Even though schools at all levels have been reopened for physical learning to take place, demand for laptops, smart phones, and tablets are still on the rise as academic institutions continue to incorporate virtual learning in their programmes, leading to hikes in their prices.
A visit by the B&FT to some shops in the capital revealed electronic shops are cashing-in on the new normal, especially with students at the tertiary level, as some electronic shops are even running out of stock for key gadgets. The situation has also led to application of the basic rule in economics – the higher the demand, the higher the price.
Gagztech Zone is an electronic gadget and accessories shop in Accra operated by Patrick Affum-Buabeng who shared his experience with the B&FT, saying: “Demand is exceeding supply at this point.
“This month demand is high because schools have reopened, but the problem is that prices have also gone up and people are not able to purchase the brand-new ones as they used to. People are resorting to home-used ones. And even with those, they are also imported and we are currently facing challenges importing laptops and other gadgets due to high prices,” he said.
What has led to the shortage of supply, Mobile Express electronic gadget shop owner Kwaku Agyeman explains, is the shutdown of most production plants due to the second wave of the pandemic.
“The demand for gadgets such as laptops and smartphones is high among the student population. They come often to purchase my wares; but as it stands now, these gadgets are now scarce and their prices have gone up due to little or no production. Low production is what is affecting the shortage in supply. Most factories that assemble many of these gadgets are in China, and at the moment most of them have shut down due to the global health crisis,” he said.
“Production is what is affecting supply the most, as most factories that assemble many of these gadgets are in China and at the moment, most of them have shut down due to the global health crisis. The demand for gadgets such as laptops and smartphones is high among the student population, they come often to purchase my wares but as it stands now, these gadgets are now scarce and their prices have gone up due to little or no production,” he said.
The hike in prices as a result of the high demand has put undue pressure on some parents and students to find money to purchase these gadgets which have suddenly become a necessity.
A student at the University of Ghana, Joseph Addy, shared his frustration with the B&FT on how the price of a laptop he wanted to buy just a week ago has shot up unreasonably.
“Last week, I came by to ask for the price of an HP Pavilion laptop and it cost GH¢3,000. It was expensive so I had to look for that money. I came back today and the price has gone up to Gh¢4,000. I can’t afford it, it’s too expensive; even with the previous price I had to find means to get the money,” he said.
A parent who wants to be known as Mr. Tayon told this Paper that he had to resort to purchasing a used laptop for his child due to the hike in price of the brand-new ones. “I had to buy a used laptop for my child because the brand-new ones are as high as GH¢3000 and I can’t afford it. So, I got the used one at GH¢700 which I think is a good deal,” he said.