How To

How to Start Mini Importation Business in Nigeria

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Have you ever wondered how to start a mini importation business in Nigeria without having to break a bank? If your answer is yes, then, by all means, get ready to learn how to make money by starting a mini importation business with less than N10,000! Yes, you read it correctly, with just N10,000, you can become a mini importer and conveniently import goods into Nigeria and sell at a more profitable price.

In this article, you’ll learn how to start mini importation business in Nigeria/Ghana and what’s required to be successful at it. All you need to do is pay attention.

Starting an importation business in Nigeria has been made easier over time and it has been greatly simplified such that you do not need hundreds of thousands of Naira to start. Take it from us at NigerianWiki, YOU DO NOT NEED that much to start!

You will be surprised that with as low as N10,000 you can start making hundreds of thousands, and possibly six figures within a few months, with the right strategies. You just need to be well informed about this business and go about it the right way. If you are a student, you might want to take a look at these 10 business ideas for Nigerian students.

Importation

Way back in 2013, I know someone who ventured into mini importation with N15,000 and made over N350,000 within four months. What started as a joke and an experiment received so much attention that the business grew so much that she would import every three weeks! Her strategy? She would buy goods of about N300 and sell for as much as N1,500-N2,000. Demands exceeded supply and you can as well guess the rest…

It is not just enough to have money and invest without proper research. First, you must understand your immediate environment, research likely trending or hot products and your likely market and you are in business! The moment you understand these, you are good to go.

So what do you really need to venture into mini-importation business in Nigeria?

Requirements for Starting Mini Importation Business in Nigeria

Below is a list of items you would need before starting out your mini importation business in Nigeria:

  • A personal computer (PC) or a mobile smartphone.
  • Fast internet Network – Modern, Mifi, etc. (You can also use your phone as a hotspot).
  • A valid email address.
  • Valid and traceable home address where you can receive the item you will order. (Note that your preferred address must have a number. This is necessary!)
  • Some few cash to get started (as little as 10,000 and no limitation).
  • A GTBank account plus a debit MasterCard (I’ll explain this later).

That’s all. Once you have the above, you are good to get started on your mini importation business in Nigeria. Interestingly, most of your activities would be done online, so it is necessary that your laptop or mobile phone has an adequate internet connection.

As a matter of fact, you can be in your house and make 6 – 7figures monthly. Cool, isn’t? This way, you can have orders available that match what you are importing or even more through effective marketing.

Overview of Mini Importation business in Nigeria

Before we delve further, let’s take a look at the overview of the importation business. What then is the importation business?

The importation business is a business type that requires importing or buying products from another country and selling in your country of residence at a higher price to make profits. Simply put, the importation business is buying and selling. Mini importation is the importation of goods and products on a small scale to sell in one’s country of residence.

Furthermore, the mini importation does not necessarily imply small scale importation. In the end, it all depends on the size of your pocket as you can import products as high as N5 million and make twice the amount as profit. In the same vein, you can start with as low as N10,000 and make well over N50,000.

Steps to Start Importation Business in Nigeria

Without further ado, we look at the detailed step cum guide on how to start the importation business in Nigeria:

  1. Source for Products
  2. Buy from a reliable supplier
  3. Pay for your products
  4. Product delivery
  5. Finally, market your Products
  6. Sell your products and make money.

Step 1. Source for Products

Sourcing your preferred products to sell should be your primary concern. As far as importation is concerned, you should bear in mind that majority of the suppliers are based in China. Perhaps your perception of Chinese products isn’t nice. Worry not, China remains the product powerhouse of the world and most of the world’s products are sourced from China. So imagine you as a potential seller sourcing yours from China as well just as those major sellers.

If you are worried about the quality of the product you’d be buying, considering the fact you are thinking of starting with about N10,000 or more, depending on your pocket, be rest assured that you can get something close to the best with the money you have and make your profit comfortably.

Here’s a secret, the earpiece, screen guards, power banks, phone pouches, etc., those Igbo guys with carts and the ones in shops sell are sourced from China!

So, how then can you source for products you intend to sell?

On NigerianWiki, we recommend a few of the popular China-based websites that are very resourceful for that. They include:

What you need to do now is head over to the above website and create an account with them. We suggest you start with Aliexpress as it is our favourite on the list. Also, make sure you confirm your registration by clicking on the link sent to you via email. To seamlessly use Aliexpress, visit your app store and download the Aliexpress app (for those using their phones). The app will simplify your experience a whole lot.

Once you are done with the registration, browse around the website and check for products you can buy and resell in Nigeria.

Suggestions for Sourcing Mini Importation Products

  • Always log in to the website when shopping.
  • Always use the ‘free shipping’ feature to avoid shipping costs which can cripple your business. There are many products that can be shipped to Nigeria for free. Always look out for those ones the most.
  • If you are running or starting with a small budget, it is recommended you start by buying cheap products to have more than enough to sell for a start, and also experiment with.
  • Always look at suppliers’ shipping timeline. Some suppliers are faster than others when handling products to be delivered.
  • Always look out for product reviews before buying.
Female Earrings screenshot from Aliexpress

Female Earrings screenshot from Aliexpress

***Note: The above screenshot contains earrings with a maximum price of $0.60 (N216) per piece. Sadly, it does not offer free shipping to Nigeria.

Step 2. Buy from Reliable Supplier

Buying from a trusted/reliable supplier is everything and this is the one part you should not take lightly. Suppliers only Aliexpress are checked to prevent possible scam but there have been reports of horrible suppliers over time.

So how do you make sure the products you would like to pay for has reliable suppliers behind it?

  • The product reviews/feedbacks are everything! You should hold them sacred before going ahead to pay for any product.
  • You can shop by trustworthiness by clicking on the start just above the products when searching.
  • Before you make a purchase from any supplier make sure you check the feedback score and rating for that supplier.

This simple method will help in filtering the bad from the good suppliers.

The feedback rating is a powerful measure invented to protect customers from buying counterfeit products. You can always check if the supplier delivers as promised.

The ratings are usually between 0 – 100% and 0 – 5star reviews. We recommend you always go for 90% and above rating and at least 4 star reviews.

In addition, make sure you always go through the product description. Check the delivery methods free shipping are always good if you’re willing to wait.

Also, check the suppliers’ guarantee on the products before you ship them. All these are usually at the bottom of every product page.

Step 3. Paying for your Products

Paying for your products/checking outs isn’t difficult in any way. A long time ago, it used to be a major problem when venturing into the importation business. However, with the internet, the process has been simplified. All you have to do is select your payment method, enter the details and proceed to check out instantly.

On Aliexpress, there are several payment methods via which you can pay for your products. We recommend that you use your GTBank Master Card. Of all the banks in Nigeria, GTBank allows people to shop with their cards freely and anywhere in the world, while some banks have restrictions. You might need to visit a branch of the bank to request that your card be allowed for international transactions, which can be stressful.

Can you get scammed or defrauded?

This question is really crucial for those who are scared of paying for something they have never seen. Is it possible that you never get your product even after paying or that what was delivered is different from what you ordered? The simple answer is ‘YES, IT IS POSSIBLE‘. Fortunately, Aliexpress is equipped with what is called ‘Buyers Protection‘ popularly known as ‘Escrow‘.

What is escrow?

Escrow

An escrow is a financial arrangement where a third party holds and regulates the payment of the funds required for two parties involved in a given transaction. It helps make transactions more secure by keeping the payment in a secure escrow account which is only released when all of the terms of an agreement are met as overseen by the escrow company. Read more about escrow here.

How Escrow works on Aliexpress

When you pay for a product on Aliexpress, you are not actually paying to the supplier you bought his/her product. Aliexpress withholds the money you paid and keeps it until you confirm at a later period that you have received your products and you are satisfied with them. When you do this, the money will then be released to the seller. So in the event of getting scammed, you can raise an alarm on your order by using the ‘dispute form‘. In rare cases when your product happens to be different from what you order there is “Dispute form” that you can fill, and your money will be reimbursed.

A cousin some three years bought a gadget and he requested the white of the piece of tech. Unfortunately, the colour was out of stock and the supplier sent a black instead. Cousin used the dispute form and the money was split between both parties; supplier got part and cousin got a part of it while he kept the device. Aliexpress is that cool!

Note that this should not be an avenue to be reckless with your orders and who to trust.

Step 4. Product Delivery

Product delivery usually comes in two ways. This includes:

  • Free Shipping – usually slow but increase profits (between 14 to 60days) but most time it’s usually delivered between 20 to 30 days. The service company can be China Mail Air Post or Hong Kong Mail services.
  • Premium delivery – these deliveries are usually done by DHL, EMS, and FedEx. Although it might be expensive compared to free shipping but its always faster and safer. (between 3 – 5days)

While the free shipping may be free you should know tracking it might not be entirely accurate compared to the premium shipping.

In addition, while using the free shipping method you should always endeavor to put your phone number. This is because they are always delivered at the nearest post-office close to you. With this, you can be easily contacted whenever your shipment has arrived.

Extra Tips to Save Cost on Shipping

  1. Mess Around with Dates. It is obvious that the prices will always change with dates and seasons. Very fast means more money and slow means less money. So, mess around to save yourself some cost.
  2. Remove Excess Packaging. After your first delivery go through your shipment and notice unnecessary packages that you can avoid the next time. This will help reduce the size and weight of your products.

Step 5. Market Your Product

This is by far the most important aspect of the business. It is one thing to successfully order your product and it’s another thing to successfully market them. Nobody is going to know about your products unless you take it to them.

And mind you, I don’t mean you literally start walking the street to market your products. You just have to be creative and updated.

There are ways you could do that… they include:

  • Brick and mortar retail
  • Take advantage of social circles such as mosque, church, lessons and even coursemates in school. The friend who made her N300k plus within the first few months did so on campus!
  • Word of mouth
  • Referrals
  • Handbills or flyers publicity
  • Internet marketing etc.

There are several ways you can choose to market your business but for the sake of this post, we’ll do just the internet for now.

This alone on its own it’s a full cause for another day. But for now, the one easiest you can easily grab is Facebook marketing. Facebook is a full marketplace that can never be exhausted.

Step 6. Sell your Product and Make Money

Finally, once you are done with the marketing, obviously potentials buyers are going to start rushing your way if you’ve done a good job.

You can either create an online store for your products and list them online or do it with the popular method if you don’t want to create an online store.

For the latter part, you need to work with some courier agent to deliver your product and collect your money on your behalf. Among them are:

  • Ace.ng
  • Courier plus
  • Kos.ng
  • skyNet
  • Austin Dispatch etc.

Some of them will require you paying a certain fee to get started while some are free.

Finally, you should have it at the back of your mind that every business has its own ups and downs. One of ten of every order might be returned from your customer but that shouldn’t discourage you. The profit margin will definitely cover-up. If, however, you are not interested in targeting customers that are far away, do a proper assessment of your immediate surroundings and try to observe what people will love to buy. If you are a student, you might want to buy earrings, chains, and other accessories. If you are active in church, it is not a bad idea to look for certain cheap items to make huge profits from on Aliexpress.

You can even sell engagement and wedding bands!

Putting all of these into consideration, you are good to go!

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