A day with gold sellers at Wuse Market – Daily Trust

Within the Wuse Market, an important set of sellers are the people who trade in gold. It’s impossible to pass by their stall and not see at least two or three customers coming in to buy or trade in gold. Daily Trust on Sunday spoke to a few gold sellers to narrate what the business entails and why it thrives.

As I waited for Abba to attend to me at his shop. I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful display of gold jewellery all over the place. You could tell how original the gold will be from how they all lit up the room.

I came across a beautiful pair of stud earrings and decided to ask for the price. When I was told the amount, I screamed and Abba responded, “That’s the price you pay for quality, besides you can always decide to sell them back to us should you become bored of them or in need of emergency funds.”

Alhaji Sale Abba has been selling gold in Wuse Market for over eight years. He said that the business is what has kept him and his family going. He said, “I’m not sure what other business I could have done asides this. At first it was difficult having to gather customers to patronise me but overtime, things became better for the business.”

He explained that the business of selling and buying gold remains profitable no matter the state of the economy.

“Among us we have the rich and the poor. Those two defining classes will always be there. The rich are accustomed to luxury; gold is luxury, people will always want flashy things and that’s what makes the market a bit stable.”

According to Abba, a gram of gold is sold for N32,000 and is bought back from customers at N23,000.

“We deal with gold in weight, so if you want to buy a gold chain or earring, it will be weighed first and the weight will be multiplied with the price for a gram which is N32,000. If you want to trade in your gold, the same method is applied. However, we buy at N23,000. We also look at the karat of that gold to determine its worth,” he explained.

The cheapest gold item at Abba’s shop was the set of stud earrings I had earlier liked. They weighed about 1.8 grams and when multiplied by N32,000 was going for the sum of N57,600. He showed me some gold jewelleries which ranged between N90,000 to N350,000. Items such as bracelets and earrings were not as expensive when compared to full sets of pendants and necklaces.

Abba said that in a day he could make between hundreds of thousands and millions of naira. “Depending on the season, some days I make up to N2million, some days it’s N500,000. Whatever it may be at the end of the day, we still see it as a good day.”

Within the period I sat at the shop, Abba had attended to at least three customers and said he was still hopeful because it was barely midday. “I attend to at least 15 people on a daily basis. Some days, people come more to trade in than buy. Some days it’s the opposite.

“I don’t know about others but I have seasons where I sell more than I buy and also vice versa. I noticed that starting from November to Mid-February, a lot of people tend to trade in their gold because they need money for the festive season. It’s also the season where children return school and parents are in dire need of fees. People who also have to pay other bills but haven’t made enough funds also tend to trade in their gold for money. However, people buy more from March till about the summer season begins and then the trading season begins again.”

Abba acknowledged that a majority of his customers are women, saying “In a week, I can say we attend to at least 15 women and maybe 5 men. Men barely come to buy gold and most times, it’s the wives that are doing the buying.”

When asked why gold moves fast as compared to other stones, he replied, “Other stones are very rare to find and are also very expensive compared to gold. People will always patronise gold cause as much as it’s expensive, it’s still affordable for many.”

Another gold seller in the market, Musa Haruna explained that gold selling is a business that can never fade away.

He said, “People love to look good; people love to have assets they can easily sell out and that’s the gap that we fill in.”

Haruna has been selling gold in Wuse Market for about eight years, just like Abba. According to him, even with the fluctuation in the economy and the price of gold going up, people still walk into his shop daily to patronise or trade in their golds.

“A fair majority of the Nigerian women you see walking around you have at least few pieces of gold stored away as their assets. Few of my customers have often revealed to me that they don’t just buy gold as luxury fashion pieces, they buy and keep them for the rainy days.”

Haruna said that it’s rare for the price of gold to drop, hence, the reason it is considered as a big investment for many of the women. “Since I started selling gold, I don’t think I’ve never witnessed a fall in the price. People who often buy from me and come back to trade always seem to walk away with a fair amount of money after they trade in their pieces”.

Haruna sells his gold at N34,000 and buys at N25,000. He mentions that his daily income can run into millions or hundreds of thousands depending on how many customers he’s able to receive in day.

“In a day I attend to at least 10 or 15 customers. Depending on the weight and karat each customer buys, I can boldly say we make at least 2 or N3 million daily. Some days, when we have maybe 5 to 7 customers, still depending on what they buy, we can make N500,000 to N700,000.”

Just like Abba, Haruna said more than half of his customers are women who come to buy gold for themselves or their children. He noted that even the men who come around often come with their wives to buy jewelleries for them.

Mrs Abubakar Salma, a business woman who spoke to Daily Trust on Sunday  mentioned that asides the use of gold for fashion purposes, the habit of investing in gold is a habit passed down to her by her mother.

“Growing up, my mum would buy gold pieces at every opportunity she got, and whenever our family faced any financial challenges, she would sell them in order to raise money for our needs,” she said.

She said she has no regret for the decision to follow in her mother’s foot step as that has saved her from financial issues.

“Any time I have a loose N100,000 – N200,000, I always use it to buy gold jewellery and keep them as assets for the rainy day,

“With the gold I’ve bought, I’ve paid my children school fees, sorted out certain debts and bills. The total worth of the gold I have now should be about N3million or more. God forbid, something happens to me, I’m sure that I have assets I can liquidate to solve my issues.”