Due to the difficulties with Alipay and Wechat verification, language translation, and the stress involves in buying products on 1688.com, most people now employee the service of Procuring Agents to purchase goods from 1688.com.
As a newbie to mini importation business in Nigeria, you can easily start importing products from China by making use of procuring agents who can help you to purchase products, cross-check the products and package the products before sending it to your logistics.
See our guide on things you need to know before you buy products from 1688.com
In this guide, we’ll explain how you can use of procuring agent to buy products from 1688.com, and ship goods directly to your location without hassle.
Who is a Procuring Agent?
Procuring agent is a sourcing and buying agent that help importers to buy and ship product with ease. The procuring agent can be a Nigerian or Chinese who help importers to order products from 1688.com.
This same agent will be the one to source and buy the products from 1688 on your behave, cross-check the goods, package it and send it through your or their logistics in China.
This is the best method so far that you can use to source and order products from 1688 as you can easily purchase without any stress.
Pros of using Procuring Agent
- It will reduce the chance of you been scam as you are not paying directly to the supplier.
- Different products or items from different suppliers will be packed together.
- Default goods will be discovered and return to the supplier by the agent before it’s been shipped.
- Some agents help you search for the product you can not find on 1688 and send the link to you.
- The stress of exchanging Naira to Yuan i.e. payment through Alipay or Wechat will be eliminated.
- You can easily contact the agent if your goods are not shipped on time.
Cons of using Procuring Agent
- You will pay the agent procuring fees which ranges between 3% to 15% of the total cost of the goods. The rate differs from one agent to another.
- You can easily get scammed by fake agents and your money will be far gone without a trace.
- Some agents don’t respond much to enquiries as they are sometimes busy especially after payment has been made.
- The exchange rate to make payment also differ from one agent to another.
Why it’s Difficult to buy directly from 1688?
- Most suppliers only speak Chinese.
- It is necessary to have an Alipay account to make payment on 1688.com
- Some suppliers send incomplete goods or faulty products.
- You have to monitor the shipment of each order from supplier to logistics warehouse in China.
- Some logistics companies don’t package orders from different suppliers together before sending to Nigeria.
Now that you have understand what 1688.com is all about, including the pros and cons, lets move to now you can make use of procuring
How to use procurement Agent to buy products from 1688 and ship to Nigeria
Step 1: Get Trustworthy Procuring Agent contact
The best way to get the contact of a procuring agent in Nigeria or in China is to ask in forums such as mini importation groups on Whatsapp or Facebook.
The group members will be the ones to recommend a trustworthy and cheap procuring agent for you. You can also contact a good logistics company in Nigeria and ask about their procurement agent contact that is in China.
Those kinds of procuring agent can be trusted based on the recommendation made by others who have used the agent before.
You can then ask for the person who recommended the agent for you about how you can contact the agent as there are different ways of contacting agents such as WeChat, Whatapp or Gmail, etc.
After getting a trustworthy procuring agent, the next step is to make use of the agent to purchase your goods on 1688.com
Step 2: Making use of Procuring Agent
After getting a trustworthy procuring agent contact, contact the agent and ask about his/her procurement fees and how he/she carries out his/her own work, as each agent has there own ways of calculating cost and charges.
Ask if there are other expenses such as packaging fees as some agents don’t charge for packaging goods together before the agents start to buy products from 1688.
Most procuring agent fees range from 3% to 15% of the total cost of the goods, the rate actually depends on the agent.
For example: An agent can charge 5% of the total cost of goods worth 1250 RMB (including express fees). The procuring fees will now be 5% of 1250 RMB = 62.5 RMB, which you now be N22812.50, assuming the exchange rate is N365.
See our guide on how to convert Yuan to Naira.
This really important to ask questions if you are not clear about anything your agent say.
After chatting with your procuring agent, and you are satisfied with the agent terms, the next step is to create a list of the products you wish to buy on 1688.com
Step 3: Searching for Product and Creating a list of Order
When you are satisfied with the product price, copy the product link, paste the link in a word document and specify the size, color, quantity, and any other details of the product needed, include each product express fee.
After coming up with the list of products you want to buy, the next step is to calculate your cost of goods before sending the list to the procuring agent.
Step 4: Calculating the Cost of Goods before Buying Products.
After quoting down all the products you want to buy, the next thing to do is to calculate the total cost of buying the products. For example, assuming you want to buy the below product, and the value of Yuan is Y54 and Naira is N365.
You will pay your a total of N7,291.62 to your procuring agent to purchase the 4 products for you on 1688. The N7,291.62 also include procuring fee of 6.43 Yuan for his/her service.
The calculation of cost by procuring agents differs from each other. If yours is not clear, ask your agent to explain the cost calculation.
If you are satisfied with the fees and charges, you can then send the document containing the products links and detail to your procuring agent.
If you are satisfied with the total cost, write the following information on the word document. Make sure you fill it with your correct details;
- Your name: John smith (your name)
- Phone number: +23480……..(your phone number)
- Shipping method: (either Normal shipping(Recommended), Express Shipping, or Sea shipping).
- Logistics address: (China warehouse address)
- Logistics contact: (Chinese agent contact number)
The logistics address and contact number must be given to you by a Nigerian logistics company that has a warehouse in China. If you don’t know any logistics company in Nigeria you can use, you can ask for recommendations in the mini importation groups on Facebook, Whatsapp, or google search.
The supplier may ask you to send the quotation through Wechat, Whatsapp, gmail, or QQ address( the same as gmail). Example of QQ address is email@example.com
You will save the document, and send the document to the agent through the means you first contact him/her. You don’t need to add the above calculation to the document
Do your calculation and another quantity adjustment before sending the quoted list to the agent as some agents charge extra fees for changing or correction of listed products.
After sending the quoted order to the agent, wait for him/her to respond by sending you his own calculation and the total amount you are to pay. If any product is out of stock, the agent will notify you and refund you back.
Ask the agent to explain any part you think is not correct or wrong before making the payment.
Step 5: Paying Procuring Agent for Goods & Service
When you are satisfied with the agent, you can then make the total payment requested to the agent Nigeria account or pay through Alipay. Don’t pay any agent through western union or Moneygram as it is not secured.
After making the payment, ask the supplier to confirm the payment to be sure he/she has received the money. You can also send the agent the Teller image or digital receipt.
You can always make use of bank apps that generate digital receipt in order to have evidence of payment.
When the procuring agent is done with the purchasing of the product, he/she will send you the tracking ID/number of your goods which you will be using to track the goods. This can take some days before you receive the tracking number.
After receiving the tracking number, then wait for your logistics to contact you that your goods have arrived in Nigeria. The logistics company may contact you through phone call, Whatsapp, SMS, or email.
Step 6: Calculating Total Shipping Fees to Pay Logistics
When the goods you ordered products from 1688 arrive in Nigeria, your logistics company will contact you through SMS, Whatsapp or other ways to inform you about the arrival of your goods and the shipping fee from China to Nigeria and the clearing fee
For example, assuming the total weight of your goods is 7.9kg, your logistics shipping rate is $4.5 per kg, the clearing rate is N400 per kg, and the exchange rate is N365 per $1. Let’s calculate the total shipping fees you will pay to your logistics company once your goods arrive in Nigeria,
- Shipping fees: 7.9kg X $4.5 = $35.55
- Shipping fees in Naira: $35.55 X N365 = N12,975.75
- Clearing fees: N400 X 7.9kg = N3,160
- Total shipping fees: N12,975.75 + N3,160 = N16,135.75
When your goods arrive in Nigeria, you are going to pay N16,135.75 to your logistics company through any payment method specified in the pock-up message eg bank transfer or deposit. just make sure you have evidence of payment and notified them once you made the payment.
The shipping rate and clearing rate charged by your logistics can change before your goods arrive in Nigeria. That’s why mini importation business is a business of risk.
Make sure to ask the logistics company their shipping fees, clearing fees, and other extra expenses involved before using them to know your cost before buying products.
Step 7: Receiving your Goods In Nigeria
Once you made the payment for shipping of your goods, you can then go to their office to collect your goods or ask them to Waybill the goods to your location by airplane or public bus.
If you ask your logistics to waybill your goods to your location, you will be ask to pay certain fees from N1,000 above, depending on your location. You can also ask your friend who stay around the area to pick up the good from the logistics warehouse on your behalf.
You can keep asking about your goods from the logistics agent in Nigeria if the goods did not arrive between the speculated period said by the logistic. It can take 3 to 18 days before the goods arrive in Nigeria depending on the logistics company you used.
You can see now that using a procuring Agent to procure your goods from China is easier than buying directly by yourself. Your goods will be purchase just as you wanted it and it will be cross-checked to be sure the products are complete and error-free.
All you have to do after making use of a procuring agent is to face the marketing of the products even before receiving it. Unlike buying the products directly yourself that you will have to be monitoring the progress of the goods on 1688 website.
That’s it. we hope this guide helped you learn how to make use of Procuring agent to buy products from 1688(China wholesale website).
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Now, Over To You
What did you think of our guide on how to purchase products on 1688.com and the shipping to Nigeria?
Or if you have any questions that have not been covered in this guide about importing products from other China, ask in the comment section, we will give you an answer.