●Sellers name rams ‘Senator,’ ‘Area Fada,’ ‘Muscle’ to differentiate sizes, prices
It would have been inconceivable some years back to think of vibrant online platforms through which Nigerians, especially those living in Lagos, can make orders for rams during festive periods. But with the tide of the world irrevocably shifting the way of the digital, that is no longer a possibility but the reality.
The market penetration might be yet insignificant as many spots where people go to physically select and buy rams still dot the landscape, from Iyana Ipaja to Mushin, Meiran to Oko Oba, Agege to Ojoo among others but the way it is picking up pace, it will be the main route to explore in another five years.
In an article he posted online titled “Buying Sallah rams online in Nigeria” back in 2015, Felix Okoli noted that Sallah celebrations, especially Eid-el-kabir, one of the two festive periods for Islamic faithful across the globe, are hardly ever complete without Sallah rams. At least for those who can afford it, the onus is on them to get at least a befitting ram for the celebration, with killing and cooking it for people to enjoy being the ultimate objective.
“Buying a ram for Sallah in Nigeria can be a big task and money is normally involved. It also requires transportation and searching for the right market to buy from. A third thing requires is bargaining or negotiating skills since the price of Sallah rams are not regulated in Nigeria. When a market is located, the prospective buyer takes a look at the rams to choose the one(s) that best suits his status before negotiating for the price and taking it home. At times, such rams tend to get very expensive than during ordinary time just because there is normally a high demand for it. But trust Nigerians, once they’ve made a desire to buy the ram, they would still buy it even if the market price can at times be outrageous. It would take the skills of a good negotiator to get a good price on a ram for Sallah.
At times, buyers do get cheated when buying Sallah rams and it would have been easier if the government or somebody just puts a price limit on the cost of such rams to buyers especially during Sallah,” Okolo wrote. Going further, he said: “Well, all these would have been made easier if it was possible for people to buy Sallah rams online and all the details of the contracts would be listed therein.
There are many online shopping websites now in Nigeria but it seems that none of them are selling live animals yet based on what I know but it would be cool if there were to do so and they’d need to include things like weight of the ram, colour of the ram and if free transportation would be included too. They should also include the prices too and state if it can be discounted if possible.
“If it was indeed possible to buy rams online in Nigeria, it would make life easier for many Nigerian Muslims who want to celebrate their Sallah feasts well.” Just three years down the line, not only have the online shopping sites embraced the idea, many others solely set up for the business of selling rams, have joined the fray. Speaking about his business, a Nigerian professional who, along with his partners, founded a shopping site for the sales of rams, said it has been easy due to the creativity they applied. “It’s been wonderful, people have been buying online. Majority of our customers are people I don’t even know. All they do is that they call to ask for pictures of our rams and we send to them.
Then they come for inspection and they will pick the rams they want,” he said when asked to recount his experience so far.” He added that the fears of many when it comes to pricing are largely unfounded. “You know we go to the market and it is from what we buy at the market that we sell and make our own profit. We travel to the north, Katsina, Kano, even as far as Niger Republic, to buy and that determines what se well. We only sell to people within Lagos.
“We have Muzzle, we have Classic and so many names there. We actually started the idea of naming rams as such but others are now imitating it. We are into so many things but we started the naming and attaching the price tags and the reason we came up with that was just to classify all our rams. We were at a meeting one day and we were discussing how to market it. It was just an idea of partners that led to that and people have started buying into that and appreciating it.” With sites such as Ogbongeblo. com offering discounted Sallah rams, it is becoming a piece of cake to order or buy rams online.
The process of acquisition is spelt out thus: “Go to Dealdey website here and SIGN UP, Sign in once you complete your registration, click on the “City” tab, click on the “Live Ram for Sallah | Free Delivery” deal, click on BUY button and click to buy, pay using any of the displayed payment options and enter your shipping/delivery address,” with a prospective buyer due to receive notifications via sms and email once payment is made and delivery taking two days after payment. On the Jumia website, almost all the rams are listed under the “Lagos only” category which means they only sell and deliver in Lagos and do not travel outside the state.
In terms of offering, they are laid out like cakes in an eatery. For example, Uddah (white And Brown Mature) Ram 55-65kg goes for N120,000 with the listed features: “robust, perfect for the Sallah celebration and no previous history of injuries.” Uddah Ram 28- 35kg with similar features apart from “organically bred,” is available for N50,000, “Balemi Mature weighing 90 kg goes for N290,000 while Kuku Mature Ram 35-40 kg (white) for 70,000 as Udah white and black mature gold weighing 55-60 kg is for N120,000. For the pricing of the rams, whose pictures are attached to each post, weight seems to matter a lot. On another web-based platform, bellarmart.com, rams are listed under the product section. For them, it is not about posting the pictures of the rams. All they have is a description along with a price range of between N35,000.00 and N115,000.
For those willing to speak with them, a phone number is listed under the contacts section as well as address given as No 40, Baria Street, 133/2, Surulere, Lagos apart from the Abuja address: No. 1 Kandi Close, Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2 Abuja. As an online mall selling many products, Bellamart is seemingly vested in the field of agriculture with fishes, livestock, grains, frozen food, natural herbs and leaves, nuts being other things they deal on.
They have cash on delivery options but it is not clear if this extends to those buying rams. Another, Naijaholic is linked to DealDey, an online shopping mall where different people can display their goods, they have a listed address at 110, Brickfield Street, Ebute Meta, Lagos. Beyond offering the rams at N45,000 instead of its former price of N60,000 as the festival draws closer, they boast of free delivery after helping customers save as much as N15,000. Jiji, known for the sales of many things including phones, cars, computers and the lieks, is also active for ram sales. Such offerings as “Ileya Ram For Sale N70,000,” “Pure white Ileya Ram for sale at affordable rate of 70k,” “Ram For Sale at N65,000” dot its space. Another website is www.yahfatmin. com run by operators of Yahfatmin Farms Limited. On the website, many rams are listed as available for sale as they also sell poultry products and rabbits, snails, small game, feeds and are even available to help slaughter and butcher rams for a fee.
They have rams like Senator which weighs between 52.00kg and 56.90kg and costs N90, 900.00 as well as Show Stopper costing as much as N106,050.00 and weighing between 57 and 66.90 kg. Area Fada is listed available for purchase at a princely sum of N131,300.00 and one would not be so surprised since the ram is said to weigh between 67 kg and 90.00kg. With its address listed as Satellite House, Ijaiye Medium Housing Estate, Ijaiye Road, Agege-Ogba, Lagos, it also has outlets in Abuja and Abeokuta. Even OLX, known for those seeking to quickly dispose mostly household items and in certain cases, cars, has a number of rams listed for sale. Who says ram buying, in Lagos at least, has not gone digital?
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