The value of the Naira is falling quite uncontrollably and this has severely affected imports and subsequently the prices of imported commodities in the market. This is especially so for electronics as the cost of acquiring a new electronic item is quickly going beyond the means of average Nigerians.
With 40% of Nigerians living in extreme poverty, more people are looking for ways to get the necessary appliances that they need but cannot fully pay for at once. This has led to the growth of the second-hand electronics market in Nigeria.
But purchasing second-hand items come with their own problems. Second-hand electronics usually have no warranty. Furthermore, there is no way to tell how severely damaged it was before its previous user decided to sell it off. Furthermore, in the case of damage, it will be difficult to take the same to the dealership for repairs. In the long run, the decision to buy second-hand items end up being cases of penny wise, pound foolish.
A World Bank report crowned Nigeria as the largest market for second-hand clothing and other products in Africa.
A way to navigate this problem is to pay in instalments and get the needed appliance midway. Of course, for this to help anyone, the entire price being paid should attract little or no interest. By paying half upfront paying the rest after getting the purchased item, people can get what they need to improve their quality of life.
CD care is a mobile app that provides this solution to Nigerians. The app provides a mobile marketplace that allows people to shop for their household needs and electronic gadgets like mattresses, fridge, laptops and phones.
I reviewed the version 1.0.20 of the android app and it already has more than 5,000 downloads. The size of the android app is 10MB while its iOS version has a size of 81.6MB. On the Playstore, CD Care has a 4-star rating from 51 total reviews while the iOS version has a 5-star rating and only 2 reviews.
How to use CD Care
I downloaded the app from the Playstore and launched it on my phone. I could immediately see items that were available for sale even before creating my own account. However, until I created my own account, I was not able to make any purchases.
The mobile app has a dashboard with four options. The options allow you to shop items, view your wishlist, manage your account or see your history. From the marketplace, I looked at different gadgets and appliances including phones, air conditioners, generators, laptops, freezers, gas cookers, fans, televisions and wristwatches. Other housing needs like mattresses are available for purchase through the app as well.
If a product you want to buy is not available on the app, there is a feature called ‘Request a product‘ which allows you to ask for that product to be provided on CDcare. This also helps to ensure that the marketplace is stocked with things that people want to buy.
When you place a request, it opens a WhatsApp chat with a CD Care representative and sends your name and email address to the WhatsApp handle. You will have to share a link to that product on another site so that the rep can know what you are requesting for.
Once you have created an account, you can select any item and choose to pay for it weekly or monthly for as long as you want. If you are paying weekly, you can spread your payment over 4 weeks or for as long as 12 weeks. If, on the other hand, you are paying monthly, you can pay up within two months or for as long as 12 months. Each item comes with the option of purchasing insurance for it.
Once you have selected the payment timeline, you will be notified of when your product will be available for pickup so you can plan towards it. The payment is done either through a bank transfer or by card and is prompted with the ‘Start your instalments‘ button. For subsequent payments, the app tries to automatically deduct it from your bank account on or before the scheduled date for payment.
I got my gadgets and did not pay interest – What users say
A user, Idowu Victor, said he was able to buy his gadget without paying extra and without glitches. He was able to purchase his gadgets without paying extra interest added.
Another user, Adedeji Adekunle said: “Got my Fridge and Washing Machine on CDcare using the 4 months instalment. A great way to spread your expenses while still owning what you crave.”
Some of the other reviews complained about user experience particularly at the point of signing up or launching the app. The complaints were from months ago and appear to have been fixed because I did not have any of the glitches mentioned.
Credibility is a key requirement for a platform like CD Care, especially because the payment has to be made even before the product is seen. A customer care line as well as Whatsapp line is available to users in addition to email to ensure that communication is seamless between CD Care and its users.
An observation that has not yet been worked on from the Playstore is the provision of more images for each product. Currently, each product has only one image attached to it and this does not give the kind of comprehensive view that multiple images taken from different angles would.
CD Care is a great option for people who want to buy and pay in smaller bits. Since it does not add huge interest to the principal amount, it removes the worry of paying exorbitant fees because of the time factor. Its user policy favours buyers and also clarifies what will be done if a user defaults on payment.
In the case where you do not pay the instalment as expected, CD Care flags it as a dangerous trend and may hold on to the product until after the full sum has been completed. If you cancel the order after you have already started, CD Care will only refund 90% of the entire sum that you have already paid. If your payment is late, a late fee of 1% will be added to the expected amount, if you do not pay up after the 10 days, another 1% applies to the sum again.
CD Care is a good option to obtain gadgets and pay in instalments except for folks who are not confident of completing their payments as at when due.
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