There are several free classified ads websites in Nigeria that you can consider when you want to advertise your products for free or when you are a buyer seeking an affordable product to buy. Some are owned by foreigners while several are owned by Nigerians. Today, I wish to highlight only the indigenous top classifieds in Nigeria, as several other articles have been written about the foreign-owned ones.
The first on my list is Delon, a free classifieds in Nigeria. Delon is a new fast-growing classified ads website that will likely surpass the competitions very soon. What makes it different from others is that the company is extremely focused on really helping unemployed Nigerians. That is why they are offering 5 to 10 free adverts on their website (no other classified ads website offers this) and even their paid adverts are the cheapest. This clearly shows that the company indeed really wants to help unemployed people. The company also focuses a lot on job adverts and publishing articles to help people enhance their careers. The fact that they have over 60k followers on their linkedin account really shows how committed they are towards helping people find jobs or promoting their business free online.
Click here for a video tutorial of how to post free ads on aclassified ads website in Nigeria.
There are several other indigenous classified ads that you can check out when seeking to run free adverts or buy products online. Remember that you can actually put your ads on multiple websites. Before I share more details about the other websites, I like to give you some quick details about the important precautions that you must take whenever you are about to post an adverts on a classified ads website.
- Use only classified ads websites that you can trust
Since there are tens or hundreds of classified ads around, choose a few of them that you can trust and advertise your products regularly on them. Trusted platforms like Delon.ng and other ones that will be listed below offers a verified platform for its many sellers and you can be sure your personal information is safe and secure at all times. This personal information (except the ones that are shared publicly) won’t be shared with any third party and all your information is stored securely as well. It’s always a good idea to have a business email address (perhaps separate from your personal email address) and use that at all times for your adverts. See below a Legit.ng review of Delon.ng – https://www.legit.ng/1288201-classified-ad-review-wondering-delon-classified-ad.html
- Ensure to check the Website Security (HTTPS vs HTTP)
Don’t ever buy anything online using your personal debit or credit information from a website that doesn’t have a secure website encryption (lock). It is easy to know if the site has anSSL (Secure sockets layer) because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS instead of just HTTP. An icon in the form of a locked padlock will display, typically to the left of the URL in the address bar. HTTPS is a standard protocol easily recognizable anywhere. Delon.ng and many other classified ads website have this HTTPS feature.
- Be selective about the sellers you buy from
Since most of the sales will be done by small companies and individuals, the first thing to do is to google the names of the companies and/or individuals to try to learn a few things about them. Small companies will not have website and you may not find a lot of details about many people, but at least, people should be on social media. If you google a seller and find absolutely zero presence on social media, then you should hesitate dealing with such persons. If you really like a product or service that the person is offering and he is not on social media, you can call the person and try to interview the person to learn a little more about them. You can also check out customer reviews, what do people say about the merchant? Do they have a social media following across several platforms such? If it’s a business that has an office address in a market area but didn’t include email or phone number, you can visit the store to check them out.
- Be careful of extremely low–price offers
If it’s too-good-to-be-true, you should think twice. If a classified ads site offers a price that seems incredible, like extremely low price, endless supply of free stuff, or tells you to send money and expect a hugely discounted product, then it probably is a scam. You can check similar websites to compare prices and also check pictures and other info pertaining to the merchandise.
- Consider what the classified ads website focuses mostly on
While some classified ads focus mostly on cars and real estates, some free classifieds in Nigeria focus on helping to promote upcoming fashion designers, agriculture products, as well as construction and repairs. Delon.ng has many different categories for sellers to post their adverts but has been focusing a lot on jobs, fashion designers, agricultural products, construction and repairs, as well as clothing, automobiles, real estates, laptops, wellness (herbs), food, and phones. Generally, the website focuses a lot on its core vision of helping to lift over one million Nigerians out of poverty by not only providing a free and affordable platform for unemployed people to start their business, but by also helping small business grow their customer base and consistently providing educative articles for small-scale business owners to learn. See Pulse.ng article about delon.ng on how to start and grow your business online.
6. Do not overshare your personal or business information
Beware of sharing too much information. Most websites would ask you for personal information when registering and will not typically ask for card details until you are about to make payments. Only the required information should be shared wherever necessary. Even in your adverts, do not share your home address or too much details about yourself. If you have a business store address, this is good to share because it provides greater legitimacy to your adverts, but if you typically work from home, don’t provide your home address.
7. Avoid or Limit the use of Public WIFI
I know this is very difficult precaution in Nigeria because most of us will always like to take advantage of any available public wifi. My advice is always to ensure you don’t select an option that allows other users of the network to have access to your device anytime you really have to use a public wifi. Since classified ads are typically done offline, the risk is much lower than using ecommerce website where all transactions are done on the website. Whenever you need to pay for premium ads on a classified ads, it is better to avoid the public WIFI and wait till you are using your primary internet to do that.
8. Always use very strong passwords
This point is very important in today’s world where there are many identity thieves prowling around, looking for victims. If someone has the password to your account, they can log in, change your shipping address, and scam you and your friends. You can keep your account safe by locking it with a strong password. Here are some quick tips below to for this:
- a) Use a complex set of lowercase and uppercase numbers, letters, and symbols.
- b) Avoid easy words that come from a dictionary.
- c) Don’t use personal information that others can find or guess, such as birthdates, your kids’ names or your favorite color.
- d) And don’t use the same password—however strong—on multiple accounts.
- Always keep good records
Always keep records and details of purchases (invoices, receipts, tracking number etc.). If you have a problem with the order, this information will help you resolve any complaints you might have in future.
- When you suspect any danger or suspicious activity, REPORT immediately
You should report suspicious activities to a classified ads website support/help email whenever you seem to be having issues. If it’s a big issue that bothers on your security or scammer, please don’t report to the classified ads company as they will not be able to do much. Report directly to the correct authorities. In Nigeria, you can also report scammers to a regulatory body like Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (formerly known as Consumer Protection Council), EFCC, or the Police. The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) is the apex consumer protection agency in Nigeria. The Commission was established by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Act (FCCPCA) (Cap. 25, Laws of The Federation 2004). The overall mandate of the Commission is to protect consumers by taking both preventive and remedial measures. Bodies like FCCPC would not hesitate to take up whatever issues might arise in the course of you conducting business online legally. For actual scam cases or criminal activities, you should report to EFCC. And for security issues, report to the Police. In most cases, simply shutting people off will solve the problems because scammers rarely show their faces. And you can save yourself the hassles of reporting, but if people have gained access to your accounts or threatening you, don’t take the risk of not reporting.
- Read about the website payment method before paying
While paying for premium ads, classified ads use 3rd party payment gateways. You can always check this out and google to find out how secure they are. Delon.ng uses Flutterwave (a highly secure payment gateway in Nigeria) and Stripe (a top-of-the-range payment gateway company based out of the United States). A classified ads platform like Delon.ng will typically use a secure payment gateway that allows you securely pay for ad subscriptions by using your card details without fear of compromise of any form.
- Think Safety and Scam always!
Most good classified ads websites will display do and don’ts on their websites to provide adequate guidance to sellers and buyers. It’s important to read this before you start posting you ads so that you can learn a lot of safety precautions. See a quick list below :
- a) Don’t pay any seller you have not met in person. This is a core difference between ecommerce websites and classified ads websites. While in ecommerce, you have to trust the merchant to pay ahead, classified ads is an offline introduction that allows you to assess, view, meet, and interview seller before buying the product. So, always try to see the product or meet the person and be fully satisfied about the product or service before you make payment
- b) Buyers and Sellers should meet only in public places. This is perhaps the most important warning. Don’t meet sellers or service providers in private places…always request to meet in public places like markets, offices and workshops
- c) Avoid accepting cheques. This is important for sellers. Don’t accept cheques from customers that you had no prior relationship with. Accept cash or present your POS to accept payment through their cards.
- d) Transactions are between users only, classified ads don’t provide any guarantees. This is important to emphasize. Unlike ecommerce websites, classified ads don’t provide any guarantees to buyers and sellers. Remember always that all you get is the introduction.
- e) Never give out your ATM card, Email or Social Media Passwords or PIN details. Remember never to give out details of your ATM cards, email password or social media passwrods to anyone
- f) Avoid opening emails from people you don’t know, and whenever you open strange emails, never click on links or attachments that you are not sure of. Most emails with attachments and web links are are typically phishing emails (the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit/debit card numbers) by scammers trying to gain access to your account.
- Be smart as you receive SMS/Text or Phone calls
As a seller, be careful when you receive messages from would be buyers. Listen carefully to their request and be certain that they are serious buyers. When you are not absolutely certain of such messages/requests, don’t let them waste your time, end the call. Some buyers are not scammers but are time-wasters. You must learn how to quickly decipher the time wasters and avoid letting them waste your time. Also, if you observe the person is a scammer, block their number immediately from your phone.
- Protect your devices from viruses and hackers
Make sure you have antivirus and antimalware software installed on your computer or mobile device, and that it is up to date. This will help you to avoid non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams, and help keep your personal information safe.
- Trust your guts when shopping on classified ads website. You can always
reach out to the support/help page to clarify concerns, questions you might have. You can never make any error by asking questions when you have any doubts.
There are several other classified ads websites in Nigeria that have existed for a while though some of them are no longer operating. Below is a list of most of the ones that have been around in recent years.
I advise that you visit all these 33 websites and many more that you find out online to learn about them. Try to narrow down your choice to about 5 classified websites that you would like to use regularly to promote your products and find affordable products. If you have low-budget, post free ads and pay only when you really need premium ads. I know several people that have had unsuccessful but expensive experiences trying to sell products (especially cars) on some top classified ads websites. Some of these people will only have discouraging words for you, but my advice is that you reduce your cost risk by focusing first on free adverts and if you need to pay, look for classified ads charging small fees. Also, utilize free social media platforms like facebook and Instagram to promote your products alongside the classifieds ads website. Use all available tools to help your business without spending too much.
Nigeria is a country of about 200 million people and there is good market opportunity for multiple classifieds ads websites to flourish. If I were you, I will continue to use several of them but focus my attention and time a lot on a few. These are products that can really help many poor people earn some income to meet their daily needs. As long as you have a small android phone with internet facility, all you need to do is to find a suitable product or service, and start selling online. If you also have an uncle or aunt that is an artisan that doesn’t know how to use mobile phones or internet, you can really help that person grow their business by helping them promote their business online through classified ads websites.