The year 2020 changed the way the world system works. For most of what it’s worth, it changed Import-export business globally. In Nigeria, its Serious because over 80% of consumer products are imported products.
The Nigeria seaport is swamped with containers of imported goods waiting to be cleared and transported to different parts of the country. It’s a very complex logistics problem because more imported products come in daily than the port facilities was built to handle.
Rather than worrying about the port congestion, think about the huge Import and Export Business opportunities that exist in all this. In this post, I’m showing you how to start better import/export business this year.
Take a clue from the restrictions placed on the world by the COVID19 pandemic. Let’s see how all these would help you do import and export business much profitable.
Understanding Import-Export Business
The internet offers you an enormous opportunity to start your mini importation business without travelling to China. A business trip to China might cost a lot when you include the cost of visa application, flight ticket, hotel accommodation and regular expenses.
It gives you the opportunity to import products in small quantities and sell either online or offline. And the speed of restocking sold out products is equally fast.
You can buy products from China today and have it shipped to you within five days. Mini importation business makes import fast, cheaper and profitable. You don’t have to wait for forty-five days for the ship to arrive at the port.
And one of the most thriving aspects of mini importation business is drop-shipping. Here you are entirely in charge. You only import what customers have ordered and paid for. That is the highest form of mini importation.
Challenges Of Import-Export Business
One of the significant problems of mini importation business is finding the right suppliers for your products. Sourcing online for the product has its peculiar issues. You may find the right product but not a verified supplier.
There is also the challenge of product size, colour and quality. What you see online may not be the real product quality when delivered.
However, the most difficult challenge in mini importation business is deciding what product to import. It’s not enough to just introduce any product, you have to be sure it’s fast selling and has a good return on investment.
Moreover, the issue of marketing your imported products is a problem for startups. It’s not everyone that knows marketing. Many just depend only on online marketplaces to sell their imported products.
Solutions For Mini Importation Business
However, Alibaba offers a verifiable platform for buyers to show those suppliers with credibility. You can also pay directly to Alibaba on Aliexpress.com to make sure that your funds are secured.
To make sure you get the right size, colour and quality, ask to get a free sample first. And where it’s not applicable, buy a sample order. You can also use a measuring tape to confirm the sizes advertised.
One way to make sure you always import products that are profitable and fast selling is to query the product usefulness to consumers. Apart from being useful, you should know how often its required on a day-to-day usage.
You shouldn’t depend merely on online marketplaces to sell your products. These platforms don’t focus on your products to generate sales for you. You should gain some digital marketing skills to help you sell your products directly to potential customers faster.
Sample Products And Wholesale Market
Sometimes you need to verify size, colour and quality of the products you want to import. It’s advised that you order sample products first. China suppliers allow for free and paid samples.
Although, the free sample doesn’t mean it’s totally free. You might be required to pay for the cost of shipping it to you. And if you paid for the sample, the extra sample cost is added to your full order.
But using the sample ordering system is good if you are planning substantial import or to brand the product. Alibaba offers a wholesale market for mini importers to buy at a discount price directly from manufacturers.
Fast Selling Products To Import
When it comes to mini importation business every count. But if you are the type that wants a quick return on investment, then you should consider the products you import. The difference between fast-selling products and non-fast selling ones is the time it takes to be sold out.
I have sold out thousands of products in one week. And depending on the product, it can take less or more time to be sold out.
Having a fast selling product or products is the critical factor in mini importation business. Because you are importing small quantities, you need to sell off quickly to be able to bring in new stock fast.
A fast selling product is a product people continuously need and buys regularly. You just have to learn how to
The key to fast selling product is identifying products people want now. If customers are buying now, then it’s a fast product to import.
Importing Under $1 Products
There is also under 1 dollar products. These are products you can buy from $1 and below. And Alibaba has wide varieties of these under $1 products you can source. You can source under $1 products from categories like:
- Home decoration
- Under $1 Fashion
- Business gifts
- Light keychain
- And souvenirs
All these categories can be found on Alibaba under the $1 products. Here are links to fashion products like shoes and t-shirts. For other products, you can start your search here. Under $1 products are also visible through a search on Alibaba search tool.
Importing Branded Products From China
Considering your strategy, you can also introduce branded products. However, depending on the law of the country where you live, you may consider registrations of your brand to avoid using an already registered brand in error.
China also provides a ask for OEM buy. That means you can buy a product and ask them to brand it with your registered brand name. It’s like you are now the manufacturing of the product.
That’s how smart importers dominate the market with their products. They create the image of a brand and even sell at a high premium. You can also tap into the opportunity of partnering with distributors and retailers to sell your branded products.
The massive benefit of branding your product is that it reduces competition and differentiates you in the market. You also enjoy some level of trust and market share.
Product Shipping, Clearing And Custom Duty
You have considered the additional cost involved in importing your product. That’s how you can arrive at an actual landing cost. You must know how much it cost per KG of shipping. You can check DHL, FEDEX, EMS, etcetera, for their shipping rates per KG.
Some products may be cheap but heavy to ship by KG weight. I had an experience like that once. I found a very competitive product. The retail price was too high compared to the wholesale cost in China. But when I calculated the weight and shipping cost, it made no profit sense importing it.
Also, there is a clearing cost and customs duty. You should know what the prices are and factor them into your product landing cost. Check with your clearing or customs office to get the applicable costs.
To begin your mini importation business, here are the step by step process to help you meet your purpose.
Moreover, you will need to have means of payment, like credit or debit card to pay online. Or a foreign currency domicile account to make the transfer to suppliers. You can approach your bank on how to open a domiciliary account or get a MasterCard or VISA debit card.
You may also need a PayPal account. Your PayPal account can also be used to process payment directly from your bank issued debit card.
Step two: search for products you want to buy and compare prices with suppliers. However, it’s better to research offline first before searching online.
Step three: request for product quantity price. Usually, the advertised rate may differ from your order quantity price. Confirm before you consider ordering.
Step four: place a sample order depending on the product or your order quantity. You need to be sure the product you finally orders is the same as what you see online.
Step five: After you have confirmed product quality, you can place an order for the quantity of product you want and select your shipping option.
Step seven: receive the shipment and start selling online or offline.
Step eight: repeat the process again each time you run out of stock.
You can start earning extra income from your mini importation business. The process is simple and has been proven by several other people. Most of the online merchants on Amazon, eBay, Jumia, etcetera, they are mostly mini importers.
And you can start will little capital. That also makes your risk very little. In fact, starting a mini importation business can be as low as a hundred dollars. Although, the money you can invest in the better.
But if that’s what you have to start, you can explore the under $1 products, and you can buy more than 100 pieces of a product. You can find the most extensive collection of these under $1 products online.