The internet has brought down the walls which used to restrict access to manufacturers located thousands of kilometers away. Improvements in transportation and logistics now make it possible for small businesses with little capital to import smaller amounts of stock at low shipping costs.
Importation is simply a good or service brought into a country from another country and offer for sale. This line of business survive in Nigeria because our economy is not a productive type, will depend solely on imported goods to the extent that we believed that made in Nigeria product are fake, inferior, substandard and of low quality compare to the imported goods.
Most of our companies are no more efficient in their production due to so many factors in which you and I know and this make a lot of Nigerians have more passion for imported goods to satisfy their heart desire.
To join the new and growing league of small business men and women who can now import products at low wholesale prices directly from overseas suppliers and manufacturers, you would need just the following:
A computer or mobile phone with access to the internet;
A valid email address
A valid and traceable home or office address in your country where the items you order will be shipped to.
Your bank account.
But I will share with you just fast-moving goods that you can import into Nigeria within your budget. Why I say ‘fast-moving goods’ is because these items are the most sought-after products in Nigeria.
You can purchase them from China, Dubai, India and Europe at an affordable price. Let’s check them out.
MOBILE PHONE ACCESSORIES:
Nigerians love to pimp out their phones with the latest reigning accessories out there. The good thing is that these products are cheap to buy outside the country and import.
All you need to do is check out the latest accessories out there by visiting popular e-commerce websites like alibaba.com, made-in-china.com, amazon.com and other merchant sites.
WOMEN HAIR WIG & EXTENSIONS:
What can I say about this sought-after hair beauty product?
Nigerian women can’t be caught without their gorgeous human hair extensions on fleek!
So if you want to make it big, you can start small and test the waters by importing affordable but good quality hair extensions with your budget.
FAIRLY USED CLOTHS, BAGS & SHOES
Need I say more about Nigerians’ insatiable appetite for fairly used fashion accessories that are imported from Cotonou and the U.S? Go to Tejuosho market in Yaba and see with your eyes.
Second-hand fashion business (normally termed as Okirika) is booming in Nigeria. So long as Nigerians value these affordable long-lasting clothing over the brand new China wears, it’s not going anywhere.
Traders import these fashion items very cheaply and sell at a high cost. A real profitable business, isn’t it?
NEW CLOTHES, BAGS & SHOES
If you are targeting the elite customers or big spenders, you can test the market by importing brand new clothes, shoes and bags from Dubai, China and the U.S.
FAIRLY USED TELEPHONES:
Remember London-used Blackberry phones that are being sold in Trade Fair Lagos and other big markets in Nigeria? These phones are popular amongst the Hausa forex dealers that need them for contacting their clients. You can start your phone import business with ? 100,000.
The Jewelry industry is huge in Nigeria and the ladies love to show off their newly bought earrings at parties or work. Visit Trade Fair in Lagos and see the amount of jewelries being sold wholesale or retail. You can start with importing affordable beads, G.L earrings and necklaces to sell.
Computer Village in Ikeja is a testimony to the fact that the computer parts business is a profitable one. But before you rush off to import, you need to do your research and analyse the cost of purchase, sale and the profits before importing.
The reason why the textile business is so popular is because Nigerians are proud socialites and unapologetic fashionable people. Visit the popular Balogun market in Lagos and see the billion-naira business on display. Nigerians love dressing uniformly when attending parties, funerals or weddings. So if you want to attract their wallet and make profit, start importing attractive Ankara fabrics and make your profits.
New China phones are selling like hot cakes, especially if your target market are the low end buyers who can afford between N2,500 to N5,000 naira phones.
Who doesn’t need a comfy bed sheet to sleep in at night? In a country that has over 170 million people, the market is large enough to import more bed spreads.
Where should you buy from?
The following websites are online marketplaces that sell products at low wholesale prices:
1.How to start a small import business 5Aliexpress.com has become the leading destination for small scale importers looking to buy goods at wholesale prices from China.
Aliexpress is one of the subsidiaries of the Alibaba Group which dominates internet-based commerce in China.
In fact, in 2012, Alibaba’s portals handled sales of up to 1.1 trillion Yuan ($170 billion), more than its competitors (eBay and Amazon.com combined). The Alibaba Group is estimated to be worth between $55 billion to more than $120 billion.
The Alibaba Group launched Aliexpress in 2010 as an online retail service made up of mostly small sellers offering products to online buyers. It has more than 20 major product categories and sells to registered users and buyers in more than 220 countries around the world. You can visit its homepage at www.aliexpress.com
1.How to start a small import business 6DHgate.com is a business-to-business (B2B) e-Commerce website connecting China-based small and medium enterprises with buyers overseas.
The website is a fast trading marketplace where users can order Chinese-manufactured products directly through the site. The company has been in business since 2004 and is backed by investors KPCB, JAFCO and Warburg Pincus.
It offers customer support through online chat, e-mail messages and phone support. The website is primarily in English but is also offered in other popular languages spoken in Africa such as French and Spanish. DHgate offers a wide range of products and you can visit its home page at www.dhgate.com
1.How to start a small import business 7iPmart.com (started in 2001) is a huge wholesale market that ships products from China, USA and Malaysia. Unlike Aliexpress.com and DHgate.com which have a wide range of products, iPmart.com is focused on electronic gadgets like mobile phones, game consoles and their spare parts and accessories. If you’re interested in technology products, iPmart.com is the place for you. You can visit its homepage at www.ipmart.com
To start shopping and placing your orders on any of these websites, you need to sign up to become a registered member. To sign up or register is usually very easy.
By clicking on the ‘Join Free’ or ‘Register’ link at the top left/right corner of the home page, you will be sent to a registration page to complete a short form. All that is usually required is a Name, valid Email address and Password. If you prefer, you could sign up or register using your Facebook account.
As soon as your registration is complete, you can start shopping and adding items to your cart. When you’re ready to order, you will be led to the Payment page.
This leads us to the next important step…
Some products on Aliexpress.com and DHgate.com come with a ‘Free Shipping’ service to many countries around the world. Free shipping is often delivered through China Mail Air Post or Hong Kong Mail services.
While the free shipping option is very attractive, it often takes the longest time to get your goods delivered to you; usually between 15 to 60 days depending on the product and your location.
In addition to a longer delivery period, it may be impossible to track the location of your package all through the delivery process. If security and early delivery are not serious concerns for you, the money saved through free shipping can significantly increase the profit potential of the products you import when you sell them.
Other common options for delivery on Aliexpress.com, DHgate.com and iPmart are DHL, EMS and Fedex.
How can I find high quality products and reliable sellers?
This is usually one of the biggest concerns most people have about buying products from China.
Unlike the strict quality and safety standards which protect buyers in the US and Europe, African small businesses are vulnerable to low quality products. So how can you be sure that you’re buying good quality products from a reliable seller?
This is where the beauty of customer feedback ratings come in.
A Feedback Rating is a measure of a seller’s reputation on AliExpress and DHgate. After every transaction is completed, buyers can leave a positive or negative feedback based on their experience with that seller. This rating adds up to affect the overall rating of that seller.
If the seller usually delivers as promised, he/she often gets more positive feedback from satisfied customers. On the flip side, if the seller’s service is crap, dissatisfied customers will be happy to give him/her a negative feedback which brings down the seller’s rating.
Some of these ratings are based on a scale of 0 to 100% or between 1 (low) and 5 (high) stars. So, when you find a product you’re interested in, we strongly recommend that you take a quick look at the seller’s feedback rating.
We advise that you only consider sellers who have an average positive feedback rating of 90% or 4 and higher.