With the advent of modern technology, virtually every human activity, from communication to trade, has been revolutionalized. The realm of trade in particular has undergone a whole lot of change. There is absolutely no need to queue up for desire commodities in some overcrowded market nowadays. People can now buy and sell without even having to come in direct contact with each other. This state of affairs is facilitated by the phenomenon of online shopping.
Nowadays, trading in items is so easy, it takes just a few clicks to complete a buying and selling transaction. Virtually all kinds of things, from books to DVDs to clothing to furniture to real estate, can now be acquired online. There have even been bizarre cases where an individual tried to sell someone else online. Ultimately, it goes to show how far the world has come in trying to achieve ease of business transactions, and trade in particular.
Buying and selling of goods online is usually facilitated by online shopping websites. The process is relatively easy: intending buyers log onto the shopping website, select the desired item, and then either pay by means of a debit card, or pay on delivery.
Depending on the commodity, various online shopping exist for the purpose of e-trade. The poplar ones include eBay and Amazon, as well as iTunes (for the purchase of music). Online shopping has equally gained considerable momentum in Nigeria, and as such, various online shopping websites have sprung up. These include; Jumia, Konga, OLX, Kaymu and PayPorte.
On the world stage, it would be fair to say that eBay is one of the most popular online shopping websites to exist. It houses a lot of used, new and refurbished products that are available at relatively decent prices. It is arguably the largest online retail store in the U.S.A, and it leaves prospective buyers with a wide range of options when it comes to products available for purchase.
While it is not impossible for Nigerians to shop for items on eBay, it is not a straightforward affair either. To effectively shop on eBay, a Nigerian will need the following:
- USD Visa or Mastercard: This is needed to facilitate payment of shipping costs. It can be acquired from most Nigerian banks. It is necessary that such a bank activate the card for online use.
- US Address: Most sellers on eBay are not usually keen on shipping their wares outside of the United States. A U.S shipping address serves as some sort of warehouse where purchased items will get sent to, before ultimately getting shipped to Nigeria. In setting up a U.S address, it is important to disclose details like card number, name and phone number.
- eBay Account: Without this, no transactions can be effected on eBay. It is important to use an American IP and address when setting this up.
- PayPal Account: PayPal is the preferred mode of payment when it comes to shopping on eBay. It is necessary to have a PayPal account with funds in it, preferably an American PayPal Account.
- S VPN Service: This is an online service that is required whenever a prospective buyer connects to the internet. This is to facilitate easier access to the buyer’s Paypal or eBay account. It is advisable to assess the accounts with an American IP address.
Once the above requirements have been fulfilled, a prospective Nigerian buyer can then follow the steps below in purchasing his desired product:
- Log on to eBay. Remember to use an American IP address in connecting to the Internet.
- Browse for items.
- Add items to cart
- Log into PayPal account to confirm the payment. (This is why funds are necessary.)
- After payment, a buyer would usually receive an invoice by email.
- The buyer will also receive a tracking number once the item is sent out on its way to the U.S address.
- Once items are received, the buyer will be notified by email.
- Cost of shipping to Nigeria via DHL should be estimated.
- Arrangements for final shipping to Nigeria should be made.
- Payment should also be made with USD card or Mastercard.
- The item should be tracked by the buyer until he receives it by hand.
Buying on eBay and shipping to Nigeria is by no means the easiest of procedures, but it is ultimately rewarding, and quality of goods purchased is often guaranteed. It is hoped that Nigeria becomes an eBay or PayPal accepted country in the near future, so as to bridge the gap in shopping for items online. There is also the issue of fluctuating internet connection in Nigeria, which hampers online shopping and for which it is hoped that improvements are made by internet service providers. Be that as it may, it is easy to see that online shopping is a phenomenon which is gradually becoming part of our everyday interactions.
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