By Oluwafunke Ishola
Lagos – With just five days to Christmas, traders of imported used clothes, shoes and bags have taken over major markets and public places in Lagos, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Investigations by NAN reveal that traders in Ikeja, Yaba, Ikorodu, Aswani, Lagos Island and Oshodi have started making brisk sales in imported used items.
At most of the markets and public places visited, large numbers of people were seen flocking around traders, haggling for better prices on the displayed goods.
The traders attributed the high demands for imported used clothes and shoes to paucity of funds and the harsh economic climate that compelled people to resort to affordable alternatives.
Mr John Okoro, a trader at the Oshodi Market, said he had been experiencing a sales boom since the end of November.
“Before, I could spend a month selling a bale of clothes but now, I sell two bales within a week,” he said.
Miss Angela Njoku, a seller of shoes and bags at Ikorodu, said that her sales had improved, to the level that her customers now pre-order, to buy goods.
Mrs Stella Ayeniko, a customer, attributes her preference for imported used clothes to their quality, durability and unique designs.
“I cannot afford the prices for the kind of clothes and shoes that I want for my children in their new state.
“I resorted to second hand clothes because I can get good first-grade gowns for my girl at about N3000, compared to N10, 000 for a new one,” she said.
However, Mrs Monsurat Batola, Iyaloja of Yaba Market, complained that the hike in foreign exchange rate had affected the prices of bales of various grades of used clothes and shoes.
A bale is a package of goods in a clothe cover.
“A bale of first-grade imported used clothes for children that previously costs about N120, 000 now goes for N250, 000 depending on its country of origin.
“We are appealing to the government to sort the issue of the foreign exchange because it is affecting our profit margin,’’ Batola added.