How Importation from China Works; First Hand Experience from an Importer.

Four years ago, I read a report online on how a student bought mini laptops from China at a ridiculously cheap price, I was initially skeptical about the idea of buying things online, since there is no traceable address where I can register my displeasure in case things go sour during my transaction. After seeing proofs from the report, various screenshots and videos of how he made fortune from buying cheap, quality laptop from China and selling them at a regular price in Nigeria with over 100% profit, I decided to spare twenty thousand naira to see how the system works, it’s been three years now, and a month has never pass by without receiving a parcel from DHL’s office. The objective of this article is to show you how importation from China works and hopefully clear your skepticism about the importation business.

WHAT TO BUY AND WHERE TO BUY THEM

There are various items on different platform, so the stock has no limit, items ranging from clothes, apparels, fashion items to electronic gadget, the list seems endless, better put, whatever you can buy in a regular market can be bought online too. However, there are some rules that guides importation in Nigeria, some materials are not allowed to be imported on a commercial scale, this is to aid local producers, therefore it is a good idea to make proper research on your desired goods, and ensure they’re not marked as contraband goods.

Asian countries are regarded as expert in B2B (Business to Business) transactions, since they’re known to be an icon in the production scene, the idea of B2B is to create an avenue for small business owners (retailers) to buy directly from companies without passing through wholesaler. Popular B2B websites are; Aliexpress .com, alibaba.com and Dhgate.com, this article would revolve around these websites as I have made several purchases on them over the years.

HOW TO MAKE PURCHASE ONLINE

Telling you the system is 100% perfect would be tantamount to dishonesty, it’s a rule of thumb, there would always be a flop along the line, but if proper care is taken, you would never fall victim of any mishap. Buying items from any of the website listed above requires the same basic step. The websites are designed in such a way that it allows you to filter out unwanted results, and focus on items relevant to your search. You can filter search results based on price, discount, seller’s ranking and free shipping. In my early years as an importer (Now I have trusted suppliers), when I am about to buy an item, am always on the lookout for four things; the seller’s rating, buyer’s feedback, item specifications and free shipping option. Seller’s rating must not be less than five stars, the feedback of previous buyers must be a good one, I also make proper enquires by sending the seller a mail, asking questions about item specification and how fast they ship out, all this must be settled before you think of making payment for the item.

MAKING PAYMENT AND RECEIVING YOUR GOODS.

Thanks to third generation banks (GTb, UBA, FCMB e.t.c) making international transaction is now as easy as normal Nigeria transaction, once you operate the normal savings account with UBA/GTb, (I am not affiliated with any of these bank, I listed them because I make use of them on daily basis), Visit the bank and ask the customer service to profile your account for internet banking, GTbank might instruct you to obtain a token device for security purpose (less than #3,000), once your account has been profiled for internet banking, you can now head over to the website to make payment for your item, during my first purchase on Dhgate.com I was instructed to fill out a form stating that I authorize the company to bill my credit card, I was also told to scan my card so as to reveal my card number as an evidence that am the rightful owner of the card, these procedures are in place to prevent card fraud.

It takes an average of three business days to verify your payment, once the payment is verified, the money would be deducted from your account into an escrow account (This is a form of security for you, sellers don’t get your money until you receive your item), then seller is then notified to ship out the item to the shipping address you provided when placing your order, after shipping, you’re provided with a tracking number to know where your goods are. Depending on your courier choice, express service can be as fast as three days; while post mail can be months (I don’t think people use this anymore), assuming you use DHL as your courier, they would bring the item to your house, all you need to do is produce an identity card that bears your name and append your signature on their register. You can then go back to the seller’s page to drop a review of their service, if you’re not satisfied with the product, for example if the specification on the internet differs from what was shipped out (This rarely happens) send a mail to the seller and you can work out details on how to return and request for a refund.

FINAL NOTE.

Even if you would not be importing on commercial basis, it’s not a bad idea to make nice income during festive period by buying flashy things at cheap prices and selling it to your friends for huge profit.

Want to get involved in the Mini Importation business? Want to learn how to buy goods cheaply in China and resell for High profit here in Nigeria? Click here to Download a Free E-book on how to get started.

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