Shopping online in Nigeria is not for the weak. Because even after online vendors waste time in taking and confirming your order, you still have to pursue them to deliver the product. And then you open the long-awaited package, you see something completely different from what you ordered. 

These seven Nigerians share their awful experiences shopping with online vendors. 

She left me on read

— Lisa, 23

I bought a dress from a “friend”. After waiting at least two months, the dress arrived and I was heartbroken. The fabric was trash, it was too short, and it just looked ugly. I texted her and even sent pictures and videos to complain but she left me on read. It seems she also blocked me from viewing her WhatsApp statuses because I never saw her statuses again even though I see her texting on our school group chat. 

She said she had a no refund policy

— Dora, 25

My friend wanted to buy a gift for his girlfriend, so he came to me and I went online and found a tailor who makes ready-to-wear dresses on Ig. I paid to have four dresses made. When the dresses arrived, they didn’t fit and the sewing looked tacky. It was an all-around bad job. When we reached out to her, she became very hostile, saying she had a no refund policy. We had to let it go. 

Related: 5 Things We Secretly Wish for While Shopping Online 

They were so bad, I had to buy a replacement gift

— Jerry*, 27

After searching for weeks for a birthday gift for my friend, I found an IG vendor who sold designer bags. Worst ₦50K ever spent, because I bought two of them for two different people. The bags looked so bad that I had to buy a replacement gift.

It was useless to me

— Tayo, 26

Went online to shop for school supplies and I decided to get a backpack. When I thought I’d found the perfect one — because it came with sections for my charger, laptop, and books — I didn’t believe what was delivered to me because it couldn’t even fit one book. I still think it looks really nice but it’s not functional, so it’s useless to me. 

They wouldn’t fit, so I gave them to charity

— Cecilia*, 26

Online vendors are actually after my life. They’re either two sizes smaller or bigger — no middle ground. The most terrible experience was last year when I bought corporate thrift dresses in bulk from an online store with plans to resell. They actually looked like the picture — only way bigger than advertised. After spending about ₦40K on them, none fit my customers. I kept them for months before I finally gave them to charity. 

I looked like a joke in the shoes

— Ariel*, 24

Some online vendors are wicked. Because, after bombarding me with ads for leather shoes, I decided to give her a try. When it arrived, it looked like rubber. I felt like a joke, so I just blocked her number. 

They tried to gaslight me and called me dramatic

— Tope, 25

The one incident has particularly scarred me from online shopping. It wasn’t so much that they got my order wrong as the vendor’s attitude toward me. They sent a picture of the finished product and the colour was yellow instead of white as I ordered. And instead of apologizing, they tried to gaslight me, accusing me of being dramatic. After a series of back and forths, they asked for my account number to give me a refund since they hadn’t already sent it out. It was so upsetting but at least I got my money back. 

I wanted an oversized tee but this neck can fit two people

— David, 28

Two months ago, I placed an order on a popular shopping site but I was appalled by what I got. I wanted an oversized tee but the neck of this could fit two people! The package now sits beautifully in a corner since I can’t wear it. 

Your next read: What to Do When a Nigerian Vendor Moves Mad

Some names have been changed for the sake of anonymity.


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.