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?
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