If you want to start a mini importation business in Nigeria, you can also get started by importing products from Aliexpress with the little capital you have. With Aliexpress, you can start mini importation business with little capital by buying small quantities or pieces of product your capital can cover.
Buying product on Aliexpress is pretty self explanatory, but here is a quick guide for anyone who needs it.
Let’s get started
Brief Fact About Aliexpress
Aliexpress is an eCommerce website where consumers purchase items from Chinese citizens who sell in small units directly to the other countries around the globe.
Aliexpress was launched in 2010 as a B2C platform for retailers to sell their goods directly to foreigners. Aliexpress is a subsidiaries of Alibaba Group, which was form by 18 people led by Jack Ma, a former English teacher from Hangzhou, China. The same corporation that owns 1688, Alibaba and Taobao.
Aliexpress store owners are made up of small businesses in China and other locations, such as Singapore, that offer products to international online buyers
As a Nigerian, you can purchase a single item on Aliexpress and it will be ship to Nigeria through NIPOST or Courier services such as DHL, EMS, etc.
Pros of Importing from Aliexpress
- There are millions of product to buy from Aliexpress
- No legal document or license to import from Aliexpress
- You can purchase products for personal use
- You can purchase a single item from Aliexpress unlike other platforms
- Aliexpress is in English compared to 1688 and Taobao
- You don’t need to communicate with sellers before you purchase unlike Alibaba
- You can easily make payment for goods with your MasterCard OR Visa card
- Most products can be ship for free to Nigeria without extra cost
- You are allowed to file a dispute and request for a full refund if the products don’t match the one you ordered, or if the product is damaged.
Cons of Importing from Aliexpress
- Delivery can take upto a month before getting to Nigeria.
- Items bought together on Aliexpress at once will be deliver separately
- In case of any error, you can’t return the goods back to china as you will have to pay for the shipping.
- There is little room for negotiation with the seller, but is possible in form of discount if you buy many items from one seller.
- Some product image and description you saw online can be deceiving.
- Product can also be of poor quality.
How to Purchase Products on Aliexpress and Ship to Nigeria
We will use a practical guide to explain how you can successfully import products from China (Aliexpress) to Nigeria.
For easy understanding, we’re going to be using the Aliexpress App to explain the procedures for importing from Aliexpress to Nigeria as most people have a smartphone and you can easily purchase with your cellphone without a PC.
To get started, you can follow our step by step guide to purchase your product from Aliexpress.
Step 1: Sign up or Create Aliexpress Account
The first thing you need to do is to download the Aliexpress mobile app from google play store. If you can don’t want to make use of mobile app, just search for www. aliexpress.com on your mobile phone or PC browser. Then follow the below steps to create Aliexpress account.
Install and open the app. The app will load and redirect back to homepage, just like the below image.
Click on the menu icon, then click on “Join Free”
When you click on “Join free”, the below page will open. You can then join either through Facebook, gmail or register on Aliexpress with your gmail.
We recommend you sign in with google as you will be receiving every details about your goods, discount and offers through your gmail
If you sign in using your gmail address, you will receive a mail from Aliexpress asking you to confirm your account, after which you can then login into our account with your gmail and password.
After you have finish with the registration and confirmation of your account, a page like above will open up then sign in with the gmail that you used to register or with the method you use to register.
Step 2: Searching for the Product you Need
To buy a product you need, you will need to search for the products on the store. You can also click on the category icon to select the selection of product you need.
As an example, we’ll be purchasing Tailor’s thread to show you how to import from Aliexpress easily.
To purchase the product, type your product name into the search bar, eg “Thread”. You can also search for product by uploading the product image directly into Aliexpress image search.
Note! You can also search for any product you don’t know the name by uploading a sample image of the product.
Step 3: Filtering Product for better Price
The best way to get favorable price of an item is by using “Best match filter”, using low-high price. This will show you all the items under the name of the product (e.g. thread) from the lowest price to the highest price.
You can also click on the “filter icon” to narrow down the search. Using the fitter bar to adjust the search eg. to select “free shipping”.
Searching for products with free shipping only is not advisable as some products can be bought cheaper even when you are paying for the shipping fees.
Note! Because a product has free shipping doesn’t make it the cheapest, some product with little shipping fees are more cheaper in terms of total cost of product.
Step 4: Check Products details before Buying
Click on the product name or image to purchase the product. Then careful read the product descriptions, shipping methods, feedback from previous customers, etc.
if you scroll down more, you will see the below view. It is very important to check the item description in order not to buy wrong goods and in case of any default you can snap it as evidence to be submitted for dispute on Aliexpress.
If you are satisfy with the product details, you can the go ahead to add the item to cart, if you wish to buy the item later. You can also first add the items to cart so that you can pay for all the items you needed at once.
You can also click the “Buy Now” button to purchase the product immediately if you don’t need any other items.
Step 5: PlacingOrder and filling Shipping details
If you haven’t fill your address before you can add your house or shop address (any one you want to use) here, as NIPOST officers can some times drop your goods for you at that address.
Go to step 6 to see how to fill your shipping address
After you have fill the above requirements, you can the press “ PLACE ORDER” to proceed to the next page.
Step 6: How to Fill your Shipping Address
On the confirmation page, fill in correct information about you. You must fill your real name (not nickname), your active phone number, as it will be use to contact you when your goods arrive at the NIPOST office.
Your current office, shop or home address you use on Aliexpress must be traceable in case NIPOST officers decided to deliver the goods to your address.
If you don’t know your area zip code, go to http://www.nigeriapostcode.com.ng/ to check for your area zip code (i.e the nearest NIPOST office zip code around your location).
Any mistake your goods may be deliver to another NIPOST office in Nigeria.
Step 7: Choosing your Shipping Method
Under the shipping method, choose your preferred shipping method, then click the “Apply” button to proceed.
Any method you choose that is different from courier services like DHL,UPS, etc will come through NIPOST which can take up to a week or a month to get to Nigeria from China.
You can also use a logistic company in Nigeria to ship your products but you will have to pay so extra fees which will be only be bit cheaper compare to courier services like DHL. UPS, etc.
The delivery will come faster than NIPOST, as it can take like 3 days, compare NIPOST delivery, which can take up to 3 weeks to arrive in Nigeria.
But because of the extra cost, we can’t recommend logistics and courier service for you as an importer.
Step 8: Chosiing Payment method and filling your Card details
To add your card details click on “SELECT PAYMENT METHOD”. then proceed to add your card details.
You can only make use of your Visa card, Naira Master card or Dollar Master card, but Verve card is not accepted. After filling in your card details, click the “Done” button to proceed.
Step 9: Making Payment for Product on Aliexpress
After you have filling your card details, the below page will open, you can then click on “PAY NOW” button to make the payment.
After clicking on “Pay now” button, a new page will appear, telling
you, “You have successfully make the pay” and a specific amount
will be deducted from your account.
Note! The amount that will be deducted from your bank account will be more than the actual amount you are suppose to pay, as transaction fees will be deducted, which is usually 1% of the total money you are to pay.
After you have successfully made make the payment, patiently wait for your goods which will take like a week or month, but in most cases, your goods might take close to 4 weeks to get to Nigeria.
Step 10: Tracking Items Bought on Aliexpress
Immediately you made the payment for your items, the shipping status will not be available until the seller(s) process the order. Once the seller(s) process and confirm the other, your shipping status will be available.
To track your order, click on “Account” icon, then select “My Order”, a page
like below will open displacing the item you have just paid for. Click on the “Tracking” button to track each item.
Note! Do not click the “CONFIRM ORDER” button if you have not receive your goods.
if you confirm the order before receiving your goods, Aliexpress will assume that you have receive your goods from NIPOST. After receiving your item, you can now come back to confirm the order so that the seller can have access to his/her money.
Click on “TRACKING” button to open the item order status page. The order status page will show the item tracking number, estimated delivery time for each items you ordered i.e. the date the goods is likely to arrive in Nigeria.
The delivery date will sometimes will not be accurate due to seller delay in shipping the item.
Step 11: How to Collect Your Items at the NIPOST office
When your goods arrive in Nigeria, NIPOST officer (the branch with the
zip code you used) will call you to inform you about the arrival of your goods.
You may be ask if your goods is registered mail or not, just check the name of the Postal service on Aliexpress under tracking to know that.
Some Nipost branch have separate places inside the Nipost office for
the collection of Registered mail or Ordinary small packet, you will be
told where to go to when you get to the Nipost office.
You make sure you go to the NIPOST office with your ID card (any of National ID card, Voters card, school ID etc.) to collect your goods. Sometimes, no ID card will be requested from you.
You will also need to take a little money will you to the NIPOST office. The amount ranges depending on the value of your goods, eg. If you purchase a goods of #500, you will pay #50, a goods of above #1000 you will pay #100 – #500 etc.
Note! Your goods will be safe keep in the NIPOST warehouse till you come for it without paying storage fees.
After you have shown them your ID card and pay the amount charge on the goods, you will then collect your goods and sign on a book which will be given to you by the NIPOST officers.
We hope this guide helped you learn how to easily import items from Aliexpress to Nigeria.
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Now, Over To You
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