- Bags especially travelling bags has witnessed a drastic increment in its cost of purchase in popular Lagos market
- At Yaba market this week, Legit.ng gathered that traveling bags are sold twice the previous cost price and others thrice
- Traders attributed the price hike to the fluctuating exchange rate, grappling economy and recent market condition
The exchange rate has continued to inflate the cost price of goods in the market, in recent times.
At the market this period, goods especially non-edible goods that are imported from neighbouring countries are sold twice and thrice their usual amount.
This is evident in their cost of purchase as well as their market price as traders decry daily hike in prices of most goods in the market.
This week, Legit.ng visited the popular Yaba market in Lagos to confirm from traders the current price of bags especially travelling bags and why they are sold at expensive rates ahead of Yuletide.
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A bag seller at the market identified simply as Mr Chibuzor, explained to our correspondent the recent cost price of bags and how he has been coping with the new trend.
“For some months now, we spend double to purchase bags and at the moment, our suppliers are lamenting bitterly over the rising cost of the goods. It is no longer the usual rates as they increase almost on a daily basis now.
“Bags are of different sizes and grade as well as different designs. We have the laptop bags, the normal school bags, the lunch pack and the travelling bags. These bags are sold according to their designs, the material used in making them, their sizes and their brand as well. These and more determine their market cost price.
“School bags that cost N1,500 before, now sells from N4,000 upwards and this is dependent on the type as some are double the amount now. For some that are of high quality they sell from N8,000 upwards. Especially the ones that are imported. Whilst the ones that are purchased from neighbouring countries like Cotonou are sold at reasonable prices.
“For laptop bags, they are sold from N5,000 upwards as against their old price of N3,000. Some are sold from N7,000, N8,000 and N10,000 upwards. This is so because of the design and the quality as well as the brand.”
For a trader who sells only UK bags at the market, the current market situation is worrisome as the supply level is very low.
According to her, the fluctuation in the exchange rate has affected ven her suppliers who bring the goods from other countries.
She said: “I sell only UK bags and bags that are purchased from foreign countries with good materials used in making them. Due to the fluctuation in the dollar rate and the devaluation of the naira, my suppliers are lamenting daily as they are spending more on import duties and carriage of the goods. This has affected the cost price of the bags as they are now sold according to the cost of purchase.
“Quality travelling bags that I sell now are sold from N25,000, N30,000 and N35,000 upwards. This is based on their sizes, the quality of material used in manufacturing the bag, the design of the bag and the brand as well. All this put together plus import duties now, inflate the cost price of the bags as the suppliers have increased the amount they offer the item for sale to us.
When asked how buyers have been responding to the price hike, she added:
“Buyers are trying but the patronage is very low.We are making sales but we are begging the government to work on the economy, life is hard at the moment, we are not happy with the present market condition because we spend double to purchase the goods we sell in the market and the interesting part is that, sometimes you have the money to purchase the goods but the goods would be scarce. We are hopeful of better sales ahead of the yuletide. which is just days from now.”
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It would be interesting to note that there are markets in Lagos where goods are sold at wholesale prices, for Ebele, a seller at the market, who assist her parent in the shop, the difference between the cost price of bags at Yaba market and bags at Lagos Island, is really not up to a N1,000.
She explained to our correspondent in detail:
“For some people, they prefer to purchase their bags at Tom Jones area, around Idumota in Lagos Island when they have other goods to purchase, so they get a wholesale price there but we as traders here at Yaba market, our price difference is just about N500, depending on the type of bag we are offering for sale.
“I sell new bags not used or second hand bags and their cost price varies. A small sized- traveling bags that we sell before for N4,000 and N5,000 has increased to N11,000 and N12,000 upwards. While the ones that are sold from N7,000 and N8,000 before, now sells from N14,000 and N15,000 upwards but this is just for the normal sized traveling boxes or bags.
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“The new bags are offered for sale at higher prices depending on their sizes as some are in sets. We have the ones that are sold from N40,000, N50,000 and N60,000 upwards in set. The present market situation is pathetic because the prices are not fixed hence buyers should always have it in heart that the prices rises and are not stable. At the moment, we make sales but the market is very dull and dry.”
For Mr. Friday, the cost price of the travelling bags he sells has skyrocketed due to the present economy.
The trader decried shortfall of profit in the past months and pleaded with buyers to please start shopping for bags now rather than wait till Christmas.
He affirmed thus:
“Bags are very expensive and it’s not only bags that are expensive in the market. Now all goods that are sold in markets across the country, are very expensive. But at Yaba market we sell goods at reasonable prices yet this period, we are not making good sales.
“The price hike of goods in the market is scary and we are very worried as our survival level as traders is really hanging. I don’t make good sales again, we are still here surviving due to the help of some of our loyal customers hence we would have close down businesses and our shops too. It is not easy I must say because we pay other market fees daily and weekly, but how are we going to do this without selling?
“The situation we are in now is tough, very tough but we are very hopeful especially in God as a nation. It’s few days to Christmas and we are pleading with the buyers to please come and shop for festive items to celebrate the season; so that we can survive too."
Food price hike: Women journalists lament rising cost of foodstuffs, others
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that food prices in markets across the country have continued to rise and this bothers on the pace of most businesses in the country.
The increment has become a daily occurrence as traders are confused about the fluctuation in the prices of major goods in the market.
Recently, the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists expressed deep concern over the spate of insecurity in the country and the rising cost of food items, cooking gas, amongst others, The Punch reported.