Victoria Chukwuma

5 local markets for cheap wares in Lagos, Nigeria

Local markets for cheap wares in Lagos, Nigeria are recognised and accepted for their cost-effective prices and diverse offerings. In Lagos, local markets are a prime spot for buying in bulk, getting supplies for college, relocation and basic demands with a budget.

In this blog post, I will be identifying popular markets, their market days and time, their speciality (what they are known for) and important notes you should pay attention to when visiting any of the markets.

Let’s get right into it.

Are you looking for a market to buy clothes, shoes, bags, wigs on a tight budget? A market to buy foodstuff, kitchen utensils or groceries in bulk at affordable prices? Well, you are in the right place!

In no particular order, 5 Local Markets for cheap wares in Lagos, Nigeria includes:

1. Ojo Alaba International Market is also known as the largest electronics market in Nigeria.
At Alaba International Market, wares like home appliances, mobile devices, desktops, laptops, inverters, electric iron & plate, oven, tabs, generator, bicycle, motorcycle, drum set, keyboards, religious instruments can all be purchased (brand new or fairly used) and repaired for a reasonable cost.

Due to the wide range of business activities that go on in this market, electronics and electrical engineers have their base here; to repair faulty appliances and transact business with dealer electronics. It is B2B and B2C at the same time – Business to Business and Business to Consumer.

Fairly used air condition for sale at Alaba International Market
Fairly used air condition for sale at Alaba International Market. Photo credit: sunnewsonline.com

Market days:

Monday to Saturday with Sundays and public holidays as exceptions.

Important Note: Be security conscious with yourself and belongings. I advise you do not patronise louts or hooligans who loiter the marketplace as they are known to defraud unsuspecting buyers.

Ensure you liaise and engage shop owners as much as you can. Hold your purse tightly and bags firmly to avoid stories that touch the heart. Lastly, at the risk of carrying plenty of cash and being susceptible to fraudsters, shop owners use POS machines and allow electronic transfers.

Verdict: Highly recommend for electronics.

Going forward:

2. Aswani Market: Among the local market for cheap wares in Lagos, this is presumably the cheapest cloth market in the state.

Known for its unbeatable prices, Aswani Market is a local market for individual or retail shopping. With innumerable stalls peddling clothes, chiffon tops, dresses, makeup, shoes and bags, you are sure to have a filled day at this market. Note, they offer secondhand items mostly. Brand new items abound too.

5 local markets for cheap wares in Lagos, Nigeria
Bend-down-select wares.
Photo credit: The Guardian Nigeria

Market day: Tuesday morning. 6 am is not late, trust me.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Cost prices may revert to their normal price after Tuesday as Tuesday is the l market day. It is a bend-down-select sontin.

Set out on time. The best things are gotten early and won’t wait for you. Also, wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to stand and move around with ease. **dem no dey siddon for bend-down-select market**

Verdict: Recommend for clothes and bags/shoes.

Number 3:

3. Gatankowa Market (Super): As the name implies, Super is a supermarket for everyone. Gatankowa is one of the major local secondhand cloth markets. Secondhand here means, fairly used, previously owned imported clothes. This popular cheap ware market boasts of:
Kiddies clothes, Jeans for adult male and female and children, Handbags, chiffon tops, corporate gowns, blazers and Ankara.

Market days: Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

Time: Morning till evening.

IMPORTANT NOTE: While I advise that you are at the market early to pick first-grade, long-lasting clothing, costs are known to drop in the afternoon when clearance sale is done. Remember, it is a first-come, first-serve market. Set out on time and you’ll be sure to pick clean, good clothes or risk it and buy cheaper at noon.

Number 4 local markets for cheap wares:

5 local markets for cheap wares in Lagos, Nigeria
Nollywood movie distribution hub at Idumota market. Photo credit: Getty Images

4. Idumota Market: One of the oldest and largest markets in West Africa, Idumota market is known for its expansive retail and wholesale offerings. With thousands of lockup shops occupying buildings in the market, subsets of this market include but not limited to:

Madillas, Apongbon, Balogun, Tinubu Square, Dosunmu, Broad Street, Holloway, Idumagbo etc

  • Balogun market is widely sourced for fabric like high-end Ankara, lace, damask etc for all manner of events. Weddings, burials or naming ceremony, bridal/baby shower etc.
  • Idumota market itself is a Nollywood distribution hub for marketers. Here, you are certain to get cinema dubs, 22 in 1 movie, old/new film releases, even songs. You are certain to get old, phased out songs. Clothes are also available here.
  • Dosunmu & Idumagbo markets are wristwatch markets for individual, bulk purchases and repairs.
  • Madillas & Broad Street markets are for corporate wears e.g suits, skirts, shoes or corporate clothing for work. Tinubu Square is for relatively cheaper wears. Dosunmu market is for baby items, jewellery (chain, pendants, earrings), female underwear (pants, bras, lingerie), watches, boxers, singlets.
  • Oke-arin & Apongbon markets are for beverages, drinks (hard/soft), wines, spirits for Wholesalers and retailers alike.
  • Holloway market is for kitchen utensils. Pots, spoons, plates, ovens in all variety and styles, are available in mass or single purchase.

Market days: Mondays to Saturday. Morning through the evening.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the steady influx of people into the market, set out with a debit or credit card for POS or electronic transfers. Also, hold your bags and purse firmly throughout your stay in this market. Be wary of anyone coming overtly close to you. Shine ya eyes in ẹ̀kọ́ market oh!

Number 5!

5. Ajah Market, Aja, Lekki: For a market on the island, this is about the next thing to Trade fair, Yaba market and Iyana-iba markets on the mainland. At affordable rates, this local market offers secondhand clothings (chiffon tops, palazzos, shirts, corporate gowns, blazers, tank tops, crop tops, pant trousers, etc). Shoes (court shoes, heels, fancy slippers, sandals, sneakers and sports wears) and bags. I once got pant trousers for 500Naira a pair.

5 local markets for cheap wares in Lagos, Nigeria
Ajah market, Aja, Lekki Lagos, Nigeria.
Photo credit: Visitnigerianow.com

Other than clothes, Ajah Market is a perfect market for household grocery shopping: bags of rice, beans, gallons of groundnut oil, red oil, yams and soup ingredients. Beef, fish and all sort of meats and fresh vegetables are available in bulk too.

Market days: Monday -Saturday.
Time: Morning through the evening.

IMPORTANT NOTE: for clothes, I recommend evening time (3 pm to 4 pm is fine as the fierceness of the sun prevents traders from displaying their wares in the day).

There you have it; 5 local markets for cheap wares in Lagos, Nigeria dusted and a little surprise. 

I could not resist sharing this last one as I know some ardent Lagosians will not forgive me if I don’t.

6. Mile 12 Market: Unarguably the busiest market in Lagos state, this is the major market for everything food and consumables. Foodstuff ranging from rice, beans, millet, tomatoes, okra, vegetables, garri, pepper, ginger, garlic, crayfish. cabbage, salad, meat, fish, cooking oil, soup ingredients, and the list is inexhaustible.

5 local markets for cheap wares in Lagos, Nigeria
Baskets of tomatoes for sale at Mile 12 Market.
Photo credit: tribuneonline.com

A point of convergence for humans from all walks of life and tribe. You are most likely going to meet people from all 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria (no exaggeration or maybe small exaggeration lol).

Market days: Monday to Sunday.

Time: The market is open as early as 4 am and stays till midnight.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Need to get foodstuff in bulk? for an event? this is it. Go with cash preferably. Due to its busyness, it is a pay-as-you-go market as sellers do not have the patience and luxury of waiting for credit alerts before moving on to the next customer.

So there, my list of 6 popular Lagos markets for affordable, basic, daily needs.

Please note that cheap here by no means implies tawdry, common or inferior. Rather, economic, reasonable and standard.

Do you agree with my list? Leave a comment below and share this information across social media.

Happy shopping!!!

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