June 24, 2024

Nigerians Turns to Phone Swapping Amid Rising Mobile Prices, Decreased Purchasing Power


As economic hardship continues to deepen in Nigeria, the purchasing power of citizens has significantly dwindled, affecting the prices of goods and services, including mobile phones. With the continuous rise in prices, many Nigerians have shifted from owning multiple expensive phones to focusing on survival and basic needs.


According to Vanguard (Economy and Lifestyle), majority of Nigerians are now opting to swap their old phones for new ones, a practice that has become more widespread due to the economic strain. Evans Ofili, a manager at a phone and electronic gadget store in Igando, explained the process: “The process of phone swapping is not tedious. Customers bring in their old phone with the purchase receipt and a valid means of identification. We assess the phone’s current value by testing the battery and other components. The customer then adds a little amount to get their choice phone. For instance, if their desired phone is worth N100,000 and the old phone is valued at N50,000, they pay an additional N50,000.”


Previously, Nigerians would often gift their old phones to loved ones after purchasing new ones. However, due to the economic situation, phone swapping has become a popular alternative. Ofili noted, “People no longer buy new phones nowadays. They swap old phones to increase sales as people are now more focused on feeding.”


Jeremiah Santos, a manager at a phone hub in Egbeda, highlighted another trend: selling phones on credit. “Apart from mobile phone swapping, most phone sellers now offer installment payment schemes with interest as low as 4 per cent. Customers make a down payment of 20-25 per cent and complete the payment over three to six months, with a default fee applied if payments are not made on time.”


The current prices of popular phone brands like Samsung, Infinix, Nokia, Techno, Microsoft, Xiaomi Redmi, and Itel have soared. Phones with smaller gigabytes of ROM and RAM now range from N70,000 to N90,000, while those with higher specifications cost N150,000 and above, compared to N70,000 previously.


Mrs. Demilade Raymond, a salary earner, shared her experience: “I swapped my Techno Pop 5 for a higher-grade phone last month because it had little space and often hung due to large documents. The manager valued it at N30,000, and I paid an additional N70,999 for the new model.”

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