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How To Start Mini Importation Business In Nigeria: A Complete Guide

Recently, mini importation business has been the talk about of many folks. And in this comprehensive guide, I will be lending my knowledge of the matter of mini importation here in Nigeria.

TABLE OF CONTENT:

  1. Mini importation business in Nigeria
  2. Mini importation overview
  3. Where to get products from
  4. What you need to start online mini importation business
  5. Which platform to import products from
  6. How to pay for the products you have picked
  7. Can you get scammed?
  8. How you can find quality and reliable products
  9. Hot products to buy
  10. Delivery / shipping
  11. How to find buyers for your products
  12. Fund required
  13. conclusion

MINI IMPORTATION BUSINESS IN NIGERIA:

One important key to succeeding in business is passion and starting right now to scale your business to your desired height. In business, there is no limited to the height you can succeed. It only depends on your ability. Take for instance, the like of Jack Ma, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, our own business tycoon – Aliko Dangote, and the other great entrepreneurs. They all started small to become a global business. So, you too, start somewhere!

Your somewhere can be mini importation or any other small scale business.  After reading this, you could start the process.

Although, I can’t really tell what you want as a business. But by reading this work, I supposed you like the idea of mini importation. And as for me, only the idea of people seeing me as an importer gives me joy. Aside that, the profitability and convenience of the business is another factor I cherished most.

mini importation business direct from China to Nigeria
mini importation business direct from China to Nigeria

From a distance point, the thought of starting a Mini importation may sound daunting. I can confidently tell you, that it’s not. I have been there so, you can trust me when I say so. It’s the idea of starting as a traditional importer that should seem intimidate due to the long process of getting certification, license and capital requirements.

You would also agree with me that any business that crosses border used to be exclusively reserved for the big importers and government. But that is all now in the past with the introduction of online mini importation. Any person who has little capital and is willing can start importing goods directly from foreign counties down to your door step here in Nigeria. And this is what I will be exposing you to.

However, without much ado, let’s quickly take an overview of how this mini importation business works.

Mini Importation Overview:

There is pretty not much to this. Mini importation is all about buying and selling. So if you know how to buy and sell, then you are already in.

Since, you know already about buying and selling, let me drop in a quick question.

As a seller, if you want to make profit from selling a particular product, assuming a Tecno phone, what do you need to do? Well, I guess to buy from low price vendors or manufacturer and sell at a high price? That is just the same principle that governs mini importation business. The only difference I could sense is that instead of buying from local manufacturers or distributors, you are buying from manufactures and distributors from other countries.

Thus, basically, Mini importation business is bringing in goods from outside the country at a considerable low price and sells at a very high price and sell at a very high price so as to cover the cost of the product and its delivery if it is paid delivery goods.

To have a fuller understanding of mini importation business, I have dropped in a more elaborate explanation below. With the illustration, I’m sure you will be willing to start your own importation business after reading this.

2017 I started mini importation business while still a student. I notice that both guys and ladies in my school are interested in latest phones, whether big or small. So, I decided to import phones. Traditionally, if I’m to pass through the traditional importation channel, I will have to need a trailer load of money in order to meet up with the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) requirement. You may be wondering what MOQ is.

Quickly, let us look at what MOQ requirement really is and I can move on with my analysis. The Minimum Order Quantity requirement is the minimum quantity of goods a supplier will sell to you so as to make any kind of substantial profit. If you are the supplier, I believe you will prefer to sell to big importers who will buy very large volumes of the product you are selling. MOQ encourages sale in quantity at a cheaper rate.

Now I want to believe that you understand this idea of MOQ as essential to why you need to start online mini importation business as against the traditional importation business. But in the event that you don’t, I will further throw more light on it using a practical means.

For instance, I want to start the sale of female shoes as my importation niche. Without the internet present in Nigeria couple with my little capital, it will be complicated bring down the goods to Nigeria and making a sizeable profit because of the presence of MOQ. In the process, I will be made to deal directly with the big importers.

However, things have changed over time and it is largely a result the internet and mobile shops.  

Most restrictions are now in the past and you can start a mini importation business today in Nigeria.

Besides, when you deal with the producers, you make more profit as the importers will act as middlemen thereby reducing the profit you will make.

 Where To Get Products From In Mini Importation

First, you should understand that with the availability of the internet, you can buy your products from anywhere in the world as long as the country has the necessary facilities and products.

The bulk of Nigerians foreign products are imported from USA, Europe, and China.  But China is where we majorly import from.

You may be wondering why we import majorly from China, why not USA or Europe. Here is the deal. First, many people miss the point about products from China. Most Nigerians have tagged China products as substandard products.

Here is the truth. China operate a system that is kind of garbage-in-garbage-out. That’s to say, what you ask for is what you get. All the fake products we import from China down to Nigeria are not the fault of China but that of Nigerians. Nigerian government has failed to put up good legislation to stop the importation of fake products and prevent the Nigerian importers who order the fake products.

It may also surprise you to note that some of the products used in the USA and Europe that meet the required standard are made in China.

So, China is not the problem, the problem is the people requesting for substandard products. You can actually import quality products from them if you place order for them.

Further, let me talk you through the advantage of importing from China over other countries. China has products with cheap prices. Remember, you can get quality products and very guarantee if you look for it. And the reason why their products are cheap is because they have low labour and very low cost of production when compared to other countries like the USA.

Consequently, most big production companies set up their factories there for the above reason.

Let’s proceed to what you will need to start online mini importation business in Nigeria.

What You Need To Start Online Mini Importation Business

Recently, there has been an increased in the awareness about mini importation business in Nigeria. So many persons have started importing goods directly from China and are making huge profits, while others are doubtful of the process. Thanks to many blogs that has written about it and those hosting seminar on how the system. And thanks to this guide. The information contained here are what some who don’t have the opportunity of reading this guide are paying hugely for. So, be rest assured that you are on the right track.

Mini importation business
MINI-IMPORTATION-BUSINESS-LAPTOP-AND-SMARTPHONE

To become a successful eCompreneur is very much possible with the right fact at your finger tip. And here is it. But then, someone may be asking, “what fact” or “what exactly do I need to start online mini importation business in Nigeria?”  I will tell you. After all, that is the crux of this guide.

1. A Pc Or A Good Smartphone With Internet Access

A PC or a good smartphone couple with internet access is the most important thing you need to start online mini importation business. Without this duo there will possibly not be a way you could have gained access to this guide. Everything you will be doing in mini importation business revolves round the internet; searching for products, ordering the products, payment for the products, shipping of the products and sometimes, sales of the products are done online. Thus, without a PC or a good smartphone, it is impossible to start a mini importation business.

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2. A valid email

You must create a working email, as this will be needed for registrations and verifications. On my side, I will recommend you create a Gmail account.

3. A valid Address

You wouldn’t want to leave your goods roaming round like a letter with an address. Thus, you need a valid home or office address where you goods can be shipped to you.

4. Money in your account

There is possibly no business that doesn’t require fund for startup, whether a small amount or large cash. In like manner, you need money in your bank account before you can think of venturing into mini importation business.

Now that you have known the requirement, and if you have them ready, then, let’s proceed to the game changer.

How To Start Online Mini Importation Business In Nigeria

1. Which Platforms Will You Buy From:

This is the first factor to determine before buying. Just as there are different offline markets, different online markets exist too. Here are the once I can recommend because their products are affordable and for other reasons too.

  1. Aliexpress

If you are a small business and you want to start online mini importation business from China, this is the platform for you. It has emerged as the leading place for importers who would want to buy at a wholesale price from China.

Anybody who knows anything about online buying knows the Alibaba Group and Aliexpress is a subsidiary of the group. You only need to search the group to understand how influential it is in the internet sphere.

It is a giant company owned by Jack Ma. It is worth more than $120 billion. The platform, Aliexpress was launched in 2010 by Alibaba Group as their online retail service platform.

It is majorly a place where you will find small sellers offering their products to buyers online. Aliexpress has more than 20 categories for their products and it sells to people from over 200 countries of the world.

Register and start buying products now at Aliexpress

2. DHgate

DHgate is backed by investors Warburg Pincus, JAFCO and KPCB and has been in business since 2004. That is a very long time ago. If you ask me, I will tell you that they have been around long enough to establish trust for those who would want to start online mini importation business.

Majorly, this platform is a B2B (business to business) website that connects China based small and medium ventures with overseas buyers. You can order the products directly from their site  

Majorly, it has to be Chinese products, don’t forget that. The website has a wide range of products and it also offers support through online chat, email messages or phone calls.

Visit it today at DHGate and order your products.

3. iPmart

This is a bit different from the other platforms. It does offer products from China, Malaysia, and the USA but it has a limitation.

While Aliexpress and DHgate offer you a wide range of products, iPmart only offers electronic gadgets. If your mini importation business has electronic gadgets as part of what you want to sell, this platform is your bet.

A quick glance at iPmart will give you more details and you can make your orders there.

Now, the above platforms are my top picks. There are other platforms that you can explore and make orders from. When you visit these websites, you will need to register by completing the form on the registration page.

Most times, you will just have to provide your name, email, and password. There is the option of signing in with your Facebook account. You just have to choose the one that is convenient for you.

After the registration, you can start buying and adding to your cart until you are ready to order. When that time comes, you will be led to the payment page.

2. How To Pay For The Products You Have Picked

Apart from the MOQ discussed above which is the limitation on the part of the sellers, one of the reasons small businesses don’t venture into importation is the complicated nature of getting a letter of credit or bank guarantee. That was the traditional importation anyway. This is no longer the case today.

The online payment system has made it easy for anybody to buy at any time. These platforms above accept multiple payment systems. You can pay with your credit or debit card; do bank transfers or any other form of online payment they will accept.

If you don’t know how to use your ATM cards to pay, you can quickly contact me for more assistance.

3. The Level Of Protection (Can One Get Scammed?)

I know that the online payment processes and online transactions are riddled with fraud and scam. This has led so many people to build distrust for the system.

One of the questions on your mind will definitely be if you are going to get scammed if you start mini importation business in Nigeria. You can imagine getting the products you ordered and they are fake or you pay for products and they are not shipped to you. The possibility of these arising is one of the reasons I recommend these three websites above. They have some form of protection for the buyers. It is called Buyer Protection mechanism.

This mechanism is built into the payment process. Another name for this mechanism is Escrow. The way it works is that instead of paying the seller directly when you make purchases on Aliexpress or DHgate, these platforms withhold your payment and wait for confirmation from you that the goods you received are what you ordered before they remit the money to the sellers.

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More so, these platforms or websites offer reimbursements if you are not satisfied with the products you received. These measures are put in place to ensure that there is a reduction of fear of loss of money. I cannot say it is totally risk-free but it is much reduced.

4. How You Can Find Quality And Reliable Goods

Like I earlier stated, there is this concern about buying goods from China and it is because of factors I already explained. But you must buy from China if you intend to maximize profit.

The question, therefore, is how you will find quality products and sellers that you can rely on to deliver. To do this, you will have to explore the power of feedback ratings. It is very essential that you understand what people are saying about the person you want to buy from before you can commit your money to the person.

The feedback rating is the measure of the reputation of the sellers on these platforms. When buyers are done with their transactions, they are expected to leave negative or positive feedback based on their experiences. You can measure up the seller from these ratings. You will find people rating them on the scale of either 0-100% or 1-5 stars.

mini importation business product rating
mini importation business product rating

In the course of shopping online, you will come across products that you like and would want to buy. Take time to look at the reviews so as to know the reputation of the seller. While looking at the ratings, I advise that you take time to look at the comments section so as to read the actual comments of the buyers. It helps you understand more.

At the bottom of every product page, you will find product details and description; the shipping conditions and sellers guarantee so as to be sure that what you are buying is what you really had in mind.

 5. The Products To Buy

To start online mini importation business in Nigeria, you will need to know the products to buy. The good news is that you already know where to buy from and these platforms/websites discussed above have most of the hot selling products. The products I regard as hot-selling products include clothing accessories, consumer electronics, mobile phones and accessories, and hair extensions.

mini importation hot selling products
mini importation hot selling products

As a matter of fact, hair extensions of all kinds are about the hottest selling products given the fact that they are recurrently used and are demanded by a large number of people. You can venture into it.

Generally speaking, people are more interested in fashion and electronic gadgets especially the younger population. Nigerian market provides a good place to sell these products and I did benefit from this craze to make money.

However, it will be wrong to conclude that because a product is hot-selling, it will sell for you. You need to carry out a feasibility study to know the one that works better in your local market. It is very important.

Your location is crucial to your success. If it is possible, test-run the product and then you can make bigger demands.

6. Delivery

Whatever you buy and it is not delivered to you, it is as good as you didn’t do anything.

In fact, it is worse.

That is why it is important that you understand how the goods will be delivered to you, who will deliver it and the time it will take. If you are lucky, you will get free shipping service from aliexpress or dhgate.

Some products come with that service. The service is often provided by China Mail Air Post or Hong Kong Mail Services.

Get it right, free shipping is very attractive but it comes with a catch; it takes a long time to reach Nigeria (15-60 days). It also provides security issues. You will find a little difficult to track the goods. If you are not concerned with security and time of delivery, you can explore this option.

But the ideal thing is to explore the other delivery options available as they are more efficient and effective. Some of them include FedEx, DHL, and EMS. They are obviously more effective but you are guaranteed early delivery and you can track them easily while they are en route. Don’t forget to put your mobile number for easy communication.

7. How To Find Buyers For Your Products

When you bring in your products, you will need to sell them to the people who would want to buy. Which people will that be?

It is usually better to have a great market before importing. If you don’t have buyers already, you did have to find some. To do that, you will need a shop. An offline shop will still do the wonders and that is true. It is very traditional as it is ancient and it is very effective.

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People who are interested in buying will walk in to make purchases. The fact that you import online doesn’t mean you should only sell online. You can sell offline and that is usually a great idea. The advantage is that since you import directly from overseas producers, you can actually sell your products at a low price and still make more profit.

This is a competitive advantage and you just have to take it. The truth is that there are so many people who cannot afford to set up offline shops either due to the lack of time or resources. I wouldn’t worry about that if I am you. I will just go ahead and start my profitable importation business knowing that I can open online shops and sell my products there. The internet is the game changer and it goes a long way in making you make up for what you cannot do offline.

There are many social media platforms that you can utilize to market your products. Personally, I use Facebook, Instagram and somehow, Twitter and you can use others. Just pick the one that you can handle and pitch yourself a name and start making sales.

You don’t even have to pay except you want to which of course is a higher level of marketing. I believe you know about free and paid Facebook ads.

 8. Funds

In the final analysis, it will always come down to funds. It is the blood that keeps any business running.

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Without it, you cannot start online mini importation business in Nigeria or in any other place. It is just the way it is. From the name of the business; mini importation, we can all agree that you don’t need the world to start it.

It is within the category of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The fund you need to start this business will just be a little fund.

Without running the risk of oversimplification, you need at least, 50,000 naira to start the business. You can start with smaller. But, if you have more, it is even better.

However, my advice is that you start small and scale the business. You need to know how to handle the business before you can put in a lot of funds into it. Just be careful and understand that there is always a risk associated with every business.

#Conclusion

It has been an interesting run looking up this business idea. I know you have seen or heard about mini importation and it is cool and I have just given you a detailed guide on how to start it.

Would you be bold enough to start or would you wait for when the time is right which frankly speaking, never happens? Well, the ball is now in your court, do whatever you wish to do it with.

And if you want a ONE-ON-ONE mentorship on mini importation; CALL OR WHATSAPP: 08066721490 OR YOU NEED TO STET up an online store, don’t hasted to contact me.
Uchegbu Ifechukwu Princewill

Uchegbu Ifechukwu Princewill

I am an avid reader with the notion that every knowledge acquired is essential to human existence. I'm a budding writer, passionate about research to the extend that if I am not surfing the internet, I would be doing something else to gather more information.

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