Less transactions are taking place in authorised mobile phone stores in Lagos ICT hub, popularly known as Computer Village, Ikeja, as more shoppers now prefer to strike deals with operators in the grey market.
The reason is not unconnected with present harsh economic situation which has overwhelmingly taken its toll on prices of technology products, leaving shoppers to seek respite from unauthorised dealers and road side merchants for cheaper prices.
According to an operator in one of the white market outlets who would not want his name in print, “sales had not been this bad in recent years.
“Prices of devices have dramatically gone up while customers’ purchasing power is getting weaker. So many factors especially with the fluctuations in the currency market can be blamed for this. But we cannot sell below cost price.
“Most of the phones sold on the roadside are not original but because they are cheaper, people prefer to patronise road side kiosks. Besides, most people can no longer afford a new device, this explains why they patronise the grey market to get used phones which in most cases are stolen “.
When Marketplace approached one Mr. Dapo who was negotiating phone price with a phone hawker in the village on why he did not patronise any of the known outlets, he replied, “ I can only get what my pocket can afford here, if you go to those shops, all they know how to do is to speak big grammar and charge you high, but these guys here will take you to the negotiation table and give you a satisfying price for a desired phone, whether new or used one”.