- As traders continue to lament over the slow pace of business, other marketers are tapping into new business opportunities in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak
- Legit.ng had a chat with traders who ventured into selling of face mask, nose mask and even sanitizer as they open up on their experience in the business so far
- The traders on duty expressed satisfaction with the level of sales on the short-term business
Whilst some business owners are lamenting on the negative impact of the Coronavirus on the economy, others are tapping into the opportunity following the outbreak.
Buyers are seen engaging in last-minute purchase, while some traders are raking in cool cash in a legit way. The face/nose mask, gloves and hand sanitizer trading is a lucrative, but short-term business according to the sellers.
Our correspondent visited some markets in Lagos to find out more on the booming business of nose/face mask, hand gloves and hand sanitizers. The sellers were very impressed with the level of sales as some abandoned their legit business for this side hustle.
A trader who deals in stationery explained in details to Legit.ng that she desires to make cool cash this season. According to her, this is a business opportunity in disguise that does not require huge start-up capital or experience.
She said: “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, my stationery business has come to a standstill. We just come to shop and go home with little or no profit. Considering that we have to take care of some bills to assist our spouse, some of us decided to take up the selling of face/nose mask.
“This is a very brief business and one that requires low start-up capital. I stumbled into the business as I see it is quite lucrative and most women in the market do this business by the side.”
Another trader who sells soft drinks in the market told our correspondent why she started this business and what she has gained in the meantime.
“No one saw this coming in the country especially now but it is here and we are going to fight against this virus together but in doing so, we need to survive. I sell soft drinks and since we had new cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, I stopped making profit from the soft drinks as buyers no longer patronize us anymore.
“In order to take care of my family, I needed a side business. I was introduced by my neighbor who owned a stall here in the market. As we both visited the main market where we purchased these goods in wholesale prices and at the same time made sure we got varieties so the buyers would be satisfied on the long run.
“This is a lucrative business that one can do for a short time and does not require a lot of expertise only good marketing skills is needed. I make over N3,000 daily since I started selling and would continue till all this are over,” A trader at the market informed.
There is no business that does not comes with its own challenges and difficulties but if one is able to stand them all, you would scale through; this is the case of a young lady selling hand glove, face/nose mask and sanitizer.
The young trader in a chat with Legit.ng explained the challenges she’s encountered so far. The fair-complexioned lady said: “I am a student and I can tell you that there is profit in this business but it comes with a lot of challenges. I do this to help my parents and save up money to pay bills when we resume fully. Now, getting these goods from the wholesalers is a bit difficult as they have doubled the cost price making it difficult for us to sell faster and make good profit.
“We purchase these product from the island and we just observed this week, due to the increasing demand of the items, the big-sized sanitizers that are imported are sold from N4,000 upwards while the small-sized ones are sold from N1,000. But the local ones can be purchased from N500 upwards.
“For hand-gloves, we have the washable one and the one that cannot be washed. The washable one is expensive while the other one is not. The former is sold from N100 while the latter cost N200. One major challenge of this business is that we now have competitors; because when we have more people selling, the business will crumble.”
A marketer who sells provision at the market revealed to Legit.ng the goods that are in high demand in recent times. For him, the buyers engage in last-minute buying due to the anticipated lockdown and this has resulted to improved patronage.
“I have over two shops in the market and I can tell you that sales volume has increased due to the last minute buying by the buyers as a result of the partial lockdown. Presently, some traders are lamenting daily over the impact of the outbreak on their businesses and others are thinking outside the box.
“For over two days, noodles have been one of the most sought after item in the market here, followed by dairy milk and other provisional items. We are making good sales and buyers who cannot purchase sanitizer pick antiseptic soap instead, tissue and other items for the kids. We are hopeful that the spread of the virus would reduce and things will become normal in all spheres of life,” the trader stated.
While some informed that the gains outweigh the loss in the business, others added that the business has brought about the recognition and acceptance of Local businesses in the country; but the reverse seems to be the case with some traders in the market, as they worry over poor sales.
Further findings by Legit.ng at the market showed that some traders got into the business just to fend for their family and to avoid boredom.
“I don't depend on my partner for everything and i love to be busy. I am not a full housewife, so i decided to give this business a trial after the outbreak. started selling hand sanitizer recently and I can tell you it is very competitive and at the same time lucrative because almost everyone is selling the item now.
“I stumbled on the business by chance, and my husband gave me small cash for start-up. Some that are in the shops, keep theirs beside the stand of other goods they sell, while for us; the roadside traders, we just get a small table and then pay a small change to get a place to start selling our goods.the proceeds I make daily, is what i use to support my family. I started with just N10,000 and I make good profit as they rush the local sanitiser than the imported ones.
“The goods are not much and as soon as I finish selling the one on display, I rushed down to the market and get more items from my suppliers. There are different types of hand sanitizer; it is advisable for buyers to get a quality one that is of reputable brand. A small hand sanitizer now sells for N500 as against its old price of N300 while the big size is sold from N800 and N1,000 respectively. The more people start selling, the less profit we will make daily,” one of such persons told our correspondent.
Similarly, a trader who sells hand sanitizer at the market spoke about the increment in the cost price of the booming products and how it has affected her purchase.
The mother of two opined that: “I got to know this booming business from my neighbor who sells handkerchief, towel, boxers and more, after the outbreak of the disease. As soon as she explained all I needed to know about the business, I started immediately. Have been selling the items from the period other countries ran out of supplies. Just recently, the prices of the nose/face mask increased drastically. A pack of nose/face mask now goes for N10,000 upwards while one nose/face mask is sold from N250 and this is very wrong because there really is no need for such to happen because it is only encouraging poverty as most business minded-fellows would be discouraged. Some traders even sell it at higher price due to cost of purchase.
“The prices of these items rise daily. For hand gloves the one that cannot be washed, it was sold two days ago for N1,800, but now it has increased to over N4,000. If this becomes the case, then we would stop selling. The business is a lucrative one but the profit is not much took it up a step further by designing my own personal nose/face mask due to the hike in its cost of purchase. I got material, gave out the material to a friend and she helped me design my own face/nose mask, then I resell at affordable price.”
In another development, the Lagos state government has urged the private sector to introduce stringent measures that will help stop the spread of Coronavirus.
The government stated that it did not give directive on a total lockdown of the state rather, stringent measures were put in place to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, these measures are put in place by various leaders in the country to protect the citizens and stop the spread of the COVID-19 as the virus, no doubt, continues to pose a threat to lives and well-being of the populace within and beyond.