Mini importation business could be say is online and at the same time it could be offline, depending on how you sell your product. That is not a good introduction right? Let do proper intro.
Mini Importation business which is all about buying cheap product from oversea and selling it in Nigeria at high price is a profitable business that few are willing to go into because of the fear of scam.
A good thing for those that has the liver to go into it, because the scamming issue is not as prevalent as people perceive in fact, there are system such has escrow set up by platform where you will buy the goods and also you can buy through shipping company or trusted agency.
Another source of fear is capital, you will hear people taken aback when never min importation is mentioned, they think you must have 6 figures or more before starting it.
Less I forget, in mini importation you deal with manufacturer, and in some platform, you might be able to negotiate the price, so sharpen your negotiation skill.
In this article, I will be showing you step by step guide of starting a profitable mini importation business in Nigeria, but before we go into the steps, I want you to take note of the following.
Requirement for starting mini importation business
Like every business, mini importation also has requirement, I can see you sequencing your face, don’t worry the requirement is not going to cost you much, I’m sure you already have some of them.
- Phone or computer
- Internet network
- A valid email address
- Shipping address / home address where your product will be deliver to
- Facebook and Instagram account
- #50,000 or above as your startup capital
- Payoneer account
- PayPal account
Steps to starting mini importation business in Nigeria
1) Select a niche
Many article or guru will not tell you about niche, but it the most crucial step in mini importation business, if you get it wrong, you will get frustrated and eventually quit.
Go online and search for niches that sell most and that is less difficult. You can use google, keywoodtool and buzzmo to find profitable niches.
For instance if you are using google, search for ” where can I buy soso”, “how much is soso”, “review of soso”, if google autocomplete it for you that means people are searching for that product.
Read more: How to start Bakery business in Nigeria
You are not done with your research, head over to keywoodtool.io to check the keyword volume of that query, if it is below 500 searches per month, go for it.
To go from little to big look for mini importation business with high domain authority and follow them, also search for their cost and profit per month, it will tell you what profit and cost to be expected.
If you are serious about your business you need to register it with CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) this will make your business trustworthy in front of your buyers.
You can also use it as a competitive advantage, nobody will want to pay upfront to a business (competitor) that has no registered business name, if they lose their money how they track such business.
If you don’t have enough cash, you can pend it, but make sure to register as your business grows.
3) Source for your product
Sourcing for product will takes at least 30% of your time, you will want to be patient when looking for product to sell, because min importation business thrive with cheap and quality product.
Yes, it is possible to find cheap and quality product if you are ready to search and search.
Try to avoid what people called hot product, because there will be a lot of people selling that kind of product unless you are well known already, as a beginner search for product that is in moderate demand but few people are selling, this will also reduce advertising cost , in fact you might not even advertise before selling your product.
Read More: How to make money on fiver in Nigeria
Products you can mini import to Nigeria
- Smart TV
- Solar panels
- Hair wigs
- Foundation and concealer
- Eye lashes
- Doors and window
- Plastic pipes
- Roofing sheets
- Phone and computers
- Pressing iron
- Ear pods
- And many more.
Below are the platforms you can source for cheap and quality product
Before we go into it, these come into my mind; Most people think china product are inferior while this might be true china has upgrade their manufacturing skill, you will hardly see product that is not made or coupled in china including product used in America, I’m saying this because most of your product will be from china, so take that erroneous assumption out of your head.
Alieexpress is a china company who boost of having more than 10 million product listed on their website.
On this platform you will be able to negotiate with seller and you can stop worrying about fraud because there is an escrow system adopt by them; when you pay money it won’t go directly to buyer instead it will be in hanging mode till you receive your order.
Major product you can see here are
- Phones and accessories
- Beauty product
- Health products
Other platform are
4) Source for supplier
Once you see product to buy, next is to source for supplier, you will see a lot of merchant selling the same product you want to buy which might be confusing and you might want to rush the process, please don’t be.
Check every supplier info well, usually in all the platform there will be a rating system and review check them, you will want to go for above 4 start rating, if it is high price goods please make sure it is 4.5 or nothing.
Reason for this is that review and rating can be doctored but it will be very difficult to doctor 4 stars and above.
Also check the following
- The delivery method of the seller
- Product description
- Does the seller respond to every query (questions)
- Is there a guarantee on the product?
- Do they deliver as they say?
- Is the merchant a onetime seller?
When negotiating with supplier be careful of taking the supplier out of the platform for reduction of price, it is scammer that usually do this because once you make payment outside the platform there is no evidence to claim your money back if the deal go south.
Read more: How to start affiliate marketing in Nigeria
5) Order your product
Ordering you product is not hard in fact you have done the chunk of the task, there are three way of ordering your product, they are
1) Make a payment on the ecommerce platform
If you choose this method, you can choose free shipping which might take up to 20 days before your product reach you, if it is premium, it will take between 4 to 5 days.
2) Using min importation agent
I will advise you to be careful with this method, here once you find a product and supplier you alert agency in china, who will help you collect your product on your behalf, inspect it and send it to you.
They will provide you with shipping address with which they will use to collect your product before sending it to you.
3) Shipping company
You can also use shipping company like DHL to pay for your product. They will receive the product and send it to you in Nigeria. It might be costly but you will surely get your product.
Note: These shipping companies have different policy about return so check very well if you might return products.
Below is how to pay for product using shipping company
- Copy the link of pay now or cart page on the ecommerce platform
- Paste it to the company’s website e.g. DHL website
6) Marketing your product
This is the second phase of mini importation business
Before we go into it I want you to know a marketing secret
Good product + Bad marketing = low sale
Bad product + bad product = no sale
Good product + good marketing = more sale
You can see from the above that marketing and product work hand in hand.
By purchasing good product that people are looking for you have already done half of the marketing, the next thing is to find a way to put your product in front of your potential customers.
If you are just starting out I will advise you to use medium that big business in your niche ignore, because your advertising budget can’t be compare to them.
Below are the medium you can use to sell your product
Flyers and logo
There is power in flyers, and as the name implies fly-ers it will surely fly the name of your business to nook and crony if done well.
Make tangible flyers and online flyers, the tangible one can be share in your locality while the online can be share online.
Create ecommerce website
This will serve as marketing medium and also drive traffic.
When posting product to your ecommerce site you will surely write a description, if the description is top notch, google will drive free traffic to it and noting beat search traffic.
When you advertise your product online, you can share your ecommerce link with which people can click to see your other product.
Also you can combine your ecommerce with a blog. If you write SEO optimized content you will surely get free traffic to your site
You can contact us to help you set up ecommerce with content that will drive traffic to it.
The power of social media in selling or advertising product is no longer news; you can also tap into this power.
You have two options here; you can pay for social media ad or find a cunning way to get free traffic.
To get free traffic, search for groups that deal with product you want to sell, post your product with catchy description in these groups.
The admin of those groups may not approve your post, to prevent that tips them with money beforehand.
Create Instagram page with which you can use to build audience by posting regularly on the page. Warning! Do not post only product on the page people will not take you serious if you do.
With small money you can get mini influencer to promote your goods on their social media wall like twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp TV.
TV and radio
If you have a large advertising budget, you can seek the service of radio and television to advertise your product.
Make sure you have large quantities of product you want to advertise online, because there will be a lot of order after the ad and if you cannot fulfill the order, you will lose them.
One of the advantages of building ecommerce site is that you can collect email of your customers for retargeting when you post a new product. Nevertheless you can buy email address
But this is illegal?
It is not, big companies do it, do you think Facebook and twitter revenue only come from ads of course no they also sell user data to other big companies.
Purchase email from reputable source and target them with your product, but make sure you combine it with attention catching content f you don’t your mail will end up in spam folder.
Discount and referral
Discount is like a viral marketing and retention technique, you don’t need to make much effort just a little discount, your customers will become your advertising agent and not only that they will surely come back.
Referral is also viral marketing, but you need a deep pocket to get it through or if you sell product with a good profit margin such that it can pay for five to ten referrals.
If your referral bonus is not catchy (weighty) no one will sign up for it.