7 Characteristics of a Genuine Seller of Commodities

Finding a genuine seller of commodities is not an entirely easy feat. The market is riddled with sellers who are selling a fake product, not reliable or do not actually have the products. However, with the right information, genuine sellers can easily be identified.

Here are some characteristics buyers should look out for when searching for genuine sellers of commodities.

The seller has a track record of dealing with bigger businesses

It takes a lot of expertise, persistence, and credibility to sell to big businesses. Hence, sellers that have a track record of selling to such businesses are usually more reliable and credible. These sellers are usually the real owners of their products, not fake brokers that run around with the client’s money without having the commodities they claim to have.

They are also very good at building lasting relationships with customers. Big businesses often look to form long relationships with their sellers – not just to make spot buys. They want sellers that are conversant with their products and can be called on at any time should they run into a problem. Patronizing such sellers is always a good idea.

They are registered on a marketplace that verifies local farmers and sellers

Marketplaces verify sellers on their platform as a form of protection for both sellers and buyers. It makes it difficult for fraudsters to pose as sellers on these marketplaces and defrauding buyers in the process.

To get verified on a marketplace, sellers are required to submit personal information like email address, house and business addresses, unexpired ID card, and passport. Official company details, financial information, and tax numbers are also often requested for. All these requirements serve to ensure that the seller is genuine so buyers can be assured that they are in good hands.

Recognized by the country’s export council

Export councils register sellers who are genuinely interested in exporting their commodities out of the country. They are regulatory bodies that promote and regulate export trade as well as implement export polices.

They also provide professional assistance to exporters. Such areas include export procedures, documentation, financing, quality control, export packaging, costing, pricing, and so on. When a seller is registered under the country’s export council, their goods are subject to proper inspection by specific agencies.

These goods will not be shipped unless they meet the required standard of quality, have complete documentation and meet the buyers’ expectation. Hence, the buyer is protected from counterfeit commodities or other fraudulent activities.

Has an export license

Export licenses are documents issued by the appropriate licensing agency which grants sellers permission to export their commodities out of a country without any hassle. The license is only issued after a careful review of the export transaction and all prerequisites have been met. Commodities shipped without an export license are seized at the customs which serves as a loss to the buyer.

Registered under a trade body in their country

Trade bodies are non-profit organizations formed by businesses in the same industry. They are formed to protect the interest of their members, promote trade laws, and be the voice of the industry against unfair legislation.

Trade bodies prescribe the code of ethics for their industry in order to discourage unethical behaviour. They also an avenue for like-minded individuals to network, share ideas and make connections that would be impossible without the association. An important thing they offer is certifications and licenses. These provide a sense of reliability in the minds of customers. It assures them that they are dealing with a genuine seller.

Communicates clearly and is consistent

A seller that lacks proper communication skills is not one that any buyer will want to do business with. Effective communication builds trust and emotional connection between the seller and the buyer. The buyer can comfortably discuss their needs with the seller and the seller can effectively alleviate their concerns and make them feel valued. Consistency is also a very important characteristic. A consistent seller is one that continuously delivers genuine commodities, knows what’s going on in the market and is always looking for ways to improve. A buyer is sure can rely on such seller.

Understands the product

Genuine sellers understand their products. They know everything there is to know about them. They know the features, functions, several applications, advantages and disadvantages, lifecycle, among others.

The seller is thus able to present the benefits of the commodity accurately to the buyer in terms that make sense. Sellers that have a proper understanding of their products. And it shows how invested they are in the products and how passionate they are about it.

Most ecommerce focus on foreign goods, but cokodeal focus on locally sourced goods

The importance of technology cannot be over-emphasized. It has changed every aspect of our lives. Take a look at the business world. The ways businesses are conducted have changed. You don’t need to go to a physical store to purchase an item.

This has been made possible by e-commerce platforms. They are now commonplace. They house a variety of goods and even go one step further to deliver goods bought by customers. Platforms such as Kaymu provide an avenue for businesses to showcase their products while they handle logistics, payments and what have you. This has helped these businesses, which are mostly owned by individuals, to showcase their products to the world, drive sales and boost the economy.

I have taken time to scour these e-commerce platforms and all I see are foreign goods. Well, Nigerians have a high taste for foreign goods but are we doing our local manufacturing industries any good? Of course we are not! Someone has seen the dangers inherent in not showcasing “Made in Nigeria” goods and have come up with a platform to help in this regard. The platform is Cokodeal!

Cokodeal.com is an e-commerce firm for not only locally produced goods but also manufactured goods, textiles, agricultural products and crafts in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Through Cokodeal, individuals and/or small businesses that locally manufacture/produce items such as shoes, bags, plastics, furniture frames, leather works and hides, and even farm produce such as cocoa and raw foods can showcase their wares to potential buyers both in Nigeria and overseas.

I’m not really versed in economics and financial matters but I know it makes a lot of business and economic sense if a buyer from Britain buys locally made goods in Nigeria. This is what Cokodeal.com can do! In a bid to make these small businesses key into its offering and become successful and profitable, Cokodeal has begun collaborations with organizations such as Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industries and Nigeria Export and Import Bank. The partnership will also provide Cokodeal with the local knowledge support to help reach members of the organizations, thereby tackling the problem associated with finding businesses across Nigeria.

Knowing that transportation of goods from the point of manufacture to the point of sale is a problem in Nigeria for various reasons, Cokodeal contracts third party logistics company to handle this and ensuring its clients get the best deals. Through trade fairs, trade expos, exhibitions and trade event networks, Cokodeal.com helps its clients to understand what buyers are searching for, especially as it concerns quality of good and product packaging. Aside from showcasing Made in Nigeria products to the world, Cokodeal hopes to absorb 10,000 unemployed youths into the workforce.

How will this be done? It’s simple! Firstly, youths are connected to factories and agricultural farms where jobs are in abundance. Secondly, these youths also act as factory agents, helping in creating free stores on Cokodeal, especially for factories that are not tech savvy. Finally, Cokodeal is presently hiring youths across different region of each states to manage the region trade activities.

One amazing thing about Cokodeal is that sellers won’t require a middleman to sell their products. They simply sign up with Cokodeal and start selling. The rest is handled by Cokodeal. Signing up on Cokodeal.com is free however sellers part with monthly subscriptions. This, and advertisements and agents, franchise and export brokerage, helps Cokodeal stay afloat. In fact, through this basic revenue model, it hopes to achieve its projected financial plans of a yearly increase of 120%.

Cokodeal is always running and secure from cyber-attacks as a result of a robust software development team with over 11 years’ experience in the United Kingdom. The platform is hosted on a private server with 99.99% uptime with an industry-certified standard socket layer technology for security and encryption of customers’ data. Cokodeal.com, which has been described as Africa’s Alibaba for locally produced goods, was founded by Mike Dola, who also doubles as its Executive Director.

Cokodeal.com cuts business cost for SME’s

It is imperative to understand the role technology has forced on us all, as we transition from an analogue system of trade to digital, forcing out old methods and creating new ones we have to adapt with. It was published in the media recently; “Online shopping booms, states and businesses lose revenues”. This is as a result of a progressive shift in the way trade is carried out.

The electronic trade has got us familiar with new terms like e-shop, e-store, storefront and marketplace. These are terms that represent a virtual setup of ones store on the internet that can be open for trade 24hour with ease of access through mobile phones, apps and desktop using the internet.

In recent times we have seen development that e-companies like Dealdey has brought to the online industry by driving huge volumes of customers to sellers through a discount pricing system, which helps the seller to reach interested individuals with their product offering, saving cost of marketing for small businesses.

Also getting familiar with terms like affiliate, that is more common to sites like Konga and Jumia, they host thousands of small scale businesses that sell hundreds of goods through their platform, which helps to drive sales for the business owners. In the recent black Friday hosted by the platforms, sales generated by these platforms for business owner were in volumes that wouldn’t have been possible by the brick and mortar physical shops.

Furthermore, marketplace like cokodeal.com that helps manufacturers and exporters’ drive their growth to intra Africa trade, this saves huge advertising cost,  by creating market linkage to new emerging markets for manufacturers and local producers in Nigeria. Cokodeal.com has successfully helped manufacturers link with interested buyers out of the shores of Nigeria, making such businesses capable of more international trade.

As explained by an economist with the Kaduna state Ministry of Budget and planning, Mr Yusuf Auta, states that in spite of the risk associated with online shopping, government could still tap from its huge revenue potentials. For instance cokodeal.com partnerships with SMEs, exporters and government agencies in helping them to promote locally sourced goods to a global market has huge potential of driving revenues from other countries and boosting the economy of the nation.

In the turn of the table, business owners need not see online trading as a hindrance to their growth instead see it as a means to save marketing, advertising and staffing costs. As their business can now be accessed globally when registered on these platforms for free. To highlight some of the cost these means of trading saves such businesses; the technical requirement and cost to setup a website, the search engine optimisation that enables easy search of product through the internet, and the ease of communication between buyers and sellers securely has been covered.

All that is required of the business is to register for free and abide by the agreement policy of the platform, upload business and product details and then sales begin to roll in. This can be achieved in minutes and the opportunities for SME businesses are unending. It is obvious that innovation and creativity of the online space is taking over and the world is becoming a global village, therefore SME’s must see online market place as the next big space to tap into instead of seeing it as a threat. If businesses do not take advantage of the huge benefits now, they may be left behind.

appeared on Naija247news.com


Looking to the future: Interesting predictions on what Africa should expect in e-commerce in 2016

It seems just like yesterday, when e-commerce stormed Africa, and ever since, it has grown increasingly every year despite the huddles. As we wind up things for the year 2015, predictions for the coming year 2016 are already flying out.

We take a look at George Kalebaila, senior research manager at IDC (International Data Corporation) Sub-Saharan Africa’s chat with ITWeb Africa on the challenge of predicting the future and offered further insight into some of the key trends to look out for next year:

 Improved security

Security remains very key to the growth of ecommerce. People’s willingness to buy online is as a result of the trust level they have with the system. According to report some 63% of south Africa non online shoppers highlights online security as the main reason they don’t shop online. The safer ecommerce is the more people are willing to embrace it.

The (IDC) 2016 predictions, sees security moving to the cloud especially with mobile penetration on the increase in Africa. They highlighted that Africa would see a more integrated approach to security through cloud with mobile playing a huge role.

“In 2016 we will see biometrics, access security and IT security becoming integrated with mobile security. Security is now moving to the cloud especially with mobile because of the externalization of business processes because of mobile devices. Security and threat management will see a more integrated approach as the latest technology will evolve from the cloud and will be replicated across enterprise systems as it were.”

As online spending surges in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya (which are the more major countries driving ecommerce in Africa), now is the time much more than ever to beef up security. Improved security would further encourage a business man to run an online store because he knows his customers trust the system enough to do business.

 Smart cities would spore more participation in ecommerce

A connected city where everything is linked in a network through cloud. Predictions suggest more smart cities in Africa for 2016. The huge gap of development between the African rural and urban areas presents huge opportunities for business. A local farmer in a small rural village can make more sales due to more demands directed to her from a dropshipper who sells on cokodeal.com marketplace, and because almost every one of these rural settlers have a mobile phone or has someone who does, the farmer can communicate with people in the city on constant basis. We are likely to see a surge increase in drop-shipping who would bridge the gap of participation of the local manufacturers/producers with the ever competitive and changing world of business in the smart cities.

“Almost every mature citizen in South Africa for example has got a mobile phone and that creates a big opportunity for municipalities and metros to use that platform to engage their citizens and move into the 3rd platform, to use mobility and cloud services.”

However possible these predictions, one thing is certain- e-commerce is fast catching up in Africa and projecting into the future, it is safe to say 2016 holds huge opportunities in e-commerce ready to be tapped.

What are your thoughts on these predictions?

4 hacks on how you can be a top seller on cokodeal marketplace


What do top sellers do to regularly meet their sales target? We put together salient points as genuine stepping stones to making top seller on cokodeal marketplace:

  • Optimize your store

Your online store is a virtual representation of your business, put in place everything possible to make it so.

Some key take-away:

Create attractive and consistent photos of your products.
Have a complete store profile including every vital information that can help a prospect trust your business enough  to want to contact you.
Upload clear and up-to-date product descriptions. Share your store link on all social media to invite your friends to visit your store.
Optimize your store content for high ranking on the cokodeal sellers search by subscribing to a paid membership.

  • Setup customer reward packages

Be unique and reward your customers and prospects who have any contact with your store.

Some key take-away:

Send gifts
You can send vital information
Create discount programs

  • Prompt response time

Don’t keep your customers waiting once they have a contact with your store. Be proactive and always alert to respond to customers enquiries so as to be on hand to satisfy them.

Some key take-away:

Having a mobile device you can use to access your store would come handy to help you monitor your store with ease. With the Cokodeal platform improving regularly, you can better improve your response rate.

  • Advertise your store on cokodeal marketplace

with thousands of business people from all around the world visiting cokodeal marketplace, what you want to do on a regular basis is to make sure your products or store appear in front of prospects as often as possible.The more exposure your store gets, the higher the possibility of increasing prospects visit to your store. Pick up one of cokodeal.com ad plans http://www.cokodeal.com/get-found-46.html, and give your business the lift above the crowd.

The more you work with these points and be creative about them the better your chances of racking up top seller on cokodeal marketplace. Persistence and close observation are key to seeing that your results
improve. Always put in place a system for measuring your efforts as this helps you know what’s working and what’s not.