A lot of business minded people are still on the lookout on complete guide on how to start successful mini importation business in Nigeria.
For a while, I have been doing a lot of digging out and which involves trials and few errors. I can tell you importation business is one of the quickest ways to make money.
You can decide to start big or small but starting small gives you the time to learn all you need to know about the business. You learn at your own pace, build a list of trusted merchants you can rely on, the risks involved and the many factors to consider.
No way should you compare a field experience with the one you received from a blog or from other sources. Being in it yourself is the best gift you can give yourself.
Money is never is an excuse if you want to start a mini importation business, with cash as low as N10,000, you can be on your way to make huge profits.
I experimented with a few items I bought from China, and I was surprised when I saw how much they are being sold in the Nigerian’s Markets. There are already available markets for them in Nigeria or any country you reside.
What Is Importation Business?
You are still asking how your Igbo neighbours manage to buy the best car and there is also rumour about them expanding their business?
Most of them engage in the importation, it could be importation of raw materials, automobiles, electronics, phones and PC accessories, spare parts, male and female wears or almost anything you can think of.
Since you are just starting, buy items that you won’t need to spend much on. Clothing, flash drives, memory cards, headset, and shoes are part of those ones that won’t take a lot to start. About 80% of them come with free shipping.
What then is importation business? importation business is a business which involves buying from foreign merchants at the company’s price and you resell in available markets in the country you reside in.
This is the kind of business you want to run either as the main source of income or as something you can do alongside your occupation.
What Are The Problems encountered In Mini Importation Business?
Every business has its own issues, importation business is not exempted. Although, I would argue that the benefits are much more than obstacles you might encounter.
- Language barriers
- Sellers may send substandard goods
- Shipments lost
- Beware of sellers with ill intentions
- Wrong payment system
1. Language Barriers
the language barrier could pose a big issue when you deal with a merchant who does not understand or speak the language you are familiar with.
This could bring about misunderstanding in product details, correct payments, and many others. In order to solve this issue, you can make use of google translate.
Google translate allows you to intreprete to the language you understand better.
All you just need is to type google translate into google or download the app. Change language, enter your text and wait for results. Copy interpreted texts and send to the seller.
Use the platform to interpret as well by copying replies back to google translate.
2. Sellers may send substandard products
There are vast benefits in starting small, it gives you time to know what kind of sellers you want to have business relations with. There are some dishonest sellers who will rather send you very low quantity of goods.
Your customer’s interest should be of priority, never accept inferior goods, no matter how cheap it is from the sellers. Customers want to have the best deal at the right price.
3. Shipments lost
At some point, shipment will get lost but the good news is that you are not losing any money. Only those who deal directly should be worried.
Most sellers have their products under reputable sites like eBay and Amazon, it is their duty to ensure that shipments reach the exact location you gave. If such is not the case, you can have your money refunded by eBay, PayPal or any online shopping sites you used. In most instances, your money is refunded by the sellers when items do not reach you.
The only negative part of the story is that you will have waited for a very long time, customers need the items and there may be no other way to find a solution. For quick shipping, use USPS Priority Mail Express, DHL, FedEx or myus.
4. Beware of sellers with ill intentions
You should not patronize every online store you come across. There are lots of hunters out there looking for ways to outsmart you.
Not every well designed and beautiful site you see is a reputable one, although, on trusted sites like eBay, you will still see some bad eggs despite Ebay doing all they can to filter out fraudulent people.
5. Wrong payment system
Choosing a secured payment system is one of the ways to prepare for any unfavourable events that may occur.
When you decide to transact with customers outside the platform, you put yourself into problem. Using the company’s platform up your chance of getting your money back.
Never listen to a seller who asked you to transfer money to their personal account. Use the site’s payment systems to pay for goods. Paypal’s payment system is more secured because of its buyer’s protection which allows you to reverse payment.
Why You Should Begin Your Own Mini Importation Business
There used to be a time I believe you need a few millions to ship goods to Nigeria. To me, the word, “shipping” means goods stored in a large container and then transported to the country you are living in.
My thought changed when I came across online shopping sites like amazon, eBay, banggood, and few others. I believe that pricked my interest to find where to get the best and cheapest products.
I eventually came across some sites, mostly located in China. These sites are unlike what I am used to. They are
These are just few of the best sites to get products at an unbelievable price.
It is unfair of me not to put ebay there. The only reason why I decided that eBay should not have a place among them is because of the second-hand items on their platform.
Although, eBay’s market is set to cater for customers that need new or old products. Always invest in new products to lessen the chance of buying faulty or damaged products.
Since 1688.com is the biggest of them all and also the most inexpensive shopping site, we should put our focus on the online shopping site.
Before you move further, let me correct a misconception about China producing substandard goods which are not true. Do you know some of the top brands you are familiar with are put up together in China? To name a few, we have the iconic iPhone, samsung, tecno, infinix, dell, HP, Acer, and many others.
You will also be surprised to realize that your lovely utensils, home appliances, and equipment are produced in China. If you want a good product at a reasonable price, you will need to go for it.
Don’t be ripped off, start selling using 1688.com; in a few months, you are going to ask yourself why you have not left that job. Make huge profits and sell at your own pace. You don’t even need to own a store, you can use ads from facebook, twitter, Instagram to generate sales.
Why You are Making A Loss If You Are Not Using 1688.com For Importation Business
Never listen to the voices in your head, no other online shopping site is as cheap as 1688.com with the second being the less popular taobao.com.
Even sellers on eBay, aliexpress, Amazon, and others get their stocks from 1688.com. This is more reason why you should trust this site for everything you ever need.
Lets experiement using jumia Nigeria, jumia remains the number one online shopping site in Nigeria.
I was trying to purchase bluedio t2s from them but the lowest price I could get on the online shopping site is N13,200. For regular shoppers, it is not bad.
On eBay, it is sold at £20.99. In Nigerian currency, that is about N9420 which is still fair if you ask me. Note that, the exchange rate is 448.80. I eventually bought from ebay. It was later I asked myself why I did not purchase from 1688.com
Do you know what pushed me off at first? It was the language. Although, I later discovered how to make the words appear in English on 1688.com which you will come across in this article.
Didn’t I say that eBay, Amazon, and aliexpress get their products on 1688.com? Here is a proof of that.
As at the time of writing this piece, yuan to naira is 52.25. Let me search for Bluedio t2s on 1688.com. I won’t even bother myself into searching for the cheapest bluedio T2s on the site.
Here is one which goes for ¥93 which amounted to N4869 in Nigerian currency.
Best deal you won’t get from elsewhere. I wish I have discovered this before ordering from eBay. It is worth knowing that something like this is available to cater for the entrepreneurs.
What are you waiting for? Get on the team and start importing.
How To Translate On 1688.com to English – Mini Importation Business
The common problem associated with a site like this is they have Chinese as default language.
If you enter 1688.com on internet explorer or opera, the language barrier could pose a problem like it was for me the first time I used 1688.com
Since most people buy products using a smartphone, let’s start with how you can translate words on 1688.com from Chinese to English.
When you enter the site using Firefox or any opera browsers, you will have the texts displayed in Chinese. You can solve this issue by using the chrome browser.
Before I forget, please make sure your chrome browser is updated.
Chrome browser comes with an option to translate to any of your preferred languages. It automatically detects your language based on your recent activities but in the event it could not which is rare anyway, follow the process below to set your preferred one.
- Open your chrome browser.
- Click on the 3 dots at the top right of your smartphone or laptop.
- Scroll down to locate, “Settings” and click on it.
- Move your cursor to, “Languages”, and then press.
- Add your prefer languages.
In my own cases, I added American and British Language. It works for any devices that support chrome browser.
Step By Step On How To Start A Successful Mini Importation Business
- Know your markets
- Check your budget
- Look out for where to get products
- Nature of shipping (Free or Paid)
- Market your goods
- Be courteous
1. Know Your Markets
Carry out a proper investigation of the market. Know the demands in various localities, never attempt to sell based on the demand in a particular area.
Many businesses have shut down due to wrong assessment. For example, if you are selling in the region where they shun indecent dressing, it might not be a good idea to import those crazy wears except you want to push to those places.
2. Check Your budget
You don’t even need to have huge cash to start up a mini importation business, for as low as N10,000, you can be on your way to enter the realm of financial freedom.
There is nothing wrong with using huge cash for business; if you are just starting, it might be wise to roll out on a low mode. Get to know your suppliers and build a good relationship with them.
3. Look Out For Where To Get Products
You have done the most important things which are sticking to the various rules that guide importation business.
Did you just ask what were the rules? You are going to find lots of online shopping sites but I do hope you will stick to my suggestion. The cheapest place to get items at ridiculous cheapest price is 1688.com. Please, take note.
When you are not sure of a particular seller, look up the reviews and find out what buyers are saying. If he has large customers, there are possibilities of a few deals not going as initiated. If you are able to see more than 80% positive reviews, you will be fine.
4. Nature of Shipping (Free or Paid)
Let me be honest with you, I favour items with free shipping than any other as I love to pay as low as it can get. Unfortunately, free shipping does take a lot of time and patience because a seller will rather pay for economic int’l postage or china post ems.
This can take about 14 days to 60 days depending on the destination country.
In order to avoid this, pay a few bucks to the seller and ask him to use the fastest shipping possible. DHL and FedEx are one of the reliable ones.
In the event you do not have a huge budget, you can always order before your stocks run out. Keeping your customer should be at the back of your mind and that is been there for them when they need you.
You will be provided with a tracking number to monitor your goods.
When the goods arrived in your country, say, South Africa, you will be called by post office personnel. Always make sure you put a working phone number. There are times when they deliver it to your home address.
5. Market your goods
I probably saw or heard it somewhere, I have often say that, “advertising is the soul of a business.”
How do you plan to create awareness? Do you think you have well-placed tactics to sell your business?
This is the 21st century, bars have been raised. Everything is now digitalized. How long do you plan to create awareness by going from one apartment to another?
You can be at the comfort of your home, marketing your goods through social media, have your shop on jumia and ask friends to tell their friends. It is simply easy and straightforward to set this up.
Guess what? The last time I checked, you can run Facebook ads for as low as $1 which translates that you have no excuse.
Starting an online store could give you access to a larger audience. Having one means your shop is available at any time of the day.
6. Be courteous
The customers are going to come anyway if you are a good salesperson but the point is to keep as many customers as possible.
When you deal with people in a respectful way, you leave a long lasting impression. Being polite to everyone you meet is one of the keys to financial breakthrough.
You don’t get to throw jibe at Customer B because she was not convinced about the standard of your goods. Instead, take your time to let her know why she should buy it.
One benefit of being polite is that people will treat you the way you treated them. Happy customers will bring more customers to your store.
There is no better time to start than now. Importation business remains one of the quick routes to make cool cash.
If you are having a problem with raising cash, you can download loan apps and apply for temporary short term facility.