Last Updated on October 13, 2020 by Henry Ibeleme
Mini importation business began booming about seven (7) years ago, and I was one of the first gurus that made money from it. Sorry for bragging a little.
Take a look around you; most of the products you’re using are made in China.
Have you ever asked yourself: who is making these products available?
As funny as it may sound, the cartels in this business aren’t stressing themselves at all. They are in bliss!
They literally make money by sleeping. Go to your social media, and you will see them flaunt their wealth as if money grows on grass.
Sometimes we even suspect them of being into internet scamming. But they are into a legit business that pays.
The business model is simple: you order some products from sites like AliExpress, drop it on Facebook as an advert.
Within hours, you’re getting orders from different people.
The intriguing aspect is that you do all these right from your bedroom.
You don’t need to worry about delivery or stuff like that.
Everything will be automated – everything will be a click away from your phone.
Watch this video to learn how David became rich with mini importation business.
Table of Contents
- Why Am I Writing This?
- How Does Mini Importation Business Work?
- How To Start A Mini Importation Business
- Frequently Asked Questions On Mini Importation Business
- Mini Importation Business Challenges
- Mini Importation Business Myths
- Over To You
Why Am I Writing This?
Most of the questions I get most of the time when teaching mini importation business is;
If you make so much money from this, why show it to people?”
This question is very valid, and I respect everyone who asks that. Do you know why it’s logical?
The fact is, there are numerous fakes out there claiming to know the magic formula.
In the end, it was just to sell their eBook.
I did my research, and I came across numerous blogs, with photoshopped figures, and fake testimonies to milk their victims.
I know what it means to be in that situation, browsing Google all night on how to start a mini importation business.
Most of us have families, friends who we wish we could help.
If you’re like me, who always feels guilty when unable to help a person, you will understand what I am saying.
I have been in the mini importation business, and I know the tricks and tips from years of failure.
Guess what; I am not going to sell any eBook to you.
I will be delivering everything here, but you have to promise to read to the end.
Without wasting further time, let’s begin!
How Does Mini Importation Business Work?
The modus operandi of this business is simple. Don’t allow that big word to confuse you; I was referring to how the market works.
All you need to get started are the following tools:
- A mobile phone or laptop
- Internet connection
- An ATM card that can transact online
- A Gmail account
- And a traceable location where you can get your products
If there is a post office around, it means you’re in the right place.
With these tools, what you need is just #15,000, which you will use to make your first orders.
Mind you; I can’t remember when I made an order using a computer.
Most of these online platforms have sophisticated apps. In other words, not having a computer doesn’t mean anything.
When you make an order through some of the websites, I will show you; you get them delivered to your location.
These stores will serve as your online store while you run some ads using Facebook.
To run Facebook ads is simple, and I will show you how in this article.
Also, I will show you the fastest delivery service to you, which will enhance your chances of success.
This article is called a definitive guide for a reason.
In fact, call it an eBook because it’s too big to be an article. My friend prefers to call it a pillar post.
How To Start A Mini Importation Business
1. Start-Up Capital
You can start with as low as fifteen thousand nairas to millions. It all depends on your financial capacity.
Most of the challenges many faces is not a lack of capital; it’s fear.
Most of them are in my inbox, begging me to help them with startup capital.
I have talked so much about getting the money to start a business.
You can save, borrow from friends and family, or perhaps get from lenders.
The majority of lenders don’t collect collateral.
The business environment in Nigeria is changing, and many are not acknowledging that.
The moment you start, you will see a difference in your life.
When people say the economy is not working, tell them it works. You just have to discover how.
When you hustle and start this business, rest assured that you will be making over 200% profit.
I know what you’re thinking: this is too good to be true.
Ignore the fact that I am making this business look easy, because it is not as hard as you think.
All you need is to take the first step, which is to invest your money. Walk past that fear, and you’ll see that you just moved to the next level.
There is this new drive that comes when you invest your money in a thing.
I initially wanted to convert this article to an eBook and sale. Not because I needed the money, I wanted people to take it seriously.
When you offer priceless information for free, people are most likely to abuse and underrate it. As thus, implementing the tips becomes a problem.
We need to make people self-reliant because that is the only way to improve our standard of living and economy.
Borrow if you can and start this business. Capital is not your problem; stop using it as an excuse.
2. Websites To Source Products
When you have all the necessary tools to start this mini importation business, the next step will be websites to use.
There are numerous importation websites, like:
- DH gate
- Made in China
- Deal Extreme, etc.
I am going to review a few of these websites so that you can choose the best.
In the end, I will show you the one I use and why I use it.
Perhaps you will love it, just like I do.
AliExpress is the most popular in Nigeria, and I often use it to import some specific products.
Products like computers, watches and jewelry, electronics, health and beauty products, etc. are cheap.
They have an online app that you can get from your app store.
Why I love this website is that it allows you to chat with the sellers.
Most sellers can take time when it comes to responding, an indicator of an unreliable seller.
Although due to the coronavirus, I haven’t made an order for a long time.
After the lockdown, I plan on resuming immediately. There are lots of hot products to sell and make money from mini importation business.
There is no better way to make money, if not after lockdown.
DH Gate has been in the industry since 2004, often regarded as one of the best importation sites.
The platform offers international payment services, escrow to combat scammers, logistic services, product distribution, etc.
From this impressive eCommerce website, you can order manufactured Chinese products at a cheap rate.
Amazon is the biggest platform, and what I love most about this giant retailer are the ratings and reviews.
With these elements, finding the best product becomes pretty fast.
Despite how great the website is, I often don’t use it for some reason.
Firstly, most of the products are expensive. Secondly, the shipping fee is ridiculous.
I was exposed to this website in a seminar I attended about three years ago.
I never wanted to attend, but it was made compulsory if I must graduate with a degree in Entrepreneurship.
I paid #5000 for training, which I already know. But in the end, I’m grateful because it exposed me to this Chinese website.
To use this excellent site, you’ll need to use Chrome due to the translation feature.
That is because everything is written in China. But with Chromes translator, you can convert them to English.
This platform is best for ordering industrial materials. You can request for building materials, car parts, or even minor home products like light bulbs.
The product prices are in Yen, which in Naira equals #55.20.
When I register as a Nigerian, I discovered that the price tags changes to dollar immediately.
One of their payment methods includes AliPay, which allows you to order the product using your ATM card.
3. Getting High-Quality Products From Reliable Sellers
In sites like AliExpress, there are thousands, if not millions of sellers.
Not all sellers are reliable. In fact, I remember waiting for four months for a product to arrive.
It was a frustrating experience. To ensure you don’t find yourself in that ugly situation, you need to do business with a reliable seller.
There are two ways to find out if a seller is reliable: rating and reviews.
Almost every eCommerce website has this feature, and it can be a good indicator of a seller’s reputation and product quality.
For me, the seller must have a rating of 97% or 4.6 before I can order. If the rating is below 4.0, please don’t order for the sake of your sanity.
Buyers often leave reviews after using a product, and it tells you a lot about the product.
Negative reviews come with a low rating, like 1 to 3 stars. 4 stars are fair, in my opinion.
Go through the reviews, and find out what people are saying about the product.
From the reviews, you’ll find out if the product is like in the pictures. Also, you’ll find out about the delivery speed and quality of the product.
Many customers go the extra mile to drop a complete experience.
The more positive reviews a seller has, it shows the seller’s product is excellent and worth ordering.
Positive reviews and high rating shows that the sellers always deliver.
4. Discovering Hot-Selling Products
The success of mini importation business lies hugely on the type of products you order.
There are many eBooks online, with the promise of exposing you to hot demanding products in the market.
But guess what? These products are what you use every day. It’s not a secret!
Take a look around you, what is that product that is moving?
A hot-selling product for me might not be the same for you. That is why you see people ordering the so-called hot products only to end up selling none.
During the last harmattan, the weather was extraordinarily hot, especially at night.
Since electricity is always an issue here in Nigeria, you often find people sleeping outside for fresh air.
That was a problem, and I knew I could solve it. Do you know what I did?
I went to AliExpress and ordered portable battery & rechargeable fans.
They are portable and can be carried around. I bought one piece for #850, and I was able to sell at #2000 price.
I made so much money during that season.
Look around you; what is that thing you know people will always buy?
The hair extension product is booming among the ladies. You can also deal with watches, phone casing, etc.
I found an earpods on AliExpress a week ago. It was on sale for #350.
It is something that when you order it, you are sure of making an excess gain.
Earpod in most stores here in Nigeria goes from #8,000 to #40,000.
Although quality is something you should consider. But selling such a cheap earpods for #2000 or #3,000 is something your customers will appreciate.
It doesn’t matter if the quality is reduced as long as it offers value for the price.
Since they can’t afford the high priced earpods, they are willing to join the trend with the cheaper ones.
Download the AliExpress app and browse through different products; you’ll be blown away by the low prices.
There was a watch I saw. Honestly, you’ll have to pay over #5,000 to buy it from any store in Nigeria.
But guess what? The watch was for sale at the price of #500.
It might not be made of gold, but the appearance and design looked fantastic.
Mini importation business is lucrative if you find the right product to sell.
5. Start Small And Grow
Before I started a mini importation business, I had many fears.
What if I pay and I didn’t get the product?
What if I get the products and no one buys?
What if the product is inferior or damaged?
If you’ve never ordered goods online before, you’ll most likely have these fears.
Do you know what I did? I started with #5000. At least if I lose it, I won’t be depressed.
Fortunately, the goods arrived in good condition. I sold it off within a week and made triple of my capital.
That first transaction gave me the morale and confidence to invest with #50,000.
So, start small and use it to test the ground. You can buy 2 to 5 products. There is no rule that you must buy in bulk.
The reason you should start small is that it will build your confidence.
Also, you get an experience on how the market works.
When you make your first gain, you’ll be intoxicated by this new drive. If you have millions in your account, you’ll be tempted to start big immediately.
That is the benefit of starting small; it builds your confidence and drives.
6. Marketing Your Products
Mini importation business will not favor you if you don’t know how to sell your products.
Poor marketing strategy is one of the causes of business failure in Nigeria.
Should marketing be a complicated venture?
I never read marketing in school, nor am I talkative.
You probably don’t know, but I am a chronic introvert. Which means marketing is not in my nature.
If you’re not a people’s person, you can still make money from this mini importation business.
Marketing is a broad field, which you can do either online or offline.
Online marketing entails using the internet to expose your business to potential customers.
This method is best for introverts and those who love a stress free life.
As you may have guessed, this is the marketing strategy that I use.
Although sometimes, I also market it physically to my friends and family, and they always buy.
Through word of mouth, my friends and family bring more customers to me.
If your product is the type that everyone needs, you won’t even have to stress yourself in this mini importation business.
Follow the following steps to market your products online.
1. Open A Jumia Store: Opening a Jumia store is free. If you want to create a store at Jumia, you’ll need to register as a vendor. It takes less than 5-minutes.
After creating your store, list all the products you have for sale.
Do not forget to write the product description.
Take a look at other similar stores and copy their method. But please, do not plagiarize.
Get ideas from them, and improve on it to make yours unique.
In case that sounds confusing, do not worry. When you register as a vendor with Jumia, they will train you for free to use their platform.
Training is free!
2. Facebook Ads: After listing your products on Jumia, now is the time for primary marketing.
Running Facebook adverts is cheap. You can run ads for as low as #1000 or more, depending on the duration.
When I started, I knew nothing about the Facebook ad. So what I did was hire someone to run it for me.
Remember, no law said you must do it all alone.
You can hire a copywriter to handle the sales copy, and a freelance writer to help with the product description.
You can also hire a digital marketer to market your products.
The only way you can build a successful business is if you learn to delegate some tasks.
That way, you focus on the big picture, which is building a brand.
In that case, you will need to start with more than #15,000.
The online world is not for everyone. Some people still don’t know how to check their email.
No matter how many times you teach them, they still won’t be able to know-how. If that explains your personality, do not worry.
You can still make money from mini importation business through the following steps:
1. Have A Physical Store: The majority of importers are following this model.
However, you’ll need a more substantial amount to stock your shop.
If a shop is out of the question, you’ll be taking your goods directly to potential customers.
Depending on the product, you can market to teachers, students, or even sales to retailers.
2. Word of mouth / Posters / Flyers: Before learning how to use Jumia and Facebook, I made sales through word of mouth.
That is how it often spans out:
I will sell it to a friend of mine. Someone will see him using the product and will immediately love it.
From there, this friend of mine will recommend me. That is how the circle will continue until I have sold everything.
No matter how shy or introverted you are, you can push yourself to market to people around you.
When doing, tell them to recommend them whenever someone shows as interest.
When you establish yourself in this business, they will be the ones looking for you.
Frequently Asked Questions On Mini Importation Business
1. What Are The Various Payment Methods?
When it comes to online shopping, there are numerous of them. You can pay using PayPal, Bitcoin, direct transfer, or debit or credit card.
I love using my debit card (ATM) most of the time since that is the surest route, I know.
If your ATM can do online transactions, you can order for any product using your card.
You don’t need to be afraid of fraud, as the online platforms I mentioned are reputable and trusted.
Due to the rate of internet scammers in Nigeria, people find it hard to put their sensitive information online.
I know how it feels, the reason why I started with #15,000.
2. What If I Fall Victim To Scammers?
If you follow the websites I recommended, falling into the hands of scammers is unlikely.
Also, these websites have customer protection mechanisms, which ensures that buyers are not scammed in any way.
However, don’t, by any means, transact outside these platforms. If you must, use escrow.
If you run into any issues with your seller, you can always ask for a refund or cancel your order.
When done, the system will refund you within three business days.
I remember having an issue with a seller. It was taking him so long to deliver, for over a month.
I had to open a dispute, and my money was refunded.
Since I started using these platforms, I have never for once fallen victim to scammers. They practically do not exist in these platforms I recommended.
3. How Will I Receive The Product?
It is another factor that made my heart leap when I started.
I was like: how will this Chinese seller locate my village?
I didn’t get an answer, but I took that risk.
Two weeks later, I got a call from a local office around my location.
I was told to come to the office and pick my product. You need to see how happy I was.
I left my food, dress up, and started running to the post office.
The euphoria of having my first product from China to Nigeria was something else.
I saw the product, and it was well wrapped. I mean, so packed that even if I hit it on the ground, nothing will happen.
Why am I telling you this story? Getting your product in your location is easy. You don’t need to worry about delivery at all.
4. How Long Does Delivery Take?
To be honest with you, when I started a mini importation business, my first delivery took three weeks.
My worst experience was waiting three months for a product because I dealt with an unreliable seller.
As a beginner, making such a mistake is normal.
But since you’re learning from the boss, there is no need to make the same mistake.
If you want delivery to be in just a few days, you’ll have to choose express.
There is also an option for a week or even months.
The faster the delivery, the more expensive.
Choosing Free Shipping is not something I will recommend.
That is because it takes so much time.
Free shipping takes over a month to arrive, which is bad for some people.
If you’re okay waiting over a month to get your product, I will advise using DHL.
Go to the product category you want to order.
At the top of the page, you’ll see delivery options. You can choose free shipping.
Mini Importation Business Challenges
1. Exchange Rate
The major challenge this business poses is the free fall of the Naira.
It is as if our currency is losing its value every day, which is frustrating to many importers.
The only people benefiting for this challenge are exporters since they sell in dollars.
Buying in Naira, however, is a problem.
But this shouldn’t be a challenge, since you can always increase the price of goods when dollar rises.
That is inflation and you have to adapt as an entrepreneur.
There is no business in Nigeria where race doesn’t exist. In that case, you need to stand out.
You stand out by either reducing your price or by offering something unique.
Sometimes, your product can arrive damaged. I don’t consider this a challenge since you can easily open a dispute and have your money refunded.
However, the time wasted in such a process is bad for business.
4. Getting A Different Product
In this mini importation business, this mistake is likely to happen.
It has happened to me thrice, and what I did was ask for a refund.
When I uploaded pictures as proof of my claim, I am refunded immediately.
5. Getting Stuck With A Product
It is a significant challenge, and it happens when you fail to conduct your market research.
Order only for products that are in high demand. That way, you will never be stuck with a product.
Mini Importation Business Myths
Do you know anyone who’s into this importation business in Nigeria?
Most likely, you’ll say NO!
But look around you, virtually everything you own is made in China. Even apple allows their products to be assembled in China due to the low production cost and cheap labor.
If most of our products are from China, and yet we can’t seem to know anyone who’s in this business, it means we have placed wealth in the hands of the few.
The cause of these, no doubt, are the myths about the mini importation business.
In that case, I am going to debunk them in this section.
Myth 1: You Can Make Over #500,000 With #10,000 Startup Capital
Most mushroom blogs will tell you that you can earn over #500,000 with #10,000.
By all means, please do not listen to them. Don’t allow the fake screenshots and figures to deceive you either.
These are professional con men who understand that greed can make a man do anything.
Everything they are telling you is building up to you buying their eBook.
The worse part, these eBooks contain ordinary information that they copied from Google.
Although you can make an enormous amount of money with #10,000, it all depends on your product.
But, #500,000 isn’t realistic!
Myth 2: Overnight Success
As ridiculous as it may sound, many believe they can hit success overnight.
If it is possible, everyone will be successful.
The mini importation business often entails trial and error.
But you don’t need to dabble into the route, especially when you have an expert ready to guide you.
The essential ingredient for success is your ability to put to work what you’ve learned.
Myth 3: You Need A Big Warehouse To Start
This myth has prevented tons of prospective importers from starting this lucrative mini importation business.
You do not need a big warehouse to start, especially when you can order goods worth only #10,000.
Myth 4: You Need An Import License
The first product I ordered from China was a posture corrector, which I got for #1500.
I was able to sell at the price of #5000 and make a lot If gain.
Did I have an import license? The answer is NO!
You do not need any license to import products from China.
Myth 5: You Can Only Order In Bulk
This myth is pretty popular and has discouraged many from starting this profitable business.
You can order one wristwatch for as low as $2, and it will be delivered to you.
In other words, you don’t need to order in bulk. Anyone who told you that importation deals only on bulk is ignorant.
Over To You
Starting a mini importation business is one of the businesses that will make you financially free.
You do not need any specialized training or skill.
If you can browse on Facebook and chat with your friends, rest assured you can do this business.
The most important thing is learning the basics, understanding how the business works, which I have done.
It took me 120 hours to write this article, and I didn’t rely only on my experience as an importer.
I made a couple of phone calls to ensure that I wasn’t missing anything.
Before publishing this article, I had to send a copy to my mentor and other experts in the industry.
I wanted to make sure I get everything right so that I won’t mislead you.
I did all these, just so that I can guide you into starting this business without charging a dime.
Do you want to say thank you? You can do that by subscribing to this blog and sharing this post.
With your support, I will be writing more of these incredible and in-depth articles.
If you feel like showing more support, you can send me a coffee.
Thanks for reading!