Mini importation is one great avenue to make money online in Nigeria. It is a small scale business model that allows an individual to import goods from any country in the world (Europe and Asia especially) at a cheap price and sell at a higher price in Nigeria.
If it is done rightly, no doubt it is a very lucrative business anyone can do. The amazing thing about this business is that it is not capital intensive. You can start mini importation with a low startup capital and make a big profit.
In this article, I will also expose powerful secrets of how you can be successful doing mini importation business in Nigeria. I know some of the people making cool money from this business won’t be happy but it doesn’t matter so long I make you happy.
With my experience in mini importation business, I believe the only thing that will be stopping you from doing this business after reading this guide is your mindset. Aside that, everything you need to know to start doing this lucrative online business in Nigeria will be given here.
Let me start by telling you what you need to start mini importation business in Nigeria.
REQUIREMENTS FOR STARTING MINI IMPORTATION
- Get a good phone (Android or iOs) with great internet connection.
- Get a Master Card from any bank if you don’t already have it. GTB Naira Card too works. (You don’t have to own a Payoneer or PayPal account. No problem if you already own one).
- Your house or office address is very important. Make sure it is traceable. You can use any of your friends or relatives address if you don’t have a traceable address.
Make sure you meet the requirements I stated above before taking any further step at doing importation business. Now, let’s discuss how to make research to make plan for your business.
RESEARCHING AND MAKING PLAN
All business requires some planning whether it is formally done or not. It must be done! Mini Importation Business is not left out.
To succeed in any business, it starts from planning. To make a great business plan, research must precede planning.
Find out what you can actually sell and where are you buying from. I like to buy from China as there are a lot of manufacturers willing to sell good quality products at a very cheap price.
I will tell you what you should consider when you are making your research when I’m telling you the success secrets of mini importation business. Read on!
PLACES TO BUY GOODS
To be honest with you, there are so many mini importation websites online or places you can order your goods from. However, there are some tested and trusted mini importation websites where you have the opportunity of meeting manufacturers and wholesalers.
Some of the places you can buy your products from are:
- Alibaba.com – (Wide range of sellers)
- Dhgate.com – (Cool and nice products)
- AliExpress.com – (wide range of products)
- iPMart.com – (Good for gadgets)
- 1688.com – (Very cheap products)
- Inpart.com (sells real cheap)
Of all the listed mini importation websites that sells items, Alibaba stands out. Alibaba is an online market place where you find a lot of goods manufacturers and wholesalers.
You will be able to examine each manufacturer based on their products quality and price. Although, Alibaba have a Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) policy. It means you have to make order of up to a certain amount or quantity before you can buy from them.
1688 sells very cheap goods. Although their target market is China hence, their site content is written with the Chinese language. Do not worry, you can always use Google translate to help you out.
However, it is important that you check buyers ratings of the products you choose buy. Make sure the manufacturer is rated at least 90% or is a rate with 4 stars and above to avoid scammers. Also read customer reviews.
You’ll also want to make sure that you check if the website provides a kind of customer protection service. You know if you are secured.
GOODS IDEAS FOR MINI IMPORTATION
As human beings sometimes, we need people to give us ideas of what to do before we can actually find out about it. In as much as you will have to make your personal research on what you want to import for sales.
Although, there is no limit to what item you can buy for your mini importation business but here are a few I can think of right now:
- Mobile phone accessories
- Make-over/make-up kits
- Shoes (Adults and children)
- Clothes (Women and Children)
- Women bags
- School bags
HOW TO BUY FROM ANY WEBSITE
When you have decided on where to finally import your goods from.
After you must have considered some factors. I personally import from China as they are a big exporter of cheap and quality goods.
It is pretty much the same process buying from any of the websites I listed.
I will only show you how to buy from Alibaba in this guide because it has the widest range of manufacturers and wholesalers.
HOW TO FIND AND NEGOTIATE WITH SUPPLIERS ON ALIBABA (Step by Step Guide)
Just anyone can use Alibaba and it’s completely free. You don’t need a registered company or a trade permit.
It is expected that you already know your niche. i.e you already know what set of goods you want to buy.
1. Go to Alibaba.com
Since you know your niche, open alibaba.com on your browser and click on the button that says “Join Free”.
2. Provide Your Email Address
I advise that you create a separate email just for Alibaba if you plan on using them for a long time.
Input a valid email address and verify it.
3. Fill in Your Other Information
There is a form where you’ll be asked to fill in your information. It includes your location, company name, buyer or seller, or both.
Incase you don’t have a company name, just add a place holder for now.
Click on confirm after you have filled out the form.
4. Search for Suppliers
Now, you’re ready to find sellers of the goods you want to buy.
For example; if you wanted to buy men’s wristwatches, you should just type men’s watch in the search box and search.
Alibaba will bring out dozens of suppliers of whatever you want to buy. You will be able to see an example of what they offer and their delivery period.
You can also see if they offer customization of the products.
Pay close attention to their various prices and the minimum order quantity.
Generally, the more you buy the lesser the price becomes. Please know that the prices you see on Alibaba may be slightly different from what the manufacturer or wholesaler is willing to sell for.
When you start negotiations with the manufacturer, you can get a lower price than what is on Alibaba.
You’re advised to reach out to as many sellers as possible and get many quotes to pick from.
5. After Narrowing Down Your Suppliers, Make Contact
There’s an option to contact the supplier from the product page. Some even have an option to chat with them.
Find out about the product you want to purchase. Ask the manufacturer for a product sample. Most of them are willing to send you a product sample.
You may not want to buy from any supplier that refuses to send a product sample to you.
While you may pay a little bit higher than the normal price for a product sample, it is better than being disappointed when you have ordered in bulk.
Here’s a sample text you can use to reach out to a manufacturer on Alibaba.
Hi ‘manufacturer name’,
My name is ‘your name’ and I’m buyer for ‘your company’. We specialize in selling ‘name your product’.
Specifically, I would like to get pricing and availability for the following items
‘list the items… attach photos if available’
Please send pricing in 100, 200 and 500 unit quantities. Also, if you could send us your product catalog, lead time for manufacturing and MOQ. We would greatly appreciate it.
6. Negotiate Price
If you are satisfied with the sample product the manufacturer sent, you would want to negotiate the price with them.
It is important you ask for sample products from more than one seller because even if all of them send quality products, their prices will differ when you negotiate.
Then you can choose to do business with the one with lowest price. Your ability to negotiate hugely depends on the quantity of products you are ordering. Small orders have limited negotiation power.
Do not negotiate the sample product.
7. Check Your Order
It is important that you check your order before the manufacturer ship it to you. One great way of doing this is to hire an inspection company to do the checking for you.
Asiainspection.com and Chrisvicmall are good at inspecting products.
You need to hire the service of any of these companies because it will not be easy to ship goods back once they are sent to you. It will cost you stress and more money.
When your order arrives, you want to thoroughly check it again. Count the items to make sure they are complete. Examine each product to see if they are not defective.
If you notice a problem with your order, especially defective products, you can reach out to your manufacturer and even to Alibaba to see if you can get a refund.
Alibaba Trade Assurance protects buyers when the supplier fails to ship products on time or where there’s a great variation in the product quality than the one you ordered.
Making Payment and Shipping
You’ll be required to pay for the goods with your ATM card. You can also use your GTB Naira Card if you have.
Although, some Nigerian banks do not allow international transactions with their debit cards. I know for sure that the GTB Master card can be used though.
Since the price of goods is usually in dollars, you won’t be able to foretell how much exactly you’ll be charged if you pay with your ATM card. That is because naira is not stable.
If you haven’t done business with a particular manufacturer or wholesaler before, it is advisable to use an escrow. You can’t be scammed if you pay through escrow.
The system withholds the payment until you confirm that you have received your items and it’s in good shape and right quality. Your money will be returned if there is any major problem like damage or far low quality.
There are some businesses that offer free shipping. I don’t advise anyone to go for it as it takes a longer period to be delivered. Sometimes it takes like 2months. And you won’t be able to track your item while in transit.
It is better to pay for the shipping. This way, your goods get delivered quickly. Just make sure you provide a traceable address.
You can pay for your goods to be delivered in a week or more. The more the duration the lesser the shipping fee i.e. the shipping fee you will pay if you want your goods in a week will be more than the one you’ll pay if you want it in 2 weeks.
Marketing Your Products
It is expected of you to have started marketing your products even before they arrive. You can do that with words of mouth by showing people your sample product.
Once the goods arrive, you can decide to sell in bulk to retailers and little gain with less stress. Or you sell directly to consumers (individuals) and make more gain with more stress.
I do both because I love money and I hate stress.
There are so many ways to market your product. There are so many ways to sell your products too. Find out which method works best for you and adopt it.
Do not underestimate the potentiality of social media in selling your products.
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5 Success Secrets of Mini Importation Business You Must Know
Every business has its own success secrets. Mini importation has its own too.
Whether it is 2019 or 2021 – these secrets still works. You probably have heard of them if you have ever gone for mini importation business training. You might not take it seriously at that time because they didn’t call it a secret to you.
To be successful in this mini importation business, watch out for these 5 things (secret):
1. Products in Demand
Before any step is taken, research should come first. Here’s one of the things you should base your research on if you want to be successful.
Make sure you make a proper research on what product is having high demand in your locality or in your province.
Know if it is a kind of product people use on a daily basis or once they buy it they may not need it till the next 5 years.
For example, I have bought my hair clipper since 2018 and I’m still using it. Anyone that wants some quick cash doesn’t want to import that except you have a pre-ordered demand for it.
You can use popular local ecommerce stores to find out what product people are buying.
2. Products Color
When talking to your supplier, you should ask them if they produce in different colors and in what proportion they are going to supply you.
For instance; let’s say you order for 300 units of ladies’ bags and the supplier now decides to ship 220 black and 80 pink bags.
That’s not good enough. You should have varieties of colors so people can choose the want that fits their demand. That’s you will have to talk to the supplier about products color.
3. Products Price
You want to take this seriously if you want to succeed in mini importation business in Nigeria.
Many newbies makes this price mistake. They do not go for the right set of items based on their price. They only go for what they think people will love forgetting about how much people are willing to pay for it.
Even when they do go for the right products at the right price, they fail to negotiate properly with the supplier; hence, they missed out on increasing their profit.
Import products ranging between $0.2 and $2 each.
Negotiate with as many suppliers as you can so you can get the best deal. Quality is also important so don’t compromise on it.
4. Products Weight
Any pro in this importation business would warn you dearly about products that have heavy weight.
To cut custom cost on your items, make sure your products all together weighs not more than 1kg. Custom won’t charge for it, so your delivery agent too won’t add the charges to your delivery charges.
The heavier the items, the more you will be charged for the delivery.
5. Products with Size
Before you order for products that have different sizes, make sure have talked with your manufacturer about the size of products you want.
Let’s say you order for Men’s shoes, you would want your supplier to supply you with shoes of different sizes, ranging from the small sizes to the very big sizes.
You would want to reach an understanding with your supplier on how many they should supply for each size you want. The medium size should always be much.
Investment Start Up Capital
There’s no rule about how much you need to have to start a mini importation business. It depends on what you want to import and the quantity. Ideally, we advise that you start small and any amount ranging from 40,000 – 55,000 Naira should be okay.
If it is done well – there’s no doubt mini importation business in Nigeria is a lucrative and profitable online business model. It’s one of the few online businesses you do not need a big capital to start. And it can be done as a part-time (side hustle) or even as a full-time business.
Do you have any question about how to do mini importation business in Nigeria that is not answered in this guide? Use the comment section to ask and we’d be glad to respond to you. Let us know if you found this guide helpful too.
Wishing you all the best!