In this guide, I will show you step by step how to save money from your shopping on Jiji.ng. The steps are simple and straight forward so anyone who is determined will be able to pick up this profitable skill.
Jiji, is a classified ads site where lots of sellers advertise their goods and services for buyers (like us) to reach out to them and buy stuff.
It was founded in 2014 in Lagos by Anton Wolyansky and has since grown steadily to become one of the largest online classified ads site in Africa.
As at January 2018, it held over 800,000 ads, attracting over 160,000 sellers and 7 million original users per months, who look for bargains in cars, household goods, mobile phones, cosmetics, toys, pets, livestock, electronics, services, and most recently, to look for jobs by searching through job vacancies.
Before we dive into the steps, I want to talk a little about price tags, their usage and why they don’t work in our favor in this guide.
The idea of price tags and where it came from
John Wanamaker is credited with creating the price tags you see on items to be purchased. He created it to reduce the haggling that regularly happened at the stores back then. It was an efficient solution and works till this day.
We know that as humans, habits are formed with frequency, so with time most people just see a price tag and don’t bother to haggle over the price of the item. The underlying belief is that the printed price is the best price they could get for the given item.
That works great for a supermarket and some places but not all time especially on the internet. I want you to do away with that thought pattern when you want to shop for things online. You can always get a better price than what was listed, always. I repeat. You can always get a better price than what was listed.
What do you need to know
Now you need 3 things to be able to pull this off; patience, confidence and empathy.
If you need to get that item urgently or you are in a hurry, please go ahead and buy whatever you want to buy.
If you are too scared to talk to strangers on the phone or have a particular fear with the word ‘no’ or rejection, either you deal with that fake fear and prepare to follow along on this exciting journey or just buy the item as you normally do.
If you lack skills in active listening and empathy, don’t worry, I have some book recommendations for you at the end of this article to help you become better at it.
- What do you want ?
What exactly do you want to buy and where are you currently at ?
For this article, we want to buy a Samsung Galaxy S10 and we live in or close to Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
2. Logon to the site, Jiji.ng
3. Click on the ‘Location’ button
4. Select your State, for this article it is Lagos. So select it by clicking on it.
5. Select your ‘Area’, that is Ikeja
6. After clicking on your location, you should see this.
7. Now type ‘Samsung Galaxy S10’ in the search box and search.
8. Look at the results and notice they are sorted by ‘Relevant’ filter by default.
9. We are going to change that filter to ‘Lowest Price’.
10. The search results now look different.
11. Let’s get organized with our Google sheets
Before we start looking for sellers, here is a template I created for you so you get to see how I organize my sellers.
You can make a copy or download it for free.
11.1.a To make your own copy, do this:
11.1.b Set the name and save your copy
11.2.a To download the sheet as a Microsoft Excel file, do this:
12. Now let’s find 10 to 15 serious sellers.
Notice I used the word serious above. A lot of sellers are just lazy with their business. It shows in their ads and they are not the best sellers to deal with.
Here are 4 things to look out for in serious sellers:
Good ad placement: most of them pay for ad space. This is good for us. It shows they are serious with selling off their inventory as quickly as possible.
Quality, realistic photos: They do not just copy and paste product pictures from the internet. They also never make use of cheap phone cameras to take product pictures. It’s always good quality and real.
Well-written product description: They take their time to write a good description of their products beyond the general product specs.
Working phone numbers: As an experienced user of the platform, I’ve seen some sellers put incorrect phone numbers or they mistakenly typed the wrong phone numbers. Yes, it happens and you might not notice it till you make the calls.
If you are a seller reading this guide, please double check your number by calling it yourself. Don’t lose sales with such costly mistakes.
Scroll through the results and as you find the good sellers, save their names and phone numbers in your sheet.
13. Use the 80–90–95 bargaining formula
This is a handy formula you can use to bargain for items. What does it mean for us ?
The 80 stands for 80% of the listed price of the item. So if the Samsung galaxy s10 is priced at N180,000, 80% of the price will be N144,000.
90% will be N162,000 and 95% is N171,000.
Do this for each seller you find.
You don’t like math ? Don’t worry, the free template spreadsheet I created has the calculations in-built for you.
This bargaining formula is a good starting point. When you get more experience and confidence, you can change it up to suit your skill level.
14. It’s now time to make the phone calls.
Start with 80 and start negotiating through the prices you have on your sheet. Listen attentively to the seller and keep your eyes on your sheets.
Below is a sample conversation with a given seller:
You: Hello, Good morning. Am I on to [seller name] ?
Seller: Yes, this is [seller]. How may I be of help ?
You: Great! I am [your name]. I saw your ad on Jiji for Samsung galaxy s10. Do you still have them available in your shop ?
Seller: Yes, I still have them.
You: Fantastic. Please where is your shop located ?
You don’t want to deal with someone who doesn’t have a physical shop or store. If they don’t have a shop, just run. 😜
Seller: Okay. My shop is at [ address of the shop]. Are you coming now ?
You: Yes, I really want to come now. Pause a little and in little less enthusiastic, calm voice you ask… But how am I supposed to pay N180,000 for the phone ? Pause again. I have N145,500 with me now ( not exactly 80% but close enough ).
Seller: Erm… N180,000 is the list price.
You: Is that the best you can do for me ? Should I go elsewhere ?
Seller: No, we can come down a little to N175,000 and that’s our last price.
Good, you’ve gotten the seller off the listed price a bit. Some of you might want to give up and rush to buy at this point. But it’s good to push further. Be patient.
You: Oh. Thank you for your consideration. How am I supposed to make up the 30k difference ?
Go up slowly through the 80–90–95 formula as you negotiate the price.
And this bargaining goes on till you get to the absolute best this seller can do.
Let’s assume this seller gave you N170,000 as the final price, put that price in your Final Price column on the sheet.
Also note any important stuff said like guarantees, offers or features, in your sheet and make the next call.
Once you have called all the sellers and you have gotten the overall best price. It’s time to go to the seller’s shop.
15. Go to the Seller’s shop and pick up the item
Don’t get lazy now. It’s unfortunate that Nigeria is not there yet when it comes to trust so please do yourself a favor and go to the shop yourself. I can’t emphasis this enough. I’ll say it again. Please don’t do delivery.
Moreover, with delivery, you have no opportunity to explore other accessories available you can purchase with the extra cash you got earlier. I always cherish the chance to get more stuff, you know. 😙
If you’re only able to get N1,000 off the listed price, you did fantastic. Don’t beat yourself up or feel like a failure. No, you’re not. Your confidence and wits are like muscles. It takes time and practice for you to become a master negotiator.
Your negotiation skills will grow and also the savings you get. Imagine how much more you can save when you want to buy higher priced items like cars or solar inverters later on. If you want to grow the skills quickly, get the recommended books at the end of the article.
I’ve been able to get N40,000 off a single laptop (not kidding or bragging). That’s because I’ve been doing this for a while now so I’ve more experience. I’m not necessarily more talented or gifted. No. It happened over time.
Finally, don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends to help them save money too especially when it’s close to seasonal sales like Black Friday and Christmas.
I wish you make the best of this article even beyond the Jiji platform!
If you think your negotiation and empathy skills need some serious polishing, you can buy the following best selling books to help you:
Chris Voss’s book: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. Chris is an ex-FBI Agent and has led international teams in negotiating very dangerous hostage situations. He’s a master negotiator. His book is a treasure on your bookshelf.
Dale Carnegie’s classic book: How to win friends and influence people. Dale’s expertise in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills is amazing. You will learn a great deal about empathy as you put to work the lessons from his time tested and trusted book.