How to start Mini Importation Business in Nigeria (Step by Step Guide)

How to start Mini Importation Business in Nigeria (Step by Step Guide)

Do you want to learn how to import products from China to Nigeria and start making money online in Nigeria? You can get started by learning how to start mini importation business in Nigeria right now.

The days when you needed millions of Naira to start importation business in Nigeria are over. We are now in the modern century, where you only need to put your brain to work and take risks.

Importation business is a kind of online business you can started with little capital from the comfort of your home, and your your profit margin can be mind-blowing depending on the type of niche and marketing skills you put into the business.

Ready to learn how to start mini importation business in Nigeria? Then is guide is for you.

In this guide, we explain what mini importation is and how to get started step by step.

Let’s kick-off

What is Mini Importation?

Mini importation business is a small scale business model where a person with small capital import products from an online store at a low price and sell at a higher price in his/her country.

Mini importation is a kind of online business that is now common among students in Nigeria and most of them are now making passive income it online. The best part of this business is that anyone can do it even without having a laptop or expert knowledge.

All you need to get started is a practice guide that you can follow to purchase, make the payment, and receive your goods in Nigeria.

Pros of Mini Importation in Nigeria

  • Access to millions of product with no extra cost.
  • Sellers gladly work with everyone regardless of country of origin or legal status.
  • You can file a dispute and request a full refund if the product doesn’t match the one you ordered, or if the product is damaged.
  • You can ordering for a product as sample before buying in large quantity.

Cons of Mini Importation in Nigeria

  • Delivery can take up to 8 to 30 days depending on the online store you use and the shipping method chosen.
  • In case of any error, is hard to return the goods to China as you will have to pay for the shipping.
  • The product image you saw on the online store can be deceiving
  • If you’re not careful you may end up buying poor quality products
  • Sometimes suppliers may delay goods before shipping.

Now that you have know what mini importation is all about, the pros and the cons, now let move to how you can start importing products from other countries to Nigeria.

How to Start Mini Importation Business in Nigeria

In Nigeria, mini importers majorly import from big countries such as China, USA, Turkey, Pakistan, Japan, Dubai, but the most common importation is the importation from China to Nigeria which we are going to discuss in this guide.

As beautiful and easy mini importation business is, it’s not a get rich quick business that you can start today and be making millions of Naira right away even when you purchase goods at a cheaper rate.

Mini importation involves some hooks and lines that make it a bit hard that you can avoid which we discuss later in another guide.

But we can tell you it’s a great business to start and be making passive income from in Nigeria and we show you in 9 steps how to start it from your room.

Step 1: Online Store to Import Product from in China

China is the world’s largest e-commerce market with over 50 percent of global, which is led by e-commerce subsidiaries of the Alibaba group, namely 1688.com, Taobao, Alibaba.com, Tmall and others.

The Alibaba‘s online marketplace has now become a major source of products to other countries, and Nigeria is not left out

The major four eCommerce websites Nigerians purchase from are Alibaba, Aliexpress, Taobao and 1688.com which are all owned by Alibaba corporation but each online store has there own purposes.

Let’s go ahead to discuss the difference between the four online marketplace.

Aliexpress

How to start mini importation Business in Nigeria

Aliexpress.com is a retailer website own by Alibaba corporation in China that ship goods to all countries in the world.

As a Nigerian, you can purchase goods on Aliexpress without negotiating or chatting up sellers as most prices are fixed with the option to ship with the different methods including free shipping to Nigeria.

Any item you purchase on Aliexpress can be delivered to the closest NIPOST office in your area or through other courier services such as DHL, EMS, etc.

You can see our step by step guide on How to order Products from Aliexpress to Nigeria

Alibaba

How to start mini importation Business in Nigeria

Alibaba is an online wholesale store owned by Alibaba corporation that allows people to buy products in bulk from suppliers in China.

On Alibaba.com, buyers have the option to negotiate with suppliers before buying goods. The prices of products on Alibaba.com are much lesser compare to Aliexpress as you have to ship your goods with your own logistics since you are buying in bulk.

See our complete guide on How to Buy Products on Alibaba and Ship to Nigeria.

1688

How to start mini importation Business in Nigeria

1688.com is an online store where manufacturers in China sells its products to wholesalers in China owned by Alibaba corporation.

The website is completely written in the Chinese language including product name, price, and product description. Products in 1688.com are more cheaper then Alibaba and Aliexpress since it is coming directly from the factory without the middlemen. You can learn about the important things you need to before buying products from 1688.com.

You can also see our guide on How to Buy Products on 1688.com

Taobao

How to start mini importation Business in Nigeria

Taobao.com is a Chinese online shopping website owned by Alibaba corporation. It is one of the world’s biggest e-commerce website and the eighth most visited website according to Alexa.

Taobao.com facilitates consumer-to-consumer (C2C) retail by providing a platform for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to open online stores that mainly cater to consumers in Chinese-speaking regions.

Now that you have know the difference between the four online store, the next step is to know the best product to import from any of those sites.

Step 2: knowing Products to Import from China.

One of the hardest decisions to make for beginner who are just starting out is deciding on products to import from China. As a beginner you can’t just visit any of the Chinese’s website and start importing just any product you like.

As a seller, you need to research the products you want to import before purchasing.

To know which products to import from China, you can do the following;

  • Purchase goods you are already selling in your shop or online.
  • Purchase product you have seen people use.
  • Discover hot products that are yet uncommon in Nigeria on websites like Aliexpress, Wish, Amazon, and Jumia.
  • Purchase essential items that people can’t do without
  • Discover trending products you can buy and sell online

Importing handbags, gadgets, shoes and bags is very popular. But you need to know that to you can just import any product because others are doing so, you need to see that the you can market the product and also check how profitable the product will be for you.

Step 3: How to Test Product before Importing from China

The purpose of product testing is to verify whether you have potential audiences who actually need the product, and to also determine which product have the highest demand.

You can do the following to test products before importing it:

  • You can order sample of the product from Aliexpress to test and exam the product before buying.
  • If available online, buy from online seller and review what the product’s features or quality are before buying.
  • You can also upload the product image on social media to see people’s interest.
  • Ask for recommendation on importation WhatsApp group or Facebook Group before buying.

After knowing the products you want to buy, jot down somewhere, is time to go back online to start buying the products.

Step 4: Negotiation and Communication with Supplier

Each website as there own medium through which suppliers and buyers can communicate effectively before sealing a deal. But most time on platform like Aliexpress and 1688, you really don’t need to communicate or negotiate with sellers before buying any product.

On Aliexpress, Alibaba, and Taobao, you can just open the website and start buying products online without contacting seller. But if you wish to, the platforms have an inbuilt messenger that you can easily use to communicate with sellers.

1688 website also has an inbuilt messenger called Aliwangwang which can only be used to communicate with suppliers in Chinese. To use Aliwangwang, you will need to be translating your chat with the Chienes supplier with Google Translate.

You can as well collect supplier’s contact from the supplier’s store page and add the supplier on Wechat to communicate better as Wechat as an inbuilt translator.

Now that you have understand how to communicate with suppliers on each of the Chinese website, is time to calculate your cost of goods before buying.

Step 5: Calculate Your Cost of Goods

To purchase from the Chinese website, each website has its own procedures and shipping cost which totally differs from each other.

For importation from Alibaba and 1688.com, you really need to calculate your total cost before ordering any product in order not to lose your profit or have loss.

Now that you have understand how the costing of each platform is, the next step is to look into how you can buy product on each website.

Step 6: How to Buy Product on Chinese Website

Each Chinese website has there own procedure to purchase product and ship to any country.

For Aliexpress: You don’t need anyone to help you purchase your goods in Aliexpress as you can easily purchase with your MasterCard and Visa card and receive your goods at the NIPOST office in your area.

For Alibaba: You can also directly purchase your products without anyone or agent to help you. You can negotiate with sellers directly on the website and make payment for goods with your MasterCard and Visa Card.

Then the seller will send your goods to any logistics of your choice, who will forward the goods you in Nigeria.

For 1688: You have two options when you want to purchase from the 1688 website to Nigeria. You can either verify your Alipay account and use it to buy products directly on 1688.com, or you make use of procuring agents.

  • Personal Procuring

You can purchase items from the 1688 website by registering and verifying your Alipay account firstly.

Then you will use your Alipay account to make payment for each product you will be purchasing on the website which will be sent by each seller to your logistic warehouse in China who will then package all the goods together and forward it to their Nigeria office.

  • Using Procuring Agent

A procuring agent is an agent who can help you to purchase all the goods you want to buy on 1688.com without you going through any stress. The agent can be a Nigerian or Chinese depending on the one you wish to use.

You only need to prepare your list of goods and send it to the agent who in turn will purchase the goods on your behave and send it to your logistics warehouse in China.

The agent will charge you certain percentage of your order or a fixed fee for his or her service.

See our guide on How to Buy Products from 1688.com Using Procuring Agent.

Now that you have finally learnt how to buy product on each Chinese website, is time to learn how to get your goods to Nigeria.

Step 7: How to Receive your Goods in Nigeria

To receive your goods from logistics when your goods finally arrive in Nigeria,your logistic company will contact you once the goods arrive in Nigeria.

Mostly logistics companies send SMS or message their customers on WhatsApp to inform them about the arrival and picking up of goods from their office in Nigeria.

You can then go to the logistics warehouse to pickup your goods in the logistics office and most logistics have their offices in Lagos.

If you don’t live in Lagos, you can ask the company to waybill your goods to your house, office, or a particular location using courier services, transport buses, delivery agents, etc.

After receiving your goods the next thing to do is to start selling your goods online or offline.

Step 8: Marketing Your Imported Products

Most people don’t know how to sell off their products after importing from China. So here we discuss the major ways others have been using to sell off their products.

1. On Social Media: You can start marketing your products by telling your friends, group members on social media the products you are selling. Don’t just keep the goods to yourself.

Let people know you have something to sell. If you have many products to sell, you can create a Facebook page or make use of your WhatsApp status, Instagram account to market your goods to potential customers.

How to start Mini Importation Business in Nigeria

2. Tell People Around You: You need to inform your neighbors, colleagues at work, church members, mosque members, club members, etc about the items you have imported. Some people might be interested in.

3. Marketplaces: You can also utilize online marketplace like Jumia, Konga, Jiji, Ariariaonline You too can create a seller account on the marketplace(s) and start selling online.

How to start Mini Importation Business in Nigeria

4. Online Store/Blog: You can also learn how to create an online store to sell your products or ask a website developer to develop an online store or a blog for you which you can use to market your products to a wide range of people.

But you need to know that online store and blog required adequate management to make it work.

For example, Ginax store is an online store created by an importer in Nigeria to sell off his health and wellness products.

How to start Mini Importation Business in Nigeria

5 Facebook Buy & Sell Group: With your Facebook account to find a Buy & Sell group on Facebook where you can conveniently sell your imported goods to people in your state or city.

Conclusion

And one of the biggest challenges of the business is marketing, and it has become one of the major reasons why most people don’t continue the business.

The mini importation business does entail a lot from raising capital to purchasing quality products and marketing the products. It really requires commitment from you to make it work out.

To make it work out, you need to know the type of products to import, how to market your products better and be consistent and optimistic to learn from others.

We hope this guide helped you learn how to start mini importation business in Nigeria.

Additionally reading:

Now, Over To You

What did you think of our guide to starting mini importation business?
Or if you have any questions that have not been covered in this guide about starting an online business, ask in the comment section, we will give you an answer.

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