Millions of Nigerians have become mobile phone freaks and would do anything to get the sleekest and latest gadgets from the best of iPhones to Samsungs, Infinixs, and Tecnos amongst many others.
Gone are the days Nigerians drool over Nokia 3310, Samsung N700, Motorola Blade, Sony Ericson K800, and so on.
However, since the introduction of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) in Nigeria in 2001, Nigerians have painstakingly kept up with the trend of the growing tech world widely dominated by Smartphones, thanks to foreign exchange rates, the economy, the value of the naira, amongst many other.
Getting smartphones in Nigeria has been made easy, thanks to the many mobile phone and electronics market in the country, especially, the Compute Village – Nigeria’s largest Information and Communications Technology accessories market located in the Otigba community of Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State.
Home to over 5,000 vendors providing a wide variety of services ranging from sale, swap, and repair of phones; to sales of phone accessories, laptops, computer accessories, and phone assembly, among others, the market houses thousands of dealers; legitimate and otherwise.
While you can almost get the latest Smartphones at the Village, it is also easy to fall prey to unqualified engineers and fraudsters, who rip off people or sell counterfeit products and services, such as mobile phones.
Numerous stole phones and other accessories easily find their way to the market and the hands of unsuspecting buyers, denting the image of the phone market.
Regardless of these many risks, business in the phone village has not been hampered, and people, buyers, and sellers continue their daily transactions.
It is on the note that WuzupNigeria brings you the following vital pointers to look out for when buying a phone at the Computer Village to avoid falling victim to illegal dealers.
1. Make extensive research about the phone you want to buy. Look out for little things such as the shape, size, camera position, and logo to major specifics such as the interface as well as the price. This way, you should be able to have known what the fake looks like.
2. Dress simple. This is more like personal advice. It’s a market, not Quilux. Extravagant dressing attracts unwanted attention from criminals who lurk around the market. You almost don’t need a bag (guys and ladies). This helps you avoid robbery as well as extortion.
3. Always patronize the registered dealers. Registered dealers such as Slot, 3c Hub, Micro Station, and so on are always particular about their reputation.
4. Ensure to buy in an office/shop that will issue you a receipt. Make sure the address on the receipt tallies with that of the shop. If you do that you have solved 80% of the problem. (This is especially for those buying a second-hand phone.)
5. Don’t patronize roadside sellers or free traders; eight or nine out of 10 of them are after your money or have stolen phones to sell.
6. The FIRST is the best, hold on to it. It’s simple if you’re given a phone and you’ve decided to pay for it after testing properly, don’t return it to the seller to repack, you might end up with FUFU and you will only find out when you get home.
7. If you happen to allow the seller to repack, even if he/she did it in your presence, ensure you check and recheck when your item has been packed back into the carton.
8. For fairly-used products, ensure you collect the number of the shop owner and call in the process of the transaction to be sure it’s his contact. This will come in handy in case you discover a problem after the purchase, you can relate to him directly.
8. If it’s too cheap run! yes, your heard me, japa. Nothing original or good comes cheap. Only bad phones(usually with software problems, not hardware) and stolen gadgets come outrageously cheap at Computer Village.
9. Always compare prices by checking from stores online. It will save you a few bucks to buy other accessories for your phones.
Also, it is advisable to go with a street-wise person or someone who has knowledge of the market and most importantly, phones.
10. Finally, make sure you shine your eyes after buying. Guard yourself(pocket, wallets, etc) closely.