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Busola Abayomi-Adebayo: Experiencing Buyer’s Remorse



Have you ever suffered from buyer’s remorse? That sad and repentant feeling you get after buying goods and services at such low prices you feel you must definitely have cheated the seller.

I grew up in the North, and like most people who have had market related business dealings with Hausa traders know, they offer some of the best (cheat-free) prices. They presumably sell with as small a margin as possible especially when compared with other traders of the same goods. When I eventually moved down south for university, I discovered I had actually been living in a buyer’s paradise. Those women in Alesinloye and Bodija markets were not nice at all. In fact, if you muster the courage to bargain much a lot lower than the stated price, they would make sure choice insults accompany you on your way. I managed to survive because, after all, market visits are essential to survival as a student.

Post wedding, I moved to Lagos; and the first day I went food shopping in Mushin market, I was so afraid to haggle prices because of the looks and tones of voice of the market women. I ended up over paying for items, but was just so glad to leave the environment. It took several visits to that market for me to boldly haggle prices without fear of any repercussions.

Right now, I am back to my more familiar Utako (Abuja) market and therefore in my element. So much so that I actually, sometimes, feel bad after purchases. Not only is my ”customer” (the seller in regular Naija speak) looking morose after the transaction but some guilty pangs also overtake me.

In my search for a good bargain, I might have probably made the ‘aboki‘ sell below his cost price (in my mind). Recently, I bought some fruits; initial price was N500 for 2 pieces. However, unfortunately for him, I met him eating some of his produce. I immediately cautioned him and proceeded to buy said fruit at N500 for 5 pieces with warnings to him to desist from eating off the business then hiking prices to compensate. Nevertheless, there was little satisfaction after this transaction. I felt very remorseful because I might have succeeded in dictating to and cheating my dear “customer” based on the asking price and the actual purchase price. This scenario plays out for me regularly particularly in northern markets I have shopped in around the country.

I believe there is a need to strike a comfortable balance between buyer and seller wherein we part ways in as cordial a manner as possible. I do not end up feeling cheated, and they also have not sold below the cost price.

Furthermore, this could be the reason why large scale low cost supermarkets are fast gaining patronage even from lower income consumers. The margin from open market prices is very little, you do not need to negotiate prices and consequently spend less time shopping.

So, what is proper purchasing etiquette? When do you feel you’ve struck a bargain or gotten to the point of no return financially when purchasing an item? Do you ever feel like you’ve cheated the seller? Or are you the no haggling pricing no wasting time kind of consumer?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang

Busola Abayomi-Adebayo is a lawyer, public servant and occasional writer. she's passionate about information and just about anything newsworthy. Follow her on twitter @busolaidowu'


  1. bruno

    September 16, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    buyer’s remorse ke? I always buyer’s anger every time I come back from the market.

    I always have this feeling that the seller cheated me, always. even when I buy from supermarkets, I always feel like the items I bought are cheaper somewhere else and the supermarket cheated me.
    maybe its my nigerian mentality.

    I use to be like u, always afraid to price. sometimes I just want to pay for the items and run away cause the sellers always had angry mean faces and

    but now,I am ready to stand and price. it is my money and I am in control of it, if u are not selling go and die, i will go to another place and buy.

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 17, 2015 at 8:44 am

      LOL, Buyer’s anger is another emotion I feel also, anger and pain after being cheated

  2. Nwando

    September 16, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    My mom is the goddess of bargaining. I on the other hand, missed out on that gene, so I’ve made my peace with the fact, and as long as I think I wouldn’t mind paying a certain price for something, I try not to sweat it even if I’ve paid above the going rate.
    Oh, and hi Busola, it’s Nwando, Ladmo’s cousin ☺

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 17, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Thanks Nwando! How’s baby? Mummies definitely have that talent, maybe we’ll develop it once we get to that age 🙂

  3. kemi o

    September 17, 2015 at 12:17 am

    jones… they are naking their profit last last!

  4. Dolly

    September 17, 2015 at 2:03 am

    “Have you ever suffered from buyer’s remorse? That sad and repentant feeling you get after buying goods and services at such low prices you feel you must definitely have cheated the seller”…. Uhmmm I’ve never suffered buyers remorse over buying stuff for low prices… And if anything it would be me feeling like the seller sold me a fake item for such a low price. Buyers remorse is for expensive goods.

    Anyway back to your article…..

  5. Blue

    September 17, 2015 at 4:33 am

    Lovely article… However, buyer’s remorse is not the feeling gotten from buying things at low prices, it is rather the feeling of guilt or remorse gotten after purchasing really expensive goods. It is when the buyer starts to question the purchase they have made, and if the decision was right or if they got carried away, too excited or influenced by the seller to make that decison. Bottomline, it comes with spending lots of money on something and not from getting it cheaply. I respect when people have the courage to write and send it in, and I will never say or think it is a walk in the park to write any article, no matter how short. But I implore writers, please do your research and do not just use a word or phrase before you understand what it really means. It does not take much in these days of smart phones and tablets to google something as little as the law of buyer’s remorse for example.

  6. lamide

    September 17, 2015 at 5:04 am

    Interesting Article

  7. Hello

    September 17, 2015 at 5:29 am

    Very nice easy to read write up! However the article is based on a flawed premise of the real meaning of buyers remorse.

    The title should read experiencing buyers guilt

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 17, 2015 at 8:47 am

      Thanks for the correction and for reading!

  8. Geebabe

    September 17, 2015 at 5:43 am

    Thank you. What she define is NOT buyers remorse, more like buyers delight!

  9. Marie Antoinette

    September 17, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Nice article. Wrong title. Anyway, I get her drift. The article reminds me of my first shopping experience in a Lagos market (Agboju market in Festac). Lagos shoppers have no chill at all! I was 16 and visiting Lagos shortly after WAEC exams. I accompanied my aunt to the market and was shocked at her bargaining power, I left feeling really sad for the sellers:
    Aunt: how much for this one?
    Meat seller: 4000
    A: no be 2000?
    M: no madam, e pass. Take am 3500
    A: 2500?
    M: oya bring money ( picked up the meat to cut)…and then the shocker from my aunt.
    A: I go pay 1500 ( my mouth dropped open with the loudest ‘ha!’ And the way she eyed me ehn…If looks could kill…)
    Sadly the meat seller sold for 1500. She did same with the other sellers and didn’t hesitate to give me the ‘bargaining lecture’ as soon as we got in the car.

    I felt guilty on her behalf, felt sorry for sellers. But she said something I never forgot…she said “no seller sells below cost price”. And that cleared the guilt.

    She was right! Today I’m in retail biz and I know. Even during sales, there’s still profit, just smaller margin.

    Sorry for the long story guys! Had to share. 🙂

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 17, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Your aunty is chill sha. I wish I can be like her when I grow up 🙂

  10. glow

    September 17, 2015 at 7:59 am

    When I was a kid, I would be so ashamed of my mum with the way she would haggle until the sellers are close to tears. One day I asked her why she was being mean to them….i learnt a valuable life lesson from her reply that day….which was “dear daughter, if the seller won’t make a profit at the price I am buying despite his/her sad countenance, he/she will never sell”

    So…I leave the market with buyers delight ni o….trust me…the sellers are making profits…and will make more profit from those dudes who never bargain at all.

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 17, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Your mum is just like most moms. They are scary bargain-hunters. But they so wise

  11. Omolade

    September 17, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Interesting Bussy! I just read your article… On the contrary I hardly suffer from ‘ buyer’s remorse’… Why? Simply because anytime I buy goods or produce that are a bit too cheap, I always get back home to discover that rather than having the bargain I believed I had, I was the one who had been cheated.. It has happened to me a number of times that I have become immune to this ‘remorseful feeling’ lol! .. I believe this ‘remorseful ‘ feeling may be peculiar to Northerners as Hausa sellers can be extremely generous sometimes… Market women here in the South are not smiling at all… All said and done, my conclusion remains that there is no way market people would sell at a loss, so even if they are being generous with you, they are probably reaping another person off somewhere… Lol

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 17, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Thanks Ore! You are so right. I doubt anyone would persevere selling goods if they were not at least making a profit.

  12. Nammy

    September 17, 2015 at 9:22 am

    I don’t think any seller sells below cost price, the sad face they make when you finally get them to sell at your price is the face of “ooohh i could have made a higher profit”
    When I saw the title, I thought the article was about buying something and later regretting it, happens to me a lot, bought this cool sleeveless top for over a year now and I have hardly worn it because I stay in a cold place and the weather doesn’t favour such an outfit. Felt like i wasted my money.
    Nice article.

  13. deni

    September 17, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Hi Busola, nice article. But your definition of buyers remorse is not what I know it to be. Buyers remorse is that feeling of regret you get after making a large purchase especially wnen you consider the opportunity costs of the purchase and a reduction in your purchasing power. (Please read it up). Maybe you’ll have to find another title for the piece. But you have a lovely flow.

  14. Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

    September 17, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Thanks Ore! You are so right. I doubt anyone would persevere selling goods if they were at least not making a profit.

  15. vivian

    September 17, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I actually feel the opposite o. I always leave feeling like they cheated me. Especially when buying I normally just find a seller I think is a bit honest and stick with them.nice write up Busola

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 17, 2015 at 11:20 am

      Thanks Viv! I get you, that happens to me too sometimes… it takes days to recover from the hurt feelings especially when i look at the purchases 🙁

  16. Priscy

    September 17, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Remorse ke?
    I bargain o…but not so much
    I stay in the north where things are very cheap so sometimes you don’t even need to bargain much as they don’t really hike the prices so much
    My friend on the other hand is a chief bargainer. For instance, if we go to the farmers market here where the vegetables are already so cheap, she will so bargain and the sellers end up selling it to her at ridiculous prices. Like cabbage that goes for N100, she will start bargaining at N20 and will not go higher than N30. If you no sell, she moves over to the next seller.

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 17, 2015 at 11:23 am

      true that! Those fruit sellers in the north are just so generous especially if you can hold your own, the bargains are unbelievable!

  17. Marie

    September 17, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Hey guys….Busola is my friend and she’s done a great job with this. Wrong title or not, she’s passed her message across and fortunately we can all relate in one way or the other.
    Busola…you a reluctant blogger…if I hear?! You go girl!!!

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 17, 2015 at 11:22 am

      Marie-Louise!, the defender of the universe! still, all corrections welcome!

  18. Amyezra

    September 17, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Interesting article you can read it fully very interested

  19. ad

    September 17, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I don’t think sellers actually sell below their cost price even though they may want you to feel they do. They don’t! I’ve also lived in the north and I stay in port harcourt now, all I can say is that “the difference in 7up”…

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 18, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Pure 7up! Markets in the north are almost soothing after being exposed to those outside the region

  20. benjamin

    September 18, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Nice article, Busola! Good to know you are exploring your talents outside the Wig&Gown.
    Anyway, I hardly ever feel the “remorse” you are talking about. I recall back then during my bachelor days I used to get scared bargaining especially if the “customer” was a woman: they will usually give me this kind look like “how dare you” “you no dey shame to dey price like woman?” in my mind I will be like “na your money I go take pay”? Anyways, I have to stop going to market to avoid those dubious “customer”. I just chose person to supply my needs until…
    Today, I rather go to a place where the price is fixed than to start haggling over price.

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 18, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Thanks Benjamin! Don’t mind those market women. oppressing guys since 1920

  21. AuntyAunty

    September 18, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Pls, it haff do with the corrections on her title. She no dey blind. Tank u. Good job Busola. I like that you’re taking the lectures in good strides.

    • Busola Abayomi-Adebayo

      September 18, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Thanks dear!

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