Nigerians do not have the best relationship with Nigerian thrift stores online. Depending on who you ask, they are either coordinated outlets for overpriced products or they are also outlets for overpriced products that never live up to the hype their fine pictures promise. And because Nigerians always have a thing or two to get off their chest about these stores, we decided to ask 8 of them to share their thoughts, experiences, and deepest grievances they have about Nigerian thrift stores online.
Read them all below.
I bought a bathrobe from an online vendor once. Upon getting the robe, it had this foul smell that conspicuously said: “kantagowa” mixed with the smell of cheap perfume oil. I was angry because her description didn’t mention anything thrift. I spent days washing and drying the robe to make sure the smells wash off. Then she went ahead to ask me to send her reviews and photos of myself wearing the robe. I never did and I think she got the message. I shouldn’t even start on the ridiculous amount they call their stuff. A little flower here, white canvas background there, iPhone photography, and boom! Okirika Jean is ₦5,000.
You also have to deal with the sad fact that many of them wear the clothes before selling in the name of advertising them. I forgot to mention that checking the vendor’s WhatsApp status a day after delivery, I discovered she wore the robe to advertise just before packaging it for delivery. If you ever want to buy thrift, go to Super or Yaba, online vendors aren’t exactly better alternatives these days.
First off, I think online thrift stores should be renamed online thief stores. Because I don’t understand why they overprice basic items, especially those ones who sell clothes. Is it because they tuck in the middle of the clothes and snap it behind an aesthetic background? Or because they selected it from the bale, washed, and sprinkled perfume on it? It doesn’t mean they should fleece their customers. Some of them have nice items, but in the end, thrift is second hand, and I’m not going to be spending ₦4,000 on Okrika.
The thing about thrift in Nigeria is there’s a serious stigma around it. When in reality more than half the population wears thrift in one way or the other. Personally, it’s been a wonderful alternative to buying or wearing expensive clothes that aren’t even related to my sense of style. Nigerian clothe sellers only sell what’s in vogue, compared to Western countries where there’s a lot of variety. The only variety people who can’t afford brand new clothes have is the thrift market, which is a saving grace for so many. Although I still buy new clothes and all, I wish the stigma on thrifting in Naija can be channeled into making the industry better and easier for people to afford to look nice and at least have improved self-esteem.
I saw this cute vintage denim I was hoping to stunt on this girl with.
It was a dm for the price situation. First, off the seller overused emojis, and that should have told me something. I paid ₦7,800 for that denim with an extra ₦800 for delivery. It was the worst shopping experience of my life. The denim had pit stains and the cuffs were not artfully distressed. They were frayed and genuinely distressed. It smelled like an avocado left to rot and it itched the heck out of me when I slipped one arm in. The effort the seller put on the packaging is what I paid ₦7,800 for sha because that denim was hell’s table clothes. Most online thrift stores are scam centers. I’d rather go to Ikeja along.
I think online Nigerian thrift stores are daylight robbers who never have anything above size 16. If I want to buy Okrika I’ll go to Yaba. At least I’ll find my size there. I don’t bother ordering because I never find my size anyway.
First of all, products from online Nigerian thrift stores are too expensive! Second, I get that they run a business, and all but some of them are thieves with their ‘No refund, no exchange’ policy. Like how are you not supposed to exchange when there’s a big ass stain on the white gown I bought? Well, I’ve stuck to one overpriced thrift seller and I go do my shopping myself sometimes. It is what it is.
I became very active on Instagram during the pandemic and because I looked up Okrika wears on Instagram, I started getting suggestions to follow some IG accounts that sold them. I browsed through some pages and I simply became attracted to their fine fine clothes and flashy shoes. I saw about four gowns I liked on a page and sent them a message saying I wanted them. Confirmed payment details and delivery details. From two days of delivery, it was extended to five days. But I wasn’t really worried because someone had gifted half of the money I used in paying for the clothes and the loss wouldn’t be hard if I was scammed. Omo, when the clothes arrived, only two were exactly as pictured on their page, others looked like the faded version of those Nollywood village dresses. Oversize, long, and faded. No type of shaping could transform both dresses.
Those ones are just thieves. They will overprice everything. Add money for washing that they probably didn’t do. And data for posting on IG. Then they’ll add Nepa bills and their own profit. Then a top of ₦200 will become ₦7,000. They’ll now tell you that it’s fairly used. Did the cloth tell you that? Did the person that wore it tell you that? It’s so annoying.