Let’s step away from politics and ‘Papa No’s for a second to talk about something that Ghanaians do that really hurts me to the core.
A Ghanaian will buy something for cheap and want to erect a mansion in East Legon by selling it off at 1000% of its original value. Why?
Not long ago the concept of your appearance influencing the cost of an item you want to buy came up in discussion and I was mortified to realize that my glasses, clean shirt, and English pɛ has probably caused me to buy stuff at inflated prices – innocent me that I don’t know how to haggle and generally don’t want to cheat any trader out of their profit no?!
Strictly speaking, it’s obviously another aspect of this attitude that lay behind the market bubble of Faceshield entrepreneurs that blew up in their faces last month. We were all here in these streets when people sold those things for up to GHS75 each without batting an eyelash, without us realizing all the while that when you buy it in bulk the unit price can come as low as GHS5…or even less. That also is a kind of Corruption!
I could draw a comparison between how most Nigerian spare parts dealers are reported to make more money than their Ghanaian counterparts because of their greater willingness to ask for fair prices during negotiations, but many people have written about that already.
I sometimes dabble in sales of some small tech essentials and the temptation is always there to over-inflate prices – after all, no one sees how much I actually paid for them – but I try to keep my profit within reasonable margins in light of the risk and all involved, no matter how hard the Greed monster whispers into my ear because I want to sleep well at night too. Mansion no deɛ yɛbesi o, but I don’t think there’s a need to swindle people out of money just to get ahead in life.
Why am I saying all these things? I want us to change our mentalities as Ghanaians and provide well-priced help whenever we can. Unrealistic prices hurt everyone, so instead of waiting forever to make a killing by selling one item for GHS100, why not sell 3 for GHS60 so you can make a profit while reinvesting to produce more to sell at fair prices so we all benefit from the interaction at the end of the day?
It is in light of this and my determination not to support Corruption is not just high but low places also, that I have decided never to buy bofrot in Accra again.
God knows how much I love those distinctly African delicacies, but to pay GHS1.00 for a single bofrot is a Travesty, an unfair Miscarriage of Justice of ridiculous proportions! I could get comparably well-sized ones in Kumasi for half the price, and they would even to me so 1 more if I buy 3 cedis sef!
I will negotiate with terrorists holding bofrot hostage no more.