Mini imports as a viable business has seen a surge within Nigeria in recent years due to its generally low cost of starting and its flexibility. At the time of Q3 of 2021, the statistic value of imports into Nigeria reached a record-breaking sum at N8,153.79 Billion, as per the National Bureau of statistics.
Thus, it is likely this: the Nigerian economy is driven by imports and it could be an amazing business possibility for entrepreneurs in the country. Minimal importation could be utilized as a way to earn extra income as or a major sources of revenue for anyone Nigerian. It’s simply purchasing goods from countries such as China, Turkey, Japan and many more at wholesale rates to sell in Nigeria at the slightly higher price.
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What are the reasons to start a mini-importation enterprise?
- A relatively low cost to start One of the main reasons that people tend to opt to start mini importation businesses is due to its lower initial capital requirements as compared to other traditional enterprises in Nigeria.
- Work from home All you require is good online communication skills in order to be able to shop and sell your products without anxiety.
- Investments that yield profits: The yields are higher when one stays consistent. You can invest in digital marketing too.
There are pros and cons to mini-importation business in Nigeria
Business opportunity that is lucrative and offers a huge profit margin
Potential for expansion into important supply chain.
The risk of losing goods or damaged in transportation
The risk of becoming a victim to fraudsters
Sometimes, the items purchased may not be exactly as advertised online.
There is a risk that goods could be confiscated by customs or other regulations of the government.
Tips for mini-importation businesses
- Start small Start small: You don’t need to go all-in at the beginning to make a statement. Instead, try to test the market by experimenting with a few concepts before placing orders in large numbers. Be aware of what your customers are looking for prior to placing an order, because once the order is fulfilled it’s gone forever.
- Purchase more light-weight products to lower shipping costs.
- Promote your products through popular social platforms in order to cut expenses and gain free traffic. For instance, your Whatsapp status or Instagram stories, for example could help bring your business closer to the people you want to reach for no cost to you.
- Whatsapp Group purchases: To cut down on shipping costs and to get a quick funding source for your company, you can create various Whatsapp interest groups for your customers . They can look over what you are planning to purchase, and to make decisions ahead of time by placing an order in advance.
- Be consistent: Let customers know who you are for whatever it is you decide to market. Beware of being a seasonal importer and one day you’re interested in electronics, and the next is makeup, clothing or clothes. Your market will be dwindling fast If you did this.
- Compare prices before purchasing Check out how much an item sells for in Nigeria and its international price Then add other fees and logistics margin to determine if it is an investment that will yield profit before starting the business.
Let’s look at the ways to import items from China easily.
A-Z of starting a mini import business from China
Importing goods from China is broken down into two parts different stages, the buying stage as well as the delivery stage. When you are buying stage, you may choose to buy the goods yourself by contacting an agency.
1. Pick a niche
The term “niche” refers to a particular segment of the product that you would like your company to be specialized in. It’s impossible to offer everything (at at least not in the beginning) It is crucial to identify your specialization prior to even attempting to enter the market of a foreign country. For example, a field of expertise might include human hair extension, food, grocery items, clothing household products, or electronic products.
In each of the niches there are sub-branches that you can profit from. For example, under electronics, you can choose to market home appliances such as Plasma TV, sockets wires, and so on. You could also sell children’s toys in the clothing range. Whatever you decide to concentrate on, it has to have an audience who will spend money for it.
2. Register your company with CAC
However, it is not an essential requirement to start an import business in Nigeria however, it is essential to your business’s success if you wish to build credibility among your clients.
Nowadays, a lot of people are worried about being scammed by fraudsters online , especially when the transaction involves payment prior to delivery. This is due to the fact that numerous people have been victims in the past , and it has led them to be wary of all online transactions.
It is the reason you should create a business registration to provide a credibility for your company. The main benefit is that if you are approached by someone who is concerned about your credibility prior to making a payment for the product, you will be able to simply show them your certificate of registration.
3. Select a retail site
In order to run an effective mini-import business you must learn how to purchase from online retailers. Retail websites give you direct access to various manufacturing firms. This means that you are able to browse similar items from similar companies as well as compare prices, and choose the most suitable for your needs, all via websites.
It is important to note it is important to be cautious when purchasing from any business found on these websites. Since some of them are not reliable and fall have been involved in fraud. To ensure that the quality of the product isn’t compromised, it’s important to look over a company’s review and ratings on its website from previous customers. Choose 5 and 4 star businesses with positive reviews that demonstrate excellent customer service and high quality products.
Here are some trusted retail websites that which you can buy items from. Some are written entirely in Chinese therefore, you’d require an online translator like Google translator to comprehend them:
- Alibaba.com: Alibaba is among the biggest retailers that offers high-quality items at reasonable prices.
- Aliexpress.com: Aliexpress is a reliable store that has good quality goods. However, when compared to Alibaba and 1688 the prices are generally more expensive.
- 1688.com: 1688 makes use of its Chinese Yuan, the currency of China. Yuan to make transactions, but it’s one of the most affordable retail websites, with more than a million producers selling their products on this website.
Others include DHgate, Amazon, Everbuying as well as iPmart.
4. You must pay for your goods and for the logistics
Once you’ve selected your desired items on the retailer’s website, then you need to make the payment. You can pay for the item directly through the add-to-cart feature on their site.
Make payment with your debit MasterCard or PayPal account or directly transfer money to the account of the supplier. The items will be delivered in 14 business days. However, to make this happen you must have an account with a Chinese account to perform an immediate transaction directly to Chinese sellers. This will cost you more.
Another option is to purchase through agents. Agents serve as intermediaries to Chinese sellers and you , the buyer. They can assist you in purchasing from the seller, process payments, and will manage transport to Nigeria on your behalf.
All you need to do is to send them hyperlinks to specific items you’d like to purchase on the websites and provide the details of your order, such as colors, sizes and quantities. You can you can leave the rest to them. The agents will then go on to purchase your items for you, and then call you to collect your items from their offices once they arrive. They will also take care of the logistics right up to your doorstep if you wish however, at an additional charge to the customer. Agents typically charge fees to provide their service.
5. Sell your products
It’s not worth it to purchase goods you’re not able to sell. It is therefore essential that you know about how you can market your product before they’re even brought into the country, and there are many methods to accomplish this. For instance, selling on online marketplaces such as Jumia, Konga, Olx and Jiji. To begin to sell with these websites it is necessary to sign up your business on them first. Second, make use of social media tools for promoting your business, including facebook groups Youtube clips, Instagram reels and hashtags, as well as, Whatsapp groups and status.
Other important information you need to be aware of
Shipping cost Shipping charges make up the majority of the profits from mini-import business.
What’s the reason?
It is calculated on the amount of weight you have put on your items Therefore, it is recommended to purchase items that are light in weight so as you to avoid paying huge costs, especially if you are you begin your journey. Items like jewelry, wristwatches and scarves, as well as children’s clothing are not likely to attract expensive shipping charges because the more weight of your package, the greater the shipping cost.
One way to cut down on the cost for shipping would be to identify those who are purchasing related products and then join resources together. In this way, you could all share the cost of logistics in a group and share the shipping costs between you.
The HTML0 code can be used to identify two types of shipping express shipping via air, which can take between 48 and 72 hours from the date of purchase to deliver your items to Nigeria. It’s speedy, but more expensive.
There is also the normal shipping , which takes between 14 and 15 days to deliver.
Minimum quantity of orders MOQ is the amount of orders that a manufacturer will need to make for you to purchase, and the retail store, at wholesale prices. To get products at a less cost, you need to purchase in bulk, but due to the recent advancements, that is no longer required. MOQs differ between producers and also with the products they sell Some producers will require less quantities as their minimum, while for other items the MOQ is greater according to the manufacturer.