WITH just few days to Christmas, both traders and consumers are on the edge of what to stock up and buy.
Christmas shopping can be a chore. Everyone seems to be in a hurry and even the simple store run can be chaotic.
This season is one of the most hectic periods when it comes to people shopping for foodstuffs, gifts to family and friends.
Shopping during this joyous season is not easy. All things that we need to do in preparation for the celebration, the shopping; cooking, planning can all be too much.
When Christmas approaches, and you feel is time to go out and shop for Christmas gifts, one may often, find out that the task is a lot harder than you expected and it may not be such straightforward matter as one had anticipated.
However, the physical markets have gotten competition from online marketplaces which have developed to be new place for business activities and commercial trading.
For many Nigerians, shopping ahead of the festive period is a necessity. That is why individual and shopping malls of different sizes and categories stockpile items that are in high demand during the season.
According to some consumers, shopping early allows one get the best of items to buy for Christmas; one can also get the preferred sizes and colours of these items when shopping is done early. They believe that when shopping is done late, consumers go through the hassles to fight the crowds, pickpockets, choose from limited and expensive merchandise, and wait in long queues.
On the other hand, there are those who are given to last minute buying. For them, last minute sales come cheap.
With the discerning voices for last minute purchase, does last minute shopping guarantee cheaper price or is the consumer paying more?
Tayo Adeola is a mother of four who shops early for Christmas. “It is that time of the year when prices of the things we love shoot to the roof. Shops put out their Christmas displays, colorful ribbons hanging across the windows, all adding to the confusion. As the celebration slowly creeps in, it is good to start your Christmas shopping early, “she stated.
She noted that the best shopping decisions are made when you are not in haste, adding that the consumer is less likely to be distracted by irrelevant store display or online banner. According to her, those adverts can make one end up with things not needed and she does not believe last minute sales come cheaper.
Commenting on last minute shopping, Timothy Mathew, a civil servant said that asides from being more financially beneficial, early shopping also makes for a smoother shopping experience.
“Waiting until the rush hour to shop or buy your Christmas needs is not advisable. It might be early, but by buying a few things every day or weekend before the actual week of Christmas will save you a lot of stress. Demand is high the days to Christmas. Sellers take advantage of this to move up prices. Doing your Christmas shopping before the rush saves you this problem,” he opined.
Commenting on the issue, Tina Daniels noted that she enjoys late minute shopping, saying that sales are cheap because the trader wants to get his money and push out old stock.
“Late festive shopping is not for everybody. I make better bargains. I see variety of products which I will not get to see if I shop early,” she said.
In his opinion, Tomison Olu, believes that he gets things cheaper when he shops late for the festive season. According to him, when he goes to the market, he buys only the relevant items.
A trader, who deals on clothes Mr Ikenna, noted that the last minutes sales are crucial to traders trying to gauge the cost of a trade versus the closing sale. He said that depending on what business you are in, the festive season can be a busy period.
Commenting on nature of sales during last minute purchases, he said it depended on the customer’s bargaining power, adding that some goods are sold cheap for the trader to recover capital.