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Awala-Ale Mofe: Pay on Delivery in Nigeria – Scrap it or Keep It?

Mofe

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A lot of online stores in Nigeria offer the pay on delivery option. However, I will reference Konga and Jumia while writing this article because of their popularity nationwide.

I believe that pay on delivery was one factor responsible for the increase in the use of Nigerian online stores. Pay on delivery enables the buyer to examine the item they receive before paying for it. If the item is good, the customer pays for it. If the item is not the same thing seen on the website, the customer can reject the item on delivery.

In the last year, there have been a lot of arguments for the cancellation of the pay on delivery option. The reason for this argument is the abuse of the pay on delivery option available on online shops. Sellers argue that customers do not take delivery of items after ordering them. These returns cause the sellers to lose money spent on packaging and drop off of the items.

A few months ago, Konga removed their pay on delivery option. This change was without warning. It was as though a thief came in, stole the pay on delivery option and ran away with it. Buyers only saw the change while attempting to make purchases.

Similarly, without warning, Jumia has made it impossible to choose a pay on delivery option if your purchase is less than 3000 Naira. Another issue is that Jumia now charges twice the delivery cost even if you are buying two items from the same seller but that is by the way.

The impact of removing the pay on delivery option has been different for sellers. While some sellers say that they still receive orders, others have the opposite story to tell. So, should online stores keep the pay on delivery option or should they discard it?

A popular argument for the removal of pay on delivery is that this option is not available in other countries. People state that Amazon.com does not offer the pay on delivery. The issue is: can we equate the service you receive from Amazon to the service you receive from the two online stores mentioned in this article.

The people that argue for keeping the pay on delivery option also have a common argument. Some sellers are dishonest and send you inferior or wrong items. I can attest to the fact that this is accurate too. During the period that I have shopped online, I have received expired cosmetics, a fake Tom Ford perfume which was priced like the real one, a vanity mirror completely different from what I ordered etc. I was able to reject most of the items, but on one occasion, I did not check the item before paying. I was unable to return it because it was a cosmetic item. My point is that this is enough to breed distrust.

These websites state that you can get a refund for a return or rejected item in 7 days. The truth though is that almost no one wants to pay for a service or product then wait for a refund seven days later.

A valid suggestion is introducing a commitment fee.  You forfeit an amount you pay in advance if you refuse delivery of an item you order without reason. The issue here though is that the dishonesty of sellers and buyers affect the others that genuinely want to do business.

What is your suggestion, Should online stores keep or discard pay on delivery?

Photo Credit: © Kiosea39 | Dreamstime.com

Mofe is a writer and self-taught baker with a growing interest in product photography and she just acquired a Masters degree in International Relations. She is a writer, recipe reviewer and amateur food photographer on ThisBaker I am @This_Baker on Instagram.

8 Comments

  1. Olori

    March 2, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    I have read this thoroughly. My only opinion on this is that Nigeria is not ready for online commerce. Reason being dishonesty on both sides is rife. Sellers will sell what you never expected to you will buyers will use you to play hide and seek whether or not the product is right. Then the middle space nko? Delivery, logistics, whatever you call it is dependent on a very skewed system and cannot perform optimally. I’m just looking at the entire thing from a lateral vantage point and think the entire sector just has a few number of years before it collapses if things don’t change. Things like market regulation, di circulation, political interference, the “me too” approach and the like.

  2. Asake

    March 2, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you so much for this topic. I have been a victim to both online stores mentioned above and would suggest Pay On Delivery should STAY. On different occassions, I have received what I didn’t bargain for. The last one that got me mad was the ”Fake Milani Powder” and a set of underwear totally different from what displayed on the site…..very trashy kinda panties I wouldn’t even consider giving my househelp, Oversized flat shoes different from the size I ordered, Low quality shirts different from what it looks like on the site….name it!!! So, I stopped paying online. Would rather see those items, if it tallies with what I ordered, then we are good to go. If not, i return the goods sharparly….I can’t deal.

    Bottom line….I think the sellers on Konga especially and Konga team should have a way of getting back to buyers if the exact stuff one ordered is out of stock instead of thinking they could just send in anything available….It could be fraustrating plus the annoying delivery charges per seller. I stopped buying from them though.

  3. Tessa Doghor

    March 2, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    I miss pay on delivery
    I bought a phone in december
    Instead of waiting, God knows how many days for the delivery of the phone
    I just picked myself from home and went to the physical shop to buy it at 5K instead of waiting 7 days to receive the phone because I work online so I can’t afford not to be online.

    January and February proved that buying that phone at 5k more was the right thing to do.
    I am pretty responsible with pay on delivery. I never let the delivery men deliver unless I am home, which is on Saturdays or I make them deliver to my office to minimise security risk.

  4. Tessa Doghor

    March 2, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    In essence speed and communication is pretty important.

  5. Asa

    March 2, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    The distrust is on both sides. Remember the delivery man that was killed last year because of iPhones? That is the negative effect of pay on delivery on the seller so it’s actually a mutual distrust. Pay on delivery can be modified to be pay on pick-up. Konga has designated offices nationwide, people who refuse to pay ahead can go to the closest delivery point to inspect their goods and then pay if the goods meet their approval. It’s safer for the sellers and for the buyers. Of course, anybody who deosn’t show up to pick up within a number of days has to forfeit the goods.

    • Anon

      March 2, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      Exactly, AKA Click and Collect using distribution centres/designated offices and shops.

  6. Umm..

    March 3, 2018 at 12:26 am

    Nigeria is not ready. So many dishonest business owners on the internet masquerading as entrepreneurs. Its either you pay on delivery or pay on pickup. So long as Buyer can see/feel the product and can confirm it’s EXACTLY the same as advertised by seller.

    With that said, everyone should stay away from (faajifootwear) on Instagram!!!!
    should you decide to ignore this message, make sure you pay on delivery/pickup! (I brought this here only because I saw one of BN editor give credit to them and automatically assumed they were reliable. I contacted them, paid in full before it’s delivery, only For the said item to end up in the trash.

  7. Aare farmland

    March 3, 2018 at 12:49 am

    The industry is struggling and venture capitalists who invested millions are not getting good returns, a few lost millions in a recent sale of Konga. I hope they do recover but pay on delivery may have just been a costly venture.

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