like during Festive periods, they do not mind travelling long distances to get their goods close to men and women who are in the mood for Christmas shopping. Especially mothers looking for ways to impress their families. ( btw I don't know why I still get excited about Christmas. Isn't it time to leave that excitement for the kids?)
PRACTICAL STEPS TO BEST BUYS: ( watch me buy Rice)
Me: How much is this bag of Rice?
Trader: Madam this rice you call ordinary, tastes better than Cap Rice. It cooks faster and looks more inviting when served. OK, because you are my customer I will let you have it for Thirteen thousand naira.
Trader: No madam just say you don't want to buy from my shop today. These goods arrived last night. You are even lucky to have come this morning because by noon my retail selling customers will come and clear every thing in this shop. Ma, I will advise you to buy more that one bag because this Brand is out of stock right now. I wanted to get more from the wholesalers but these is all they got, so, with this price I am giving you, I think you should settle for two or three bags. This is Christmas and the price of rice is going to double by next week. Madam, you see this amount I am asking from you? no other shop in this market will sell rice that cheap. Do you want to try other shops? Mind you, once you leave my shop and then return, You may not get it at this cheap rate anymore. ( Trader calls his neighbor who has been eavesdropping the whole time).
Trader: Oga, please can you tell Madam the current price of rice? she feels like mine is too expensive and I just want a confirmation from you.
Me: OK, no problem. if that is your last price, then I better go try else where. See you next time.
Trader: No madam, it's not like that please. How can you buy from those who do not even have this original type. how much do you want to pay? Because of you, I am ready to take any amount you have. How much do you have?
You see? The time spent bargaining could have been used for other important things like writing two blog posts. Sometimes it feels like walking into shoprite, Grandsquare, Sahad or Park n shop is the best deal. You may have to pay for all the comfort by paying higher for items, but I think it is worth it. Shopping in an open market leaves you really really tired at the end of the day.
Electrical appliances, phones and furniture can also be found in these markets, but generally, I think people prefer to get those from manufacturer or dealer shops. For fresh edibles ,