How To Start And Succeed With Mini Importation Business in Nigeria
If you have ever been wondering what the heck the mini importation business is all about, how profitable it is, how to go about it including everything/information you need as well as how to succeed in it, then this write-up is for you as it answers all these questions and more in full details.
Mini importation business (and e-commerce business) in general is gaining more and more ground on a daily basis in Nigeria.
More and more people are getting on board and those that succeed in it do come out to offer help in form of training or a course on mini importation business in Nigeria to help the upcoming ones.
However, there is a question that is always on the lips of everyone that is thinking of going into mini importation business in Nigeria, it is about – how profitable is the mini importation business?
The next question they ask after getting that answered is – how can I start mini importation business here in Nigeria? And – If I start with so so amount, how much can I make?
Before you go ahead, I suggest you read the article I wrote the other day on – How Much Do I Need To Start A Mini Importation Business in Nigeria. You can click here to read it. It will help you to set a good foundation about the business.
I this article, I will not only clearly show you how profitable mini importation business is, I will also give you several examples and case studies that will clearly show you how profitable this business is and you will be able to make up your own mind on which path you want to follow based on the resources available to you at the moment.
You will also learn the common mistakes you need to avoid in order to maximise profit in your mini importation business.
Some of these mistakes are those I have personally made in doing this business and those my students and friends have also made.
That’s not all, I will also give you some bad ass ideas to increase profitability in your mini importation businesses in Nigeria here. These are ideas you can implement immediately and you will start to see the result.
What Is Mini Importation Business?
Mini Importation business means buying goods online from overseas countries at cheap prices and reselling them here in Nigeria at high prices. This is without travelling out of Nigeria meaning that everything starts and ends on your phone or laptop.
It is called mini importation not because it is small importation. It is called mini importation because it does not involve all the other things, expenses and papers involved in the old traditional importation.
In the past, this business used to be the exclusive rights of the rich or those who know about it. You have to be rich enough to be able to visit China or any other country you are importing from.
Today, the story has changed. You don’t need to have millions to be able to do importation business again in Nigeria.
With less than N50,000, even with N10,000, you can start and succeed in your own mini importation business in Nigeria.
I have one of my students that made her first order with just about N6,250. I have also seen some buying stuffs with around N5,000. It all depends on what you are buying.
I refer you to my well detailed video – How much you need to start a mini importation business in Nigeria. Click here to watch it.
In fact, if you are smart, you may be able to start your own mini importation business with ZERO capital. It all depends on how creative and smart you are.
Meanwhile, if you fall in the category of those that do not have any money at all to start their own mini importation business, put a comment in the comment box below and I will make a post for you guys on how to do that.
If the request is much, I will make a post and a video also to accompany it. Where I will break down the steps you need to follow to achieve that.
How To Import Goods From China To Nigeria
Importing successfully and profitably from China to Nigeria starts with knowing what goods to import.
In other words, you need to come up with a list of cheap and hot selling products or goods to import from China to Nigeria.
You need to be aware that these websites are different in their approach in selling goods. However, the one you want to focus on most if you are a mini importer will be 1688.com.
To buy from 1688, you may need to make use of a procurement agent as the site is not open to non-Chinese. It’s also written in Chinese language except you translate it using Google chrome or you use Google Translate.
Aside the very cheap price you get on 1688, another very impressive feature on that site is that you can search for hot selling goods using images.
This means if you see any thing you think will sell in Nigeria and you want to import it from china, all you need to do is to get the picture and upload it on 1688.com. The site will run a search and bring out different answers for you of sellers selling the item at different prices.
Once you are sure of the price and you are ok with the quality based on review, just get the link and forward it to your procurement agent who will go ahead and buy it for you.
You can watch my free step-by-step video on how to search for an item on 1688.com using image here.
It is common that most procurement agents also run shipping services. Therefore, they can send to Nigeria for you after purchase.
I shall be writing more about this soon where I will review all the different procurement agents available in Nigeria for mini importation business from China.
Factors That Determine Profitability in Mini Importation Business
Moving on, talking about how profitable mini importation business is, it depends on a lot of factors which are as listed and explained below, in no particular order;
Niche, Financial Discipline, Pricing, Sales and Marketing, Customer Service, etc
As you already know, there is no business niche that is not profitable. The only thing to note is that there are more buying customers in some niches more than others. Invariably, some niches are more profitable than others.
In no particular order; health, beauty, safety, fashion, consumer goods, household items, tech gadgets including mobile phones and accessories, electronics and so on are some of the most profitable niches that are available out there in mini importation and e-commerce.
This is also based on my own personal experience and the experiences of people around me that include my students and friends that are into this business.
I have not personally done business in all the niches but I have done and still do in at least 4 of them. Also, I have hundreds of students who have taken my mini importation business course (click here to check it out) who do businesses in at least one of the niches mentioned above and they are making good returns on their invested capital.
The reason why the niches I mentioned above are profitable is not far-fetched.
Think of health for example. Today, millions of people worldwide are faced with one health challenge or the other. From simple body ache to complex cases of cancer, infertility, diabetes and so on.
The health niche alone has sub-niches any smart importer can focus on to make a lot of money. In fact, you can scale so big eventually that you can start producing the products by yourself to even make more profit.
You will find the best profitable products to import from china to nigeria only in those profitable niches.
See a Case Study
Think of weigh loss for example. There have been smart Nigerians that have made hundreds of millions of Naira in importing and selling products for weight loss.
Health products are some of the fast selling products you can import from China and sell for huge profits in Nigeria.
For instance, it is likely have come across the product below before online;
Flat Tummy Teattox. Several months back, it used to be all over the internet being sold directly by the company and also on Jumia and so on. It is still available on the company’s website.
Dude has made hundreds of millions of Naira selling this product alone and the buyers do not even know it is an imported product being rebranded and sold under a different brand.
While the issues of rebranding is something we will be discussing some other day, I just want you to focus on the figures and numbers for now. Focus on the possibility of how you can key in into doing something like this too.
The Flat Tummy Teatox is being sold for about N11,000 each while the price from China is about N1,000.
If you don’t believe that, go to aliexpress to go and find out. You will see different variants of the product at ridiculously cheap prices and most of them are effective too.
You can even find them cheaper on other Chinese websites like 1688 and co.
Don’t forget that there are other products in the market that were being sold for weight loss as well, but it is either some of them are more expensive or they are not working.
So, when this came, people saw it as something new and they could not also find it in any supermarket or pharmacy shop. You will also agree with me that the product name alone is a banga!!!
Millions of Nigerian women want to have flat tummy. They want to look sexy. Not only that, even men want their wives or girl friends to have a flat tummy.
So, the stuff was selling like pure water. Now, bring out your calculator to calculate the profit based on quantity.
Imagine if 100 packs were sold in a day.
Imagine if 200 were sold in a day.
You can only continue to imagine but one thing is sure – the dude in charge made hundreds of millions of Naira within the few months this stuff was hot.
Every niche has something like this. The Challenge is in people’s inability ability to think big and creatively enough.
Think of a product like this for diabetes, think of same for cancer, asthma, arthritis, hepatitis B, weak erection and so on and so forth.
If you can sit down and search for a potent product that can really solve any of the health challenges above, you are in money already.
Think of the same for the beauty niche – think of how many women in Nigeria are suffering from stretch marks, pimples, acne, eczema, dry skin challenges, wrinkles, signs of ageing and so on.
Can you go on a Chinese website to look for very effective products that are working for any of the above, say for less than N1,000, bring it in and then sell for 5k or 10 or even more? Yes, you can and I do that.
I have a whole website and thriving business in the beauty niche. I have been playing in the natural health niche for years. Started focusing on the beauty niche in 2018 and it’s been awesome. You can do the same too.
I share another case study with you;
I have a 2in1 beauty products I sell currently for N12,500. I buy the products from China for around N600 or so – for the 2.
Before you call me a thief, there are other expenses for me too in cash and in kind. I have to design and create a sales page, order form, ad copies, customer services, delivery services, advert payment, and so on.
If you put a figure across each of this too, I still make like average of 5k per pack sold. Now, my profit eventually depends on how many packs I can sell in a day. You can let this guide you to know how profitable mini importation business is.
Hope you are getting the gist.
In another post, I shall teach you the different techniques to promote your imported or e-commerce products online. Most people focus on paid ads, that is fine if you know how to but there are 1001 ways to market online.
In fact, social media marketing is part of what I teach in my mini importation business course (click here to check it out) because it offers a fast way of selling our imported goods. However, it is not the only way.
There are some other ways. Especially if you are willing to scale up the business eventually in case it turns out to be something really profitable.
Another Case Study
I have a student who imports unique wrist watches from China and sell them for huge profit online and offline here in Nigeria.
The idea is that she spends so much time surfing those Chinese websites to get wrist watches that are not common. Those watches people cannot easily find on Jumia or Konga. Not even to talk of them being able to compare prices or buy from there.
She will grab the image, run a test ad and get feed back from people. If orders come in and the customers are willing to take the delivery of the order, that is the validation she needs.
She will quickly buy like 100 – 500 pieces or even more, depending on her capital and market demand.
The most unique thing about this lady is that while many other people are battling with creating a website to sell their imported goods thereby wasting time and money, she sells using whatsapp.
She will run an advert on social media and add the link to order via whatsapp to it.
When people are able to chat with you on whatsapp, that at times also increase your authenticity and profitability alongside. Although, it should not matter but the ease of making an order and the opportunity to have a one-on-one with the seller is a good experience to the buyers.
This is how this lady simply make huge profit with her own mini importation business in Nigeria. Once she is done with a product, she moves to the next one before competition and saturation starts to set in.
Reason why mini importation is not actually profitable for a lot of people, especially the newbies is that they get caught in the bandwagon effect.
They sell what they see others selling. That, in itself, is not a bad idea as long as you sell it creatively. I can write 10,000 words on “selling creatively” which of course is beyond the scope of this article. Drop me a comment in the comment box below if you are interested in that. If there are enough people that want it, then I will make it happen fast.
So, when the see a product that is selling and they want to join the bandwagon, by the time they make their own order from China, bring to Nigeria and start selling online, there are actually 10, 20 or even 30 other people selling the same thing already.
You are a newbie and you are selling the same thing I am or another person with years of experience is selling. How do you want to cope? You can’t cope with the ad copies we will write, you can’t cope with the tweaks we can make. If the price war starts, you can’t obviously cope too.
If you also did not know, I hate to be the first to break the news to you that the more the people selling a particular stuff online and making use of FB/IG ads, the more expensive the ads become.
That is when you will notice that the amount of order you used to get with 5k ad is what a 15k ad struggle to get you. It means the cost has increased as the demand for the same set of audience increases from marketers…lol. This sounds crazy right? Yeah, I know but that is the way it is. It’s a law of demand and supply which you and I learnt in economics back then.
To wrap up this section, the niche you play in is one of the important factors that determines how profitable your mini importation business is going to be.
You don’t want to bring in products that people are not winning to pay for, even if it clearly solve a problem or a niche people are not interested in where you are.
For example, if you import dog-walking products down to Nigeria, I don’t think you will sell like someone selling skin brightening cream.
This has so much to do about your attitude towards money more than it has to do about the business you re doing in particular.
No matter how profitable the product you import is, if you have a bad attitude towards money, your finances will always be negative at the end of the day.
A situation whereby you always have to borrow money to make your next order after making so much money from the previous order.
This is even the main reason why a lot of people are not breaking through financially in life.
Their money-management skill and ability is very low. They don’t know how to differentiate between chop money and business money.
If you are willing to make a huge and scalable profit from your mini importation business, you need to be financially smart.
Opening a different account for your business is highly recommended. This is different from your personal savings account.
Of course, if you don’t have a registered company or a corporate account, there is no problem. The account can still be in your name but you will know this is a business account.
Every money that enters it is going back to running and growing the business.
It is from that account you will be taking the money to order for the products, run your ads, pay your courier partners, pay any staff that is working with you, reserve money for your next order and then pay yourself too.
It is from the money you pay yourself that you will take out your chop money/salary.
You might be wondering that – Plan B, how do I survive like that? I have huge debts and a lot of financial challenges and that is why I started the business in the first place. So, if I do not sort all that, I won’t fell good.
Yeah, I can relate. I have had to battle with this in my life too. In fact, I still have pieces of it and left overs that I am battling with as a result of lack of financial discipline of the past.
I have tried different strategies and formula. Nothing worked except what I mentioned above. No financial discipline, no profit or headway in business.
Eventually, if you do not take to that advice, you may lose the business, lose your motivation and your financial worries will still be there too. Now, you have compounded your problems.
Before, it was a problem of debt and some money worries. Now, you have the worries of being a business failure to add to them too. This may be a major setback for you if care is not taken.
Decide today as you are reading this to create a separate business account for your mini importation business and commit to it. With that, you will know how much you are investing and how much profit you are making within a particular period of time in your business.
You will particularly know how much to expect and when to expect it.
Let me tell you a secret about the outcome of this exercise – you will feel so smart after doing it.
You will feel like Dangote. You will have so much confidence and entrepreneurship will seem so easy to you.
You will be smarter and find it easy to find hot and best selling products that will make you even richer faster.
Let me give you the bigger secret then. Once you start to become discipline with your business and finances, mother universe/nature will always bring for you, opportunities to make even more. You will become luckier.
Remember the saying – to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
So, choose where you want to belong and choose wisely.
When next you meet someone who says mini importation is not profitable, ask them to show you their book. I mean their financial book that shows their business cash flow. You will instantly know why mini importation is not profitable for them.
Even if your business capital is N3,000, it does not matter. The efficacy of the strategy is not in the amount of money involved, it is in the HABIT of doing it.
Try it today, watch what happens and come back to give your feedback and result.
I have met several mini importers in Nigeria that don’t have price guides for their imported goods and the business in general. How they do it is beyond me but of course, we do see the result of not having such an important thing in their business.
Majority of them set their prices based on impulse. I buy for 1k, I sell for 10k. I buy for 2k I sell for 15k and so on. If you ask them how they came about the price, they don’t know. Their own is just to make profit.
Or in some cases, they set their prices so low to be lower than their competitors own so that people can buy from them instead of their competitors. If you visit Jumia, you will see this in action.
Of course, a lot of people don’t see any issue with this because they make enough sales to break even and even make little profit. Not knowing that they could have made more had it been that they have a solid pricing strategy in place.
Fixing a price on impulse is not a pricing strategy, it’s a recipe for failure especially in mini importation business.
There are variables you need to consider which include, but not limited to;
Unit price of what you are importing, the shipping fee to your door step (not only to Nigeria), cost of adverts, delivery fee to customers, miscellaneous, profit = Price.
When you add the costs of all the above together, you will be able to know your ideal price.
Note that you do not really have control over all the other costs except your profit margin. And to set your profit margin, you need to consider the average price of the particular product you are selling or similar product in the market place.
When you do that, then come up with your price and also come up with strategies to help people buy from your at your own price – this is the part I like best.
If I am selling a stretch mark cream for 10k and the average price in the market place is N7k. How can I make people buy from me even at 10k?
Well, the simple way around it is to find a way to add and deliver more values than your competitors. Customers like to be pampered. They like to feel like they have cheated you. They like to feel like they have received more than they have given.
Think of branding your own product where your competitors sell their own ordinarily, think of writing an ebook about home remedies for stretch marks and give it as bonus for your product, think of writing an ebook on diet to keep stretch marks under control for women and so on.
Think of other things you can add, at not necessarily extra cost, to deliver more values and make more profit.
When customers browse around and come across your own product and the added values, they feel like the price is justifiable. That is if your price is more expensive.
If your price is the same with the others, more customers will buy from you because they see your own offer as a better one with more values.
To increase your profitability in your mini importation business, think of adding more values to justify your price after you have come up with your own unique pricing strategy.
Sales and Marketing
In my 3in1 Masterclass where I teach mini importation, I also teach about social media marketing. But that is not all, offline marketing is as important as online too and I lay emphasis on that in the course.
Many people spend so much time marketing online or even offline while they spend very little time doing the actual closing – that is making the actual sales.
Instead of letting the technology do the whole work for you, why not put a call through to your customers to ask why they buy or do not buy from you? Why not call them up to answer their questions and clear their doubts?
Everyone is coming up with their ad copies and so on. While customers see their ads, even visit their landing/sales pages without buying. If this happens to you, what should you do?
That is where the difference between marketing and selling is.
Marketing helps you attract the prospects while selling helps you turn them into paying customers.
You need to learn and know the difference between the two and how to use them to make huge profit in your particular mini importation business in Nigeria here.
Other important factors that determine how profitable mini importation is are customer service and delivery techniques. How do you deal with your customers? How do you handle feedback? How do you attend to them before they buy and how do you attend to them after they have bough?
How do you deliver your products? Do you have in-house system to quickly deliver to customers so that you can even beat the delivery time set on your site to wow them or you put everything in the hand of the courier company only?
The possibilities are endless and it depends on how creative and serious you are with your business.
One thing is to know how to do mini importation or how it works. In fact, a lot of people today know about mini importation business in Nigeria and that is one thing. Another thing entirely is to know how to be profitable hugely in the business and that is what separates the men from the boys (or the ladies from the girls – before the ladies come for my throat…lol).
How profitable has your mini importation business been? What and what do you currently do to make it profitable? What will you be doing henceforth to make it even more profitable? Tell me in the comment box below.
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You can click here to learn how to start your own mini importation business in Nigeria today if you are interested.