This article discusses the economic decision-making of migrant traders from Niger who operate in large second-hand car markets found in Cotonou (Benin). Like the Cotonou car-trading community at large, these traders continued to import cars despite the fact that local demand dropped in 2002. Case analysis uncovers that Nigerien car traders show a propensity to live up to the expectations of people in authority. Business decisions in geographically separated markets tend not to be based on reliable exchange of information about the conditions of supply and demand. This cultural element that is associated with ethnicity and kinship, in turn, leads to a belief of profitability in the car business that is no longer grounded in observable facts and hence leads to financial losses. © 2006 Oxford University Press.