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Have you ever bought items on Instagram? Or at least ever considered the idea?

It’s amazing to see how the popular social media platform has evolved over the years. What was once a simple photo sharing site has become so much more, including a cool marketplace for the latest fashion trends among other things. If you’re thinking of plugging into this new social shopping experience, here are a few guidelines to consider:

1. Be on the look out for Instagram store accounts: A number of Instagram fashionistas have separate accounts where they sell things they’re promoting, so do your research. Dresses, jeans, handbags, perfumes… the list of fashion items you can find is absolutely endless. Searching through #ForSale posts is always a good place to start, and narrow down on items in Nigeria.

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2. Auction vs. First Come First Serve: Both exist on Instagram, so you have to know which you’re signing up for. With auctions, the usual method is to DM bids (send bids directly) of how much you are willing to pay. The other option involves simply indicating interest in the item. Speed is key though; don’t carry last.

3. Payment options: Congratulations! Your bid was chosen. Now, here is the slightly tricky part. Most IG traders are okay with payment upon delivery, and others account transfers. Don’t be surprised if a Paypal request is requested for too. Beware of suspicious payment requests that smell of fraudulence, and never go alone to a destination to claim your item.

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4. Track your purchase: Once your payment is sorted out online, next up is waiting for delivery. Remember that some Instagram traders are everyday people with everyday responsibilities. That’s a fancy way of saying it may take a while for your purchased goods to get to you, so be patient. Make calls if you have to, to find out where your purchase is.

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